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Title

Pagal

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

English and Comparative Literature

Advisor

Alan Soldofsky

Subject Areas

Comparative literature

Abstract

This novel portrays the innocence of childhood by the realities of a harsh

world, where readers are introduced to the main protagonist, Sabrin. We enter the world of her inner thoughts, specifically, a reflection of how she and her peers treated the neighborhood crazy lady, Mukki, when they were children.

Sabrin's friends, Iqbal, Husna, and Amir are the center of her world, although she is closest to her older brother, Faiyaz, and her best friend, Amir. Amir suffers from Vitiligo, a condition that causes white and pink splotches on his skin and for which he is ostracized by the entire community as a "safed bandar," or white monkey of bad luck.

As Sabrin gets older, a dormant mental illness is triggered that affects the quality of her life. Through it all, Amir remains by her side like a loyal guardian and friend. Despite this close relationship, Sabrin is forced to marry someone whom she does not love due to the prejudices imposed by her community. She tries to seek salvation in God but finds herself questioning her faith when she realizes how cruel her community

can be. Yet, it is through Amir's attitude toward life that Sabrin realizes the value of sincere gratitude towards God.

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