The Beauty and the Beast : Magical Realism in Salman Rushdie’s Shame

University essay from Södertörns högskola/Institutionen för kultur och lärande


Mild psychological effects, such as sleep-deprivation, on an oppressed and tortured human being can be characterized as “normal”. However, Shame bySalman Rushdie uses magical realist style to describe the psychological effects of shame in a patriarchal society which is based on capitalistic class values. This essay will focus on the Marxist feminist reading of the novel with a psychoanalytical perspective which is going to help analyse the effects of the oppressed female characters, Bilquis Hyder, Sufiya Zinobia and Rani Harappa.  The essay focuses on different incidents in the lives of these characters with the help of critics such as Aijaz Ahmad and Timothy Brennan. Both have written critically about Rushdie. This essay will discuss the different aspects of Marxism, feminism as well as psychoanalysis and connecting them to the novel, which would give the answers as to what shame can do to a person’s psyche. The Beauty and the Beast fairy-tale gets a different perception in this story, as Sufiya Zinobia is both the characters in one.

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