Moth Smoke. Home · Moth Smoke Vance, Jack - The Moon Moth · Read more · Heyer, Georgette - The Black Moth. Read more. Moth Smoke is the first novel by Mohsin Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist 'You know you're in trouble when you can't meet a woman's eye, . Human Perversion and Environmental Space: An Ecocritical study of Mohsin Hamid's 93 Human Perversion and Environmental Space: An Ecocritical reading of.
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PDF | Hyperreality is an important aspect of postmodernism. This article covers Mohsin Hamid's work, Moth Smoke exhibits a world suffering. PDF | The present study is aimed at an investigation of how meanings 21 texts from Hamid's novel, Moth Smoke (MS) were selected as data. Moth Smoke book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. When Daru Shezad is fired from his banking job in Lahore, he begins a d.
Its is story of degradation and decline, of sin and survival and selfishness and sabotage. It is story of disintegrating society. View all 9 comments. May 24, Anusha Jayaram rated it it was amazing Shelves: It's only now, after my third reading of the book, that I'm even attempting to put down my thoughts on it.
No, not because it's abstract or painful reading. But because there were so many, many things in the book that I found beautiful, poetic, tragic, so real that I could reach out and touch it; I was overwhelmed. Even now, I doubt I'd be able to do justice to how much I am in awe of Mohsin Hamid for crafting this masterpiece. But I must start somewhere, for my own record, so I remember just wh It's only now, after my third reading of the book, that I'm even attempting to put down my thoughts on it.
But I must start somewhere, for my own record, so I remember just why I fell so in love with this book. The scope of this book is tremendous - it ranges from intense emotions at the personal level, to the choices and consequences of an empire fragmented. It weaves these two themes together very deftly. You hardly notice it happening, but the backdrop of the social setting emerges in all its detail through the personal narrative.
Throughout the book, I kept marvelling at the familiarity of the thought processes and cultural constructs I encountered. Which was surprising only because, I had no idea there could be so many commonalities in the Indian and Pakistani ways of life very region specific, of course, but still. As the back cover puts it, quite neatly, this book is the story of Daru's decline.
Darashikoh Shezad carries a lot of baggage - anguish at his mother's shocking, untimely and avoidable death, unsettling undercurrents in his superficially peaceful growing years, his resentment at the double standards in society: Daru loses his job at the worst possible time to do so, when the economy is crumbling and jobs are virtually impossible to come by. His childhood friend, Aurangzeb - Ozi, to his friends - has just returned from New York with his wife and child.
Ozi comes from a rich and powerful family, with a retired civil servant for a father. Things spiral out of control, starting with Daru falling for Ozi's wife, Mumtaz.
Daru's slow but sure decline is effortlessly detailed. You see through his eyes, experience his beautiful drug-induced descriptions. Apart from these druggy, poetic passages, the language is crisp, for the most part, but that doesn't take away from the beauty of it. Most of the narrative is in the voice of Daru. And his voice becomes quickly familiar to the reader. Each character has a unique voice.
Murad Badshah's painstaking manner of speech has the unmistakable flavour of the lilting, polite Urdu. Then there is Mumtaz, clear sighted and courageous. Willing to state things as they are. I was intrigued at her emotion or lack of it for her child. Intrigued at the fact that Hamid had given her this facet too, one of the several reasons I love this book.
It explores the ideas of maternity society thrusts upon women, unconsciously, making some like Mumtaz feel like social misfits when they find they do not conform. But finally, she makes her peace with herself. I was blown away by the way her personality was sketched, by how uncannily I was able to relate to her, empathise with her. But you still know Daru was not lying about Ozi running the boy over. Never ever once does Ozi mention it himself, skillful manipulator that he is.
Nothing is overstated or blatant. How he resents bitterly the way his rich acquaintances treat him, while he looks down on certain others himself. This hypocrisy is evident in his mistreatment of his servant Manucci, and in his condescending attitude towards Murad.
The title, Moth Smoke, seems odd at first, but soon becomes familiar when viewed in context of the standard Shamma-Parvana references in oh-so-many songs. The moths appear again and again through the book, coloured from different perspectives, exactly like a theme song's recurring refrain.
