PDF | The objective of this paper is to portray how being imprisoned has become a kind of opportunity to enjoy a new kind of freedom for. Request PDF on ResearchGate | Deromanticizing the diasporic life: Benyamin's goat days | According to Maharaj (, 23), "The Indian diaspora may be. Jeevitham' (Eng: translated: Goat Days – Joseph Koyippally). It aims in analyzing profession of a shepherd, tending goats in a desert land. He has no kindred.
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Goat Days is the translation of the famous Malayalam novel Aadujeevitham by one of the recent bright Malayalam writer Benyamin. It is being translated into. Book ID: Xe8uBJmRZvql0Uo | [Download] Book [PDF] Benyamin Goat Days FREE. Goat days by benyamin translated by joseph koyippally. Najeeb's dearest wish is to work in the Gulf and earn enough money to send back home. He achieves his dream only to be propelled by a series of incidents, .
Najeeb is also culturally alienated. First and foremost I would like to thank the Almighty for his blessings without which my efforts would have been in vain. Cengage Learning India , I often think about this story and Feel sorry for the man who had to go through so much of pain working in an alien land. Pratt, Alan.
Through black humour Najeeb relates his past and present private experiences in order to continue his life there. It was to explain a sensibility that queried and destabilized societal customs and values.
He somewhat agreed to the notion of existentialism by Albert Camus, which shared the notions of irrationality and uselessness.
Conrad Black humour in Goat Days make the readers think about the degraded moral norms and values, thus making the above mentioned point by Andre Breton important to consider for this dissertation. As per Max Schulz, The Black Humorists search for a humorous perception on both awful realities and ethical conviction. Black humour emerged from American fiction of s. It was then used to discover the then America with its blunders and issues, in a comic way The purpose of black humour still remains the same in contemporary works.
Goat Days is not an exception. There is an amalgamation of conflicting emotions resulting from the combination of independent out-of- context and contradictory actions. This usually leaves the readers with an uncomfortable reflection that the world is hopelessly absurd and any effort to find some sense in life is impracticable.
In Goat Days, whenever there is humour, it is not a product of enjoyment of the characters in the novel, rather it is emerging from the tragic situation of Najeeb, the chief protagonist in the novel, and there arises conflicting emotions. While reading Goat Days, readers will definitely think about the absurdity of human life. His inappropriate, casual talk challenge or deny the seriousness of the instant.
There is a difference or space between anticipation and the presentation. People look forward to a sort of behaviour which is suitable to the serious occasion but are actually offered with something entirely different. Conrad 12, 13 In Goat Days, Najeeb plays down the significances of problematic situations through humour.
He behaves differently to serious and problematic situations. Thus the above aspect of Conrad is also essential for this dissertation. Black humour includes the funny treatment of something that is bizarre, gloomy or horrifying. And while it resentfully mocks establishments, value systems and customs, black humour presents neither overt nor implied proposals for recovering or transforming the hurting realities on which it focuses.
Pratt later notes that, black humour occurs when the individual who bears pain or hardships seems unconcerned or even pleased by those realities. Today the more invasive black humour, attacked by many, is called healthy by those who argue for it. To the inquiring, disrespect, or denial of moral principles, to the unreason or bareness or vice that we see in life, there are three common reactions: Since Robert Bruce is also describing some of the important aspects of black humour, especially focuses on the reasons behind the importance of black humour.
So it too can be taken for the betterment of this research dissertation. Thus through black humour people laugh at those things that threaten us, and by laughter mount above those threatening events.
Black humour brings laughter into situations where people usually turn to tears. This could be the motive why Walter Kerr commented about black humour as: The same thing happens when Najeeb uses humour in his terrifying situations.
Those situations are more than enough to make the readers cry. H and Geoffrey Galt Harpham. A Handbook of Literary Terms. New Delhi: Cengage Learning India, DC Books, Joseph Koyippally. Goat Days. New Delhi, Penguin Group, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Cherry, Kendra. How our identity forms out of conflict. New York: Oxford UP, Carmen Rosa Caldas and Rick Iedema. Palgrave Macmillan, Nayar, Pramod K. An Introduction to Cultural Studies. Viva, Karkaba, Cherki. Key terms in post colonial theory.
