The importance of “The speed bump” in Rana Dasgupta's “Tokyo Cancelled”

Essay, 2011

4 Pages

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1) Introduction

Rana Dasgupta's short story cycle „Tokyo Cancelled“ was first published in 2005. The cycle contains 13 short stories, which are held together by a frame narration that takes place on an airport, where 13 people spend the night together, telling different fictional stories to each other in order to make the stay as pleasant as possible. The focalization shifts throughout the course of the stories depending on who is the protagonist in the story. In the case of “The speed bump”, the focalizer is Zack and the story is told by an authorial narrator.

Due to the fact that there are no recurring characters within the cycle, it is safe to assume that the parameters, which distinguish between a short story collection and and a short story cycle, are in this case the themes. The most important theme of the cycle is globalization. Furthermore, there is a fantastic element present in every short story. This is, however, not appliable to “The speed bump”. The story has neither a fantastic element nor a direct reference to the theme of globalization, which sets the story apart from the other more surreal stories.

The aim of my essay will be to try to analyse why Dasgupta placed this short story right in the middle of his cycle and why he wrote it the way he did. Why didn't Dasgupta use all the themes he provided before and after this story? That will be the overall question.

4 of 4 pages


The importance of “The speed bump” in Rana Dasgupta's “Tokyo Cancelled”
Technical University of Darmstadt  (Institut für Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft)
Narrative Cycles
Catalog Number
File size
467 KB
The speed bump, Rana Dasgupta, Tokyo Cancelled, Short story, short story cycle
Quote paper
Rouven Dirb (Author), 2011, The importance of “The speed bump” in Rana Dasgupta's “Tokyo Cancelled”, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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