For this student honors project, the author addresses relationships found in the novel Funny Boy, by Shyam Selvadurai, which is set in Sri Lanka during the events leading up to the country’s civil war. The novel tells the story of three romantic relationships, specifically between Radha Aunty and Anil, Amma and Daryl Uncle, and Arjie and Shehan. In developing these narratives the author displays how the relationships all face similar adversities due to the identities of the partners involved and the societal divisions between people of those identities. In all three cases, important details of these relationships are kept secret from relatives, as they are often the ones who traditionally conform to the societal divisions that are the cause of all these relational difficulties, as well as from society at large. Yet the relationships continue despite these divisions due to the naivety on part of one of the partners as to how deeply embedded they are in society, and it is through a traumatic event through which they lose their naivety that each relationship ultimately ends. In addition, as a result of the influence these divisions have on their conscience, it is almost always this particular partner who, normally at the beginning of each relationship, tries to push the other away.
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Scarborough, Anthony, "Romantic Hardships of Ethnic and Sexual Identity in Shyam Selvadurai’s Funny Boy" (2016). A with Honors Projects. 197.