Identity Development: Adolescence Through Adulthood. Sage Publications, Luebering , J. Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, n. Black Comedy Genre Report. Los Angels: UCLA, n. Pratt, Alan. Black Humour: Critical Essays. Print Schulz, Max F. Rev of Black Humour Fiction of the Sixties: The Journal of English and Germanic Philology Sen, Amartya.
Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny. Penguin Books, Print Kroger, Jane. What is an Identity Crisis?. Innovate Us. When he unfurls the outfit that was provided to him, he feels like nauseating due to its fusty stench. With this line it is possible to realize the situation which he has undergone. He himself says that wearing that dress will make him a different person whom he is unaware of, and he will lose many of his traits that he had acquired from his past life.
When Najeeb arouses on the next day his hands, legs and his whole body was aching. But what annoys him most, even more than the pain, is his inability to clean himself after his tiring and weary work. He usually had the habit of coming out of the river after bathing. He is horribly affected by the restlessness of sleeping in the same outfit he wore in the sun, working among foul-smelling goats leading to sweating, and being soaked in their urine and dung.
In chapter 24 of the novel, there is a scene describing the masara and its surroundings filled with dust. He too is not an exception. He describes himself as a clown in various movies, since his complete body was filled with layers of dust and he also said that he himself feels like laughing when he has a look at his body.
He suffered from severe itches from the unclean hair and beard sometimes. He already had several eruptions from the muddy hair in his armpits and pubic area and had even become disgusting to look at. His body had served as the home of several pests.
Parasites and bugs formed an outer layer on his skin. The frustration he has to bear from the lack of cleanliness and neatness is evident from these instances.
In the beginning, Najeeb felt that the whole thing in the masara had a disgusting odour. Here, his frustrations to cope up with those surroundings are clearly visible. He had certain bodily characteristics that were a part of his identity. The smell that he likes and dislikes is a part of his bodily characteristics. His bodily characteristics are changed to such an extent that, he lost his ability to smell something, he lost his bodily smells.
His bodily smell was a part of his identity. It changed not because he applied some perfume to the body. Here one element of his body identity is changed through force. Now Najeeb is not the same Najeeb who came from Kerala, with particular likes, dislikes, and particular body features. It is not that he enjoys all these changes.
So there is an identity crisis especially in his personal identity. In the novel, it is clearly given that Najeeb is forced to violate all his hygiene rules like, bathing, brushing, sleeping at nine after dinner etc.
He also had the habit of bathing twice or thrice a day. But he says that violation of all his habits began the day on which he came to the masara. His ideologies and habits are affected. This ban on his sanitation affects his identity, since sanitation has been an important element of his identity till then. Thus, his inability to follow habits develops an identity crisis in him. Without these habits, he is not the original Najeeb.
These were the characteristics that had contributed a lot in creating the past identity. He becomes another man without his habits. Habits help to form a past identity and help to form a strong present and future identity. Conflict between Real self and Ideal self As per Horney, the concept of Real self means the inner core of personality that individuals recognize about themselves.
He was working as a person who was doing sand mining from the river. For him everything revolved around his family.
His habits, likes and dislikes, his love and care for his family etc. He had the perception that he is the one who needs to look after his family. In the novel, he projects an ideal self before going to Gulf. He tells that, he should go to Gulf only long enough to settle a few debts.
Since his wife is pregnant, the expenses will now rise like a heap of sand and he will need more money to look after his family. He even dreams of possessing some material goods like a gold watch, fridge, TV, car, AC, stereo, video player etc. In between the novel, there is a scene in which Najeeb writes a letter to Sainu. There, he writes to Sainu about many of his dreams. In other words it can also be called as ideal self. But in the real story, he is not any of the things he mentions in the letter.
There also arises a conflict between ideal self and real self. But after getting trapped in the masara, he loses his real self and he is also not able to achieve his ideal self. He is not able to realise any of his dreams that were a part of his ideal self. Also he is forced to keep away his real perceptions of his self.