The composition is intricate, brilliantly thought through, misdirecting the reader more than twice, packing in that added dose of suspense into an already heady mix of drugs, crime, adultery, and so much more.
When the story begins, you don't have any idea what Daru's crime is. Slowly, you begin to think he's killed someone, or is at least being accused wrongly or correctly of killing a boy. Somewhere in the middle, Daru, high on heroin, theorises that Muazzam - Mumtaz's son - is the reason for all of his misery. He even follows Muazzam's car, revolver in lap, and you feel certain this is the crime he is being accused of.
Only to be surprised when he doesn't kill the child. Then, the burglary plot unfolds. Now, you're sure Daru has killed the little boy at the boutique that he and Murad are raiding. You're convinced even after that episode concludes, that this is what has happened.
It's only towards the end, that you realise what has actually happened. That Daru has been accused of killing the boy that Ozi killed, ran over in his Pajero. And then it hits you. Ozi's revenge. His way of exacting vengeance for Daru's affair with Mumtaz, of which he'd known for some time then. And your mind is in a whirl. You're left open-mouthed at this revelation, devastating as it is.
You've only heard of poetic justice being meted out in books and movies. You can only shake your head in awe, for how beautifully and thoroughly your mind has been manipulated by Hamid. And then, while you re-read it, more carefully this time, you find that there was only a gunshot. It never connected with any person, only resulted in a shattering of glass. Aurangzeb, the emperor, Shuja, who is not Shuja courageous , Murad, who does not fulfill his Murad destiny , and Dara, the fallen prince.
All siblings. All sons of Shah Jahan. Your mind wanders back to snippets of history you've read somewhere. You remember reading about the speedy trial Aurangzeb the original rigged for his brother, Darashikoh, and how he got Dara condemned to death, having declared him a heretic.
The epilogue is a commentary, in the same vein as the prologue, on the present social and political state of the country and subcontinent: To sum up, this book is right up there with my all-time-favourites. View all 4 comments. I never came through such complex characters and unfortunately I found them real rather than just characters. If you know Lahore and its suburbs, you can actually relate to it very well, the existence of elite class, their immoralities, the working of drug suppliers, stories of red light areas so on and so forth.
He created Mumataz actually, the outstanding character, she is the women of strength and the only person with the feeling of guilt which she tried to compensate till the end,in her own way, which I think is again a mistake. Ozi turns out to be silent revenger and Daru- the ignorant, blamer and self piteous. The second favourite animal after moth in the story is Chipkali lizards. I laughed at how he defines it.
At some point it seems like he is describing some woman: View all 3 comments. Jul 15, Anum Shaharyar rated it liked it Shelves: That was a very long analogy for the slow, steady destruction of our main character Darashikoh in this story.
The reason Hamid used it is because this book reimagines the story of the Mughal prince Dara Shikoh our hero, or rather, anti-hero and his trial at the hands of his brother Aurangzeb Ozi in this story. Be that as it may, the Mughal connection is present but fleeting or maybe it's very very important and I need a two-hour lit class to recognize it. After losing his job because of his disdain for an obnoxious customer, Daro, an orphan who lives alone, finds that the lifestyle he has grown accustomed to is no longer possible on a life of no salary.
This lack in finances is made worse by the reappearance of Ozi from abroad, with a child and wife in tow. The wife, Mumtaz, also plays a huge part in the narrative as the sexy, disenchanted wife, uncomfortable in her marriage and unable to love her child.
Her dissatisfaction with life, her inability to accept lack of love for her child, and the facades she wears makes her one of the two in the pair of most interesting characters in this novel. Unable to deal with the reality of his situation, Daro spends more and more on drugs like heroin. His uncomfortable alliance with rickshaw driver and small-time criminal Murad Badshah, the second in the pair of most interesting characters in this story, lead to more and more drug taking, and eventually to an actual employment as a drug dealer.
Like most of the characters in Moth Smoke, Murad Badshah is a largely dislikeable character, prone to violence and eager to incite Daro into crimes, but he was my favourite because he felt so real. What also works out well is that Hamid is writing what he seems to know. His character Daro, middle class and surrounded by richer friends, comes across as unlikable but also authentic.
