The Representation of Identity and Belonging in Toba Tek Singh


  • Shahnaz Jumani
  • Sourath Seelro


Identity crisis, Belonging, Partition


Saadat Hassan Manto is well known for his portrayal of society through skillful integration of personal, historical, and cultural experiences. This study looks at "Toba Tek Singh," a masterpiece of Saadat Hasan Manto's fiction that provides a detailed analysis of representation of identity and belonging. A clear picture of the unrest surrounding India's 1947 split is painted in this short story. The narrative explores significant historical events as well as challenging issues of identity and belonging. This article examines the several ways in which Manto employs these ideas to express division. The themes that are emphasized are examined by exploring the surroundings, symbols, and characters. The study investigates at how the narrative emphasizes the difficulties in building an identity and trying to find a sense of belonging in a divided society due to political upheaval. The objectives of the study call for the thematic analysis. This study examines the attachment of identities and a sense of belonging to people that cannot be replaced or removed. Through a close analysis of characters, symbolism, and narrative techniques, the study unveils the complex interplay of cultural, social, and personal elements that shape the characters' sense of self and their connection to their surroundings. The research argues that Manto's portrayal of the inmates, particularly the eponymous character Bishan Singh, serves as a microcosm reflecting the broader human struggle for belonging in a world marked by divisions and chaos. The narrative skillfully employs elements of absurdity, tragedy, and dark humor to underscore the arbitrary nature of borders and the resulting displacement of identities.




How to Cite

Shahnaz Jumani, & Sourath Seelro. (2023). The Representation of Identity and Belonging in Toba Tek Singh. Panacea Journal of Linguistics & Literature, 2(2), 234–243. Retrieved from