Date of Award

Spring 4-30-2015

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


English, Linguistics, and Communication

First Advisor

Dasgupta, Shumona

Second Advisor

Rigsby, Mary

Major or Concentration



By drawing on Partition theory such as Pandey (2001), Daiya (2008), and Butalia (2000) as well as madness theory by Foucault (1971), this paper explores the way madness is described in Partition texts through characters attempting to regain control over their lives and assert their new national identities. Coinciding with decolonization of British rule, the Partition of India (1947) divided India and Pakistan and led to genocidal violence during the migrations of both Hindus and Muslims to their respective countries. I utilize three short stories by Saadat Hassan Manto: "Colder than Ice" (1950), "The Return" (1948), and "Toba Tek Singh" (1955); as well as two novels: Shauna Singh Baldwin's What the Body Remembers (2001), and Amrita Pritam's Pinjar (1987). These texts demonstrate ordinary people's descent into madness as they try to make sense of the chaos surrounding the Partition and assert new national and religious identities and present an opportunity to show how authors use madness to demonstrate the abrupt transformation of their characters as they react to the horrors of Partition.