Funny Boy, a novel by Shyam Selvadurai, tells us a story through the eyes of a growing Tamil homosexual boy, Arjie. By using a first person narrator, Selvadurai vividly describes Arjie¡¯s struggle to negotiate life in Sinhala-dominated Colombo. Besides, the horrible ethnic violence between Tamil and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka was also highlighted throughout the novel. Selvadurai developed the theme of ethnic violence by telling various incidents and facts through the narrator of Arjie, beginning with the story of Radha Aunty. Radha Aunty fell in love with a Sinhala man Anil. However, Ammachi refused to accept him because Ammachi¡¯s father was killed by Sinhalese in the fifties. As Arjie¡¯s father explained to Arjie: ¡°The Sinhalese wanted to make Sinhala the only national language, and the Tamils did not like this. So there was a riot and many Tamils were killed¡± (Pp59-60). Here, Selvadurai revealed the historical background of ethnic violence in the fifties between Tamils and Sinhalese. Besides, he also suggested that the conflicts between Tamils and Sinhalese never stopped and many innocent people were hurt: Shortly, Radha Aunty was attacked on the train by Sinhalese. As Arjie thought, ¡°It was so clear now that I was surprised I had not seen it before, that I had not understood the moment I saw Radha Aunty with that bloody bandage around her head that her relationship with Anil was over¡± (94). In the third chapter, Selvadurai talked about the incidents happened to Daryl Uncle, in order to show that another ethnic group also suffered violence. Daryl Uncle, a Burgher journalist, came back from Australia to investigate the torture of Tamils, by the Sinhala police. Unfortunately, as suggested by the author, he was killed by Sinhala police. As Amma said: ¡°He didn¡¯t die by drowning. You know that. He was killed, then thrown into the sea¡± (133). As Arjie¡¯s father said in chapter four: ¡°These days, every Tamil is a Tiger until proven otherwise¡± (178). From here,...
Cited: Selvadurai, Shyam. Funny Boy. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1997
DONNOT COPY!!By Wei Wu, All Rights Reserved, 2006
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