Objectifying Speech Act of Silencing: A Thematic Study of Paradoxical Portrayal of Silenced Women in Bol


  • Rabia Sohail PhD Scholar, University of Management and Technology, Lahore
  • Muhammad Shaban Rafi Professor, Riphah International University, Islamabad


Female objectification, silencing, Bol, thematic analysis


Objectification theory by Nusbaum adapted by Papadaki, is further appropriated for the present study. Since objectification in the film Bol is a consistent pattern, the central female protagonist Saleha is seen defying the stereotypical silence expected of an obedient daughter. She is silenced on various occasions in the film, yet she speaks up right before receiving the death penalty. Paradoxically the translation of Bol is to speak up, however, this uneasy task requires undaunting courage from Saleha, who had to sacrifice even her life to be heard by the newspaper reporters. She raises her voice against the unjust behavior of her father, consequently, the backlash from the act of silencing is manifested in utterances aimed to reduce her to a silent object. She gets a chance to tell her unheard story to the media before her voice is paradoxically silenced forever. To find out the silencing patterns in female characters’ on-screen portrayals, the systematic thematic analysis helped to formulate codes of objectifying speech acts. The verbal utterances containing speech act of silencing are extracted from the film’s transcription. The data are further categorized to formulate sub-themes. The findings reveal some sub-themes in the process of silencing by the male objectifier (s), the target of which is invariably a female object. The study finds twelve utterances that execute, and sustain the silencing power of the oppressors, which are further thematically bifurcated into subthemes. 




How to Cite

Sohail, R., & Rafi, M. S. (2023). Objectifying Speech Act of Silencing: A Thematic Study of Paradoxical Portrayal of Silenced Women in Bol . Journal of Research in Humanities, 59(01), 77–97. Retrieved from http://jrh.com.pk/index.php/Journal/article/view/125