Advertisements
Advertisements

Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers

Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download

 

Q: 1. Comment on the theme of homo-sexuality in Funny Boy.

a Ans. Unlike many of the western novels of the genre, Selvadurai does not give a label to Arjei’s sexuality or gender identity. The concept of homosexuality is felt at various degrees throughout the novel but it becomes a dominant theme only in the chapter titled “The Best School of All”. In Arjei’s case sexuality and gender identity are closely linked. In the first chapter “Pigs can’t Fly,” Arjei’s fascination with the world of girls is described in minute detail. In describing his preference of the shady back garden and the cool kitchen porch where the girls played with their dolls over the hot and dusty cricket pitch in front of the house which is preferred by the boys and tomboys of the family Arjei says, “I seemed to have gravitated naturally… For me, the primary attraction of the girls’ territory was the potential for the free play of fantasy”. But Arjei is not the only one with a gender issue; Meena who leads one of the cricket teams is biologically female. This is how Arjei describes his cousin: “Meena was standing on top of the garden wall, her legs apart, her hands on her hips, her panties already dirty underneath her short dress.

The boy cousins were on the wall on either side of her” (23). Unlike Arjei, Meena, the biological female, is not chastised for her ‘tendencies’ by her relatives. It is as if her family and relatives, perhaps anticipating her inevitable buckling down to patriarchy after her marriage, is indulging her by allowing her to do as she pleased. Arjei, the biological male, on the other hand is not shown the same indulgence. The reason for Meena’s tom-boyishness could be that she has been socialized into thinking male as the preferred gender and therefore she is being boyish in order to have access to some of the privileges enjoyed by the boys in her family such as climbing and sitting on parapet walls, getting her clothes soiled with impunity, and playing outside in the hot sun without adult supervision. A female might for a while assume the acro-gender and later safely resume her lower-gender role; however, a male is not allowed the same privilege. At least while society may turn a blind eye to it as in the case of Arjei at the beginning, it certainly may not actively encourage it. 

Advertisements

Q. 2. Comment on the relationship between Arjie and Shehan in Funny Boy.

 

Ans. “The Best School of All” deals with Arjie’s sexuality in detail. Robert Chelvanayagam takes another step to cure Arjie of his funniness by sending him to the Victoria Academy, an English style school that encouraged ultra-masculinity. Once again it is ironical that it is there not at the gentler atmosphere of St. Gabriel that Arjie meets his first sexual partner. When questioned why he was being sent there, Arjie’s father says, “Because it’s good for you” (209) and adds that the Academy would force him “to become a man” (210). Is that what had happen to Robert, too? Diggy says that their father did not want Arjie to turn out funny. The second person Arjie to have contact with at the Academy is Shehan Soyza who has power over Salgado due to his relationship with the Head Prefect.

Arjie notices Shehan’s physique right away; “Though delicately built, his body was well-proportioned and lacked the awkwardness of most other boys of his age…the overall effect was attractive” (217). Diggy warns Arjie against Shehan, “He has sex with the Head Prefect… If you remain Soyza’s friend, people will think you’re like him and you’ll become the laughingstock of the whole school” (232). Arjie is bewildered by the very idea of two boys having sex and brushes the warning aside as malicious slander. That night he has an arousing dream of Shehan. Their relationship enters a new stage with Shehan’s kiss. “All I could think about was the sensation of that kiss” (251). Arjie relives the kiss in detail and express a desire to re-experience it in a leisurely manner. Arjie visits Shehan and draws conclusions on his family backgrounds. Shehan clearly expects Arjie to make some move but being new to the situation Arjei allows the moment to pass to their mutual disappointment. Once again Diggy warns his brother against Shehan, “I can’t wait Appa to meet Soyza. Then he’ll definitely know what you’re…” (256). Here, despite the obvious opening the writer refrains from labelling Arjie. His conversation with Diggy turns out to be one of enlightenment for Arjie. He realizes that the differences that had confused him were shared by Shehan and he is amazed by “the powerful hidden possibilities” their friendship. This feeling makes Arjie look forward to Shehan’s arrival with excitement akin to the one he experienced at the spend-the-day.