He is not able to continue any of his habits that were a major part of his real past identity. At times he even forgets his family. His family was a major part of his identity.
When Najeeb forgets his family, he is not the same Najeeb who came from Kerala to Gulf. A different identity creeps into him. It is because of the crisis in his past identity which he has gained from his past life. Thus when he is not able to keep up a balance between his ideal self and his real self, a conflict in his identity was risen.
In other words, it can be said that he faces an identity crisis when there is a conflict between his real self and ideal self. It is the status of a person who is actively involved in exploring different identities, but is not able to make a commitment to any one of those identities. A person explores various identities when there is a clash within his existing identity. In the novel, Najeeb explores different identities like that of a goat, the scary figure, and he also tries to relate to the goats by giving them the identities of people that he knew.
He explores all these identities because he was no longer able to relate to his past identity like that of a person who thought of his family all the time, a person who had kept cleanliness as one of his ideology, a person who wanted to be with his friends and relatives all the time etc. Here in the novel, Najeeb is facing an identity crisis since he is not able to hold on to his identities of the past.
One day when Najeeb went for sleep, his uneasiness kept back him awake even though he was weary. All such thoughts that were a major part of his identity or the elements with which he identified himself, had become alien to him as if they were dead and had reached the other world.
Many may doubt whether it happened so shortly. Najeeb says that it is useless in being confined by these thoughts. They only setback the process of realization that we have gone out to circumstances, in which we are forced to move away from our sweet memories and that there is no going back. Thus the world of his acquaintances had become alien to Najeeb.
And he is forced to explore the identity of a goat. Erikson considered this confusion as an identity crisis. This state can cause one to feel secluded, vacant, worried, and irresolute. They may feel that society and other external factors are compelling them to make decisions. During the state of identity confusion or identity crisis, the individual may feel that he or she is reverting rather than progressing.
His or her behaviour is incoherent and changeable during this confused stage qtd. In the novel Najeeb is unsure about his abilities. Since there lacks a proper society in the novel, he is not able to associate himself to anyone else. He is uncertain about the future as he got trapped in the masara. When he fails to work through this confusion or crisis, it makes him into an individual with a perpetual identity crisis- someone who is not sure who he is.
That is more evident when he takes the identity of a goat. He is very much isolated from the whole world. He is so helpless and powerless that he is not able to take any decisions, although at times he feels that he should escape from the masara at any cost.
Agency Identity is in one way a product of society. In the novel, Najeeb lacks the capacity to control his actions. That is why he was forced to change his identity.
He does whatever the Arab asks him to do. He is not allowed to use water even for his basic needs. He is forced to change his habits that he formed during his past life. Earlier, he formed a particular habit because he liked it. In the novel, it is obvious that he is not allowed to do anything he likes. Even when the billy goat attacks him and breaks his hands, and his chest gets hurt from the thumping from the goat, Najeeb is forced to work for Arab.
When he tells the Arab that his hands are broken, the Arab beats him terribly and smack Najeeb, shouts and orders him to run and bring all the goats quickly. There is no power of choice for him. He wants to take rest; he also wants to go to the hospital. But his life in masara is not under his control.
He lacks an agency. His identity is questioned there, which leads to an identity crisis in him. Discourses Discourses are power structures that produce certain meanings or identities.
Najeeb relates himself to other goats by giving them multiple identities. These multiple identities are actually formed as a resolution for the identity crisis. By calling goats different human names, he gives them the identity of particular individuals. He wants to relate himself to those identities.
Since he has a crisis with his identity, and also he is not able to live with that identity alone, he relates himself to others that were once his friends and relatives. Adolescents, when they are incapable of getting an appropriate and agreeable work, they have to fight against large number covert aftermaths that may probably have a negative impact on identity development.
If there is a problem in identity development, it can lead to identity crisis, since there is no scope for individual development. Self - Development In the novel, self-development or self-growth is not happening.
Najeeb came for construction job. But unfortunately, he got trapped or he was forced to work in a masara, under a cruel Arab. He does some job that he did not like. Although he learns how to look after goats and camels through force, this disinterested him. There is difference between learning through force and learning with interest. When there is forced learning, there is a creation of forced identity.
