Imaginary, Symbolic, And Real Order In Shamsie's 'Broken Verses'

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This paper discusses the elements of the Imaginary, Symbolic, and Real Orders in Aasmani’s life and studies how these orders operate and lead to an awareness of the fragmented constructed nature of the self, which ultimately enables her to put herself together.

Shamsie is a Pakistani author, who in her novels, consistently presents Pakistani society as a highly complex, mind-boggling, sophisticated society, crammed with distinctive and memorable characters. Broken Verses (2005) is Shamsie’s fourth novel, a striking story which is a continuation and development of Shamsie’s distinctive and appealing writing voice. Kamila Shamsie weaves a story that skilfully combines political intrigue with family dynamics. In the Journal of Postcolonial Writing: Special Issue on Pakistan, Bruce King
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The symbolic order is the social world of linguistic communication, intersubjective relations, knowledge of ideological conventions, and the acceptance of the law. Once the subject enters into language and accepts the rules and dictates of society, it is able to deal with others. The acceptance of language’s rules is aligned with the Oedipus complex, according to Lacan. The symbolic is made possible because of your acceptance of the Name-of-the-Father (the fundamental signifier which permits signification to proceed normally), those laws and restrictions that control both your desire and the rules of communication (Evans 121). Through recognition of the Name-of-the-Father, one is able to enter into a community of others. The symbolic, through language, is “the pact which links... subjects together in one action. The human action par excellence is originally founded on the existence of the world of the symbol, namely on laws and contracts” (Lacan 230). The symbolic represents a further remove from the mother. We are all cut off from the Imaginary, primordial state and long for the Real
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