This paper analyzes the objectification of the South Asian female subject as subaltern by the
patriarchal power structure, and disrupts the relevant discourse practices. It investigates this notion in
Qaisra Shahraz’s novel The Holy Woman. Methodologically, it applies Gayatri Spivak’s perspective of
the subaltern to establish its ontological premise. Additionally, it uses Lazar’s concept of Feminist
Critical Discourse Analysis to deconstruct the power discourse behind the objectification of the female
identity as reflected in the selected text. The analysis of the selected text reflects as the South Asian
patriarchal society ‘legitimizes’ the ‘othering’ of its female subject for the fulfilment of its power agenda
that involve political and economic interests. The analysis also reveals as dominant discourse
interprets religion the way it suits the power structure. It also shows how the female subject realizes
its manipulation by acquiring the knowledge which she earlier lacked and on the acquired awareness,
resists the power structure. Through its methodological approach, the paper incites further research
into the reorientation of subalternity in the South Asian context.
Author (s) Details
Ms. Hadia khan
Department of Mechanical Engineering, HITEC University, Taxila, Pakistan.
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