Conflict Of Modern Vs Traditional Culture English Literature Essay Free Essay

The system of in-migration is of exclusive importance in the US national development. The state chiefly stands on in-migration driven transmutation throughout the history. Looking back in history, big graduated table in-migration took topographic point in 1970s and procedure continues boulder clay day of the month. The turn of twenty-first century brought approximately many alterations in the universe. The in-migration system of US has taken a crisp bend. Much of import is the incident of 9/11 and the period following it.

Immigrants, after holding exhausted decennaries of their lives in foreign environment being off from place and native civilization, come across many jobs. The jobs vary harmonizing to their nature, from societal to cultural and economic to political ; all jobs chiefly arise due to miss of assimilation and primary focal point on segregation.

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Assimilation demands meeting of American immigrants into a new civilization and following their manner of life. Most first coevals immigrants of course stick to their female parent state ‘s values and norms. For this peculiar ground they face identity struggle on cultural degree. The struggle besides arises when the immigrant originally belongs to a culturally dominant group in the female parent state and finds him/herself as a minority in the host state. If their cultural individuality is rejected by the host society, he/she returns towards his/her native cultural individuality.

Culture is an indispensable factor of struggle and its declaration. ‘Cultures are like belowground rivers that run through our lives ‘[ 1 ]it shapes our thoughts, perceptual experiences and judgements of ego and other.

Asian- literature chiefly addresses the construct of race.

Problem Statement:

The struggle among US immigrants about cultural assimilation is largely expressed in South Asiatic American novels. The South Asiatic American novelists Mohsin Hamid and Jhumpa Lahiri portray some of cultural struggles ; for case modern and traditional civilization. By and large, American society perceives Asiatic immigrants ‘ civilization as traditional and considers their ain civilization and manner of life to be modern in nature. So it is to be analyzed how such struggles are presented by both the novelists in their plants The Reluctant Fundamentalist and The Namesake.

Research Questions:

On what footing the struggle of modern vs. traditional with regard to Pakistani immigrants is presented in the novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist?

How Mohsin Hamid defines modern and traditional civilization?

What harmonizing to Jhumpa Lahiri is modern and traditional civilization?

How in The Namesake the clang of civilization is presented with regard to Indian civilization?

Are there any similarities in the manner both novelists define the cultural struggle?

Aim of the survey

The aim of this research is to analyze how conflict arises between the native and host civilizations of immigrants. And to supply the variables on the footing of which the novelists have defined modern and traditional civilization in their novels.

Significance of the survey

The significance of this survey lies in supplying an in-depth analysis of the struggle that has emerged in pre and station 9/11 epoch with regard to The Namesake and The Loath Fundamentalist.


The survey of struggle is based on qualitative analysis of cultural struggle in both the novels. It is based on theory of assimilation ( theoretical account of Separatism ) . Segregation, Methodology is based on audiences from primary and secondary resources. Primary beginning is the text of two novels and secondary resources are research documents, print media, cyberspace articles and critical commentaries of assorted reviews.

Organization of the survey

Conflict of modern vs. traditional civilization in The Loath Fundamentalist.

Conflict of modern vs. traditional civilization in The Namesake.

Comparative analysis of The Reluctant Fundamentalist and The Namesake.

Literature Review

Culture means turning amount of “ cognition, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, significances, hierarchies, faith, impressions of clip, functions, spacial dealingss, constructs of the existence, and material objects and ownerships ”[ 2 ]possessed by a peculiar group of people. It implies that civilization revolve around assorted parametric quantities runing from frock codification to particular political association.

Worlds can non boom good in homogeneousness ; diverseness is a cardinal term in civilizations. Conflict automatically arises with diverseness among nature and civilization of people.

The economic system of US has been dependent on work force from across the Earth in the signifier of in-migration. Dating back to history ; get downing from 17th century slave trade boulder clay day of the month ; immigrants have been the mainstream of US economic system.

Immigration, nevertheless, played a cardinal function non merely in doing America ‘s development possible but besides in determining the basic nature of the society. Immigration has given rise to jobs of assimilation of one group into another from different backgrounds. Peoples ever come from changing civilizations, states, and carry differing individualities ; they can non wholly unify with each other. The differences ever arise and do issues of individuality among people.[ 3 ]

Since ‘each of us possess several different individualities of changing grades of complexness, personal, societal ‘[ 4 ]; the inner desire to continue the individualities may non have the same degree of credence by the host society. This state of affairs finally ascends cultural struggles like individuality, name, etc.

Huntington in his book The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order presents his theory of clang of civilisation as he believed that clang amongst states is based upon civilization. He writes:

Edward Said in his book Orientalism is of the position that Occidentals considered orientalists particularly Muslims to be barbarian, insensitive and inferior to Anglo-Saxon race therefore showing the clang of civilisations.

The hyphenated literature of America records such clangs. The Chinese exclusion in 1882 and the dogmatism against Chinese immigrants in US are recorded in the undermentioned verse form.

The similar sort of prejudiced behaviour is besides portrayed by Meena Alexander in her verse form. The infusion below narrated the narrative of dogmatism against Asiatic immigrants in the US where equal chances were non available for them

Another critic Denna besides remarks upon the novel in the undermentioned words.

Similarly Pakistani-American novelist Mohsin Hamid in his novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist besides presents the state of affairs of Pakistani immigrants in US by plotting the narrative in the background of 9/11 onslaughts. Manish Chand, a critic quotation marks

Harmonizing to Irfan Khawaja, the supporter of the fresh suffers from cultural and individuality struggle, as he is of the sentiment:

Chapter 2

History of Cultural Conflicts in US

Immigration from earliest colony to the present:

Bing a state comprised of immigrants, United States of America from its earliest to the present colonists have voluminous sum of cultural, spiritual and cultural multiplicity. The earliest colonists brought approximately homogeneousness as many comprised of white race and were sacredly Protestants. But as the decennaries and centuries passed, Asians, Europeans and South American immigrants poured into the United States. Gradually the difference began to emerge. These differences chiefly became evident on spiritual, cultural and racial degree as these immigrants ranged from Catholics to Muslims and Hindus to Buddhists.

