Funny Boy

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Shyam Selvadurairs Funny Boy Analysis English Literature Essay
Identity involves recognition of the self. It is not static, but it constantly changes in relation to political, cultural and social events that are occurring. A child's identity is negotiable. Children are presumed innocent and naïve until they have experienced life. Their sense of identity has not been determined if they have not had experiences in which they are able to determine their relationship to and how it affects them. In narrating or privileging a child's perspective in a novel, the language the reader is presented with is simplistic and the viewpoint of the narrator is often minimalistic as it is based upon the experiences which the narrator has encountered. Shyam Selvadurair's Funny Boy is narrated from an adolescent’s perspective, where the presumed innocence and naivety of the child offers an alternative view to the political, cultural, social and historical tensions in India and Sri Lanka and the effect that it has on the developing child in terms of identity. The child narrator in each text is an outsider as they do not merge with the cultural norms imposed upon by society. Arjie, the product of an upper-class Tamil family in Funny Boy, crosses borders in his awakening as a homosexual, falling in love with a Sinhalese, despite his parents attempt to create a masculine identity for him, in order that he may abide by the boundaries and social order that has been imposed upon him. The need to understand identity determines the characters individual relationship to the tensions surrounding them. Although children might not understand what is going on, they offer a new angle in which the readers may make sense of what they are being told and how it is important to the work as a whole.
In Shyam Selvadurai's Funny Boy, the child narrator draws readers into the characters and problems that we…...

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