The IUP Journal of English Studies
Sighs of Becoming: A Study of Boonyi's Third-Phase in Salman Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown

Article Details
Pub. Date : June, 2021
Product Name : The IUP Journal of English Studies
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJES50621
Author Name : V Vidya
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 15

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Abstract

The debate on the relationship of a woman with her body and her men has been a keen subject of interest for both men and women for ages, and it has undergone tremendous vicissitudes for various reasons. A woman can experience her body as "facticity" rather than "contingency" (Tidd 2004, 56). She can really choose how to "exist" with her body. She need not allow her embodiment to be predefined by the patriarchal society. She can very well allow her body to be "other than herself." All these possible choices still stand at the threshold of accomplishments for every woman, waiting for the debate of "to be" or "not to be" or "to have become" a woman to be resolved unanimously. The obtainability of these choices and the debate of to be or not to be form the base for Boonyi's "becoming" in Salman Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown. In fact, "to be" a woman is expediently interpreted as "to have become" a woman. This construed interpretation is taken in this paper to analyze Boonyi's "third-phase." The paper further endeavors to scrutinize the coincidence of Simone de Beauvoir's key term "becoming" and the term "made woman" of Minh-Ha with Boonyi's "third-phase"-her return from Max's captivity to her village and her exile thereafter.


Introduction

Woman's relationship to her body and men has been a subject of debate since time unknown. Do women experience their body as "facticity" rather than "contingency" (Tidd 2004, 56)? Do they really choose how to "exist" (Tidd 2004, 56) their bodies? Is their embodiment predefined by patriarchal society? Is a woman's body "other than herself" (Tidd 2004, 58)? All these questions raised by the feminists become the base for Boonyi's "becoming" (Tidd 2004, 54) in Salman Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown. The argument that "to be" a woman is to be interpreted as a parallel term with "to have become" (Tidd 2004, 54) is taken in this paper to analyze Boonyi's "third-phase" (Rushdie 2006, 240-241).1 The study of the coincidence of Simone de Beauvoir's key term "becoming" and the term "made-woman" of Minh-Ha (2006) with Boonyi's "third-phase"-her return from Max's captivity to her village and her exile thereafter-is the object of scrutiny here.


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