Identity In The Shadow Lines

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The immunity from the political colonialism spread an invigoratingly salubrious breeze of far-out themes to oeuvre. Amitav Ghosh, a trailblazer of Indian English Literature, concentred on these historical nationalistic issues such as diaspora, migration, refugees, hegemonic colonialism; socio-economic and cross culturalism like east-western counter, caste and class etc. In The Shadow Lines, Ghosh incorporates diegetic elements; the discourse’s position in time and space, the geographical influence, as well as the narrator’s reminiscence while winnowing the characters based on their subjective attributes. This research paper undertakes to reflect the meandering narrative built on the labyrinth of the author’s crisscrossed memories of the people,…show more content…
‘The Shadow Lines’ depict the traumatic partition riots which took place in history, it implies the shadowiness of the border ‘lines’ of nations. To the author these are the lines which bring people together and to the contrary hold them apart, the lines which are clearly visible in perception on one hand but are abstract constructions on the other, which bane cross border humanity and perturb the lives and situations of a large number of people across it. The concept of identity is based on duo dynamics of uniformity and differential and thence the quest for national identity interrogates the constructional process of the same, that whether a nation can be a homogeneous entity at all? In the novel, the narrator recalls his past when icky notions and envy had envenomed the congruous lives of Hindus and Muslims. The narrator’s uncle, Tridib, who was an iconic figure for the narrator, whose intellect and knowledge was he smitten by, fell as a helpless dupe to the infuriating frenzy of the communal riots in 1964 and lost his life. Thus, the narrator’s crisscrossed memories have a melancholic account of the loss of his dear one due to communal hatred, which intends him to probe into the true sense of national identity and…show more content…
Often, the lucidity of language is claimed as obscurity and anti-intellectualist, but Gosh’s The Shadow Lines schisms the taboo and gives obscurity and difficulty in lyric a benefit of doubt, that the profoundest of the knowledge and truths can be expressed in the most simple parlance.

“You see, in our family we don’t know whether we’re coming or going – it’s all my grandmother’s fault. But of course, the fault was not hers at all: it lay in the language. Every language assumes a centrality, a fixed and settled point to go away from and come back to, and what my grandmother was looking for was a word for a journey which was not a coming or a going at all; a journey that was a search for precisely that fixed point which permits the proper use of verbs of movement.” (The Shadow Lines,
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