Funny Boy


Shyam Selvadurai

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Also known as a pith helmet, a cloth-covered helmet popular among European colonial forces and “adventurers” in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Black Tie, the principal of Victoria Academy, wears a topee hat, which points to the continuity between the arbitrary violence of British colonialism and Black Tie’s cruel and violent behavior toward his students.
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Topee hat Term Timeline in Funny Boy

The timeline below shows where the term Topee hat appears in Funny Boy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
5. The Best School of All
Masculinity and Queerness Theme Icon
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence Theme Icon
Justice, Power, and Moral Awakening Theme Icon
...the school’s ominous colonial building—Black Tie stands on the balcony, wearing an old British colonial topee hat and an old white suit. Arjie and Diggy pass boys playing rugger violently in... (full context)
Masculinity and Queerness Theme Icon
Justice, Power, and Moral Awakening Theme Icon
...up his hair. When Black Tie walks in, he wears a sour frown under his topee hat, and he pulls Soyza aside because a lock of his hair was out of... (full context)