There we become someone we are not interested. In such a context, our interests and desires which are a major part of our identity are suppressed. Then there will be an identity crisis. In the novel, Najeeb is suppressed to a great extent such that, it is difficult to see in the novel his self-growth even to a small level.
There is not even a single scene in the novel where the expression of his skills and talents are mentioned. He came for another job, but the job he got and the lessons he learned from there, was not the one he was expecting.
He expected a job, and that was a part of his occupational identity. When a conflict occurred in this identity, he faced an identity crisis, since he was forced to keep away his desired identity and forced to take an identity that was disgusting for him. A person, who is not capable to find fitting jobs have to counter a number of underlying consequences that are likely to have a negative impact on his identity development.
They cannot find a suitable meaning for their life. In the novel, Najeeb loses all his self-confidence and self-esteem. Losing self-confidence and self-esteem leads to identity crisis.
The nature of his job did not provide anything that suits his individual identity needs and interests. As per Erikson, individuals have to connect their identity with others.
But when they are powerless to fulfil these commitments, there begins the problem of isolation. Eric Erikson opines that isolation can show the way to social identity crisis.
Najeeb is isolated from a structured social system. Fromm pointed out that when a social situation or condition alters in any important context, there is a chance to generate displacement in the social identity of the people. According to Horney, alienation comes up from anxiety.
From such a negative self-image, a detested self emerges. He is introduced to an entirely new society. So he is forced to change all his habits and thoughts that were a product of his past social and personal life.
There are dislocations in his personal and social identity. He is alienated from his family and society. Alienation leads to the formation of identity crisis in a person, because he is removed from society, which had created a major part of his identity. He is forced to change most part of his past identity as an after effect of this alienation. This creates a sense of identity crisis in him. Also he is not able to form another social identity, in this particular condition.
He is unable to create new roots and relations in his new environment. So he is feeling lost throughout the novel. But he is trying to identify himself with goats around him but identifying oneself with a human and an animal is different.
Although he is succeeding to some extent in his identification with the goats, the gap for human presence cannot be filled. Najeeb is also culturally alienated. He was facing identity crisis in terms of culture also, since he is forced to move away from his cultural practices.
His culture was a part of his identity. When he is forced to change that identity, there occurs an identity crisis. Food practices are different in different cultures. In Kerala, people boil milk before consumption.
But here he is required to drink milk without boiling, and that situation was producing a disgusting effect on him. But in the masara in which he worked, mother goat and child lamb were kept separately.
All lambs were given milk in a large separate bucket. So Najeeb was compelled to move away from his cultural practices, thus forming an identity crisis in him. When he is forced to move away from his cultural practices, which were an important part of his identity, he faces an identity crisis. He is also considered as the other. Najeeb is not even given the status of human.
According to Fromm, individuals long for natural roots; they wish to be an important part of the world, to feel belongingness. An individual is most gratifying and healthiest when there is a feeling of some relationship with other people in the society. So according to Fromm, it is true to say that an understanding of identity begins from a sense of belonging to somebody. Alder believed that individuals are social beings by nature, not by habit.
So lack of interpersonal relations causes difficulty for the existence of human beings. He is suffering from some personal identity crisis. So obviously, Najeeb tries to overcome his personal identity crisis by having some interpersonal or societal relations. But unfortunately, Najeeb is forced to exist in a kind of alien planet populated by some goats, camels, Arab, and him. There are no means existing for him to have a contact with the outside world.
But unfortunately on those days when they came, Arab orders him to go to the desert early by giving him instructions to get back with the goats only after they had gone. Still, his heart would flicker with overwhelming joy whenever those vehicles arrived at the masara. Najeeb would be overjoyed, as if some of his dear ones had come to see him. But when those vehicles, raining sand, disappeared away, he felt like the world itself had gone away from him. Then a heart wearisome exhaustion would overcome him.
