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Title: Unsettling silences : the trauma of witnessing in Manto's "cold meat" and "open it".
Authors: Lim, Rebecca Sim Ming.
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities::Literature
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: The history of the Partition of India is characterized by the senseless violence that erupted across India and Pakistan in the form of rapes, abductions, forced exiles, and murder. The narrative accounts of these brutalities, however, especially in relation to the abduction and rape of women, were often enshrouded in silence. This paper examines the ways in which the formal qualities – the silences that he engraves into the text through the use of ellipses, subsumed voices, abrupt silences, and gaps in the narratives - of Saadat Hasan Manto’s short stories “Open It” and “Cold Meat” reflected the representational problems that he encountered in giving voice to these hidden histories. This paper also explores the ways in which these silences interact with the words that surround them to impose an ethical call upon its readers to bear witness to the traumatic consequences of the Partition of India, and thus addresses the ways in which the paradox of witnessing leads to discomfort and irresolution as the testimonies that we encounter direct us towards questioning, displacing and breaking down a host of related issues expressed through the silences, including undercutting the reliability of hegemonic authority, the fragility of gender relations and the patriarchal institution, as well as exposing the senselessness of violence. With the help of Trauma theory, it reveals that the silences expressed in the texts were not exclusively experienced by women, considers the causes behind the silences and its traumatic effect on the psychological, social and mental health of the people.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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