The Postcolonial Condition in Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss: Predicament of Migrants and Resistance of Minorities

Sheikh Mehedi Hasan

DOI: https://test.crossref.org/10.13185/KK2022.003807
Published Date: Feb 28, 2022

Abstract

Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss (2006) juxtaposes two worlds—Kalimpong in India and New York in the US—and explores themes such as migration, alienation, globalization, multiculturalism, and, of course, neocolonialism. However, this article mainly focuses on how the novel encapsulates the predicament of the postcolonial condition, conceptualizing the postcolonial condition as a global condition of power relations continuing from the advent of colonial capitalism. In doing so, the article, with reference to Michel Foucault’s analysis of power, violence, and resistance, examines the fragmented stories of individuals as reflected in the novel to demonstrate that the plight of the postcolonial condition is intertwined with certain global factors such as transnational labor industry, multinational capitalism, and global imperialism. Thus, the main objective of the article is to point out two aspects throughout the analysis: the sufferings, displacements, and losses of third-world migrants such as Biju in the US and the resistance of repressed minorities such as Gyan to the neocolonial hegemony prevalent in India.

Keywords

postcolonialism, global capitalism, Gorkha insurgency, imperialism, power, hegemony

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

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Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

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Inderpal Grewal
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Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

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Department of Political Science
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Philippines Studies Center (US)

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Barnard College (US)
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Columbia University (US)

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Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)