Hanif Kureishi's 'My Son the Fanatic' and Amy Tan's 'Two Kinds': Modern Cultural Theme of Dual and Transitional Identity

745 WordsJan 13, 20183 Pages
In a world which is only now beginning to emerge from the shackles of colonialism, both former empires and the nations once subdued by their hegemony have entered a transitional period defined by uncertainty and the loss of collective identity. Compounding matters is the delicate balance that expatriates from former colonies turned independent countries, such as Pakistan, India, and Hong Kong, must seek to achieve while residing in the former motherland of Great Britain. For the most ambitious and hopeful immigrants, the arduous process of assimilation from pre-colonial society to the very seat of imperial power which once exercised dominion over your homeland from afar can be a jarring metamorphosis. Two exquisitely written short stories published during the tumultuous postcolonial period of the late 1980s' and early 1990's, Hanif Kureishi's My Son the Fanatic and Amy Tan's Two Kinds, harness the provocative power of prose to explore the quintessentially modern cultural theme of dual and transitional identity. By juxtaposing the paternal expectation of father Parvez with the harsh reality his militarized, extremist son Ali, Kureishi exposes the fallacious notion of the "British dream" offered to immigrants from former colonies around the world. Through her wrenching tale of the divisions sewn between Chinese mothers, who lived through the Communist Cultural Revolution, and their Americanized daughters struggling to bear the burden of competing customs, Tan examines the

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