ISSN (Online): 2583-0090

CONSTITUTIVE DEHISCENCE AND RUPTURED IDENTITY OF THE ‘SELF’ AND THE ‘OTHER’ – A POSTHUMANIST READING OF COETZEE’S FOE

Authored by
Dr Sujato GhoshDr Sujato Ghosh,Assistant Professor,Department of English, Belda College
on 01/11/2022

Abstract

Any humanist account of historical transformation is unreliable. Our past, our principles and our beliefs cannot be assessed and interrogated by such accounts. Posthumanist philosophy cannot be contained within a particular timeframe be it before we became ‘human’ or even ‘after’. The reception of the ‘Other’ that reflects the ‘Self’ is one such strand of posthumanist philosophy that Coetzee’s Foe interrogates. It expresses the concept of the ‘human’ in the light of posthuman theory. Characters like Friday in Foe become the undesirable picture of the crux of European Illumination; he becomes the symbol of the ‘Other’, the bestial, the innate. His inability to speak due to his mutilations and scars separates him and reduce his prominence as an object and debars him from entering into history. People like Friday are denied the benefits of verbal expression and therefore an insight into their life experiences is always inaccessible. The way his tongue has been separated from him ensures that he never comes to engage with people who easily make their way into metanarratives. Friday’s cut off tongue also engages us with the possibility of rendering him as symbolical of the impossibility of verbal communication. Nonsubjects like Friday stand for the failure of history to become impartial and comprehensive and get rid of the false glorification of the ‘humans’ in the center. The white petals carefully released by Friday into the waters are the ones that history may have searched forever to authenticate its narratives but has failed to acquire. ‘Humans’ must learn to co-exist and accept the ‘Other’ to stay in the center.


Keywords : Foe, Coetzee, Self, Other, human, Vitruvian, posthumanism


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