Benyamin One day, when a truck came without any assistant to unburden, the Arab asked Najeeb to assist him. Because of his overwhelming joy of seeing a human being, he even touched him once greedily. He felt an absolute fulfillment passing through him. Benyamin Najeeb says that we can tolerate any desolation if we have somebody to express our depression with.
Being lonesome is very miserable. Words shuddered like silverfish within him. Benyamin An ear to pour out my miseries, two eyes to have a look at him and a cheek next to me became crucial for his existence. In their lack of presence one may turn into mad, even suicidal. Benyamin It might be the reason why people condemned to solitary confinement turn insane.
Getting those words out, expelling them provides the greatest mental peace. Those who do not get this chance die choking on words. In the end Najeeb escapes from the masara and he gets into the prison to get a shelter. Inside the prison, the prisoners have absolute freedom to walk and talk freely.
Najeeb had dreadfully desired for this chance to speak to someone in the past three years. In order to celebrate or implement his new found freedom, he continuously talked with Hameed.
He talked selfishly. Najeeb constantly told his story to Hameed numerous times. This instance also explores how communication or how human contacts are necessary for a human to live in a satisfying manner. Here it is understood how much he have suffered for three to four years without talking to a human being. For social identification, we accept the identity of the community in which we have categorized ourselves as we think it is the right place to belong to. But for Najeeb, there is no group to get identified with.
There is not even a single human being other than the Arab. He is not able to express himself to Arab, due to his superior power and also because of the ignorance of language. Najeeb wants to express himself to any person. He wants to develop his social identity. When a person is unable to build up his social identity, there an identity crisis occurs.
Najeeb is facing an identity crisis, since he is not able to communicate or express or identify with others. Najeeb remembered the Arab yelling at and beating the driver of the water truck with his rifle butt for the sole reason of attempting to speak to Najeeb. In order to prevail over his frustration, he identifies himself with the goats. He gave each goat the name of his friends and relatives.
He identified certain characteristics that were there in his friends and relatives in each goat and started communicating to them. It shows how difficult it is for a person to live without proper communication.
His friends and relatives were the people he could relate and identify with. The main protagonist in the novel, Najeeb, before coming to Gulf had certain influences from the relationships with his family, friends and relatives. When he lost their contact, he felt certain aspects of his identity as incomplete and difficult to sustain, thus leading to an identity crisis in him.
In order to overcome this identity crisis, he also identified the little lamb Nabeel as his own new born baby.
It was an attempt to regain some part of his lost identity or it was an attempt to overcome his identity crisis. Family is an integral part of his identity, especially of a person like him. He was not able to identify himself with others, since there was no one in the place he was trapped, other than the Arab. His irritation and bitterness is clear from the above lines.
He says that, he poured out the words that were mounting up in him to the goats. He continuously talked to them as if he were talking to dear ones. He emptied out his cries, soreness, emotions, and desires to him. He did not care whether they have grasped anything he said, but he knew that they paid attention to him, looked at him with caring eyes, even cried with him.
In this terrible condition, he was forced to satisfy himself with their presence and attention. With this, it is understood how much he wants to express and identify himself to others. All the names were the names of the people that he knew from his past life. The relation with these people was a part of his identity. Inferiority complex According to Adler, when an individual feels a sense of incompletion or lacks perfection at any point or any sphere of life, or when an individual has an overpowering sense of defenselessness, or experience something that makes them helpless and weak, there is a possibility for them to feel inferior.
When such feelings become invasive, an inferiority complex may develop. When one person has inferiority complex, it will affect his identity.
In the novel, Najeeb is helpless and powerless. On the first day, before Najeeb went to work, Arab showed him a binocular and then drew out a double barrel gun from under the pillow. He aimed at a bird that was flying high up and fired a shot. The bullet hit the bird and it fell. Najeeb was petrified. The Arab was actually giving him a warning that, if he ever tried to escape or ever try to make fool of Arab, then his fate will be same as that of the bird.
With the help of binocular, Arab will be able to follow him to a large distance. At that moment Najeeb realized that his life had become inescapably bound to those goats. This realization clearly shows how much he felt powerless and helpless on the first day itself. All his dreams got shattered. When the scary figure had gone, Najeeb was forced to do back breaking labour; he got beatings that he would always remember; he also had to go hungry the whole day.