His contempt for and envy of the rich, between constantly trying and failing to fit into the elite circles that Ozi is so casually a part of, forms the connection between these two characters - not too visible on the page - that has the greatest role in the narrative. This is a counterpoint to the harsher actions of other people, like Ozi, whose powerful Pajero knocks over a young boy on a bike, in a brutal hit-and-run. And while Daro, witness to the accident, is the one who picks the boy up and takes him to the hospital, he is unable to make Ozi feel repentant for this mistakes.
Another thing to appreciate about this author is that he is unapologetic in his desi-ness. Just like a Pakistani knows what kind of a drink Pakola is or what owning a Suzuki says about your economic status, we all indulge in cultural currencies in our literature which roots you in places. Pakistani authors not only define eid, they also explain the religious background and the festival itself in detail. But if we are going to consider possible candidates for Pakistani books being adapted for the silver screen, books by Hamid would definitely be on top of the list.
Not the best thing ever, but not bad either. Review to come. It's been a while since I wrote one, so it'll probably be chunky and off-kilter. Aug 05, Bloodorange rated it liked it Shelves: My response to this book was curiously all over the place, something I don't usually experience. Then three stars again. I liked some aspects of the ending, in particular a little scene when the protagonist is approached by a fundamentalist, which ends as follows bear in mind the action of the book is set in the summer of What a nice guy.
I hope he doesn't get himself killed trying to make things better for the rest of us. I guess there are all kinds of fundos these days. And they're obviously well organized if they even have a sales pitch for people like me. I can't say I entirely disagree with their complaints, either. On the drawbacks: I've seen more original 'meteoric falls' among my colleagues and acquaintances, and mine is a rather sheltered life.
I actually liked the book's unlikeable protagonist, but hated the feeling of being manipulated by the author at some point, readers are made to feel revulsion for Daru, and I dare you not to. Plus all the earnestly heavy-handed symbolism - I thought this is something that is just not done anymore. View all 5 comments. Feb 04, Shalini rated it really liked it. Mohsin Hamid writes with credibility and a certain conviction that tears characters off the fabric of pakistan's social tapestry and paints instead a vivid etching in grey scales.
The narrative forebodes the breakdown of the society's very weak fundamental values as would be the case in any upwardly mobile urban story. Hamid is a subtle craftsman at work. His characters reveal the story of Daru the social outcast. Most significantly Mumtaz holds up the mirror to bring the two paralles in her life Mohsin Hamid writes with credibility and a certain conviction that tears characters off the fabric of pakistan's social tapestry and paints instead a vivid etching in grey scales.
Most significantly Mumtaz holds up the mirror to bring the two paralles in her life ozi and Daru who seemingly meet at a point and then move away displaying the stark contrast and the deep chasm that separtes them as a person and as a part of the society's frameowrk. Moth Smoke balances itself on a thin and delicate question that the subcontinent is facing right now. What is the identity of the urban youth-both men and women: What are their choices and where are they heading? Has it reached a tipping point?
Apr 03, Aasem Bakhshi rated it really liked it Shelves: I actually read it as soon as the pirated version arrived on bookstores in Pakistan: I think in Anyone who read it, waited restlessly for Mohsin's next project that came in the shape of Reluctant Fundamentalist. Strictly speaking from the narrative and characterization perspective, it is far better than Reluctant Fundamentalist.
However, latter is unsurpassable in terms of its relevance to the western reader. Jun 02, Elsa Qazi rated it really liked it Shelves: This book was amazing!! What is worth noticing is that though Daru and Ozi were friends, their relationship in the beginning was that of brothers, thus the allegory consisting of two brothers.
They turned against each other and Aurangzeb was the doom of his own brother. The social and political problems of our society at the time This book was amazing!! The social and political problems of our society at the time of the nuclear tests are the main focus of the book.
But I think this book still represents much of what is happening in Pakistan: Corruption, unemployment, nepotism, class differentiation, and every other problem arising from these. Need to know how is Pakistan doing these days? Read Moth Smoke. This book was the harsh reality of the problems faced by Pakistan. Coming to our infamous protagonist Darashikoh Shezad.
It was totally unfair that he rot in jail for what Ozi did. Also true that he didn't kill the boy in the boutique. But he was in no way innocent. He slept with his best friend's wife. He wanted to kill his best-friend's son. He was a dealer of drugs. Got addicted to heroin and was a pathetic loser. If you are going to say that he was a "victim of the system" then please save your breath.