“The Riot Journal” tells of the end of the first meaningful relationship Arjie has with a sexual partner. He is still bound by the social convictions of his upper middleclass upbringing that would not take it kindly if he were to flaunt his relationship with Shehan. So, when Shehan comes to see him at Sena Uncle’s house they shake hands instead of hugging each other as they really wanted to. Arjie says, “Shehan was a Sinhalese and I was not. This awareness did not change my feelings for him” (302). But it is inevitable that the outside world should intrude on a fragile relationship like theirs. The last meeting between Shehan and Arjie is a bitter-sweet one. Arjie compares his initial and present behaviours towards their meetings, “I smiled to think about that I rushed to the bath to wash off the smell since now I am reluctant even to change my clothes for the fear that I will lose this last memento” (310).

When compared to the herteronormative relationships such as those between Ammachi-Appachi and Nalini- Robert, and even Radha-Anil and Nalini-Daryl, the relationship between Arjie and Shehan is built on caring and understanding.

Q. 3. Comment on the theme of Masculinity and Queerness in Funny Boy.

Ans. Set from the late 1960s to the early 1980s in Sri Lanka, Funny Boy follows the childhood and adolescence of Arjie Chelvaratnam as his nation hurdles toward civil war. At the same time as he watches Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese majority’ gradually turn against his minority Tamil community, Arjie comes to terms with the consequences of being gay in a patriarchal culture and family. From his earliest days, Arjie fails to meet his family’s expectations of a boy; he prefers staging

weddings with his girl cousins, acting in plays, and reading love comics and Little Women to playing cricket with his male cousins or rugger with the boys at school . When his parents start openly worrying about his “funny” sexuality and Arjie realizes that he is indeed gay, they all react with deep embarrassment and shame. Ultimately , Arjie’ does not manage to find acceptance for his sexuality or even come out to his family during the novel, instead, his great accomplishment is simply learning to accept himself, reject shame, and disavow his family’s demand that he follow in other men’s footsteps.

Arjie’s deviation from traditional masculinity leads his family to continuously shame him, and he quickly internalizes this shame and begins to think of himself as inherently flawed. Largely because they do not know what to make of him and fear that his failure to be conventionally masculine reflects their failure as a family, the Chelvaratnams repeatedly call Arjie “funny” – a word that both betrays the family’s anxiety about admitting the possibility of having a gay son and shows that their homophobia is based on an unjustified, instinctual revulsion, tied to the cultural norm of heterosexual marriage and families. While he is too young to even understand his family’s conviction that he is the wrong kind of boy, Arjie understands that he is being punished for simply being himself and following his desires, things over which he has no control. Although Arjie’s sexuality mostly falls out of view during the middle part of the book, when he goes to Victoria Academy, he befriends and falls in love with a boy named Shehan, about whom his brother Diggy repeatedly warns him. After Arjie and Shehan first have sex, Arjie immediately sees that Appa disapproves of Shehan and thus lashes out at him, although internally, Arjie actually blames himself for committing a “dreadful act” and feels he has betrayed his family. Over time, Arjie has absorbed his family and culture’s sense of shame surrounding queerness, and like many young people overcome with such shame about sex, he is unable to fully appreciate or embrace his first love.

Q. 4. Comment on the theme of Forbidden Love and Family in Funny Boy.

 

Ans. While Funny Boy’s most important love story is undeniably about Arjie discovering his sexuality and meeting Shehan, the vast majority of the book follows other relationships, in all of which people fall in love across, despite, and even because of the social boundaries that separate them. Like Arjie’s sexuality, these forbidden relationships draw familial ire; and yet, whereas Arjie learns to accept his sexuality despite his family’s criticism, the book’s forbidden relationships seem to end, for the greater good, because of a similar family pressure. While Funny Boy shows how class, race, ethnicity, and culture are never absolute barriers to desire, it also makes a case for prioritizing family- to whom one is already committed-over particular love interests. a