United States developed as an industrial state after the reaching of European colonists that started at the terminal of 15th century. Population rise, conflicts on land, industrial revolution, and spiritual persecution were some of the grounds to do people leave their fatherland.[ 5 ]

The earliest immigrants from British Isles migrated to North America and brought with them the mainstream civilization which still resonates and dominates in American manner of life. However, it was Spaniards who foremost formed the lasting colony which is now called as Florida in 1565.

British developed the new land with the aid of American Indians at foremost at Virginia settlements in 1607. They rated them as an inferior race holding traditional and barbarian civilization. They viewed them as slaves and tried to stamp down them but remained unsuccessful. After recognizing that they could no longer utilize them as slaves, they used caustic agencies to travel them off the country which colonists wanted for themselves.

On the other manus Spaniards used different methodological analysis with the ruddy Indians by incorporating them in to their community and working their labour.[ 6 ]

Along with British and Spanish colonists, black landholders from West Indies besides played a portion in conveying African immigrants to US. Slavery shortly became the chief solution of job of work force in developing American lands particularly the South where economic system depended on rice, anil and baccy.[ 7 ]These immigrants were a consequence of forced migration and were required to work on difficult conditions without their pick ; it was one of the largest population supplantings in the universe history. The civilization of African immigrants in US has received dyslogistic intension as Whites presumed their civilization to be sophisticated and a theoretical account to be followed by the World. The clang of civilizations subsequently emerged out in the 20th century.

The period between 1815 and World War I is important in conveying about the greatest moving ridge, an estimated 30 million, of European immigrants to the new land. The largest group was Irish, who became prey to British land Torahs and murphy harvest failure, in the mid 19th century. Germans constituted the second-largest group among European immigrants ; most of them were in-between category craftsmans and landless people who migrated due to Industrial turbulence in Europe During the era from 1890 to 1924, immigrants from Italy, cardinal Europe and Russia started settling into the US.

The late 19th century in the United States is marked by in-migration limitations. Some province Torahs did non let nonreader and nihilists to step on their dirt. The demand of limitations arose as many believed that the civilization of fledglings is botching the whole kernel of American civilization and manner of life.

The bend of 20th century and World War II brought about immigrants from Asia, Mexico and the South America.

Cultural struggle and Legislations:

The major cultural struggle in American history is largely associated with African immigrants and their battle to retain their ain cultural individuality with mention to their native land. Their battle is marked by force, peaceable protests, constitution of certain organisations like NAACP.

The clip span of this battle starts with the constitution of James Town when Africans were brought to the New universe entirely for economic intent and their position were nil but slaves. They were non even considered as human existences but mere as belongings, the existences that are barren of any emotion whether pleasance or hurting. For that peculiar ground, they were transported in inhumane conditions through transatlantic path. Sometimes they were chained around their cervixs and were given nutrient after several hours. These conditions resulted in the deceases of so many Africans on ship and their dead organic structures were used to be thrown in rivers. On their reaching to the New World they were sold and they were departed from their households. Langston Hughes, a celebrated Afro-american poet narrates the similar incident in his verse form The Negro Mother.

After being sold, the slaves were put on largely cotton, baccy and murphies plantation. Some of the slaves tried to demo opposition sing faith and civilization and the staying were put on so terrible conditions that they could non believe of anything else but pain.

Americans considered the slaves to be barren of any civilization and faith but despite persecution, slaves managed to retain some portion of their native civilization. Though folk tales, slaves were able to salvage their civilization from diing in United States. Apart from that, they crafted certain objects in conformity with the traditions of Africa

As there was restricted clip of leisure allotted to slaves particularly on Sunday, the slaves used to joy themselves through dance and music. They used to play assortment of musical instruments and the music for them connoted both religious every bit good as secular significances. But non many slave owners were lover of slaves music as many considered particularly in South Carolina, the whipping of membranophone as the call for rebellion on the portion of the slaves.

When in 1776, America gained independency, the writer of Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson chose beautiful words to mean whtat the new state stands for in these words but the Constitution of United States and the patterns spoke otherwise. Under the Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution, while discoursing about the representatives in the Government, give slaves the proportion of ‘three fifth ‘ . It is interesting that the writers of the fundamental law has non used the word slaves, but the word ‘others ‘ has been used for them.

After the independency of United States, the South economic system stated to din because of slave. They were expensive and the figure of slaves determined the position of the land proprietors. Apart from few landholders no 1 allowed slave the right to instruction and if slaves used to run off to some other topographic point, it was the jurisprudence that they had to be returned back to hi/her proprietors. On the other manus North was traveling towards industrialisation. In 1860, during the presidential run, the Republican campaigner Abraham Lincoln based his run on anti bondage motto, which extremely disturbed the South because they reckoned the motto as an onslaught to their economic establishment and warned North that if bondage would be abolished, so they would splinter. In early nineteenth century anti bondage societies began to run who called for the rights of slaves.

The run became so terrible in late nineteenth century the civil war broke out in 1861 and lasted boulder clay 1865. The Civil War resulted in the abolishment of bondage. Behind the abolishment of bondage there were assorted histrions that played their portion to raise consciousness that inkinesss are besides human existences and should be given appropriate rights. Abolitionist used assorted schemes ; one amongst them was the publication of anti bondage alphabet. Through alphabets, the emancipationist presented their point of position in forepart of white Americans.

Despite the terminal of bondage, it existed in the signifier of segregation ; more specifically through Jim Crow Torahs. The Torahs made segregation legal from transit topographic points, to theatre etc. The Jim crow Torahs connoted that inkinesss are separte and could ne’er absorb or set themselves with the Whites based upon their civilization and mental capablenesss.

