• Dr Muhammad Shoaib Govt. Graduate College for Boys Gulberg Lahore
Keywords: Rohinton Mistry, abjection, insects, verminous, dehumanization, Emergency


This article on Indian-Canadian novelist Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance (1996) traces the entomological and verminous trope in the novel in order to establish a link between insects and the suppressed sections of Indian society. The research has been prompted by a scarcity of scholarly material on Mistry’s abundant use of entomological and verminous imagery throughout his fiction. Addressing this gap, I argue that Mistry makes a significant intervention in the literary discourse on the Indian Emergency, imposed by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975, by making visible the dehumanization and plight of the people on the margins of the society. Employing Julia Kristeva’s notion of abjection (1982) as a theoretical framework, the essay contends that the multitudes of insects wriggling into the novel are symptomatic of the creatureliness of the underprivileged human beings and their positioning beyond the boundary of common humanity and ethical responsiveness during the Emergency. Through an explication of the four main characters’ multiple encounters with worms and insects, the novel problematizes and contests the narratives of idealism woven around the Emergency by those in power. Attending to the notions of repulsion, fragility and infestation commonly associated with abject creatures, the article analyses the role of the political ideology in producing optimal conditions to obfuscate the vulnerability of the disenfranchised and the homeless.


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How to Cite
Dr Muhammad Shoaib. (2023). ABJECTIFYING THE OTHER: A STUDY OF ENTOMOLOGICAL AND VERMINOUS TROPE IN ROHINTON MISTRY’S A FINE BALANCE. International Bulletin of Linguistics and Literature (IBLL), 6(4), 15-33. Retrieved from http://ibll.com.pk/index.php/ibll/article/view/171