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REPRESENTATION OF SOCIOCULTURAL IDENTITY IN URDU SHORT STORY: A TRANSITIVITY ANALYSIS

Keywords: Transitivity features , socio-cultural identity , representation , Urdu short story , Indo-Pak context , material processes , relational processes , nuclear participants.

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Abstract:

Through explication of transitivity features, this paper reveals how socio-cultural identity is incorporated into literary text through both individualistic and metaphoric representation of men and women. For this purpose, it attempts to indicate various linguistic choices made by authors who lead readers construe characters’ typicalityand individuality within certain thinking paradigms. Based on the transitivity analysis of two Urdu short stories Tota Kahani and Lihaaf –penned by two of the eminent Urdu short story writers Ashfaq Ahmad and Ismat Chughtai respectively—this study highlights representation of different Indo-Pakistani personas immersed in their cultural, social and religious traditions. Such representation, it is assumed, mainly portrays humans as victims presumably at the hands of stifling social set-up around them. Such a portrayal, it is argued, contributes not only to unveil human passivity and helplessness against this social backdrop but also attempts to reject collective silence and submission to dominant ideologies on the part of different characters. The analysis reveals that the authors successfully foreground coercive and discursive practices framing the identities of traditional Indo-Pakistani Muslims. Both the authors arguably achieve this through extensive use of material and relational processes and nuclear participants associated with them.

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