In an attempt to resuscitate their civilization, African- American started to print their literature and therefore laid the foundation of wind poesy, wind music, etc which has now become the hall grade of American civilization. The era of 1920s is marked by Harlem Renaissance or is frequently referred as Jazz age.

After confronting adversities of decennaries, it was Rosa Parks who when refused to give place to a white American was arrested and it laid the foundation of Montgomery coach boycott which subsequently became one of the causative agents of Civil Rights motion of 1960s. The leader of the motion, Martin Luther King Jr called for an terminal to racial favoritism and demanded the equal rights for the coloured people. He called for non violent civil noncompliance which compelled US Government to set an terminal to Jim Crow Laws. Martin Luther King ‘s sppech ‘ I have a dream ‘ is important in this comment which calls for segregated free American society, where coloured people would acquire equal opportunities of advancement.

The history of cultural and racial struggle is largely recorded in analogue to the history of in-migration in the United States. Traveling in to a new society, the immigrant suffers from favoritism which varies in grades runing from verbal maltreatment to physical force. This favoritism has to be experienced by the migrator if he/she wants to be recognized as Americans.

The Melting Pot theory formulated in 18th century is important to the apprehension of cultural struggle in United States.

The basic posit of runing pot theory requires all immigrants to absorb into the American dominant civilization. It laid emphasis on homogeneousness on spiritual every bit good as an cultural degree. During the late 18th century, it is estimated that 99 per centum of US population comprised of white Protestants.[ 8 ]They easy were able to absorb themselves in white Anglo-saxon Protestant ( WASP ) as there was uniformity among them in footings of ethnicity, faith, and race.[ 9 ]But for the migrator the whole narrative was upside down. They found it hard to run in to the dominant civilization particularly African immigrants with lower socio-economic position and colour. They were assumed as mentally and physically inferior and their civilization besides became the victim of ethnocentrism. Similarly by the terminal of 19th century, it became questionable whether European immigrant of lower economic position could be assimilated.

Among immigrants, who were physically weak and were of lower economic position struggled hard to do their topographic point in fast traveling American society.

The American Congress, fearing nonnative political reformers, passed the short lived Alien Act in 1798 to exorcize alleged undercover agents. Although unwanted entrance was controlled by local and province control on in-migration ; ‘the first major federal in-migration statute law excluded cocottes and inmates in 1875. ‘[ 10 ]

An similar show of persecution was observed against Asians on the West Bank. The gilded haste of 1848 brought most Chinese immigrants to the state. Chinese came as persons, non in households, since they intended to return back after gaining important sum of money. They chiefly were employed to work on railwaies every bit good on farms. The favoritism against Chinese included ‘accusations of frailty and devotion. ‘ They were considered inferior and a possible menace to Americans on economic degree. For this peculiar ground, the dogmatism against Asian besides included usage of force. Native born Americans made usage of statute law to take this menace as Congress passed Chinese Exclusion Act in remain enacted till 1943.

During early twentieth century Nipponese immigrants entered US ab initio ; shortly they allegedly took away most occupations by supplying inexpensive labour. The figure of Nipponese come ining US was limited by the “ gentlemen ‘s understanding ” signed between US and Nipponese authoritiess in 1907 ; finally all Asians were prohibited from come ining US by the twelvemonth 1924.

Racial profiling was non limited to work topographic points but pupils at college campuses and spiritual topographic points besides suffered from dogmatism.

The struggles based on civilization and race which demands ‘their life styles ‘ be accepted and given infinite in the society are prevailing boulder clay day of the month.

The increasing figure of undocumented and illegal immigrants shacking in US paved manner to another moving ridge of Nativism during 1980 ‘s and 1990 ‘s. Most illegal immigrants came from Mexico, Asia, Latin America and Caribbean. It was assumed by Americans that these people were taking off occupation chances and hence became a load on economic system of US.

Local political and societal motions generated national demand to curtail in-migration in late 19th century. The Ku Klux Klan ‘s actions were rigorous against “ aliens ” every bit good as against African Americans. Eastern and Southern Europeans were easy recognizable due to their visual aspect and traditions, which made them easy marks of dogmatism.

Congress allocated quotas for immigrants consisting of complex sets of regulations about national beginning, most of which helped northern Europeans in the Immigration Act of 1924. President Harry S. Truman deviated from this policy when he granted refuge to European refugees who fled World War II. Quota system was revised to command in-migration in McCarran-Walter Act ( the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 ) , it besides sustained marginalisation of in-migration from Asia. The Immigration Act of 1965 eventually ended national beginning to function as footing for system of quotas.

After the incident of bomb blasting at Pearl Harbor in 1941, Japanese were “ hauled off ” by the FBI ; limitations and prohibitions were placed on people of Nipponese descent to be expatriated from US devoid of the fact that they had acquired US citizenship. They were caught and sent to internment cantonments. It gave an air of Nipponese being prisoners of US forces. All the metaphors of “ freedom and autonomy ” that were pure American phrases did non use to Nipponese immigrants in US.

Immigrants to the United States, have adapted to the new civilization despite of their many cultural diversenesss ; they have been displaced from the familiar life styles and holding to settle in the foreign life and the new fortunes. After assimilation, the new comers assume themselves as Americans ; the state of affairs becomes ironical when these assimilated groups start to doubt more recent immigrant groups as a menace to “ American manner of life. ”

By the bend of 20 first century, September 11, 2001 onslaughts on World Trade Centre and Pentagon awfully affected the lives of Asiatic immigrants in the United States most specifically, Muslims. Many of the immigrants became the mark of dogmatism, torment, and ill will. In the twelvemonth 2004, the council on American-Islamic dealingss processed a expansive sum of 1,522 incidents where immigrants complained of cultural and spiritual profiling. Hence 9/11 has served as a accelerator for bring forthing a cultural struggle among Asiatic immigrants. The spiritual differences are besides lending to this job. The 9/11 incident, has brought this struggle to tallness and has proved American society a failure for multiculturalism.

