Transgression, Desire, and Death in Mai Al-Nakib’s “Echo Twins” and Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things

IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities. 2017;4(SI):33-41 DOI 10.22492/


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities

ISSN: 2187-0616 (Online)

Publisher:  The International Academic Forum

LCC Subject Category: Fine Arts: Arts in general | General Works: History of scholarship and learning. The humanities

Country of publisher: Japan

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Shahd Alshammari (Gulf University for Science and Technology, Kuwait)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 12 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This paper addresses the theme of transgression in two texts: “Echo Twins” by Kuwaiti author Mai Al-Nakib and The God of Small Things by Indian author Arundhati Roy. Both writers exploit the theme of transgression by employing transgressive female protagonists. These protagonists persistently call attention to the subtle nuances of love and desire and, by doing so, are able to expunge commonplace borders that separate male/female, self/other and colonizer/colonized. Persuasive and compelling, these characters are able to assert their own voice and as a result place themselves in an evident position of agency. However comprehensively the subject of love and desire may be generally understood, for the authors of both of these texts desire is conceived purposefully as a site for the subversion of power hierarchies. Herein, by placing the Kuwaiti text alongside the Indian text, it is anticipated that relevant similarities between the female transgressive characters will lead the reader to such a conclusion. Both writers, furthermore, create a critical space of analysis and locate it beyond the merely symbolic in order to furnish an innovative interpretation to the power of the “maternal”.