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A Postcolonial Interpretation of the Inheritance of Loss

Author ZhengFei
Tutor MengZhaoYi
School Tianjin Normal University
Course Comparative Literature and World Literature
Keywords Kiran Desai Post-colonialism Colonial hegemony identity
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
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The winner of Booker Prize in2006, Kiran Desai shock the total world with her second novel The Inheritance of Loss, with a sense of humor and deep thought. This work blend in her exile experiences in Asia, Europe and America, shuttling between the developed country and third world. And it depicts the pain of exile in postcolonial era.One of the most important themes of this novel is profound impact on all aspects of the India society after British colonial rule ended. The author tries to explore the root and intend to analyze the Indian’s collapse from the perspective of postcolonial. Both in the era of British colonial rule in India, and Indian national liberation. She is eager to explore whether the immigrants in the globalization waves of immigrants can really realize their dreams in developed countries. And how the imbalance of world politics and economy eliminate the country, the nation and the people. These are, however, not new themes but old ones which Desai uses a new way of writing to show us the time and space trip across two continents and through three generations.This paper mainly uses the method of combining theoretical analysis and text reading to study Kiran Desai and her novel The Inheritance of Loss under the sight of postcolonial. The article is primarily divided into three parts. The first part pay attention to the marginalized otherness in the western cultural hegemony. Facing the invasion of the western colonists, the Indian religious belief began to shake. They all become silent subaltern whether in India or western countries. Illegal immigrations not only have the task of parents’ dream, but also end it. All this deeply reflects the influence of western colonization to India. The second chapter mainly interprets the lost identity of Indians. As the colonists praise highly about the western culture and English, causing a serious identity crisis to Indians. Facing the colonial culture and racial discrimination, Indians just like a sandwiched between India culture and the western culture, losting himself, they lost language, ethnicity and culture, In the third chapter, we will discuss that how Desai using the postcolonial ways to write this book. On the surface, it looks like a little scattered in narrative structure and the characters. But in fact, the connotation of the thought come down in one continuous line, that is the inheritance of loss that is between generations.India’s tradition constantly lost. If they want to out of the cultural dilemma and completely get rid of the colonial rule. They should and must clear their identity and seek to start the process of decolonization native culture actively.

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