He is helpless and powerless to do anything. He is unable to react against the injustices done to him. Even after he got hurt he is forced to do whatever the Arab orders. Even in that terrible pain, he obeys whatever the Arab says. He is helpless and powerless to react. Throughout the novel, the Arab cruelly punishes Najeeb for no fault of his. He suffers all these pains just because he is helpless.
Also, when Najeeb found out that the scary figure was murdered by the Arab, he was more afraid. Najeeb fell at the feet of the Arab, and cried saying he does not want to leave this place and go anywhere. He just wants his life. It is enough that the Arab does not kill him. He did not even care existing like this. He is terrified of death. Najeeb is working as a slave for the Arab.
Arab is also treating him as a slave, not even as a human being. Arab is showing his superiority throughout the novel. While Arab shows his superiority to Najeeb, he feels inferior. He feels like, he is useless and powerless. He even believes that goats have more value than him.
He considers himself as even inferior to a human being. This is forming a conflict in his identity. With the concept of inferiority complex comes the notion of inequality. He even loses his identity as a human being. Whatever Najeeb does is criticized by the Arab in the novel. Many times the Arab addressed him as useless.
In all these circumstances, his past identity that he formed from his past life is affected. Not all male goats in the masara are permitted to survive with virility.
Some of the he-goats, that the Arab found useless were de-sexed and made into eunuchs. One day the Arab was pointing to the goats that were to be de-sexed. One among them was Nabeel. But he had no choice. And the day Nabeel lost his maleness, Najeeb lost his virility too.
This instance is a good example of his identity crisis being portrayed in the novel. Najeeb is a male. And his virility was a major part of his male identity. He is categorized as a male because of his virility. Now he has lost that identity in the novel.
And that lead him to question himself, that, whether he is a man now. He lost the ability to call himself as a male. He was born as a male and he grew as a healthy male. But when suddenly he loses his maleness he is in a chaos. Lacking an identity as a proper male or female is a major identity crisis one has to face.
He cannot keep an identity of his origin or the migrant country. He will be always in between these two identities. In this work, I tried to picturize the identity loss of a person as a human being. His identity trapped in between animal and human being. In the desert his identity became completely paralleled with animals and his escape is to retrieve the human identity.
Austin, William G. Psychology of Intergroup Relations. Nelson-Hall, Personality; Classic Theories and Modern Research. Pearson Education Pvt. Ltd, Fulcher, James and John Scott. Theories of Personality.
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Write a product review. Read reviews that mention must read goat days great book malayalam translation benyamin heart emotions protagonist slow suffering. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now.
Please try again later. Verified Purchase. But when I actually read it I was a little disappointed to find out it actually meant the same. But In the end the author drew parallelism between it making a fos. The book starts off in a good pace but in the middle goes very slow and then suddenly paces up and finishes!
Overall its a good one leaving you with mixed emotions. This is about life. A goat's life. A person who has turned to a goat. The desert is not melancholic or beautiful here.
The book is excellent, 5 stars not enough for this. I received this book 4 months ago Excellent book. I received this book 4 months ago and finished reading it on the same day. Story feels like a literal translation from Malayalam to English. I often think about this story and Feel sorry for the man who had to go through so much of pain working in an alien land.
Only people from Kerala can connect to this story more than anybody else. Must read. I liked this book because it throws light on the South Asian diaspora's problems in the host countries like the one this work deals with. The other works have set a sort of canon for Diaspora writing where problems of identity are faced by economically sound people belonging to first and second generation migrant. It is different from the works generally praised by western academia with international awards because it is really a writing from below.
I would recommend this book for people who want to explore different problems faced by South Asian diaspora in other world. It is must read to think out of the box of diaspora fiction canon. This book makes the reader shiver in the harsh terrain of desert country and inhuman situation Reader becomes a "goat" One person found this helpful. The narration style is amazing.
Worth reading. It was a gift for a friend. She loved the narration style. Looking forward to reading it myself. See all 43 reviews.
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