Funny Boy


Shyam Selvadurai

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The King and I Term Analysis

A celebrated 1950s musical based loosely on the memoirs of an Anglo-Indian woman who becomes a governess (nanny and tutor) for the King of Siam’s children in the 1860s. The woman’s teachings conflict with the King’s traditional values, but she also helps him resist British imperialists who want to take over Siam and ultimately ends up changing customs in his kingdom. During the second chapter of Funny Boy, Arjie, Radha Aunty, and Anil act in The King and I, which serves as a foil for Radha and Anil’s impossible love (besides allowing them to meet) and also points to Sri Lanka’s troubled relationship to its colonial past.

The King and I Quotes in Funny Boy

The Funny Boy quotes below are all either spoken by The King and I or refer to The King and I. For each quote, you can also see the other terms 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.
2. Radha Aunty Quotes

Sometimes I wonder if it was all worth it in the end. To have made all those sacrifices. Life is a funny thing, you know. It goes on, whatever decisions you make. Ultimately you have children or don’t have children and then you grow old. Whether you married the person you loved or not seems to become less important as time passes. Sometimes I think that if I had gone to England with them maybe I would have met somebody else….” She clicked her tongue against her teeth and laughed. “Anyway, there’s no point in thinking about that—no?”

Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:
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The King and I Term Timeline in Funny Boy

The timeline below shows where the term The King and I appears in Funny Boy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
2. Radha Aunty
Masculinity and Queerness Theme Icon
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence Theme Icon
...time later, Amma invites Arjie to play one of the King of Siam’s children in The King and I , a play in which Radha Aunty will also be acting. Excited about the prospect... (full context)