He hated it when the rich folks got a little too condescending but wouldn't treat Manucci with an ounce of respect. The rich folks whom he hated so were the ones who showed Manucci some kindness. After Manucci left Daru didn't realize his mistake instead made a long list of bad remarks to the people of the lower class.
All in all he was fucked up. Ozi was a spoiled brat, who thought that he was the best and could do what he liked because his Daddy had money. So, I am not going to waste my breath on him. We Pakistani people are all too well-aware of people with the same problem. Mumtaz was by far my favorite character. She was headstrong, independent if sometimes a little too hard to understand She seemed to be the only one with a straight head.
Jan 01, Yamna Rashid rated it did not like it Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was extremely weird and unsettling and the fact that I was initially impressed by this author totally baffles me.
I actually got really bored by the time Darashikoh loses his job. The author treated me to long, boring, tortuous explanations. Firstly, there was the whole "Professor Superb" story that I didn't get at all or I didn't try to understand 'cause well, the book didn't grab my attention.
Then, the author gave really grotesque explanations that let me think, Where do I start?? Then, the author gave really grotesque explanations that repeatedly included disgusting words like 'hairs' and 'sweat' and let me tell you, I do not appreciate such things. Yes, you needed to be a true writer who explains every scene vividly but come on, a long paragraph dedicated to a rickshaw driver's sweat?
No, thank you. I hated every character, especially Murad and Darashikoh because they were really horrible men with no sense of what's wrong and what's ethical.
Yes, I know that was the whole point; to make me hate the characters but I should at least hate them passionately or else the point is completely lost. I hated Mumtaz the most and surprisingly not because she cheated on her husband; her character was just too awful and although I got why she left her son, her character lacked the zeal a "monster" is supposed to have.
I hated quite a lot of this book and that is saying something 'cause I'm a Pakistani and people would tell me I SHOULD love this book out of loyalty if not anything else but I just can't. The author basically gave a long description of how many people love scotch and wine and sex in Pakistan despite our religion contradicting it. I know that was to show that Pakistan is exactly like the rest of the world but why just highlight the bad part?
Why not try to shine a little light on everyone else in this country? If i were writing this book, I'd at least try to show some good part of this country for the sake of writing. Lastly, I didn't get the ending. Yes, view spoiler [ he was framed for the boy that Ozi killed but did he even kill the boy in the boutique?? Jan 13, Louise rated it it was amazing Shelves: The book begins and ends with excerpts from the story of Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal for his beautiful and beloved wife, Mumtaz.
Their children, Darashukoh and Aurangzeb, became enemies. Mohsin Hamid names his characters for these historical people and shows a similar unraveling of childhood relationships. Was it determined from the start that Dara Shukoh and his friend Aurangzeb, known as Ozi, would become rivals?
As young competitors Dara was smarter and stronger, but his wealt The book begins and ends with excerpts from the story of Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal for his beautiful and beloved wife, Mumtaz.
As young competitors Dara was smarter and stronger, but his wealthy friend Ozi was empowered to succeed by family money and connections.
Ozi was able to get a US education, became a lawyer and then help his father preserve and expand the family fortune. Set in Pakistan as it becomes nuclear in , Dara's attitude towards his bank's customers gets him fired from the low level job he got through Ozi's family's contacts.
Without an MBA, a US degree, or a well connected relative, doors for legitimate employment are not available to him. He sees the entitled life of Ozi's elite friends. He allows his life to spin out of control and he becomes like a moth to a flame. Through Dara's story, Hamid draws a portrait of the young in Lahore.
He shows how corruption in Ozi's case money laundering trickled fortunes upward to the elite and sent the have-nots into a downward spiral. Both Ozi and Dara show emotions ranging from lack of concern to contempt for those below them on the social ladder. It is not surprising that Mumtaz, who is the only one who shows concern for right and wrong, can love neither man.
The characters reveal themselves in their first person accounts, but none of the characters truly understands the other. This is an excellent piece of literature, as is Hamid's newer novel "The Reluctant Fundamentalist". Hopefully Hamid will not keep readers waiting for 8 years for another. An easy, enjoyable read. I sat back and relaxed, reading it slowly, savoring the beautiful, almost lyrical prose. I walk in circles, tracing the ripples that would radiate if the stars fell from the sky through the lake of this lawn, one by one, like a rainstorm moving slowly into the breeze, toward the tree, each splash, each circle, closer.
