European Journal of English Language and Literature Studies (EJELLS)

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Exploration of Marginalized Characters in “The Search”: Subaltern Voices


Shaheen Akhter’s The Search is a novel that gives insight to how the 1971 liberation war was perceived by various groups of people, from the people of power to the powerless and the victims of that power. It also explores the theme of marginalization, subalternity and cultural hegemony particularly through its portrayal of women, who were not only victims of war and oppression of the enemy but also by their own people and kins. Through the lens of subaltern theory and by using a qualitative approach, this paper aims to expose how the characters of the novel became subalterns, were marginalized by the enemy power and the very society that they themselves belonged to. While focusing on the possible causes that are responsible for their silence, this paper tries to be the voice of the unrecognized whose voices often go unheard, misheard and ultimately muted. Even if they attempt to express themselves, their words are never truly acknowledged.


Keywords: Subaltern, War Victims, cultural hegemony, marginalization, oppression.

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