Reference : Possessed by Whiteness: Interracial Affiliations and Racial Melancholia in Mohsin Ham...
Scientific journals : Article
Arts & humanities : Literature
Possessed by Whiteness: Interracial Affiliations and Racial Melancholia in Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Munos, Delphine mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des langues et littératures modernes > Littérature anglaise moderne et littérature américaine >]
Journal of Postcolonial Writing
Yes (verified by ORBi)
[en] America ; Melancholia ; Whiteness
[en] Drawing on whiteness studies and psychoanalytical theory, this article explores representations of interracial relationships as a means to claim and/or contest the ideal of whiteness in Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist. In Hamid’s novel, the 9/11 attacks trigger a crisis in self-identification for model-minority Pakistani protagonist Changez, which proves illuminating in terms of the invisible racial subjugation exerted so far upon him by Jim, Changez’s passport into the corporate world, and by Erica, his (white) lifeline to exclusive Manhattan. The article focuses on the ways in which Hamid uses the post 9/11 context to reveal the racial melancholia surreptitiously informing today’s “new” versions of the American Dream, which is apparent in Changez’s and Erica’s relationship as well as in their parallel impossible mourning of the broken mirror of “white” Am/Erica. Emphasizing the extent to which whiteness and racial melancholia permeate the discourse of assimilation, Hamid’s book rewrites the “new” American Dream as what Anne Anlin Cheng has called a “fantasy built on absences”.
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