Decolonial and EcoGothic Tropes in Deepa Anappara’s Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line
Keywords:decolonial ecoGothic, South Asian Gothic, Indian slums, Deepa Anappara, precarity and violence, ecocriticism, postcolonial
This paper analyzes Deepa Anappara’s novel Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line (2020) from a decolonial ecoGothic perspective to show how the novel exposes the human and ecological crises in an urban slum known as a “basti” in an unnamed part of present-day India. The paper argues that Anappara uses the child narrator Jai and the gothic tropes of “Bhoot,” “Djinn,” and “smog” to convey the violent and traumatic experiences of marginalized communities residing in the slum. The novel uncovers child kidnappings, murders, and toxic waste dumps. This paper explores how Anappara employs the imagery of South Asian Gothic tropes as devices to create a postcolonial urban ecoGothic highlighting the ecological and climatic crises that arise out of the gentrification of the city and the growing divide between the slum dwellers and the privileged inhabitants of high-rise gated communities. Finally, the paper posits that Anappara’s decolonial ecoGothic creates a vision of the city as a site of trauma, violence, corruption, and environmental degradation within a neocolonial capitalist regime.
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