The Overflow of Contained Emotions in Anita Rau Badami’s The Hero’s Walk
An Analysis of Affects through the Imagery of Water
In this article, Anita Rau Badami's second novel, The Hero’s Walk (2000), is analysed through the perspective of the field of affects. This analysis examines how the author, through the imagery of water, presents the non-physical reality of feelings and emotions. Water is the most receptive of the elements, a source of continuous, intimate and transitory metamorphoses. In the form of storms, floods, and other types of natural phenomena related to this element, it is possible to observe how Badami makes use of a metaphorical conceptualisation of intense emotional states related to the psychological trauma that arises from the loss of a loved one. For the purpose of analysis, several important sources in the field of affect theory and water symbolism will be considered. Special emphasis will also be placed on the body (and the house as an integral extension of it) as a receptacle for contained emotions in the processing of pain.
KeywordsAnita Rau Badami, grief, water symbolism, emotions and metaphor, the body as container, guilt, dirt
AHMED, SARA 2004 (2014). The Cultural Politics of Emotion, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
AHMED SARA (2010). “Happy Objects”, In: M. Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth (eds.): 29-51.
BACHELARD, GASTON. 1942. (2006). Water and Dreams. An Essay on the Imagination of Matter, Texas: The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture.
BADAMI, ANITA RAU (2000). The Hero’s Walk, New York: Ballantine Books.
BLADOW KILE & JENNIFER LADINO (2018). Affective Ecocriticism: Emotion, Embodiment, Environment, Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press.
BERTELSEN, LONE & ANDREW MURPHIE (2010). “An Ethics of Everyday Infinities and Powers: Félix Guattari on Affect and the Refrain”, In: M Gregg and Gregory J. Seighworth (eds.): 138-157.
CIRLOT, J. E. (2002). A Dictionary of Symbols, New York: Dover Publications, Inc.
COHEN, JEFFREY JEROME AND LOWELL DUCKERT (eds.) (2015). Elemental Ecocriticism. Thinking with Earth, Water, and Fire, Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press.
DHAWAN, NISHA (2005). “Women’s Role Expectations and Identity Development in India”, Psychology and Developing Societies, Vol. 17, No. 1: 81-92. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F097133360501700105
DELEUZE, GILLES & FÉLIX GUATTARI (1987). A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press, 2000.
GATENS, MOIRA (2000). “Feminism as ‘Password’: Rethinking the ‘Possible’ with Spinoza and Deleuze”, Hypatia, Vol. 15, No. 2, Spring: 59-75.
GILLER, ESTHER (1999). “What is Psychological Trauma?”, Sidran Institute of Traumatic Stress Education and Advocacy. https://www.sidran.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/What-Is-Psychological-Trauma.pdf accessed 28 August 2021.
GREGG, MELISSA & GREGORY J. SEIGWORTH (eds). The Affect Theory Reader, Durham, London: Duke University Press.
KÖVECSES, ZOLTÁN (2000). Metaphor and Emotion: Language, Culture, and Body in Human Feeling. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
LAKOFF, GEORGE & MARK JOHNSON (1999). Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought, New York: Basic Books.
LAKOFF, GEORGE & MARK JOHNSON (1980). Metaphors We Live By, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
MASSUMI, BRIAN (2002). Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation, Durham & London: Duke University Press.
MORTON, TIMOTHY (2015). “Elementality,” in Cohen and Duckert (eds.): 271-285.
PÉREZ-RULL, CARMELO (2001-2002), “The Emotional Control of Metaphors”, Journal of English Studies, Vol. 5: 179-192.
“Review of The Hero’s Walk” (2000). The Vancouver Sun, Saturday, May 13: 111.
SCARRY, ELAINE (1985). The Body in Pain. The Making and Unmaking of the World, New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.
SEIGWORTH, J. GREGORY & MELISSA GREGG (2010). “An Inventory of Shimmers”, In: M Gregg and Gregory J. Seighworth (eds.): 1-25.
SONAWAT, REETA (2001). “Understanding Families in India: A Reflection of Societal Changes”, Psicologia: Teoría e Pesquisa, Vol. 17, No. 2:177-186.
Copyright (c) 2022 María Luz González-Rodríguez
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.