The Truth Behind Voice and Power in My Feudal Lord: A Speech Act Analysis

  •  Asifa Qasim    


Female writers use autobiography to express their experiences, deference, and inner-conflicts. They describe their connection to different events and people in domestic or social context to explain their feelings and complexity of their lives. This study analyzes the way Durrani constructs norms of gender and power in her autobiography, My Feudal Lord. The paper imports Searle’s theory of speech act analysis to discover the way the author creates and performs gender in the domain of power through textual interactions. Durrani achieves the effect of patriarchy through frequent use of directives, expressives, and commissives by her husband through employing direct language. The husband openly expresses criticism, blame, complain, and acknowledgement in his interactions which validate his authority over his wife. The striking feature of the wife’s speech is even more frequent use of directives as compared to the husband. However, the major gender distinction was reflected in the use of directives. The husband used more commands and the wife asked more questions. Another major difference was that of commissives which occurred half of the times in the wife’s speech as compared to her husband’s speech. She hardly used any apologies or compliments which shows her diminishing submission to her husband’s authority. Her expressives also reflect her firm attitude and courage to take risk of protesting against her physically and socially more powerful husband.

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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