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Research Article

Dwelling, Dispossession, and “Slow Violence” in the Time of Climate Change

The Representation of Refugees in Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide

Nicola Pilia    Università degli Studi di Torino    



In this essay, I will analyse the crucial issues of dwelling and dispossession concerning refugees in the novel The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh. Political and environmental displacement is addressed within the framework of ‘slow violence’ as proposed by the landmark work of Rob Nixon, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (2011). With the intention to define the Morichjhãpi refugees as a foreshadowing of the climate migrations involving the lives of the subalterns in South Asia, as argued by Brandon Jones (2018), the essay provides a historical background of the Morichjhãpi Massacre and studies the forced eviction narrated in the novel through the pages of Nirmal’s diary. Together with Kusum, the Marxist professor experiences the tragedy of the subalterns in the ever-changing ecosystem of the Sundarbans, bridging the gap between environmental and postcolonial categories while providing fruitful insights within the notions of human history and ecological deep time.

Keywords: The Hungry Tide. Ecocriticism. Displacement. Migrations. Slow Violence.

Language: en

Submitted: June 30, 2020
Accepted: Oct. 19, 2020
Published: Dec. 22, 2020

permalink: http://doi.org/10.30687/Tol/2499-5975/2020/01/024

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License