Representation of Inner Exile in The Patience Stone:
Exposing the Inner Self and Fight Between Reality and Imagination
Atiq Rahimi’s novel The Patience Stone (Syngé sabour) is a good example of how one tries to overcome the marginalization inflicted by being a woman in an Afghan war-ridden society. The protagonist takes us into her fragmented mind and her journey towards self-realization in the face of many ordeals; he gives the woman a voice to an otherwise disempowered one. However, there is a psychological effect to this type of exile; one is related to the inward/outward movement of thought and the fight happening within – the woman in this case, but can take on several portrayals of characters in other novels – that takes on the resemblance of the outside: a war. Rahimi portrays this in his work, a fight between many facets of the woman, one that the reader chances on along as she talks and holds herself back several times before acknowledging her true power. In this paper, I claim that exile is a multi-faceted concept and experience that makes the person more liable to external and internal influences. Rahimi gives us glimpses, through very vivid images, about the dire situation in Afghanistan but is relentless with the woman’s monologue as she uncovers truth after truth to her ‘there’ but ‘not there’ husband. Though she dies in the end by being brutally beaten to death by her husband's hands, she achieves a certain clarity and a peaceful bliss as the truth is finally out and she is set free.
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