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Title: The representation of home and identity of Muslim characters in selected British postcolonial novels
Author: Alghamdi, Alaa
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
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Abstract:
The concepts of home and identity are at the heart of any Postcolonial examination of literature and society. Home and identity are profoundly impacted by the power dynamics of the colonial relationship, by the individual immigrant's experience, and by the multicultural setting in which the subject finds him or herself. This study undertakes an interrogation of home and identity in the work of British authors Salman Rushdie, HanifKureishi, Zadie Smith, Monica Ali, and Fadia Faqir. All of the novels studied deal with Muslim subjects - in most cases, first and second generation immigrants -living in England. Home and identity have powerful, multiple and contested meanings for these subjects. Drawing upon the theoretical work of Homi Bhabha, Rosemary Marangoly George, Gayatri Chakrovorty Spivak and Edward Said, the conception of home and the formation of hybrid identities in these subjects is examined and connected to larger cultural manifestations of Muslim/Westem relationships. Specifically, the ways in which the subjects define their home - to what degree is the new setting 'home', and to what degree does that term seem to refer to an increasingly imagined and unchanging homeland? - are examined. The necessity of reference to home in order to establish identity and, accordingly, the emerging sense of home as the precursor to a successful hybrid identity formation are observed. The marginalized or 'Othered' position of the immigrant Muslim subject is considered, as is the ability of these texts (written by "Third World Cosmopolitans", as one critic maintains) to represent the voice of the subaltern subject. In this context, Spivak's seminal enquiry about the ability of the subaltern to speak is actively engaged and examined. The power dynamics caused by colonialism influence, but do not define, the voice of the Postcolonial subject. In many cases, the voice of the Postcolonial subject does indeed speak, and yields unique and creative solutions to dilemmas of home and identity. These are aptly represented in the works of the authors studied, as are the occasional assertions that the open possibilities and competing pressures of hybrid identity formation in a Postcolonial world might lead to an untenable level of strain in the individual subject.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.555964  DOI: Not available
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