Icarus Girl Analysis

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This essay will argue what is meant by the representation of the Other in the novels The Icarus Girl and Shadow Tag. The other is a representation of the questions surrounding identity that arise in these texts. The Icarus Girl focuses on the alternate identities of Jessamy Harrison and her struggle to find a fitting identity because of having a multi-national heritage. Shadow Tag takes a different approach to the question of identity, as Irene America attempts to escape her identity as a domestic abuse victim in the blue diary that she keeps hidden from her husband Gil. There is also the question about the identity of the narrative voice of the novel. Thus, this essay will examine how identity is portrayed in each novel.
Firstly, the representation of the Other in The Icarus Girl is evident as Jessamy struggles to associate with one identity because of her mixed cultural ethnicity. It must be acknowledged that the fear of her identity from arises from the impact of post-colonialism, as the text illustrates how Jessamy is “haunted by the colonial experience and its aftermaths” (Mafe 23). The possibility of associating with her Nigerian heritage makes her uncomfortable because she is unfamiliar with everything that her heritage represents: “It was Nigeria. That was the problem” (Oyeyemi 9). In the scene when the Harrisons arrive at the airport in Lagos and Jess`s mother speaks the Yoruba language to the taxi driver, Jess struggles to comprehend any of the language being
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