Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Modern Approaches in Humanities and Social sciences
“Infront of the Insistent Gaze of the Animal”: A Posthumanist Reading of Mohammed Hanif’s Red Birds
This paper analyses Red Birds by Mohammed Hanif from the posthumanist perspective. The novel under analysis presents us with an account of a fictional world rife with war and destruction which seems to have impacted life in its various forms. The impacts of war have been demonstrated to us through multiple narratives. One of these lenses through which the narrative unfolds is that of a dog that has also been affected by the wars perpetrated by humans. This paper attempts to draw focus on the non-human subject by foregrounding the insights provided to us through the gaze of the animal. It attempts to question the need for foregrounding the animal perspective and the relegation of that of the human to the background. It analyses how the centralization of the non-human may be of importance since it gives us a chance to see the impact of our human-centered activities on the overall environment that we exist in. This beyond-human or post-human approach may equip us with a better understanding to analyze our own attitudes towards our existence in this world, and also to how we tend to show certain levels of disregard for the non-human life that we co-habit it with. This research employs Jacques Derrida’s posthumanist theory as elaborated in his work The Animal That Therefore I am.
keywords: Animal Perspective, Ecocriticism, Pakistani Anglophone Writing, War literature, Climate Change