Reminisce or Repress: Identity Crisis and Trauma in the Migration Stories "Out of Place" and "The Kite Runner

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This thesis examines the identity crisis and change of migrants from Islamic countries by exploring the migrant experience in Edward Said’s memoir Out of Place and Khaled Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner. It analyzes the complexities of the migrant’s pre-migration, migration, and post-migration phases, particularly focusing on the factors affecting the migrant’s identity. The analysis is supported by a theoretical framework consisting of Said’s Orientalism and trauma theory such as Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity by Alexander et al., migration trauma theory by Dinesh Bhugra and migration and adaptation theory by John W. Berry. The implications of the research demonstrate that identity is affected by personal trauma before migrating, and migration trauma in the host country. Factors impacting one’s identity are portrayed through childhood trauma, culture shock, discrimination, rejection of the culture, seeking solidarity in the familiar community, and assimilation to the new culture. Although one voluntarily migrates and one flees from their country, parallels are found through shared experiences, containing similar factors leading to identity change. Keywords: migration, trauma, cultural trauma, cultural identity, orientalism, trauma theory, Islamophobia.
Faculteit der Letteren