Reconstructing Gender Roles as a Repercussion of Migratory Journeys in Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West and Patricia Engel’s The Veins of the Ocean

Author:   Rachid Lamghari
Publisher:   GRFDT
View PDF

This article reflects on reconstructing gender roles as a repercussion of migration in Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West and Patricia Engel’s The Veins of the Ocean. Gender shapes people’s practices at every level of social reality as there is no separate sphere in which gender exists isolated from other kinds of social relations. Gender imperatives of cultural performativity are used to normalize the allegedly natural division of assignments, tasks, spaces, etc. and migration is no exception as it was male dominated and women’s crossing of borders was supposedly conditioned by having a male accompanier. Women’s experiences of migration were thus excluded from the main narrative due to biased historicizing. With the feminization of migration, however, women’s migratory journeys are narrated differently as they migrate individually and independently contrary to the homogenizing prototypical experience of dispersal. As a result of crossing geographical borders, cultural and religious frontiers are trespassed as well. Nadia’s and Reina’s representation in the targeted novels dismantles the prototypical images drawn for female migrants and simultaneously subvert their alleged passiveness and docility. 

© 2012-20 GRFDT, All Rights Reserved.Maintained by GRFDT.Designed by Abhinav Jain