Locating the ‘subaltern other’ in Doris Lessing’s The Grass is Singing


  • Tarulata Pegu


Subaltern, being a recurrent issue in postcolonial discourse, focuses on how the colonial hegemony and imperialism had otherized the natives and left them voiceless through their cruel policy. Postcolonial studies analyzes and react to the Eurocentric discourse in the colonies which regulates the representation and normality of the natives as an ‘exotic’ and ‘inferior’ being. Its proponents strive to recreate or reclaim the position, history, and culture of the natives by themselves thereby rejecting the master narratives. The objective of this research article is to locate how Doris Lessing, the British Nobel Prize winner, has problematize the issue of the subaltern in her debut novel The Grass is Singing (1950). Subaltern in its simple terms refers to the subjugated and oppressed people in a society who lie in the last ladder of the social strata. Colonized People from Asia, Africa, and South America are designated as 'subaltern' as they were in the periphery without a voice of their own. The research article also aims to trace the impact of subalternation on the individual’s psyche and community as a whole. Although characters like Moses wanted to cross the boundary beyond the mistress-slave relationship and makes effort to get treated with respect remains unfulfilled. The study comes up with the conclusion that the subaltern can never rise above their inevitable position. Moses attempts to retain a warm and considerate bonding with Mary through sacrifices but was knocked down by the colonizers and their practices. He is compelled to surrender himself to the set patterns because of his color, language, and culture and thus left voiceless.


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How to Cite

Tarulata Pegu. (2020). Locating the ‘subaltern other’ in Doris Lessing’s The Grass is Singing. PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt / Egyptology, 17(9), 1212 - 1219. Retrieved from https://www.archives.palarch.nl/index.php/jae/article/view/3739