Binarism, Identity (Crisis) and Power Structures in Postcolonial Anglophone Fiction: Analyzing Discursive Strategies in The God of Small Things

  •  Sundas Tahreem    
  •  Inayat Ullah    
  •  Tariq Khan    


Binary relationship among people of a particular society creates a power correlation that becomes a common social practice of that society with the passage of time. Social structure is based on power structure of any society that defines social identities on the basis of collective social ideology. The present study is based on Fairclough’s approach to Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) that takes discourse as social practice. In this study, an effort has been made to show how social practices create power imbalance in the society. The objectives include study of binary relationships that establish power relationships, role of power structures to define social identities, role of ideology to maintain power and hegemony in social structures and to bring into the limelight the resistance of oppressed class against power structures. The study is delimited to the novel, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, and Postcolonial binarism is applied for analysis of the text. Binary relationships of the society have been exclusively studied through Fairclough’s approach to CDA. The analysis shows that social identities are ideologically driven on the basis of power relationships and it is due to ideological construction that certain group of people sets up hegemony and dominated group gives its consent to dominant group. Firstly, discourse forms knowledge which defines social relationship. Secondly, ideology is constructed due to power relationships. Lastly, social roles construct social identities on the basis of ideology. Roy also has created some economically weak and socially marginalized characters in her novel which try to go against established social practices to bring disorder in the hierarchy of social structure. The study has research implications for the fields of Language and Literature as the evaluation deals with the exploration of a literary text through the lens of the theories of language and literature. Researchers can also further the scope of the present study by conducting an exclusive and comprehensive study of the selected novel on marginalization of women in the given society.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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