Visual Disability and the Pursuit of Normality in Preeti Monga’s Biographical Novel The Other Senses

Kowsalya G., Bishop Heber College, India
Dhanabal C., Bishop Heber College, India
Published: December 31, 2022

Citation: Kowsalya, G., & Dhanabal, C. (2022). Visual Disability and the Pursuit of Normality in Preeti Monga’s Biographical Novel The Other Senses. IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities, 9(2).


For Ancient Greeks, beauty was a characteristic of individuals and actions that they considered to be morally good. Greek statuary and art in general project beauty based on the assumption that outward appearance reflects personal virtues (Tytler, 1982, p. 36). Pythagoreans, for example, held that ugliness expressed confusion and turmoil, and that beauty was a material expression of universal truth. In more modern times, and in many ways envisaging today’s materialistic societies, Kant expresses a certain perplexity that beauty is perceived primarily as a pleasurable response to exterior form (2000, p. 111). In this sense contemporary culture, with the increasing visual refinements of its graphic products and virtual reality, has set new metrics for defining the value of beauty. Our televisions, for example, broadcast images of heroes who are physically beautiful while being morally suspect and socially abrasive. The unstable value of beauty is reflected in literature. In Indian literature disability has been represented, but these representations have lacked significant scholarly diagnostic treatment. The Disability Rights Movement has recently begun to change this situation. This paper strives to examine a disabled individual’s struggle for integration through Preeti Monga’s autobiography The Other Senses. It also analyses how the disabled create subjective normality and the process by which they attain it. By tracing the roles of sexuality, dependency, and interpersonal relationships in the lived experience of Preeti Monga, this research aims to reveal the significance of the quest for normality in shaping personal identity.


autobiography, normality, sexuality, visual disability