How would you apply postcolonial theory to Salman Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown?

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lprono | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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You should focus on how the novel depicts the Western and American power to exploit and subdue nations on the periphery of the empire and how they react against this. This power imbalance is also mirrored in the exploitative relationship between Max and Boonyi and the desire for revenge of Boonyi's husband Noman Sher Noman whom people also call Shalimar the Clown. It is this quest for revenge that leads Shalimar to become a terrorist. You should also focus on the ways in which the legacy of empire and colonialism are described. Much of the book is concerned with Kashmir and the ongoing dispute about the territory between India and Pakistan, with echoes on the traumas of Partition. You should also notice how the novel portrays a globalised world where "everywhere was now part of everywhere else". Because of this, even the remotest of Kashmir villages is affected by international political events.


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