Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Professor Manan Desai
Professor Chris Forster
Arts and Science
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Arts and Humanities | Modern Literature | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | South and Southeast Asian Languages and Societies
This project involves the examination of two works by Salman Rushdie: a short story collection, East, West and a novel, Midnight’s Children. Looking at these texts through a postcolonial lens, I analyze Rushdie’s writing in terms of its relationship to the academic debates of the period and the historical context that grounds the works. Throughout the paper, I analyze Rushdie’s portrayal of the relationship between culture, nationhood, and identity, while also focusing on different aspects of the works in the project’s two chapters. In the first, I examine the relationship between postcolonialism and magical realism in East, West, and argue that Rushdie uses a unique hybrid of magical realism, satire, and intertextuality to complicate the portrayal of culture in his stories, as he brings into question the use of the East/West binary that dominated scholarly discourse at the time of these texts’ publication. In the project’s second chapter I discuss the relationship between Midnight’s Children and East, West, examining on the portrayal of post-independence India and Rushdie’s critiques of the Indian government at the time. While in the project’s first chapter, stylistic decisions serve as the primary focus of my analysis, in this second part, the relationship between technology and national identity becomes the driving question. Using textual and historical evidence, I demonstrate the extent to which these two texts serve as a statement on the nature of cultural and national identity in the postcolonial era, providing no certain answers but instead raising more questions and illuminating the complexities of global interactions.
Klassen, Tress, "The Uncertainty of National and Cultural Identity in Salman Rushdie’s East, West and Midnight’s Children" (2013). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 25.
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