The 'Poetics' of Borders in Amitav Ghosh's Sea of Poppies

Jane L. Fernandez-Goldborough, Avondale College of Higher Education

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Abstract

Sea of Poppies enables an exploration of the notion of national and communal boundaries. It invites a reframing of boundaries, transgressing local and geographical lines, and pointing instead to a more globalised sense of place and self. What Sea of Poppies encourages is an interrogation of the presumed purity or sanctity of a nation’s borders. It celebrates the ruptures and breaches of the modern self in transition, negotiating for itself more fluid, intersecting and plural identities as it is forced to meet and overcome the challenges of new physical and psychological terrains. The novel’s interest is in the ways in which we are subjected by historical and social forces to participate and perform within restrictive and oppressive frameworks, and it asks how and why we succumb to such forces in as much as how and why we should break through those forces.