Ambassadors of Community: The History and Complicity of the Family Community in Midnight’s Children and the God of Small Things
Type of Degreethesis
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This thesis seeks to explore the usefulness of the family as a theoretical construct that serves to provide stability to characters in postcolonial literature in the absence of a stable national community. Benedict Anderson‟s theory of “imagined communities” is used as the basis for analyzing the communities evidenced in certain postcolonial Indian texts. The family-in-place-of-nation model, an altered version of the nation as family model, is proposed as a way to analyze the relationship between national and familial community and identity in postcolonial literature. In this model, the family becomes a prominent focus in postcolonial texts in which the characters find themselves unable to situate themselves within the national community, either through situational isolation, or because there is a general lack of a stable national identity. Midnight’s Children and The God of Small Things are presented as evidence and the subject of the analysis.