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Though friendship is a common theme in South Asian writing, not much has been written about female friendship and even much less about how friendship between females can help them develop a coping mechanism to deal with their traumas. Shamsie's novel Best of Friends, published in 2022, presents a distinctive exploration of the tumultuous struggles of two adolescent girls as they navigate unresolved traumas. Set against the backdrop of a patriarchal society, the narrative provides a social context to elucidate the impact of defense mechanisms on the interpersonal bond of friendship between female characters, Mariam and Zahra. Drawing upon psychoanalytic theory, specifically Freud's (1962) defense mechanism theory, the study using qualitative method and close textual approach argues that Maryam and Zahra are unable to reconcile the conflicts between their primal urges (the id) and their moral principles (the super-ego). Consequently, they frequently exhibit emotional distress to deal with which they use a variety of self-defense methods. By delving into the depths of human psychology, this paper will add to the scholarly debates on psychological issues that torment South Asian women in a patriarchal society.
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