Transgression, Desire, and Death in Mai Al-Nakib’s “Echo Twins” and Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things

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Author: Shahd Alshammari, Gulf University for Science and Technology, Kuwait
Email: alshammari.s@gust.edu.kw
Published: December 8, 2017
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijah.4.si.04

Citation: Alshammari, S. (2017). Transgression, Desire, and Death in Mai Al-Nakib’s “Echo Twins” and Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities, 4(si). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijah.4.si.04


Abstract

This paper addresses the theme of transgression in two texts: “Echo Twins” by Kuwaiti author Mai Al-Nakib and The God of Small Things by Indian author Arundhati Roy. Both writers exploit the theme of transgression by employing transgressive female protagonists. These protagonists persistently call attention to the subtle nuances of love and desire and, by doing so, are able to expunge commonplace borders that separate male/female, self/other and colonizer/colonized. Persuasive and compelling, these characters are able to assert their own voice and as a result place themselves in an evident position of agency. However comprehensively the subject of love and desire may be generally understood, for the authors of both of these texts desire is conceived purposefully as a site for the subversion of power hierarchies. Herein, by placing the Kuwaiti text alongside the Indian text, it is anticipated that relevant similarities between the female transgressive characters will lead the reader to such a conclusion. Both writers, furthermore, create a critical space of analysis and locate it beyond the merely symbolic in order to furnish an innovative interpretation to the power of the “maternal”.

Keywords

transgression, desire, female protagonists, Kuwaiti, postcolonial, semiosis