Beyond Arjie’s own love story, Funny Boy is full of relationships that cross social barriers and prove that differences of class, race, ethnicity, and culture can seldom stamp out the feelings of love-and, in many cases, are precisely what attract people to one another. One example of such a relationship is Radha Aunty’s relationship with Anil, a Sinhala boy who acts alongside her in a production of The King and I. Although she initially finds him annoying, Radha grows attracted to Anil because she realizes that he loves her despite belonging to an opposed ethnic group. In fact, The King and I also foreshadows the failure of Radha and Anil’s interethnic relationship: in the play, an English governess and her employer, the King of Siam, fall in love but can never be together because, as Amma explains, interracial love was not (and in many places is still not) conventionally accepted. Amma’s ambivalence about interracial love becomes even more clear when Arjie learns about her previous relationship with Daryl Uncle, a white burgher who grew up in Sri Lanka but has lived elsewhere for at least 15 years. And beyond Arjie’s relationship with Shehan, his early affinity for romantic Sinhala comic books and insistence on playing the bride during his mock weddings with his girl cousins demonstrate how his romantic desires consistently land outside the sphere of social acceptability. Whether ethnic, cultural, racial, or class-based, social barriers cannot quash the feelings of love.

Although Funny Boy shows how the social constraints around love will never stop people from falling in love and sees a deep tragedy in relationships cut off by family and cultural pressures, it also shows how, in many cases, the tragedy of losing love might be preferable to the tragedy of losing one’s community or family. Despite this preference for family ties, Funny Boy also pushes for constructing a world in which people are not forced to choose between love and community, in which difference makes relationships more vibrant instead of more difficult.

Q. 5. Comment on the theme of Ethnic Conflicts in Funny Boy.

 

Ans. Ethnic Conflicts is the major issue in Funny Boy as it sets in the 1970s and early 80s when ethnic conflict was at its peak. It is shown in the second episode when Arjie asks his father the meaning of word “racist which Radha had used for Ammachi and his father explained him how years ago his great grandfather being a Tamil was killed by Sinhalese. However which turns him the most was the death of Daryl Uncle, with whom Arjie had a little attachment as he brought him the Little women books and he reads them out to Arjie, when he was sick. As Arjie said, “The world the characters lived in, where good was rewarded and evil punished seemed suddenly false to me”. It is through Jegan that Arjie became aware of the extreme dimension of the conflict. Finally, this conflict forces them to immigrate to Canada. 

Q. 6. Comment on the theme of Queer Identity in Funny Boy.

Ans. Funny Boy is focused on growing awareness of young Arjie not only in respect of norms of gender and ethnicity but also with regard to his homosexuality as well. Arjie, the protagonist is considered to be a funny one, because of his queer identity as he play games like bride-bride with girls and he love to be in girls territory as it gives him the “potential for the free play of fantasy”. Arjie does not understand his desire early but later when he had a sexual encounter with Shehan, he knew that he had done something wrong which his family will not going to accept, and he became aware of the word ‘Funny’ and the hetero-normative world whose significance he does not fully understand, and now he understand why his father was concerned about him.

Q. 7. Comment on the theme of Gender in Funny Boy.

Ans. Gender is also a key theme as it reflect in the very first episode of the novel which deals with the, Arjie’s awareness of gender and the roles that it play in a hetero-normative world. First section opens with a scene where Arjie was dressing up to play the role of bride in the game they call Bride-Bride. It was not an issue until “Tanuja nicknamed as Her Fatness”, daughter of Kanthi Aunty arrive but after her arrival she demanded of playing the role which Arjie was playing but it not only steal his role instead it also leads his exposure to the adults of the family and the Cyril Uncle quickly renamed him and said “Ey, Chelva, looks like you have a funny one here”. Gender stereotypes imposed by his family shows the separate world of girls and boys and Arjie got stuck in between. As a child Arjie showed certain tendencies that refuses to accept the norms of the ways men expected to behave.

Q. 8. Comment on the theme of Marriage in Funny Boy.

Ans. Arjie’s view of marriage is fascinating which he absorbed from the films and love comics of Janaki. As in the episode of Radha Aunty, Radha Aunty had to leave his love because of the racial consideration of the society as she was a Tamil and the boy she love was a Sinhalese. It was not a marriage that Arjie expected or wants it to be, the one he played in the game of Bride-Bride but it was brutal as Radha Aunty got injured in coming back train to Colombo and later she married Rajan Nagendra, the one with which she did not wanted to marry. And after the Radha Aunty’s incidence Arjie’s came out of the world of fantasy and his fictional concept of marriage is erased by the reality of society.

