Discuss a Postcolonial analysis of Sidhwa's An American Brat.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Sidhwa's work can be approached from a postcolonial point of view in a couple of ways.  The first would be to examine how fundamentally uncomfortable Zareen is with the prospect of Feroza's marriage to someone outside of the Parsee sect.  The idea is something that can be approached from a postcolonial perspective in that it displays a fundamental tension between the more indigenous approach to marriage and the one adopted by Feroza as she becomes increasingly acclimated to life in America.  I think that another postcolonial element that can be explored is the malleability of individual identity. Feroza is sent away from Pakistan because Zareen perceives her as becoming too orthodox.  The rise of Zia's rule and the imprisonment of Bhutto is what causes this fear to emerge.  The impact that this has on the daughter is what inspires the mother to send her away in the first place.  Such fluidity in character is evident when the daughter is sent to America and becomes "Westernized."  From the Postcolonial point of view, this reflects how individuals are contingent beings whose context plays a large role in the construction of individual identity.  This would only serve to prove the Postcolonial thinkers right in thinking that Colonialism played a powerful role in the development of individual and cultural notions of the good.  In Sidhwa's depiction, this tenet of Postcolonialism is demonstrated.

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