Disoriental Themes & Motifs

Négar Djavadi
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Gender and Sexuality

Through its choice of protagonist, a queer Iranian woman exiled from her home country, the novel explores what it means to be non-heterosexual both in Iran and in Europe. Though the novel suggests that Kimiâ finds herself more free outside of Iran, Kimiâ’s sexual liberation is not a wholesale liberation. While Kimiâ gradually becomes more comfortable with her sexuality and learns to shed the shame-based messages that she received during her childhood in Iran, Kimiâ remains ill at ease within European society, for different reasons.

Through its depiction of Kimiâ’s childhood, remembered now by the adult Kimiâ, the novel paints a portrait of a homophobic society that seeks to repress difference, rather than celebrate it. This homophobia manifests itself in the novel not as outward attacks on homosexuality, but rather in terms of silencing and absence. Kimiâ herself comments on this reality...

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This section contains 2,504 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Disoriental Study Guide
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