Analysis Of Shani Mootoo's Cereus Blooms At Night

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In Shani Mootoo’s Cereus Blooms at Night, nature is as interwoven into the narrative as the characters themselves, and the character in whom nature comes alive most fervidly is the town's alleged mad woman, Mala Ramchandin. This “madness” originates from Mala’s childhood, when her mother leaves her and her father begins sexually, physically, and mentally abusing her, and this “craziness” continues after Mala supposedly kills her sadistic father. As a result, Mala's hearsay-loving, scandal-inducing community make her the pariah of their town and the target of their rumors, ostracizing Mala until she retreats into the solace offered by her yard, which she encourages to grow wild by not interfering with it. However, after enduring decades of vicious and demoralizing verbal abuse from her father, peers at school, and the rest of her community, Mala abandons the conventions of language and separates herself from the people who use language as a tool of violence and slander. Mala adopts a method of communication centered around mimicking the sounds of her only companions: singing birds, chirping crickets, among other sounds present in her natural surroundings. With the implementation of vivid insect drawings on the novel's pages and the repetition of nature similes in the language, Mala's true story is finally revealed and brought to life in a manner that encompasses who Mala is in a way that words alone cannot. By doing so, Mootoo rejects the idea of relying

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