“Journal writing gives us insights into who we are, who we were, and who we can become”
– Sandra Marinella

Disabled Characters in Literature : An Exploration


Roxana Khanam, Associate Professor, Department of English, Government Brajalal College, Khulna, Bangladesh

Literature has very often been enriched with disabled characters having multidimensional forms and fashions. Literature picks various characters; some possess superhuman qualities with mythical stature, some are normally able people and some are disabled persons.  From time immemorial, literature, both oral and written has been invested with disabled characters, their physical pains, sufferings, their mental agonies as well. Besides, literature has also canvassed how these disabled characters have been maltreated in different levels and how they overcome the unfriendly social, religious and cultural prejudices and other issues. They are differently able people. Through the supreme creative brilliance of the writer, some of the disabled characters become an inspiring model for the real life people. Along with normal characters the fictional characters try to create spaces of their own in stories, try to overcome the hurdles and obstacles imposed on them. Some have overcome their problems and proved their worth as they are especially able in another field. Some fictional characters have been seen to crush out for their struggle for existence and accepted their sorrowing destiny. But, the fictional space or position accorded to such characters has never been the same as that of other normal characters projected in literature or in real life situation. In many times, they are presented antithetically or as derivatives to the normal characters surviving at the periphery of the world of the normal beings. This paper tries to search out how these physically challenged characters have been projected in literature in different times in different countries along with the societal attitudes towards persons with disability. This paper also focuses on how various factors like gender, education, religion, occupation, income, nationality have a significant impact on the life of the disabled characters in literature.

Keywords: Literature, Character, Able, Disabled, Mental

  1. Sophocles, Oedipus Rex, Translated by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzerald, Harcourt, Inc, 1949, Page-14
  2. Ibid, Page-38
  3. Ibid, Page-13
  4. Shakespeare, William, The Complete works, Wordsworth Editions Ltd. Ware, Hertfordshire, 1996, pg-105
  5. https://wilson .fas.harvard .edu/stigma-in-shakespeare/richard-iii %E2%80%99s-de formities
  6. Ibid, page-592
  7. Ibid, page-584
  8. Ibid, Page-583
  9. Ibid, Page-903
  10. Woolf Virginia, Dalloway, The University of Adelaide, 2015, Page-108
  11. Weninger, Robert, Sounding out the Silence of Gregor Samsa: Kafka’s Rhetoric of Dys  Communication,” Studies in 20th Century Literature, 1993, 17: Iss. 2, Article 7, page-276
  12. Champigny, Robert, A Pagan Hero : An Inte1pretation of Meursault in Camus’ The Stranger, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1969, Page-15
  1. Anne Waldschmidt, Hanjo Berressem, Moritz Ingwersen (eds.), Culture Theory Disability Encounters between Disability Studies and Cultural Studies, Bielefeld, Germany, 2017, Page-44

How to Cite

MLA 9th Edition

Khanam, Roxana. “Disabled Characters in Literature : An Exploration.” BL COLLEGE JOURNAL, vol. 1, no. 1, July 2019, pp. 95–102.


APA 7th Edition

Khanam, R. (2019). Disabled Characters in Literature : An Exploration. BL COLLEGE JOURNAL1(1), 95–102.


Copyright (c) 2023 GOVT. BRAJALAL COLLEGE

Indexed In