Chapter 3

Cultural Clash in The Namesake

The Namesake is a singular autobiographical narrative of the novelist. Jhumpa Lahiri, being brought up in Bengali-American household, portions immigrant experiences and all the implicit in struggles ; she states about composing the perfect lettering in an interview:

Jhumpa Lahiri was born in London, and bred and matured in Rhode Island ( US ) ; therefore achieving an immediate acquaintance with “ populating two lives in one ” . This distributed life made her much sensitive to “ the intense force per unit area to be two things, loyal to the old universe and fluent in the new. ”[ 11 ]She has been successful in briefly portraying her diaspora experiences in a aggregation of short narratives ; Interpreter of Maladies ( which won her the Pulitzer award for fiction in 2000 ) . Similarly, one time more catching the attending of literary universe, through her first novel The Namesake ; she

Houghton Mifflin Company published an interview of Jhumpa Lahiri, she expresses about The Namesake: “ the novel is decidedly about those who are culturally displaced or those who grow up in two universes at the same time ” .

Jhumpa Lahiri ‘s The Namesake conveys clang of cultural assimilation ; where first coevals of immigrants natively belong to Bengal, India and are seen as traditional people loving their fatherland and her civilization. They do n’t presume America as their ain topographic point ; but their boy Gogol is born and bred in United States and he carries an opposite attack as that of his parents. Gogol is uncomfortable with his ain name which carries in itself a whole history of his male parent ‘s association with an writer ; he himself understands his name neither his friends outside the place and this becomes a beginning of tenseness for him. He besides feels hurt over his parents ‘ Bengali rites and rites that they on occasion pattern. Such things become a beginning of interior conflict for Gogol.

Immigration is a common pattern in the present globalized age. Peoples from across the universe alteration topographic points and face different linguistic communications, civilizations, and everything that is new to their lives. One common state of affairs that they all face is indigens ‘ involuntariness to accept them ; this besides applies within the state or within little provinces. Gogol, the supporter, is unable to understand the history behind his name, when his male parent attempts to explicate. At one phase in his enterprises with his ego, he isolates himself from the remainder of his household to acquire rid of traditional civilization ; but he returns to his place after decease of his male parent and adopts the rites that he used to pattern. As a consequence of all this struggle, with his individuality, he loses his girlfriend.

Gradually, Gogol turns back to his parent ‘s civilization and household, he finds himself attracted to a Bengalese miss that his female parent introduced him to. He gets married to her ; where it seems the narrative has finished merrily, but that is non the instance. Moushumi, who is a diffident Bengalese immature lady, after acquiring off from rigorous and traditional environment of her parents ‘ house seems to bask the freedom of married life and loses involvement in him and construct an matter.

The Namesake gives an penetration into the lives of immigrants to United States, the cultural and individuality crisis they find while absorbing into the new society.[ 12 ]

The Gangulis, although unrecorded in United States but they socialize and live off from American civilization every bit far as parents are concerned. Ashima wears traditional apparels and talk their native linguistic communication. But one time the kids are in school, she observes American occasions like Christmas, but that excessively is celebrated in her Bengalese circle of friends and serves her home-based nutrients.

Gogol, seems in problem all the clip because of his interior struggle. He ever detests Indian civilization and wants to maintain an American individuality ; as a consequence he does n’t even forbear from go forthing his parents ‘ place and abandon his relationship with household.

Issue of culinary art

The problem sing the culinary art besides surfaces when Ashima realizes the difference of Chicken being butchered in the two states i.e. , India and America.


Gogol while absorbing into the land of his dreams, America, he wears American styled apparels. On the other manus when he visits India, he wears Indian apparels. This means that he has non abandoned both the individualities. Yet at the same clip he is confused sing the pick of his dress.

Difference of Percepts sing assorted states:

The secret plan contains the best traveling experiences of characters sing India, America, Paris and Venice. Each individual assumes the topographic points otherwise, from flight to place and freedom to failure To the kids of first coevals immigrants, on the other manus, their parents ‘ native topographic point seems old fashioned and outdated. Their lives become collaged between Indian and American rites as they face problems with their egos in going Indian or Indian-American. As a consequence this struggle ends when in Europe where they can easy cut their connexions.

The people live, portion and observe even the minor events jointly in India, but the state of affairs is different in United States. As the character of Mrs. Jones reveals that she lives entirely and sees her kids and grandchildren seldom ; this is “ a life that Ashoke ‘s female parent would happen humiliating. ”[ 13 ]In America, the Ganguli kids are raised up as Americans, and want to observe events as their chaps. For case, Gogol celebrates his 14th birthday in two different ways, one traditional Bengali and other American.

The nuptials of Moushumi and Gogol is besides an illustration of clang between traditional and modern values. Their parents plan the whole event in their manner and execute assorted imposts that none of them understands. Gogol ‘s friends on the other manus design and program the whole event of matrimony personally.

The difference between traditional and modern values is besides apparent in Gogol ‘s divorce from Moushumi. Since Ashima thinks, “ Fortunately they have non considered it their responsibility to remain married, as the Bengalis of Ashoke and Ashima ‘s coevals do. ”[ 14 ]In her position, the force per unit area to settle for less than “ their ideal of felicity ” has given manner to “ American common sense. ”[ 15 ]Surprisingly, Ashima is pleased with this result, as opposed to an unhappy but duteous matrimony for her boy.[ 16 ]

In The Namesake, characters make changeless contrasts between India and America, between tradition and modern manner of looking at things, and so on. First coevals immigrants like Ashoke and Ashima consider American ways as foreigner and foreign but to suit to pleasure of their American born kids, adapt to certain occasions like Christmas. Second coevals immigrants like Gogol and Moushumi, who are now Indian-American, experience foreigner in both the states. They seem misplaced in their parents ‘ fatherland every bit good as the land where they are born and bred.