And with a last stardrop, a last circle, I arrive, and An easy, enjoyable read. The novel starts and ends with a reference to the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and the war of succession amongst his sons. The characters names are symbolic as they are the same as Shah Jahan; Khurram, his sons; Dara Shikoh, Shuja, Murad, Aurangzeb, wife; Mumtaz and grandson from Aurangzeb; Muazzam, and Manucci, who worked in the service of Dara Shikoh and somewhat suffer the same fate as their historical counterparts.
Set in the bustling city of Lahore, called the Heart of Pakistan, during the summer of when Pakistan was testing for Nuclear bombs, it is a more liberal than a true portrayal of the corrupt and decadent elite class of Lahore which only a few of Pakistanis will identify with. At the same time, the occasional vernacular and Pakistani slang, a bit of Pakistani culture and the names of the streets of Lahore are very reaffirming to the Pakistani reader.
Moth Smoke revolves around three people: Darashikoh "Daru" Shezad; the orphan anti-hero, Mumtaz Kashmiri; the wife of his best friend, Murad Badshah; his drug supplier, while Aurangzeb "Ozi" Shah, Daru's best friend is a secondary character. The book is mostly a monologue coming from Daru but other chapters are a series of flashbacks narrated by different characters giving great insight into them, and one even putting you in the shoes of an overworked judge in session at court.
Daru's childhood best friend Ozi has come back from the States after many years with an attractive wife on one arm and a child in the other. Ozi is the son of a corrupt wealthy man, who was Daru's patron, a typical by-product of a politically corrupt society.
Mumtaz and Daru are drawn to each other from the moment they meet, both like a moth to a flame, torn between desire and the people they hold dear and feel obligated to. It is the story of a man unable to deal with his circumstances and his social status, and whose sense of entitlement, envy, disdain and haughtiness leads him to his own inevitable destruction. The novel is about social hierarchy, lust, depravity, drugs, unemployment, addiction, obsession and the corruption in third world countries where the rich feed on poor like vultures.
What I can definitely say about this novel is less is more. One very interesting and simple but witty part of the novel was using air conditioning as the control factor between the elites and the masses.
The characters were very raw, well-thought and deftly constructed. The writing was not only arresting but thought-provoking. The end of the novel was poetically just in my opinion but still, it leaves you hanging, unable to decide. Jan 30, Ahauntedsoul rated it really liked it. The novel displays the power and privilege of the rich, and how this shadows over the poor.
Hamid shows a society that corrupt and overrun by crime and drugs. The novel also depicts the beauty of friendships and love, as well as the ugliness of betrayal, addiction, adultery and lies amid economic turmoil in Pakistan. The protagonist, Daru, at the beginning of the story is very charming, sweet, and attractive even though he is impulsive and confusing at times. Throughout the story, his character develops into something darker and unstable that resembles Pakistan society that he lives under.
The novel also reveals the reality of human nature: Mumtaz refuses to be a victim of her own choices by rebelling against the regulations of Pakistani society. Then, she becomes cruel and selfish just like the rest of the people she hangs out with.
View 1 comment. Sep 19, Jean rated it liked it. I chose this book because it was written by a Pakistani. You get a different picture of the country from this book than you do from Three Cups of Tea.
He gets a decent job in the banking industry but only, as it turns out, because his benefactor arranged it. There are drugs and crime. I found the Ozi chapter the most compelling because it revealed the mind-set of prosperous urban Pakistanis. A note at the end of the book indicates that the story is meant to be an allegory to illustrate the fragmentation of the country, and it works pretty well.
The style seemed a tiny bit contrived at times but in general I found the descriptions and dialog satisfying. View 2 comments. This is a first novel. It feels like one. It's about a young man's self-destructive streak fuelled by a failing economy and bad choices.
To me, it never rises above this one-line synopsis. Hamid, it turns out, is all about the narrative device. His first person narrative in The Reluctant Fundamentalist elevated an ordinary plot.
