Anil’s Ghost: Implications of Fiction on Justice


The pursuit of truth and justice is usually an essential part of the mystery novel; ‘Anil’s Ghost’ and The Lovely Bones approach the themes of truth and justice in unusual ways. The two stories have deep seated relationship regarding truth and justice. These qualities have been promoted, hidden, denied and complicated in a number of ways. This essay seeks to explore the implications of the relationship and discusses why the readers enjoy reading about truth and justice and their implications.

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The fiction narratives that have bones and artifacts give us an idea on how to read bones again and again and look at them differently. People stop looking at them as the end, not as death, not as a sign of identities of various tribes and their ways of life but as continuous processes which link the past and present relationships. There are six novels by Native American authors which are under the discussion and revolve around the meanings of ‘bones’ and how bones should be treated as a subject matter. In most cases they address academicians who insistently question the significance of ‘bones’. It does not matter whether these fictions are bones, words, open discursive fields of study or cultures, but there exists the risk of objectifying some texts so as to study it using methodologies of academic (Anna, p. 67).

Rather than allow readers to go on understanding bones as important objects of study, most these fiction stories have the tendency to look at bones as important society-shaping and plot-driving causes and consequent impact. To lay down the contrast this essay will begin by setting out a methodology, on how to read meanings of the bones according to ‘Anil’s Ghost’ and the subsequent discourses which are not in the nature of American contexts and then to native American fiction stories (Michael, p. 59).

Bones as ‘Truth’

Anil’s is a very important fiction which was written some years back. The author is Michael, and the novel is centered on the abuses of human rights in Sri Lanka. According to the novel, there is a forensic anthropologist (MD) who is a researcher and works for organization, which resembles ‘Amnesty International’. She looks at bones as the evidence of material which can speak about what the dead victims of popular historical offences cannot say. Surprisingly, this school of thought has made many readers shocked because Native Americans would hate it if the bones of their departed were to be carefully studied so that the perpetrators of their murder, who often are governmental can be found (Michael, p. 55). According to this perspective, the bones convey justice and there usually is a very strong current of a desire caused by reading to transform bones into justice.

Implications of Bones In Search Of Justice and Truth

There is an argument which was introduced by Antoinette Burton. He says that the journey to the materiality of the history of human beings is somehow a response that can be predicted. The response is meant to fill the gaps of the havoc which was unprecedented and the kind of destruction brought about by the ways of the twentieth century; whether they occurred in the nature of global conflicts or local hostilities which was entailed by them (Antoinette, p. 57-57).

What remained in the wake of Vietnam, Ayodhya, Basta, Srebenica, Auschweitz and Tora Bora was effectively the ‘detritus’ of history shards and fragments, dust and ashes, bone and ray.

The forensic scientists have worked extra hard to come up with various kinds of testimony from these remnants who cannot speak. Despite the fact that they cannot speak, these ‘bones’ can provide information that cannot be provided by living beings. The only barrier they have is ‘pathos of their memories’ and evidence of the criminal intent which can be verified and is objective. This consequently has been used as the base to pursue justice in the national, local and international tribunals.

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The Implications of Bones on Justice

The view of the bones has such a compelling nature since it causes popular genres to outpour on TV shows, for example Cold Case, and CSI. The theme is ‘To Make Bones Speak Truth and Justice’ (Antoinette, p. 70). This theme has gripped the imaginations and thoughts of the twentieth century, as well as the millennial century. This view attempts to catch up faster with all the kinds of crimes and trauma of 20th century historical government. This means that there is nothing wrong in committing to bones and allow them to speak about history to the public. There is no need to resist this value. The Native American plot lines should also move into the forensic investigations. The American fiction attracts views to the way the bones’ archives have been put together over years and not just to establish causes of genocide but also to advance further the scientific studies.

Some anthropologists have argued that the modern anthropology was coined up at a time when colonial as well as post colonial ethnocide, genocides, population die outs with other kinds of mass destruction was the order of the day.

Most of the destruction was directed to the indigenous on non-Western individuals whose sufferings, lives and deaths provide enough raw materials for most bones being used in anthropology. Bones have therefore contributed greatly to anthropology and especially in uncovering most these truths and justices (Anna, p. 56-56).

