The Literature of Exile and Imaginary Homelands

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This dissertation places three post-colonial novelists, Salman Rushdie, Bharati Mukherjee, and V. S. Naipaul within the framework of post-colonial literary theory. By comparing the works of these authors to some of the most important theorists of the post-colonial situation, the dissertation stakes out an important place for the value of literary interventions in the political arena…

Introduction

This dissertation traces the movement of this dialectic between people and places and draws from that movement conclusions about the political and ethical stance of the novels' authors.
Chapter 1 introduces the study and the novels, in an attempt to find the places where the three novelists' concerns intersect or diverge. In Chapter 2, I look at Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses and Midnight's Children, novels that create a fantastical and magical landscape against which post-colonial questions and problems are addressed. My study elucidates the cultural codes at work in these novels and reveals that the singularity and stability of these cultural codes are eventually denied. Chapter 3 focuses on Jasmine and The Holder of the World by Bharati Mukherjee and investigates the characters' perspectives of their own exile; Mukherjee's characters suggest that individuals can ethically engage with the world despite the alienation of the post-colonial condition. V. S. ...
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