Articulating the Abject: Horror as a Subversive Tool in the Poems of Aleena’s Silk Root


  • Gopika Gopan M. Phil Scholar, Institute of English, University of Kerala, India


Abjection, Dalit poetry, casteism, feminism, horror


Dalit women's bodies are often regarded as the site of disgust, impurity, and oppression. Dalit women are abjected into an inflexible position and their differentiated bodies are perpetually marked as the other. Dalit women's bodies are stripped of moral claims and had been treated as sexual slaves, which indicates the heightening of their abjection, as a major mode of social exclusion. Aleena's characters in her poetry collection Silk Root are mostly ghosts, demons, vampires, mentally ill etc. Just as these figures are alienated and excluded by the dominant social structure, so are the Dalits. Julia Kristeva’s theory of ‘abjection’ is useful in our understanding of the deplorable state of Dalit women. Dalit women’s subjectivity is tossed into a space of abjection which ratifies a two-fold existence of fear and desire. Just as the subject rejects the abject, the society reject the Dalits that threatens its stability. Dark skin, Dalit identity and female sexuality constitutes the abjectification of Dalit women.