Q. 9. Comment on the theme of Language in Funny Boy.

Ans. Language is at the heart of the conflict. Selvadurai shows how society can be divided on the basis of linguistic identity and leads to ethnic violence. Language plays a very crucial role in building a society. Arjie was heartbroken when he became aware of the ethnic violence because of the different linguistic identity. His father was an optimistic and futurist person who believes that Sinhala will the real language of future Sri Lanka and he put Arjie in Sinhala medium school, but he and his brother had to face problems there too, as his classmate Salgado reminded them “This is a Sinhalese class, not a Tamil class”. These impact the nurturing of Arjie, and he grew to experience the horrible effects of this identity further in terms of solitude and isolation.

Q. 10. Comment on the theme of Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence in Funny Boy

Ans. Behind Arjie’s coming of age, Funny Boy also traces the lead-up to the Sri Lankan Civil War, a growing tension between Sri Lanka’s Sinhala majority and sizable Tamil minority that eventually erupts into violent conflict and becomes the book’s driving force, uprooting Arjie and his family forever.

During Arjie’s childhood and adolescence, the reader watches Sinhala and Tamil Sri Lankans grow increasingly mistrustful of and violent toward one another. Arjie’s first encounter with this tension is hearing about Ammachi’s hatred toward the Sinhalese, a response to her own father’s murder by a racist Sinhalese mob in 1958. At this point, not only does the young Arjie fail to understand Ammachi’s racism, but he does not even know what the word “racist” means: When Daryl Uncle returns to Sri Lanka after 15 years, he is there to document the violent conflict between Tamils and Sinhalese in the northern region around Jaffna. His mysterious death, declared an accident by the police likely responsible for it, shows that the Sri Lankan government actively backed the Sinhalese and drove the nation toward war. In the following chapter, a young man named Jegan, the son of Appa’s old friend, comes to live with Arjie’s family. A former Tamil Tiger, Jegan’s presence makes Appa’s Sinhalese employees suspicious; after the police falsely but publicly accuse Jegan of plotting an assassination and then quietly release him, thugs deface Appa’s hotel with threats and Appa feels he has no choice but to fire Jegan: Although he disapproves of violence, Jegan is treated as a threat and a pariah, which reflects Sri Lankans’ severe ethnic paranoia in the lead-up to the war. The book’s Epilogue most saliently captures the toll of Sri Lanka’s ethnic violence, as Arjie and his family have to flee their house (which is then burned down), Appachi and Ammachi are murdered, Appa’s hotel is burned down, and numerous Tamils lose their homes and businesses, not to mention their lives.

Q. 11. Comment on how the relationship between Tamils and Sinhalese is shown in Funny Boy.

Ans. The conflict between Sri Lanka’s Tamils and Sinhalese is fundamentally a conflict over belonging: it is about who gets to own the nation, whom the government should serve, and whether different groups can coexist at all, Over the book’s course, Arjie’s family increasingly feels that they are being defined out of the national identity and made foreigners in their own homeland. The novel explains that the earliest waves of Tamil rebellion and violence followed the government’s attempts to make Sinhala the nation’s only official language. The Tamil Tigers demanded their own state because they felt Tamils were being made sub-citizens, while being Sri Lankan increasingly came to mean being Sinhalese. Yet ethnicity never means anything to Arjie, who is no more attached to Tamil than Sinhalese identity; he shows how it is not at all inevitable for ethnic identities to take on political weight. He takes Sinhala-medium classes and surrounds himself with Sinhala friends; in fact, he does not even speak Tamil. Despite this, when Jegan comes to Colombo, the family realizes that, as Tamils, they are under constant threat from the government, which can declare them extremists and targeted them whenever it wishes. And near the book’s end, Arjie and Shehan grow distant, despite being one another’s primary source of emotional support; Shehan cannot understand Arjie’s sense of constant persecution, and Arjie can’t fathom how Shehan feels normal enough to propose they go see a movie. While they never turn against each other, their rift shows how the experiential and empathetic gap between a majority group and an oppressed minority group can easily foster misunderstanding.

