Further Questions

Funny Boy (1994) by Shyam Selvadurai

Funny Boy (1994) by Shyam Selvadurai. Random House of Canada


  1. Consider Shehan’s abuse, both by peers and Black Tie at Victoria Academy. How does this relate to being queer in an all-boy’s school?
  2. How does Black Tie’s violence against the boys at Victoria Academy mirror the violence against Tamils in Sri Lanka? Consider issues of bureaucracy and power.


  1. Consider the restrictions on friendships between members of the opposite sex in Sri Lanka. How are seemingly mundane acts sexualized?
  2. How does Arjie respond to his first kiss and first sexual encounter with Shehan? How does this connect with his earlier notions of masculinity pressed upon him by his family, and school?
  3. How does Arjie come to terms with his love for Shehan and his understanding of his homosexual identity? How does this change Arjie socially, specifically in relation to figures of authority?


  1. How does the epilogue function in the greater context of the novel? How does this Riot Journal mirror Arjie’s newfound self-awareness?
  2. How does Selvadurai blur ethnic and sexual identities in the Riot Journal?

Works Cited

  • Selvadurai, Shyam. Funny Boy: A Novel. San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1997. Print.