Transforming into a Transnational Character: Identity Shifts through Spiritual Journey in The Kite Runner and The Namesake Cover Image

Transforming into a Transnational Character: Identity Shifts through Spiritual Journey in The Kite Runner and The Namesake
Transforming into a Transnational Character: Identity Shifts through Spiritual Journey in The Kite Runner and The Namesake

Author(s): Ali Can
Subject(s): Studies of Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Pedagogicznego w Krakowie
Keywords: transnationalism; The Kite Runner; The Namesake; ambivalence; identity

Summary/Abstract: In multicultural societies which are the effects of the globalising world, concepts like identity, nationality, personality, and heritage are becoming ever more fluid. While individuals who come into contact with different cultures may experience identity crises, people who never leave their culture also encounter similar difficulties because of technology and media. As a result, there have emerged transnational characters who have interacted with two or more countries and cultures. These characters are divided into two categories as immigrants who leave their motherland, and second generation who are born into the host country. On one hand, immigrants move along with their cultures and lifestyles to the host country. Yet, there is always a dilemma for such characters. Should they choose their native culture or adapt to the host country and live like its people? Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner and Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake feature two protagonists who could not make peace with their home cultures. They both live in the US and try to adapt to the host country’s circumstances by neglecting their countries of origin. In this article, I will analyse their denial of their country of origin and their struggle to turn themselves into Americans. The conclusion will clarify whether the trauma they experience as a result of this denial restores balance to their sense of authentic self or builds another imbalance in their identities.

  • Issue Year: 222/2016
  • Issue No: 6
  • Page Range: 7-16
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: English