LANGUAGE, DESIRE AND ABSENCE: A STUDY OF METAPHOR AND METONYMY IN MONIZA ALVI'S POETRY

Keywords:

Metaphor, Metonymy, Signifier, Signified, Desire, Language, Subjectivity

Abstract

This paper aims to explore the figures of metaphor and metonymy in Moniza Alvi's poetry using Jacques Lacan's Psychoanalytic theory of language and identity formation. Critics view Alvi’s poetry as an expression of an alienated and fragmented consciousness. Her constant reference towards Pakistan and its culture is viewed as an attempt to reconnect with her lost past. These approaches attempt to explain her poetry within the context of diaspora studies. However, a psychological analysis of the figures of metaphor and metonymy in Alvi’s poetic language reveals a completely different layer of meaning. By applying Lacanian framework on selected poems of Moniza Alvi, the study presents Alvi’s poetry as an allegory of a Poststructuralist subject lost in the
labyrinth of language. It has been argued that Alvi's constant attempt at reconnecting with her birthplace through poetic representation falls short of evoking a real place. The analysis of figurative language in Alvi’s poetry reveals how Alvi's poetic language is caught up in a constant sliding of signifiers in a metonymic chain and the result is a fragmented representation of a lost object. It has also been argued that the author is not consciously involved in this metonymic game of language; language shapes her subjectivity as much as it shapes her poetic language.

Published

2022-11-04

How to Cite

LANGUAGE, DESIRE AND ABSENCE: A STUDY OF METAPHOR AND METONYMY IN MONIZA ALVI’S POETRY. (2022). Pakistan Journal of Society, Education and Language (PJSEL), 9(1), 1-9. Retrieved from https://pjsel.jehanf.com/index.php/journal/article/view/902