Monstrous Bodies as Cultural Text

The Grotesque, the Abject and the Embodied Difference in Natalie Haynes’s Stone Blind




monstrous bodies, embodied difference, grotesque, abject, liminality, Natalie Haynes, Stone Blind


Monstrous bodies are culturally coded, reflecting the anxieties, expectations, fears, and desires of the culture within which they are produced. This article seeks to study monstrous corporeality in an attempt to understand the interface between culture and monsters by looking at the Greek mythical monsters as represented in Natalie Haynes’s novel Stone Blind (2022). By examining the embodied difference as well as the grotesque and the abject that inhabit the liminal space, we explore the corporeal otherness of monsters, the cultural cues entrenched in their non-normative bodies and their discursivity. The study, probing into the liminal nature of monstrous bodies that resist categorisation, seeks to highlight the subversive potential that deviant bodies offer and how Haynes seizes this opportunity to challenge the human penchant to monsterise difference for a re-evaluation of the cultural construction of monstrous bodies.


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Author Biographies

Aarcha, Pondicherry University

Aarcha is a PhD scholar in the Department of English, Pondicherry University, Puducherry India. She is working under the supervision of Dr K. Reshmi. She graduated from the University of Kerala with a bachelor's degree in English language and literature and from Pondicherry University with a Master's degree in English and Comparative Literature. She is a recipient of the UGC-Junior Research Fellowship, NET certificate and the Pondicherry University Gold Medal for the best outgoing student. She has three years of experience in teaching at the college level. Her research interests include Feminism, Women’s Literature and Cultural Studies.

Dr K. Reshmi, Pondicherry University

Dr K. Reshmi is a Professor of English at Pondicherry University, Puducherry, India. She received her MA and MPhil from the Department of English, Pondicherry University and PhD from Avinashilingam University, Coimbatore. Her areas of interest are Ecocriticism, Women’s Literature, Canadian Literature and Comparative Literature. She has published several articles in reputed journals and books, presented papers at many national and international conferences and delivered lectures as a plenary speaker in many academic institutions.



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How to Cite

Aarcha, and Reshmi Krishnan. 2023. “Monstrous Bodies As Cultural Text: The Grotesque, the Abject and the Embodied Difference in Natalie Haynes’s Stone Blind”. Journal of Literary Studies 39:15 pages.



Received 2023-09-28
Accepted 2023-11-16
Published 2023-11-21