An unceasing oscillation in Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss: Anglophilia and immigration both as reason and repercussion
Etymologically postcolonial is deeply embedded in the world of colonial rule and most specifically it succeeded the colonial rule. The era of 1960s and 1970s saw some unprecedented events which were against conventional frameworks of all the time. The foothold of the colonies were being weakened and the entire binary structures of white and black, colonizers and colonized were being challenged. The aura of independence, freedom and nationalism was vibrant and the colonies were rapidly perishing with the approach of new system of government and politics. But the changes were not that way smooth. The after-effects were deep and wide and were seen in the cultural, societal and personal level. The colonized after the colonisation emerged as distinct human beings. This distinctness was seen in the characters of Jemubhai: the retired judge, Sai: his granddaughter, the cook and his son, Biju. In the world of The Inheritance of Loss, they have inherited loss, dilemma and uncertainty where as they are supposed to inherit the growth, independence and self-rule in the post-independent world. The crisis looms wherever they are. This crisis is in identity, is in oneself and is in being a human. And that was the consequence which was not just about the end of the rule of colony and dawn of a new era rather it was the continuation of the subjugation and inferiority complex that hovered in their minds somehow consciously, subconsciously and unconsciously. They are anglophiles among their fellow members and they are self-made alien in their own known land. They see themselves as different persons, deliberately created with a purpose within them. The colonized faced this challenge after the end of colonisation where they unconsciously bore with them this constructed identity which made them alien to their fellow members. Their pretension that this constructed identity will secure them a better place didn’t work in reality. So oscillation was the obvious repercussion. They oscillated to start life as native free of colonisation but could not stop themselves from being anglicised. Even though they accepted colony and its culture but the colonizers never accepted them as a part of their system. So the depth of colonisation was not just domination and resistance rather it was about identity formation and collision, confused existence, disintegrated self etc.
Bhabha, Homi k. The Location of Culture. New York: Routledge Classics, 2004. Print.
Boehmer, Elleke. Colonial and Postcolonial Literature. London: Oxford University Press,
Said, Edward. Culture and Imperialism. London: Vintage, 1994. Print.
Schwarz, Henry, and Sangeeta Ray, ed. A Companion to Postcolonial Studies. UK: Blackwell
Publishing Ltd, 2005. Print.
Young, Robert. J. C.. Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction. Malden: Blackwell Publishers, 2001. Print.