Hybrid Identity of Migrants in Postcolonial Narrative: A Reading of The Shadow Lines

Document Type : Review

Author

English Literature, College of Humanities, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

10.22034/jhi.2021.305136.1036

Abstract

This paper explores hybridity, one of key elements of postcolonialism in Amitav Ghosh’s novel, The Shadow Lines (1988). In this novel, Ghosh has shown the impacts of colonialism on the culture and society of two Indian cities, Calcutta and Dhaka, as well as its counter impact on the culture and identity of English people. The article aims to explore hybrid identity in the novel using postcolonial approach, particularly application of the concept of hybridity, a postcolonial element. It has used the critical arguments of theorists, basically of Homi K. Bhabha, who expounds his ideas on hybridity in his seminal work, Location of Culture (1994). Applying descriptive-qualitative method, the study shows the contemporary world embraces the fact that East and West are inextricably intertwined and hybrid in their culture, language and identity. It also explores migrants identity transforms and their sense of homeness changes as they contact to new environment, basically as a result of their contact as Diaspora in their former colonizer nation. Throughout the novel, it has been explored that the writer explicitly and implicitly expounds cross-culturalism, interdependency and coexistence between the two cultural elements, colonizer and colonized, Britain and Indai, as well as the two neighboring cities of India- Calcutta and Dhaka.

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