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The 'other', self discovery and identity - a comparative study in colonial and postcolonial literature

Baker, Ahmad Abu (2001) The 'other', self discovery and identity - a comparative study in colonial and postcolonial literature. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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This thesis is a comparative literary study of Rudyard Kipling's Kim, Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient, E. M. Forster's A Passage to India, and Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children. It highlights the coloniser/colonised relationship and reveals the differences/similarities m its depiction in the selected modern and contemporary novels. It reveals the way English novelists and novelists from non-Anglo-Saxon backgrounds are different/similar in their adoption, promotion, or rejection of discourses of colonisation. These discourses generate stereotypes that typically depict the colonisers as genetically superior and the colonised as genetically inferior. This thesis emphasises the problematics of identity formation, with particular attention to the dialectics of colonial identities. Identity formation involves redefinitions in hybrid situations, including where there is a desire to 'erase' the limitations of the colonial template. Ethnology, Anthropology and Mapmaking are areas of attention, as are the multiple ways that religion is manipulated to affirm the colonisers' legitimacy. Though the colonial experience varies from place to place and from time to time regarding both social action and cultural representations, it remains a traumatic experience for the colonised that negatively affects their identity, culture and literature.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Division of Social Sciences, Humanities and Education
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Trees, Kathryn and Webb, Hugh
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