Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Language, Literature, Culture and Education 2017

Pursuit of Identity by the Protagonists in Untouchable and Hairy Ape: Perpetual Sufferings of the Downtrodden

Fiza Jefreen

Canadian University of Bangladesh, Canada


In both Mulk Raj Anands Untouchable and Eugene O'neill's Hairy Ape the writers showed the sensitiveness, sufferings and inner conflicts of the protagonists. Both Bakha and Yank suffers from identity dilemma because of the upper class society, which dehumanizes the lower class in order to suppress and dominate them. This research is aimed to show how the hegemonic influences compel the downtroddens to go on a journey searching for their own identities. Both of the downtrodden protagonists experience a sense of fragmentation and ultimately realize that they do not belong to the human race. In the beginning both Bakha and Yank had false notion of identity. On one hand Bakha attempted to find his identity by mimicking the people who subjugated his class, and on the other hand Yank by thinking that he belonged to the mechanized society. Using the examples of Bakha and Yank this study shows how the hegemonic structure of society subjugates the downtroddens and forces them to start struggling for searching their identities.


 Class System, Hegemony, Belonging, Dehumanization, Identity, Technology