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 Funny Boy – set against the increasing violence between a between Sinhalese and Tamil in Sri Lank, culminating in the civil war which lasted for almost.

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Presentation on theme: " Funny Boy – set against the increasing violence between a between Sinhalese and Tamil in Sri Lank, culminating in the civil war which lasted for almost."— Presentation transcript:

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2  Funny Boy – set against the increasing violence between a between Sinhalese and Tamil in Sri Lank, culminating in the civil war which lasted for almost a decade( ).  The author Shyam Selvadurai and his family are forced into exile after the 1983 racial riot against the Tamil in Colombo.  The protagonist, "Arjie" Chelvaratnam, is the second-son of a privileged middle-class Tamil family in Colombo.

3  Sinhalese (僧伽羅人) migrated from Northern India to Sri Lanka since 5 th -6 th century BCE, while Tamil ( 坦米爾人 ) came from Southern India around since 2 th BCE.  Sinhalese -- Buddhism  Tamil -- Hinduism, more sent to Sri Lanka by the British government and supported by the latter.  Since its independence as Ceylon, the Sinhalese (80% majority) put forth “Sinhala Only Law” in support of their political power, which causes discontent among the Tamil people (20%).

4  Why can’t Arjie play bride-bride?  “Because the sky is so high and pigs can’t fly.” (19)  What does the sky mean? What does being “funny” mean?  Is he “funny” because he is homosexual?

5  Funny --either humorous or strange (17); disgust  But Meena also crosses gender boundaries in playing the cricket game.  The other girls do, too, in the bride-bride game.  Arjie’s view of being a bride (5) and jewel and sari (15)   the story is about the ideological system (the sky), and the power struggle within it.

6  What does "spend-the-day" mean for both the adults and the kids, maybe excepting the servant cook who cannot have a break? (pp. 1-2)  How are the boys' game and girls' game divided up and located? (p. 3)  What are the rules of the boys' cricket game and the girls' Bride-Bride? Do these rules make sense? Do these groups' structure reflect that of adults, or not?

7  Why does Her Fatness want to be the bride?  What gender roles do Arjie and Her Fatness take respectively in their power struggle?  If Arjie is the one to be ordered back to the realm of men, who else also crosses the gender boundaries in this story?

8  Arjie as the leader because of “the force of his imagination”(p. 4)  His imagination– allows him to "leave the constraints of [his] self and ascend into another, more brilliant, more beautiful self" (5).  Still conditioned by the goddesses of the Sinhalese and Tamil cinema (breaking the racial boundary).  A world for girls – the groom the most useless (p. 6)

9  Competition -- with winning as the goal;  trading players › less powerful ones: Sanjay › girlie-boy: Arjie  the batting order – p. 26 › Numbers marked in the sand for the players to step on; › The older and better ones play first

10  Her Fatness – in need of attention › An outsider › Kanthi Aunt – her anger (p. 8)  Wins attention › by lying (7) › by showing off the dolls (p. 8) –which is less powerful than the bride-bride game; › by playing a loud groom (9) › by appealing to traditional gender boundaries (11) “A girl must be the bride.”

11  Insisting on the rule to be the first one to play  so that he becomes offensive and can run away  the sari in the bag as a weapon  Agrees to play the groom, and then attracts the other girls’ attention.  Sari gone – so is his power.

12  Amachi and her cane p. 38  The seaside and the tall building as a mirage p. 38


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