An Exploration of the Cinematic Adaptation of Manto’s Short Stories in the Light of Foucault’s Discourse Theory


  • Pratima Purwar and Prof. Alka Rani Purwar Department of English,Dayanand Vedic College, Orai



Power, Discourse, Knowledge, Partition, Adaptation


This paper explores the cinematic adaptation ‘Mantostaan’, which is a compilation of the four short stories by Saadat Hasan Manto: ‘The Last Salute’, ‘Open It’, ‘The Assignment’, and ‘Colder than Ice’ in the light of Foucault’s Discourse theory. These works are the English translations of Manto’s Urdu works and are taken resort to for deeply observing the visual content of the film adaptation. For Foucault (1977), it is through discourse (through knowledge) that we are created; and that discourse joins power and knowledge, and its power follows from our casual acceptance of the “reality with which we are presented”. The discourse theory is applied on the dialogues exchanged by the characters of the film in the background of the horror during the partition of India occurred in 1947. It also discovers how various kinds of situations, in the turmoil of communal riots, led the characters holding the power position and thus dominating the discourse. The characters of the film thus, driven by their knowledge, create or participate in the discourse. These discourses shape out the situations, consequences of which are faced by the people. Thus, the paper taking into account the partition fracas, focuses upon the situations created by the discourse throughout the time of communal animosity and upon its bewildering aftermaths affecting people’s lives.  


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How to Cite

An Exploration of the Cinematic Adaptation of Manto’s Short Stories in the Light of Foucault’s Discourse Theory. (2024). Knowledgeable Research: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 2(11), 44-58.

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