Gogol faces another cultural daze when he becomes cognizant of immolation tradition in the intervention of dead organic structures. It becomes stalking for him to believe that unlike his American tradition of burying the organic structures in grave, his organic structure will be burnt after decease.

Alienation and disaffection:

The subject of disaffection, of being isolated in a distant land, is dominant in the whole novel. During her period of first gestation, Ashima was dying to raise the kid in a foreign land, “ a state where she is related to no 1, where she knows so small, where life seems so probationary and trim. ”[ 17 ]This disaffection is chiefly due to her interior struggle of fast and modern life of US and her traditional simple life back at place. At kid ‘s birth, she feels entirely and incapacitated and considers his birth, It is unlike the customary assemblage of whole clump of people around the lady and kid, back at place in India. For that after coming back from infirmary, Ashima says to her hubby, “ I do n’t desire to raise Gogol entirely in this state. It ‘s non right. I want to travel back. ”[ 18 ]

Ashima feels isolated in the foreign land ; she compares this life with “ a kind of womb-to-tomb gestation, ”[ 19 ]for it is “ ” a ageless delay, a changeless load, a uninterrupted experiencing out of kinds… something that elicits the same wonder from aliens, the same combination of commiseration and regard. ”[ 20 ]These things are a ground of interior conflict between old and new manner of life that she experienced at the same time while at Bengal and US severally. The subject of disaffection is besides seen with Gogol when he thinks about his name, “ no 1 he knows in the universe, in Russia or India or America or anyplace, portions his name. Not even the beginning of his namesake. ”[ 21 ]

Ashima hates being entirely at place, which besides is a mode of modern life in developed states like US. While populating entirely in the house on Pemberton Road, she “ feels excessively old to larn such a accomplishment. She hates returning in the eventides to a dark, empty house, traveling to kip on one side of the bed and waking up on another. ”[ 22 ]Similarly when Maxine comes to remain with Gangulis in mourning period of Ashoke ; she feels alienated in their crowded house, as Gogol puts it “ she feels useless, a spot excluded in this house full of Bengalis. ”[ 23 ]It is the same manner as Gogol would experience surrounded by her drawn-out household and friends in the New Hampshire. So the contrasting elements of civilization and values affect the both ; indigens and aliens.

Moushumi besides feels disaffection when she rejects all Indian suers that her parents offered. She ever thought she ‘d be unfit for a peculiar environment and sort of people. To acquire rid of this confusing state of affairs, and take a clasp of her ideas she visits Paris.

After her hubby ‘s decease Ashima feels alienated, she “ feels lonely all of a sudden, dreadfully, for good entirely, and briefly, turned off from the mirror, she sobs for her hubby. ”[ 24 ]

She senses “ both restlessness and indifference for all the yearss she still must populate. ” She goes through a stage of deficiency of motive for traveling to Calcutta with the household she left 30 old ages before, neither she is interested to pass her old age with her kids and grandchildren in US. She is impartial, tattered and overwhelmed for the loss of her hubby.

Linguistic Barrier

The linguistic communication proves to be a hurdle in communicating for Ashoke and Ashima when they reach infirmary for Gogol ‘s bringing. Ashima looks up for him when Ashoke tells her from behind the drape that he ‘ll be back, in Bengali, a linguistic communication that no 1 understands there except the two of them. The drape serves as physical barrier, but it symbolizes the unobserved wall crated due to talking a different linguistic communication in US.

The attitude of American hubbies inside the infirmary with their married womans demonstrates another cultural barrier between India and US. Americans try soothing their married womans with warm words, while Ashima is cognizant that Ashoke is non traveling to state such words since “ this is non how they are. ”

The lingual barrier becomes a affair of struggle when Gogol and Sonia become mature. The parents want them to be at that place at Bengali linguistic communication and civilization categories every two weeks, but it “ it ne’er fails to faze them that their kids sound merely like Americans, like an expert discoursing in a linguistic communication that still at times confounds them, in speech patterns they are accustomed non to swear. ”[ 25 ]

When Gogol dates Moushumi, in chapter 8, he speaks to taxi driver in Bengali. Thereof happening pride in his native linguistic communication at that phase and finally accommodating with his childhood experiences with Moushumi.

Name and Identity

Jhumpa belonging to India diaspora reflects her individuality struggle through the novel standby. Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 raised the prohibition on in-migration from Asia, which resulted in intense moving ridge of Asiatic in-migration to the United States. The preliminary groups of immigrants were inexperienced and faced dogmatism from American citizens ; as a consequence they preferred to lodge to their original Indian civilization and values for their new coevals. In a manner they wanted to ‘protect ‘ their kids from unprincipled beds of American mainstream civilization.[ 26 ]

The topic of name and individuality underlies the whole novel but is introduced in the really first chapter when Ashima hesitates to name him by his name, since “ it ‘s non the type of thing Bengali wives do. ”[ 27 ]There is a Bengali pattern of favored names, or daknam and “ good ” names, or “ bhalonam ” , is described in chapter 2. Pet name is used by close relations in the privateness of household, while the “ good ” name is used officially. A favored name is given to their boy by Ashima and Ashoke while “ good ” name has to get from Calcutta from grandma of Ashima. Here once more the traditions of immigrants contradict with those of native dwellers. Dubey is of the position

For Gogol the anxiousness to set into two different civilizations is all associated with his name ; Gogol. Ashoke Ganguly, his male parent had his peculiar ground for giving his boy this name ; that he barely survived in a train accident while he was reading the work of a Russian author Nikolai Gogol. He was found lying in rubble and was identified due to the page of book he clutched in his custodies.