Q. 12. Comment on how Selvadurai hints a solution to the conflict between the Tamils and the Sinhalese in Funny Boy.

Ans. Funny Boy shows numerous close relationships between Tamils and Sinhalese that prove mutual understanding is possible and disprove the government and Tamil Tigers’ shared assumption that successful nations should be drawn on ethnic lines. During the riots, Sinhalese neighbors and friends save Arjie’s family: the Pereras shelter them from the mob that burns down their house , and Chithra Aunty and Sena Uncle lodge them afterwards. In other words, the Chelvaratnams manage to survive because of Sinhalese people who put personal relationships and human connections before the bare fact of ethnic difference. Similarly, in the last chapter, Arjie chooses to side with the pro-Sinhalese Mr. Lokubandara over the school’s racially indifferent principal, Black Tie, in order to save Shehan from Black Tie’s cruel punishments. In a Sri Lanka apparently unable to see past ethnicity, Arjie stubbornly insists on doing so, and in his last reflections on immigration he expresses hope that Canada might be able to accept him in a way his own home country cannot. However, he also sees it possible that Canada will be just as racist as Sri Lanka, and that his family could be reduced to begging. While he can envision a better kind of nation, then, Arjie does not necessarily expect it to be possible.

In Funny Boy, Selvadurai shows both how real people are far more complex than ethnicity and also how they are nevertheless reduced to it by political forces. In doing so, he points to the insolubility of ethnic conflict over national identity: people will never be as one-dimensional or cut-and-dry as nationalists and racists want them to be, and so nationalism and racism, beyond perpetrating horrible violence, cannot achieve the kinds of societies they want to begin with. It is only because some Sinhalese and Tamils do not care about being Sinhalese or Tamil, in other words, that the efforts to create a fully Sinhalese or Tamil nation will inevitably fail.

Q. 13. Comment on the theme of Moral development in Funny Boy.

Ans. As it follows Arjie’s coming of age, Funny Boy also becomes a tale of moral development: Arjie encounters and grapples with blatant injustices that challenge his initial faith in human goodness. Yet, rather than giving up on the idea of a just world and resigning himself to the self-interested worldviews of those around him-including, at times, his own family- Arjie continues to pursue the just world he recognizes as impossible. Nevertheless, in responding to the abuses of power around him, he learns that pressure and manipulationthe very tools of injustice-are often the only way to convince the powerful to give the powerless their due.

Arjie learns early and clearly the world is not just, and in fact that the same adults who claim to be the bearers of morality often fail to choose good over evil. When Arjie and his younger cousin Tanuja (whom he calls “Her Fatness”) fight over the sari they use in their game of bride-bride, Ammachi immediately blames Arjie and ignores the rest of the children’s attempts to fully explain the situation. Because Kanthi Aunty had already shamed Arjie for his femininity, Ammachi decides the fight is his fault and makes him do housework instead of playing with the cousins on the family’s subsequent Sunday gatherings. Similarly, in the chapter “The Best School of All,” Victoria Academy’s draconian principal, Black Tie, arbitrarily and cruelly punishes students he calls the “future ills and burdens of Sri Lanka” for offenses like wearing long hair or winking, even as he ignores violent bullying by students like Salgado. And Daryl Uncle’s death shows how such abuses of power play out on a larger scale. The Sri Lankan government targets Daryl for documenting its human rights violations against Tamils, and then refuses to investigate his mysterious death—for which Amma is convinced it is responsible. And Arjie sees another dimension of injustice-his own family’s complicity in it-when he learns that his father’s hotel is supporting the prostitution of underage boys and, later, goes with Amma to the village of Daryl’s servant boy, Somaratne, only to be violently kicked out because the village’s impoverished inhabitants are so used to being exploited by wealthy city people like Arjie’s family.

As a tale of moral development, then, Funny Boy is peculiar for showing not only how Arjie gains a moral compass, but also how he realizes that far too much of the adult world seriously lacks one. The systematic injustices Arjie sees in Sri Lanka come from unchecked power, and so he learns to respond to these injustices on the only terms that they know: by doing everything in his power to hold the unaccountable accountable. 

 

**************************************

Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download

Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download

Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download

Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download

Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai Pdf Questions and Answers Download

Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!
× Join Chat