Shyam Selvadurai’s Pigs can’t fly is the story of a young boy who is torn by reality and his family’s efforts to suppress his true sexuality. His internal conflict eventually leads him to self destruction, when his beloved sari is torn into pieces. Because of the gender social norms of his family, he is forced to transition form the beautiful, loving world of the girls to the harsh, unforgiving world of the boys. In Shyam Selvadurai’s Pigs can’t fly, the gender social norms imposed upon Arjie causes turmoil within him, and ultimately destroys him morally. His turmoil is caused by his mother’s rejection of him, his cousin Her Fatness’s weakening of his influence amongst the girls, his feelings of not belonging with the boys, and his forced
…show more content…
But too late. She took the sari from the shelf where she had hidden it and ran out the door.” The society Arjie lives in is a very narrow minded one, and homesexuality is not tolerated. When Arjie dresses up as a bride, his family feels he might turn out “funny”. Her Fatness uses that to her advantage and threatens arjie with it. Also, the sari is sacred to Arjie, so when Her Fatness steals it from him, she is truly torturing him. Arjie’s loss of power amongst the girls as well as Her Fatness’ torturing him contributes to his turmoil, and ends up destroying him.
Arjie is tormented by the thought of playing cricket with his brother, because he feels he doesn’t belong. The world of the boys is very different than the world of the girls, it is unforgiving and competitive. The other boys have no patience for Arjie and immediately reject him. The truth is, Arjie is simply can not fit in with other boys, because of his personality. “Why do I have to play with the boys?” “Why?” Amma said. “Because the sky is so high and pigs can’t fly, that’s why.” (357) Amma is unable to give Arjie a reason for which he has to play with the boys. As per her response, it is evident that what she is doing to Arjie is hurting her more than it is hurting him. She can not provide him with a real response because she doesn’t know how to justify her actions to him. The social gender norms set in place by the society they live in are what forces her to these actions, and essentially explain