Comparing My Beautiful Launderette And Midnight's Children

2180 Words9 Pages
Monika Pareek
Professor Ashley
Post 1960s British Literature
15th April 2016

Exploring the politics of identity in Hanif Kureishi's My Beautiful Launderette and Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children
This paper attempts to study the postcolonial identity formation explored in Hanif Kureishi’s My Beautiful Launderette and Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. Both Kureishi and Rushdie belong to a sect of Indian-Muslim writers that setelled abroad and proceed to build narratives that use characters determined by their homeland. As a result, both My Beautiful Launderette and Midnight’s Children use South-Asian characters that face an identity crisis with both a post colonial and a post independence era. While the setting for My Beautiful Launderette
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Firstly, it exhibits the intricately complicated relationship between the author/writer/narrator of the text with the reader/listener of the text. While the reader of My Beautiful Laundrette could predominantly be the immgrant community in England, the reader of Midnight's Children is primarily Padma, or in a larger context, a predominantly Indian or Pakistani reader. Thus, both the narratives or texts have been structured or written catering to different kind of audience and thus the difference in identity politics. One must also keep in mind that both the stories are based in different periods of time but the commonality between them being that they both address a space and people struggling with postcolonial identity crisis. While an immigrant moving from South-Asia to England would face discrimination on the basis of race, class, ethnicity, religion; a person who was part of the undivided India before partition will suddenly will have to deal with an identity crisis not based on race but on religion and the side of the undivided land they were based in before the partition. One of the fundamental concerns in both the texts is the crisis of identity and how the characters in the stories negotiate with and define their identities. While one finds Omar in My Beautiful Launderette breaking away from not just the norms set by the a…show more content…
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