This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Ambassadors of Community: The History and Complicity of the Family Community in Midnight’s Children and the God of Small Things




Hollis, Victoria

Type of Degree





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.