The science of anthropology therefore is in the process of examining the self. This has enabled an increase in appreciating the significance of bones. They have also shown desire to fully participate in the intercultural relationships as evident from the study of bones. It is thus noble to put into consideration the Native American fiction in relation to this debate of ‘fiction speaking the truth’. Consequently, fiction will form a very important marker in understanding past and present relationships.

Native American fiction stories have been developing some kinds of a dual task. There is one which has documents regarding genocide history and enhancing the understanding by involving oral history which has been narrativized. Secondly, they have taken another dimension which does not agree to allow death and the definition of bones which is specimen-based as well as other remains (Anna, p. 100).

Anil’s Ghost tends to design bones so as to develop a flowing narrative regarding the continuous survival of the meaning, important tribal identities, the narratives with remnants and the bones. It shows us how to reveal and recontextualize bones in ways that are meaningful just the same way characters are supposed to find bones and restore them from where they have been displaced to ‘meaningful homelands’. The readers therefore come to look at bones and understand them not as a way of life and not as symbols of death of tribal groups (Antoinette, p. 39-56).

In Anil’s Ghost, bones have been used for cross-blood and cross-cultural readers. They have been used to bring about questions meant to compare world views as well as other epistemological views in a very strong way. This means therefore, that to be able to read a plot of a bone it involves one has to be set in ‘cross-cultural nexus’ (Michael, p. 46-58).

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Bones and Their Effect on Past and Present Relationships

To study the important of the bones and the kinds of relationships that exist, there are several comparisons that have to be made. For example, one must examine the spiritual and secular views regarding the nature of the human body. There also has to be included the spiritual and evidential views of the body or the death. Other factor which must be compared is the material history and oral historical views. One must also consider past-as-past and the idea that past and present interpenetrate. The past violence must continue to shape the current situation or the present and the elders must continue to influence the living people after they die. The dead body viewed in a Christian tradition and the same body in several tribal traditions has ongoing relationships, which are act times very forceful and negative spiritual presences (Antoinette, p. 70).

The question that is being explored here is whether the plots which involve the bones’ repatriation issue have become a central point in fiction stories. It links the fiction to the intercultural discussions and negotiations and has been shown to have a broader social and political presence right now. In addition, they have a set of connections of storytelling, they create a shape which is narrative and which is also structured by comparative cultures (Michael, p. 56).


The fiction stories being narrated have portrayed bones in different lights, for example ‘The Ghost Singer’. These views cannot be taken for granted but are important sources of beliefs and explanations of the past happenings and the current state in our modern society. These experiences have brought about increased sense of significance of fiction novels and also repatriation of artifacts regarded to be tribal and remains of human. There has been a renewed sense which has been regained regarding the body of contemporary fiction and how a body can speak to processes in a strong way. This has come to be known as ‘inter-cultural negotiation and definition’. This concept is central to many discussions which are being worked on among university holdings, museums, tribal as well as federal governments. The work of fiction which deals with repatriation matter emphasizes the long duration of time that bones have stayed in collections of museums and the extent to which the negotiation period has stretched (Anna, p. 78-90).

The novel ‘Anil’s Ghost’ among other fiction stories which give the narratives of repatriation, openly argues that the open conflict as well as destructive forces have remained at work actively if the human remains do not find their way to a good and a home which can be said to be meaningful (Michael, p. 60).

There is need for a society to connect historical artifacts to bones. One needs to realize the inputs which were made by the indigenous people or persons so as one can figure out some of the things which are happening using oral sources which are historical in various ways. It is evident that fictional stories are a very important source of historical information and they play an important role in providing a sense of direction in intercultural dimensions.

Works Cited

Antoinette, B. Archive of Bones: Anil’s Ghost and the Ends of History, (Book) Massachusetts Press, U.S.A. 2003 Vol. 23, p. 57-70,

Anna, L. The Ghost Singer, (Book) University of New Mexico Press, U.S.A. 1988 12th Issue, Vol 1 p. 50-90

Michael, O. Anil’s Ghost New York, (Book) Knopf Publishers, U.K. 2000 Vol.1 p. 56-61

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