My Son The Fanatic, And The Anarchy Of The Orient Essay
823 WordsNov 7, 20164 Pages
The East has always been a preoccupation of colonial literature as the people, the culture and, the imagined promiscuity of Oriental nations enables a powerful, although fabricated, dichotomy between the morally abiding occident, and the anarchy of the Orient. However, this literary convention of representing all Eastern nations as one homogenous culture that is fundamentally exterior to England, creates serious issues for identity construction post-colonisation, as many Englishmen maintain strong links to their Eastern heritages, despite living in London.
The affects of this contemporary diaspora are explored within the short story 'My Son the Fanatic ' as the colloquially labelled 'Pakish ' men, Parvez and Ali, struggle to make peace with their hybrid identities following their internalisation of the East/West binary. However, their conscious othering of Pakistan, also creates an intergenerational conflict between the pair as Parvez - born in Pakistan and living in London- unsuccessfully attempts to mediate between the two cultures by living hedonistic Western lifestyle, while his English-born son Ali, rejects the Western identity altogether, in search of an 'authentic ' Eastern ethnicity. The disjunction in their lifestyle choices emphasises the complexities of hybridity and diaspora for twenty-first century Englishmen living in London.
Parvez, however, does not view his internalisation of British culture as a means of abating his Pakistani heritage, but rather