Gender Transgression, Motherhood and Desire: Circumventing the Western Queer Ideology - A Post-colonial Literary Reading of Devdutt Pattanaik’s The Pregnant King

Sri varshni M, Sunitha V


The term both gender and biological sex play a significant role in determining human behaviour. The foundation for presenting the underlying power structures that have aggressively preserved the gender binary was laid by a significant shift in theoretical viewpoint. Similarly, postmodern feminist and queer theorists' lenses questioned gender as a social construction rather than a natural manifestation of biological sex. Gender nonconformity transgresses the traditionally constructed gender binary by giving traditional masculinity the primary status and enabling the power and privilege related to gender enactment. The definition of gender transgression, however, varies significantly across cultures and historical Periods. The perpetuation of the gender binary and the hierarchal power system is deeply rooted in Western cultures. These power structures are embedded in reified social norms and governmental policy. This paper focuses on identifying forms of gender transgression and its ideological impingement. Combining insights from queer and post-colonial scholarship, it emphasizes the critical importance of a two-pronged theoretical approach. Following the recent research in redefining queer discourses in the limelight of post-colonial theory and narratives, this paper argues that revisiting mythological queer fiction contests the Western prejudice in queer paradigms. Queer narratives from the South Asian sub-continent signify the importance of race, class, religion, diaspora, ethnic, and linguistic formations concerning issues surrounding the representation of non-binary gender and sexualities. Through an intense reading of Devdutt Pattanaik’s Mythological text, The Pregnant King, this study circumvents the Western model of queer identities, tries to reposition the transformative non-Euro-American context, and gives queer its legal status as a pluralistic critical formation.

Full Text:



World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders. If you have any questions, please contact: