Fragmentation and Reformation: Cultural Identity and Issues of Belonging in Monica Ali's Brick Lane (2004)
The aim of this thesis is to answer the question as to how notions of belonging are represented in the novel Brick Lane (2004) by Monica Ali. Shaped by a comparison of Englishness and Britishness, this research furthermore explores how cultural identity is constructed in the novel. Framed by Bechhofer’s (2009) boundaries of identity and Hussain’s (2005) study on first- and second-generation British Pakistanis, this thesis will present a close-reading of Brick Lane. The thesis will furthermore situate its own readings of Brick Lane in relation to a number of academic articles on Ali’s novel. Findings will highlight themes of gender, religion, birthplace, language and history. As will be argued in this thesis, these are the primary elements that influence the construction of cultural identity and a sense of belonging for characters in Brick Lane.
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