Space within the Space:

The Subject-Other Dichotomy in Manto’s “Ten Rupees”




space, subject, Other, gynocentric, phallocentric


In Manto’s stories about prostitutes, set in Mumbai (then Bombay), the city is presented with a kaleidoscopic projection of space. In the story, “Ten Rupees,” the volumetric space of the city, conventionally dominated by the male characters – Kishori, Kifayat, Anwar, and Shahab, is overshadowed by the abstract space created in it by the female protagonist – Sarita. Sarita, a fifteen-year-old prostitute, is presented in the story as an Object (the Other in the Subject-Other dichotomy) of men’s desire. However, she switches to the Subject position in her interactions with her customers Kifayat, Anwar, and Shahab in a car ride, and, as a matter of fact, she creates a gynocentric space of her own in the phallocentric space inside the car. In a theoretical framework drawn from both Simone de Beauvoir’s notion of the Subject-Other dichotomy, and from the prominent ideas of space in the twentieth century architectural discourses, this paper, with a qualitative method, shows how Manto portrays the character of Sarita as the Subject rather than an Object within the spaces she inhabits.




How to Cite

Das, S. (2022). Space within the Space:: The Subject-Other Dichotomy in Manto’s “Ten Rupees”. Crossings: A Journal of English Studies, 13(2), 16–26.