Here he tries constant foreshadowing of Daru's eventual doom and the occasional chapter told from the perspective of each of the side characters. These chapters turn out This is a first novel. These chapters turn out to be the best parts of the novel because each of these characters is more interesting than Daru. The one about Murad Badshah, the drug peddler, deserves its own graphic novel. Then there is the Symbolism which got on my nerves. Everything is a metaphor - moths, ACs, kites.
There is an entire chapter, believe it or not, devoted to how ACs stand for everything from class differences fair enough to marital discord and the difference between life and death. The moths from the title stand for self-destruction, of course, and at a later point, love. A kite fight - a 'kati patang' obviously stands for failure. I executed a perfectly symbolic facepalm at this point.
The ending is meant to be ambiguous. It just made no sense. View all 7 comments. Mar 23, Arsalan rated it really liked it Shelves: Moth Smoke is a novel that perfectly captures the geist at a particular time in a particular third world country. The country is Pakistan and the geist is drug-addled, soporific, deeply asleep.
The protagonist, Daru, which means moonshine in English, although from a middle class background himself, is a product of elite schools and westernized upbringing in Pakistan: Small wonder then, that when he starts to break through the priviliged bubble he's lived in his whole life and the grim reality of the majority of Pakistanis begins to dawn on him, via the drunken hit and run murder of a poor wastrel by his best friend, Ozi, the spoiled rich son of his benefactor, it is too painful for him to deal with.
He commits moral and spiritual suicide, losing himself in hashish, sinking into a life of drugs, debt and crime then dropping out of society completely, a society for which by the end the reader is left feeling nothing but contempt. The book is littered with well written characters.
For me, the most memorable character in the book is a hash-dealing rickshaw driver called Murad Badshah, a sort of pakistani Falstaff, he has an M. So he downloadd a motor rickshaw and built up a fleet. Selling hashish became a lucrative sideline. Murad Badshah's plainspoken lucidity provides for some of the most entertaining passages in the book.
Both he and Daru are a victim of their circumstances and of a badly tilted game. Sep 16, Roger rated it really liked it. OK, forget the press on Pakistan, all those fundamentalists "fundos" in the lingo of this book's narrator and hazy threat to the West, all those people not like us who scare us so. This is sexy Pakistan, with lashings of Scotch, plentiful hash, a pastime of adultery among the rich and bored, and big flashy SUV's crashing through the potholed roads on their way to pleasure.
I once saved a Pakistani banker from drowning in the Pearl Continental pool in Peshawar, and have nor forgotten the reward OK, forget the press on Pakistan, all those fundamentalists "fundos" in the lingo of this book's narrator and hazy threat to the West, all those people not like us who scare us so. I once saved a Pakistani banker from drowning in the Pearl Continental pool in Peshawar, and have nor forgotten the reward of a boozy party on the roof of another hotel both since blown up.
So don't approach this book as an enthnographic slog into foreign territory. These people, the young rich, have been over here - the US or UK - and are cosmopolitan, and partly us. They also live in constant self defence against the clinging poor. Our narrator is not quite rich enough to keep up. He's lost his bank job from disrespect for the undeserving rich, but is still welcome among the wealthy, including the house of his corrupt old friend and his old friend's delicious, transgressive wife.
There is temptation unresisted, there are too many drugs, there is the turning to crime to keep up appearances, a man falling through the net of privilige without giving up the notion that easy money is his due. People in Lahore do not live their life in alliance with nature. Rather they live as commodities in industrial capital society.
This irrational establishment of identities engages people in a blind struggle to accumulate wealth, capital, material luxuries forgetting that they are humans blessed with a soul and a human heart. Spiritual satisfaction, emotional purification and intellectual sophistication are irrelevant issues and alien phenomenon to people living as commodities. Accumulation of wealth for acquiring power of download becomes the logic for living a good life for the people whose identities are associated with capital rather than with human values.
One of the significant examples in this regard is the character of Ozi. He is the only son of a corrupt bureaucrat and represents the extravagance of the consumer culture. Air-conditioner in the novel becomes a symbol of material luxuries, enormous power of download, and industrial commodities which is the birth right of those who are born in rich families.