When Gogol is admitted to Kindergarten, the affair of name and individuality once more comes to highlight. His parents want him to “ Gogol ” at place and “ Nikhil ” in school, but he is confused with the new name ; “ he is afraid to be Nikhil, person he does n’t cognize, who does n’t cognize him. ” He anticipates the new name with a new individuality in childhood. Gogol is making good with his name until he visits a graveyard on a category trip at the age of 11 ; he comes to cognize that he has a got an exceeding name. “ He makes frictions of the other headstones with names he has ne’er heard earlier because he relates to them. ”[ 28 ]Gogol begins detesting his name at the age of 14. He hates being asked about the extraordinary name he has got. Gogol is unwilling to present himself to Kim as “ Gogol ” at the college get-together ; so presents himself as “ Nikhil ” . This increases his assurance, and he kisses her ; “ It had n’t been Gogol who had kissed Kim… Gogol had nil to make with it. ”[ 29 ]

In instance of Ashima saying Ashoke ‘s name in his being there ; she ne’er utters his name. Though she is seen subscribing his name on Christmas cards, but she ne’er speaks it up. This creates a spread between the two ; Ashoke ‘s name and his individuality in the eyes of his married woman. Ashima negotiations about him to his friends after Ashoke ‘s decease ; but still she ne’er says his name. She might non acquire that his individuality is linked to his name.

Moushumi recognizes Gogol as “ Gogol, ” and is shocked to hear him state “ Nikhil ” as his name at the saloon. Since this is “ the first clip he ‘s been out with a adult female who ‘d one time known him by that other name, ”[ 30 ]it creates a sense of easiness between them. Though she calls him “ Nikhil ” like all others, but his old name becomes and underlying secret between the two.

Moushumi and Gogol have a batch to portion about their Bengali individuality and premises it created among Americans. “ They talk about how they are both routinely assumed to be Grecian, Egyptian, Mexican – even in this mis-rendering they are joined. ”[ 31 ]Neither of the two idea about holding a Bengali life-partner since this was both of their parents ‘ heartiest desire. Both of them ne’er wanted to see their parents ‘ wish coming true in that manner.

The Name Sake sheds light upon the quandary of Indian Immigrants in the United States prior to September 11, 2001 onslaughts on Twin Towers in New York. The quandary revolves about assorted parametric quantities runing from individuality crisis to feelings of disaffection. The following chapter trades with the analysis of the novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist which is set in both pre and station 9/11 scenario and discusses the parametric quantities to show the clang of modern versus traditional civilization in United States among Pakistani Muslims.

Chapter 4

Conflict of Modern V. Traditional Culture in The Loath Fundamentalist

Conflict is a major portion of human civilization. Culture is comprised of assorted constituents runing from codification of dressing, usage of common linguistic communication, to common construct of belonging to a state. It is non that in a state, people follow same civilization, but there is one dominant civilization that becomes the trademark of their individuality. If the immigrant belongs to a culturally dominant group in his female parent state so he/she feels it hard to accommodate to a new society where he is non given the privilege and penchant. The struggle arises when he fails to accept the cultural laterality of the host society and when his civilization is targeted and labeled as traditional in footings of being conservative. This chapter deals with the analysis of such struggles through the novel The Loath Fundamentalist.

Mohsin Hamid narrates the narrative of a Pakistani pupil who goes to United States on a scholarship. Even when he takes every possible measure of absorbing into the host society, his civilization and individuality is labeled as conservative and after 9/11 he suffers from racial profiling, dogmatism, verbal maltreatment and favoritism. The cultural struggle between the immigrant ‘s female parent state and host society arises on assorted degrees. The purpose of this chapter is to convey into the limelight why such struggles arise and in what regard Mohsin Hamid defines traditional and modern civilization.


Language and civilization are interdependent on one another. Language is a medium through which civilization is represented or in other words civilization is embedded in linguistic communication.

In the novel under survey, the supporter Changez come across a struggle sing the pick of linguistic communication. Though he feels pride in his national linguistic communication Urdu, yet the host society and its promotions compels him to label his ain linguistic communication as traditional instead than modern.

Changez is suspended between English and Urdu. He is non able to make up one’s mind which linguistic communication has more prestigiousnesss for him. It is his demand to talk in English in America for the intent of communicating, but at Manila, when he sees the promotion in the state, he feels Pakistan is far behind even if compared to Manila, what to speak of the USA. So he intentionally chooses to talk English in an American speech pattern, so as to be accepted by locals as an American instead than an Asiatic or more exactly as a Pakistani.

Apparently he is detecting English speech pattern in his address and seeking to demo his being ‘American ‘ but his innate desire is the acknowledgment of his native linguistic communication by his mate Erica.

He is unconsciously comparing Urdu with English. This shows his quandary sing

Cultural Relativity:

Cultural relativity is a term often referred to in cultural anthropology. It observes being good or bad, right or incorrect, are the footings dependent on civilization. A certain moral pattern would confront different degrees of credence in two distinguishable civilizations.[ 32 ]

Social blessing in a given civilization describes a certain phenomenon as good or bad in “ Cultural relativism ” . Infanticide, for case, is n’t good or bad objectively ; instead it ‘s good in a society that approves of it but bad in one that disapproves of it.

Morality is seen by cultural relativists as a merchandise of civilization. They assert that all societies have their typical thoughts about morality ; differences exist widely and there is no clear manner to decide them. They determine that there are no nonsubjective values. Cultural relativists view themselves as tolerant ; they see other civilizations, non as “ incorrect, ” but as “ different. ”[ 33 ]Similarly, Changez censors adverting about his relationship with Erica while in conversation with his parents when his visits them in Pakistan. Why he does is? The cardinal ground is that his parents would non O.K. off the construct of holding girlfriend as harmonizing to Changez they are more traditional.

The cultural struggle besides arises due to cultural relativism when Changez chooses to hold face fungus after the incident of September 11, 2001. His female parent advises him to shave his face fungus because she could feel the dogmatism that Changez would hold to travel through in future.

When Changez comes back to Unites States, he become capable of verbal maltreatment as American starts sing people with face fungus as the Alliess of Al-Qaeda. Changez see face fungus to be cultural symbol but that really symbol is viewed by host society as the grade of terrorists.


