Conflicting Generations and Negotiating Identities: Multiculturalism and the Representation of Diasporic Subjects in Monica Ali's Brick Lane and Zadie Smith's NW.

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This BA thesis demonstrates how contemporary British fiction represents the divergent experiences of diasporic subjects and perspectives on multicultural communities in contemporary London. I have used Monica Ali’s Brick Lane (2003) and Zadie Smith’s NW (2012) as case studies to shed light upon the diversity of migrant literature and culture and multiculturalism in Britain in general. My analysis of Ali’s novel lays bare the vexed problems experienced by immigrants: the different conceptualisations of the homeland, the liminal breach and the cultural hybridity second generation migrants struggle with. I expose the different dynamics of different parameters that define (cultural) identities and of what constitutes perceptions of culture. My analysis of Smith’s novel suggests that social mobility is a mere myth in a city in which identities are more and more defined by parameters of class and race than anything else. M y analysis reveals that there are as many experiences of and perspectives on diasporic life as there are diasporic subjects, and therefore, that the notion of a single diasporic experience or perspective proves to be a fallacy.
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