Funny Boy

Neliya Auntie Character Analysis

Amma’s old, traditionally minded sister, who moves in with Arjie’s family around the time that Appa buys the Paradise Beach Resort. When Daryl starts visiting the family, Neliya is visibly uncomfortable with his presence because she knows about his past relationship with Amma. However, she consistently supports her sister and the family, helping around the house and caring for Arjie during the riots.

Neliya Auntie Quotes in Funny Boy

The Funny Boy quotes below are all either spoken by Neliya Auntie or refer to Neliya Auntie. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Masculinity and Queerness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperCollins edition of Funny Boy published in 1994.
5. The Best School of All Quotes

“The Academy will force you to become a man,” he said. Sonali, Amma, and Neliya Aunty smiled at me sympathetically before they continued with their meal. Diggy had a look on his face that told me he understood all the things my father had not said.

Related Characters: Appa (speaker), Arjie, Amma, Diggy, Neliya Auntie, Sonali
Page Number: 205
Explanation and Analysis:
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Neliya Auntie Character Timeline in Funny Boy

The timeline below shows where the character Neliya Auntie appears in Funny Boy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
3. See No Evil, Hear No Evil
Masculinity and Queerness Theme Icon
...children what they want him to bring back. Ever since Amma’s elderly and traditional sister, Neliya Aunty , moved in with the family, Arjie has been reading her old copy of Little... (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence Theme Icon
Justice, Power, and Moral Awakening Theme Icon
...confused at first—and Arjie’s fever worsens that night. While taking care of him, Amma and Neliya Aunty chat about Daryl, which makes Arjie realize he had some sort of fight with Amma... (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Neliya Aunty comes into the room, and Arjie calls out to Amma in an attempt to stop... (full context)
Masculinity and Queerness Theme Icon
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
...and Daryl’s relationship has changed, and that Amma seems to be going to work. But Neliya Aunty seems angry at Amma, Sonali is now “secretive, as if she had done something very... (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Justice, Power, and Moral Awakening Theme Icon
...early, and Arjie and Amma head back to Colombo, where they meet Sonali, Diggy, and Neliya Aunty —although Arjie feels “a terrible sense of distance.” At home, Amma finds and hides a... (full context)
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence Theme Icon
Justice, Power, and Moral Awakening Theme Icon
...finds Daryl’s room completely disheveled, with drawers and clothes everywhere. They rush away and tell Neliya Aunty , who insists “there’s no proof that anything has happened” and warns them against talking... (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence Theme Icon
Justice, Power, and Moral Awakening Theme Icon
In the morning, Amma and Neliya Aunty have to go identify Daryl Uncle’s body, which “washed ashore on the beach of a... (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Justice, Power, and Moral Awakening Theme Icon
...seemed [out of place] with all that had happened.” They return home around sunset, and Neliya Aunty explains that an Australian journalist from Daryl’s paper came looking for Amma during the day—but... (full context)
4. Small Choices
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence Theme Icon
Justice, Power, and Moral Awakening Theme Icon
Jegan Parameswaran comes to the family’s house a few days later. While Neliya Aunty goes inside to fetch Appa, Arjie “smile[s] shyly” at Jegan and explains that he and... (full context)
6. Riot Journal: An Epilogue
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence Theme Icon
...blown out of proportion. Arjie feels that writing is the only thing he can do. Neliya Aunty and Amma have breakfast as normal in an “attempt to provide some normalcy,” but this... (full context)
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence Theme Icon
Justice, Power, and Moral Awakening Theme Icon
...since his last journal entry 13 hours before, and that “our lives have completely changed.” Neliya Aunty woke him up in the middle of the night, and they quietly made their way... (full context)