The term “ ethnicity ” is derived from ‘ethnic ‘ which has been in usage since the Middle Ages. The roots of ‘ethnic ‘ have been traced back to Greece and the term ethnic group, which used to intend folk, race, a people or a set. In the present twenty-four hours colonial and immigrant diaspora, the term ‘ethnic ‘ is used in contrast of “ Us ” and “ Them. ” The “ Us ” base for bulk and non-ethnics, and “ Them ” for new immigrants, minority or ethnics. Cultural individuality, cultural beginning, ethnocentrism and ethnicism are looks derived from the term. Cultural individuality or beginning refers to a individual ‘s familial bequest. Ethnocentrism is a belief that person ‘s cultural line of descent is loftier than all others, that would accordingly make antipathy or hatred of any stuff, behaviour or physical characteristics different than his ain. Ethnicism is defined as a “ motion of protest and opposition on behalf of [ ethnics ] against oppressive and exploitatory foreigners ”[ 34 ]

In instance of Changez, the station 9/11 scenario compels him to believe about the ethnicity which he wants to retain. After being verbally abused on several occasions, he starts placing himself with his original roots as he believes that his cultural individuality has become a victim of ethnocentrism in the custodies of Americans who considers his civilization to be inferior.

Bing the victim of ethnocentrism, he subsequently turns towards ethnicism and starts steering his positions sing United States ‘ policies towards Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.

Apparel and Cuisine:

Changez is torn between the two civilizations i.e. , Pakistani and American as at one point in clip he wears traditional frock on a party but on other side, he is wont of imbibing intoxicant.

Inner struggle: assuming to be modern

Changez himself comes to a disclosure that he himself has become a modern twenty-four hours janissary. A history is in some manner reiterating the forms but now Muslims have become the victims.

Tracing back to the Ottoman Empire ; the grand Turks created two eminent establishments, the military fusion of the Janissaries and the civil service. Ottoman leaders were the 1s who practically use these establishments in Anatolia by prosecuting jail birds as materialistic military personnels. The male progeny of Christians were taken as slaves.

The comments of Changez ‘s client make him to chew over upon his truenesss. He comes to the decision that he himself has become American janissary and is taking portion is war on panic to kill his ain people.

When he resigns from his occupation, he does recognize the emotions of unhappiness turning in him. But these emotions are outlived by the pride that he has had for his ain people and state.

Discrimination against Foreigners

Moslems in United States are confronting favoritism at work topographic points as people accuse them of being terrorists in cynic mode particularly after September 11 incident. The force per unit area besides increases when they have to alter their dress to run into social demands and do them less outstanding ; furthermore spiritual duty like supplications etc. are besides going a beginning of tenseness for people.

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The New York City Commission on Human Rights published a study Discrimination against Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians in New York City since 9/11 in 2003. Harmonizing to the study conducted by the committee 69 per centum of the respondents said that they suffered from prejudiced behaviour while 31 per centum of the respondents gave opposite positions and said that they did non became the topic of any sort of favoritism.

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In the same study, respondents were asked about the type of favoritism that they went through. About 11 per centum of the respondents were of the position that they suffered from dogmatism related to lodging. Twenty five per centum of the respondent said that they suffered from favoritism on public adjustment. Similarly 30 eight per centum said that the favoritism was biased related and 20 six nowadays said that they became capable of favoritism on employment.

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The study Discrimination against Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians in New York City since 9/11 besides gives the information sing the figure of people affected by 9/11 incident. The study says that 70 nine per centum of the respondents in the study said that they were affected by 9/11 incident on some degree whereas 18 per centum gave response in negative and said that they did non confront any sort of favoritism. About three per centum respondent gave impersonal reply.

In the instance of Changez, the supporter of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, became capable to favoritism on public adjustment, and on work topographic point. For that peculiar ground, he resigns from his occupation

It was unable for him to decode why he has become capable to dogmatism. Though he is taking every possible step to absorb in to American society, it is rejecting him. It appear as if Americans who consider themselves to be modern have become conservative on the issue of national sovereignty

Siting with an anon. hearer in Pakistan, Changez is of the sentiment that he hates merely the policies of America towards his part but non the people nor the state of United States as a whole.

Chapter 5

Comparative Analysis of The Namesake and

The Loath Fundamentalist

The present chapter trades with indicating out the similarities in the presentation of modern versus traditional civilizations in the United States by both the novelists ; Jhumpa Lahiri and Mohsin Hamid. Though the novel The Namesake is set in 20th century every bit good as in the 20 first century but it does non include the clip span of station 9/11, still it reflects the injury of the immigrants in the United States when it comes to cultural assimilation. The novelist Jhumpa Lahiri formulates her statement of cultural clang through the narrative of Gangulis ‘ household whose roots lie in Indian Bengal. Similarly, Mohsin Hamid in his novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist discusses the supporter Changez ‘s state of affairs prior to 9/11 but unlike the former novel, it besides includes the clip span after 9/11 incident. Hamid shows the quandary of Pakistani Muslims in the United States of cultural assimilation and the troubles that lie in following the American civilization.

In order to size up the similarities in the handing of cultural issues, several parametric quantities are drawn in the undermentioned tabular array. The table 1.1 reflects the individuality crisis and assimilation issue in both the novels. The table 1.2 trades with comparative analysis on linguistic communication and dress. Table 1.3 shows the comparing between the novels when it comes to the inquiry of faith, favoritism, verbal maltreatment and disaffection. Table 1.4 and 1.5 points out the comparing on clang of political orientations, culinary art, racial profiling and imposts.

Table 1.1

The Namesake pre 9/11 scenario

The Loath Fundamentalist pre 9/11 scenario station 9/11 scenario

Identity crisis

Gogol besides comes across individuality struggle. But subsequently, he realizes his true individuality by practising Bengali civilization and corsets in America.

