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Gender and Sexual Identity in Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: A Cixousian Analysis of Hijra’s Resistance and Remaking of the Self

Nur Ain Nasuha Binti Anuar and Moussa Pourya Asl

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 29, Issue 4, December 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjssh.29.4.13

Keywords: Écriture féminine, hijra, identity formation, inherent bisexuality, resistance

Published on: 13 December 2021

Hijra is a distinctive South Asia known for their gender and sexual difference and associated with their transgender and intersex identities. Otherwise known as transwomen, they are traditionally subjected to prejudices and embedded within narratives of exclusion, discrimination, and the subculture. As a result, Hijras are typically perceived as isolated, abject, and passive victims who remain social and economic peripheries. Concerning the stereotypical image of hijras, this study explores Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happinessecriture féminine, this study examines characters’ contestations and alterations of existing definitions of sex and gender. This framework allows for a manifestation of gender flexibility and feminine writing as a tool for self-emancipation. Both protagonists Anjum and Tilo, illustrate that hijras are not predetermined but are formulated in a complex process of a conscious rewriting of the self. While the former character resists heteropatriarchal normativity through her conscious alterations of the phallogocentric structure of her Urdu language, the latter defies societal conventions of family and marriage with unorthodox views and actions that are materialized in the writing of her story.

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ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

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