Post Colonial

Topics: Postcolonial literature, Literary theory, Colonialism Pages: 49 (19331 words) Published: December 6, 2012
Masarykova univerzita
Filozofická fakulta

Katedra anglistiky a amerikanistiky

Magisterská diplomová práce

2008 Eva Kroupová
Masaryk University
Faculty of Arts

Department of English
and American Studies

English Language and Literature

Eva Kroupová

Postcolonial Theory and Practice
Zadie Smith and Salman Rushdie
Master’s Diploma Thesis

Supervisor: Dr. Stephen Paul Hardy, M.A., Ph.D.


I declare that I have worked on this thesis independently,
using only the primary and secondary sources listed in the bibliography.

Author’s signature

I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Stephen Paul Hardy, M.A., Ph.D., for his help and guidance throughout my work.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6 Chapter 1: Who are Zadie Smith and Salman Rushdie? 9

Chapter 2: Postcolonial Theory 10

Chapter 3: Postcolonialism in Use 23 Chapter 4: Why are Zadie Smith and Salman Rushdie Postcolonial? 29 Chapter 5: The Novels 38 5.1. The Postcolonial Analysis 39 Conclusion 65 Bibliography 67


In my thesis I would like to present the main theories and perspectives on postcolonialism in literature. There were already a lot of theories written on this subject. Therefore, I do not want to only present these theories but also find their main ideas in practice. It means applying them on literary works that are said to be part of the postcolonial literature. For this practical part I have chosen two authors – Salman Rushdie and Zadie Smith. I have deliberately chosen these two because they differ in many aspects. To begin with, their country of origin is different. Rushdie comes from India (Pakistan) where he was born and then moved to Britain. Zadie Smith was already born in Britain and “only” one of her parents is Jamaican. Even though Rushdie was born in India, it was only in 1947 – the same year India gained its independence; we cannot say that he had a first-hand experience of colonialism. Concerning this aspect we can assign both of them to the second generation of postcolonial authors – those who have not lived in the former colonies for part (or most) of their lives. However, there is an age difference of twenty six years between them. It means that they have lived through different political, cultural and social events in Britain; thus the question is if the issues and topics they dwell on differ as well. Also their rendering or approach to the problems varies. When talking about Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, it was said that she has written not only a postcolonial novel with an influence of Rushdie but also a typical English novel dealing with social classes and politics of the 1980s in Britain. On the other hand, Rushdie’s novels...

Bibliography: Ashcroft, Bill, Griffiths Gareth, and Helen Tiffin. Post-Colonial Studies. The Key Concepts. London: Routledge, 2000.
Ashcroft, Bill, Griffiths Gareth, and Helen Tiffin. The Empire Writes Back. London: Routledge, 2002.
Banerjee, Mita. The Chutneyfication of History. Heidelberg: Winter, 2002.
Bhabha, Homi K, ed. Nation and Narration. London: Routledge, 1990.
Brennan, Timothy. “Salman Rushdie.” British Writers Supp. 4 (1997): 433-57. 10 Sep 2008.
Chambers, Iain, and Lidia Curti, ed. The Post-Colonial Question: Common Skies, Divided Horizons. London: Routledge, 1996.
Childs, Peter. Post-colonial Theory and English Literature. A Reader. Edinburgh University Press, 1999.
Cody, Michael. “Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses.” The Explicator 56:4(1998): 218-220. 1 Sep 2008.
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Dyer, Rebecca. “Generations of Black Londoners: Echoes of 1950s Caribbean Migrants ' Voices in Victor Headley 's Yardie and Zadie Smith 's White Teeth.” Obsidian III. 5 (2004): 81-102. 21 April 2008.
Featherstone, Simon. Postcolonial Cultures. Edinburgh University Press, 2005.
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Kachru, Braj B. “The Alchemy of English.” The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. London: Routledge, 1995.
Lazarus, Neil, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literary Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004.
Lowe, Jan. “No More Lonely Londoners.” Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism. 9 (2001): 166-180. 21 April 2008.
---. The Satanic Verses. London: Viking Penguin, 1989.
Selden, Raman, ed. The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Volume VIII. From Formalism to Poststructuralism. Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Smith, Zadie. White Teeth. London: Penguin Books, 2001.
Spivak, Gayatri C. “Can the Subaltern Speak?” The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. London: Routledge, 1995.
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