Changez at assorted occasions inquiries his individuality.

Changez suffers from individuality crisis after 9/11 where he realizes that he can no longer keep American and Pakistani individuality at the same clip and returns back to his native part.


Genguli ‘s household is in changeless rift with the assimilation issue in US. Gogol ‘s parents kept themselves off from absorbing into new civilization but Gogol himself tries to make so.

Changez tries his degree best to absorb into new civilization.

9/11 incident crushes all attempts of Changez to be labeled as American.

The Namesake pre 9/11 scenario

The Loath Fundamentalist pre 9/11 scenario station 9/11 scenario


Language becomes a barrier in instance of Ganguli and his married woman as no one understands Bengali in American infirmary.

Changez is confused in taking determination that which linguistic communication has more prestigiousnesss for him i.e. , English or Urdu.

Changez takes pride in his national linguistic communication ; Urdu.


Gogol while absorbing into the land of his dreams, America, he wears American styled apparels. On the other manus when he visits India, he wears Indian apparels. This means that he has non abandoned both the individualities.

Changez wears American apparels but at one point he feels more comfy in his traditional semen Pakistani kurta.

The writer does non notice upon whether 9/11 incident had influenced Changez positions about American manner of dressing. But his dressing manner in Pakistan portrays bend towards Pakistani civilization.

Table 1.2

Table 1.3

The Namesake pre 9/11 scenario

The Loath Fundamentalist pre 9/11 scenario station 9/11 scenario


He though ab initio rejects his faith but so turns towards it.

Changez is least daunted about his faith in America.

He grows a face fungus after 9/11 but non as spiritual symbol.


The clang of modern poetries traditional civilization leads to alienation in United States for Mr. and Mrs. Ganguly.

He does n’t experience disaffection in his altered state.

He feels strongly rejected by his host state. This leads to isolation.


Ganguly ‘s household on assorted occasions is discriminated.

Changez is simply discriminated.

Changez becomes victim of favoritism after 9/11.

Verbal maltreatment

Gogol is non verbally abused, but his American friends make merriment of his name.

He is non verbally abused.

He is verbally abused after 9/11 incident.

Table 1.4

The Namesake pre 9/11 scenario

The Loath Fundamentalist pre 9/11 scenario station 9/11 scenario


Gogol and his sister Sonia are besides baffled sing the usage i.e. , whether to follow Bengali rites or American.

Changez is confused sing which imposts to follow either Pakistani or American. But he is practising both of them.

He though wantonnesss America but still he feels sympathetic towards common Americans.

Clash of political orientations

Clash of political orientation is seeable on cultural degree and besides when it comes to utilize of linguistic communication.

The clang of political orientation existed between Changez and his parents but non on political degree.

Changez starts to doubt American ‘s attempts on War on Terror. He starts openly criticizes American policies towards Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Namesake pre 9/11 scenario

The Loath Fundamentalist

pre 9/11 scenario station 9/11 scenario

Racial profiling

No racial profiling.

No racial profiling prior to 9/11.

Changez becomes victim of racial profiling after 9/11


Gogol ‘s household resist American culinary art and normally are shown eating in traditional Bengali thali.

Changez drinks intoxicant which is prohibited in Pakistani civilization and Islam, but he follows American civilization.

He starts appreciating his national culinary art in forepart of American hearer.

Table 1.5



The two novels The Reluctant Fundamentalist and The Namesake successfully contribute to the issue of cultural diverseness and clang of civilizations among immigrants. The assorted challenges immigrants come across create hurdlings in their subsiding. The cultural clang carries in it assorted types of issues like assimilation jobs, spiritual favoritism, dress, disaffection and maltreatment, individuality crisis, linguistic communication, culinary art and imposts.

The immigrants ‘ quandary sing assimilation in the host state as presented in the two novels is such that Ganguly ‘s household fail to absorb into the new civilization as is observed in The Namesake ; the parents ever cleaving to their native values and traditions but the instance is face-to-face at foremost in their off springs but they every bit good return to their parents ‘ values by the terminal of the novel. Same passage we observe in The Loath Fundamentalist: Changez at first is inspired to absorb into the US civilization but subsequently after detecting colored attitude of Americans towards himself and his faith after the incident of 9/11, he fails to make so.

The linguistic communication is yet another characteristic of cultural struggle in the two novels. The parents in The Namesake ever prefer to talk their ain female parent lingua that is Bengali, even when they are cognizant that no 1 is traveling to understand them ; but Changez would prefer to talk English linguistic communication at first but reverts to Urdu after detecting dogmatism from Americans.

The struggle sing the culinary art in both the novels reflects the cultural clang between America vs. India, and America vs. Pakistan. The protagonist household in The Name Sake invariably wants to continue the nutrient civilization of India in United States, whereas in The Reluctant Fundamentalist, the supporter Changez is confused sing the pick in culinary art, he drinks intoxicant which is prohibited harmonizing to his faith Islam. But he does non advert that in forepart of his parents because his parents might non accept his behaviour of imbibing.

When it comes to the frock codification, Changez though frocks harmonizing to American civilization but when he grows face fungus, he becomes capable to favoritism. He is unable to understand why his civilization is looked down upon and why he is been suspected of being with the terrorists. On the other manus, Gogol besides dresses harmonizing to American civilization but his female parent retains the cultural form of Bengal, India.

The cultural clang is observed in character detecting their faith inside America. Gogol does non trouble oneself about his spiritual festivals at first in the novel, but subsequently does. Similar is the instance with Changez: he appears to be secular at first but after the incident of September 11, he grows a face fungus to demo attachment to his native civilization.

The analysis of cultural struggle in both the novels states that the clang between immigrants ‘ native and host civilization is non an anomalousness that emerged in the aftermath of September 11 onslaughts but is the continuance of history. It besides implies that cultural struggles are non restricted to any peculiar state or religious order.

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