Hanif Kureishi’s “My Son the Fanatic” and the Illusion of ‘Pure’ Identity

Shahd Alshammari


This paper takes on a critical literary approach to Hanif Kureishi’s short story “My Son the Fanatic.” Through close analysis, the text reveals the intricate concept of hybridity and identity in a neocolonial setting. Identities are shaped and founded on a false notion of “purity.” The text presents the tensions facing immigrants and their attempt to formulate and maintain an identity that falls between complete assimilation and the rejection of one’s own culture. To find and maintain that balance is the complex burden of hybridity. The characters must find a sense of belonging, and it is increasingly difficult to do so in a society infested with racial ideologies. The findings of this paper reflect how problems arise when the West is placed above the East, and this ideology is indoctrinated and internalized by the postcolonial self.


Identity, Postcolonial, Literature, Race, Racial Studies, Hybridity

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.alls.v.9n.6p.57


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