HUMAN PERVERSION AND ENVIRONMENTAL SPACE: AN ECOCRITICAL READING OF MOHSIN HAMID’S MOTH SMOKE

Munazza Yaqoob

Abstract


This paper presents an ecocritical reading of Mohsin Hamid’s novel Moth Smoke and examines the pernicious influence of pollution on human psyche. It attempts to explain that poisonous unhealthy environment blots human reasoning and corrupts human emotions. The novel is set in Lahore–a city which is polluted by vehicle and air conditioning exhaust, heat, dust, and smoke. Studies show that the inhabitants of this city inhale air containing an average of suspended particulate matters which is 6.4 times higher than World Health Organization guidelines.The novel sets a parallel between the polluted environment and polluted human psyches. Elite or working class, police or Government officials, drivers or bankers, old or young, men or women, all inhale polluted hot air, vehicle emissions, and smoke and exhale their polluted psyches in their social roles and responsibilities. The references to dead grass in Darashikoh’s lawn which does not come to life even by torrents of monsoon, the grimy sky which hides the light of the stars, the smoke and stench of burning rubbish which clings to Darashikoh’s body and mind contribute to our understanding of the interaction between the polluted environment and polluted society. We are made to realize that the cause of Darashikoh’s fall is not the morally corrupt and economically unbalanced society. In reality as the hovering images of heat dust, smoke and stench suggest it is the devastating effect of polluted environment.

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