He has all that a capitalist society considers necessary to make life happy and healthy: big cars, grand mansion, good education, elitist parties, a beautiful life and a son. The novel also tells us about Ozi that loves driving fast which leads to the accident in which he hits a boy and kills him but does not feel any remorse.
He is not comfortable in his family life so tries to seek satisfaction in extravagant parties. These details help the readers to probe in the deep recesses of his psyche to discover that it is chaotic and disordered. All these speak of a man who is spiritually hollow and psychologically dissatisfied. He appears to be a man with distorted cognition and psyche and is desperately trying to seek health and happiness in wealth and material luxuries.
The novelist thus helps the reader to see how when a culture disregards nature it becomes the cause of the decay not only of the ecosystem but the whole society as well. Man in the novel is shown as an active agent and responsible for environmental pollution and also a victim of it. They are suffering from distorted cognition and sick psyches.
They are subjects constructed through a process of conditioning by the capitalist ideology Althusser: They believe that immediate satisfaction of their desires for material comforts and commodities is what a man needs in life and should work for it. This distorted cognitive functioning serves as motivation for all of their actions which disregard human values. People, being under this false consciousness, view all their actions and the actions of others which are of the interests of capitalists as normal.
They support individualism, are engaged in commodity worship, and do not value social totality Eyerman The market for them becomes the law to regulate social and individual life. Individuals in such a system turn a deaf ear to the voice which invites them attempts to break their false conscious and help them see the brutal reality of the system.
He invites Daru to join their movement for socioeconomic reformation, but Daru rejects the invitation and in the end we see that he becomes the victim of the corrupt system. The world portrayed in the novel is a complex world of geopolitical, socioeconomics, and ecosocial issues. References to unusual heat wave which is causing death and disease and to wretched economic conditions of the people are placed parallel to the references to the celebrations on the successful testing of the bomb.
This helps the author to facilitate the readers to understand his critical views on the ideological conditioning of people in a capitalist society. Hence it is not strange if they show a total disregard for biosphere and the living world of nature around them.
It is also not strange if they are totally ignorant of the damage being done to them — to their body, soul, and psyche by their polluted environment.
They are sick in heart, in personal life, in family life and in their social life. Ozi finds satisfaction in sleeping naked in an extremely warm bedroom in winter and sleeping with a blanket in an extremely cold bedroom in summer and even prefers air- conditioning to being with his wife.
Police, bureaucracy, and bankers all are shown corrupt. Such a system taking man as separate from the nature becomes one of the major cause of environmental abuse Luke, The references to the smoky breeze, dull sky, and rotten food and fruit emphasize disharmony which has occurred between man and nature.
The novel shows us that the polluted environment has affected human mind, body and psyche. The description of polluted places, rotten food, and dirty smelly human bodies all speak of rotten space. The novel gives us an understanding that environmental space and the humans who live in it are inseparable Bates People in the novel are shown as agents as well as victim of the rotten socioeconomic and ecological system.
References Abedullah. Journal of Applied Sciences 6 15 , Ali, N. Commuter transport poisoning Lahore. Daily Times. Lenin and Philosophy and other Essays. Brewster, Trans. London: New Left Books. Original work published Bates, J. Coupe Ed. Florence, USA: Routledge. Buell, L.
New England literary culture: from revolution through Renaissance. Cambridge: Cambridge U P.
Moth Smoke Setting
Leslie Silko: Environmental apocalypticism. Bukeavich, N. Are We Adopting the Right Measures to cope? Science Fiction Studies, 29 1 , False consciousness and ideology in Marxist theory.
Acta Sociologica: Work and Ideology, 24 2 , London: Routledge. Boleyn Eds. Health ecology: Health, culture, and human- environment interaction But how low can Daru sink? From very early in the book I don't like Darashikoh, the protagonist. Darashikoh Shezad carries a lot of baggage - anguish at his mother's shocking, untimely and avoidable death, unsettling undercurrents in his superficially peaceful growing years, his resentment at the double standards in society: They turned against each other and Aurangzeb was the doom of his own brother.
Human Perversion and Environmental Space: His fiction has been translated into over 30 languages, received numerous awards, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
After losing his job because of his disdain for an obnoxious customer, Daro, an orphan who lives alone, finds that the lifestyle he has grown accustomed to is no longer possible on a life of no salary.