Critical Essay-Pig's Can't Fly

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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…
His changing from being a child to being an adult makes him realize the harsh realities of life, rejection being one of them. When Amma shuts the door at Arjie’s face when he tries to come in her room, she destroys a ritual that was sacred to him and torments him. Arjie then starts to truly despise his mother.
Her Fatness causes Arjie turmoil by weakening his influence and essentially causes him to lose his position of power. Her Fatness is one of the cousins who was given that that nickname because of her corpulent nature. Upon her arrival, she tries to take away Arjie’s position as leader of the girls. She ultimately succeeds at doing so when she diverts everyone’s attention to her new dolls. “Her Fatness turned to the other cousins and asked them if they wanted to hold the dolls for a moment. They nodded eagerly, and the dolls passed from hand to hand. I moved closer to get a better look. My gaze involuntarily rested on Her Fatness, and she gave me a smug look.” (349) In this quotation, Her Fatness gets everyone’s attention by showing off the dolls, and throws in a smug look at Arjie in the process. As leader of the girls, Arjie gets to dress up as the bride, which is what truly makes him happy. Her Fatness seems to toy with Arjie and gets some kind of pleasure out of it. She hides his sari
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