A Link Between “The Rainbow Sign” and “My Son the Fanatic” by Hanif Kureshi
Hanif Kureshi came across many complications as a diaspora identity in a place where the people of his lot are loathed greatly and are looked down upon. His works depict all that he encountered. “The Rainbow Sign” and “My Son the Fanatic” too hold the imprints of his experiences of life. One of the many things common in both works is the shadow and the impression of the West on the minds of the “Others”. In “My Son the Fanatic”, we are told indirectly that Parvez wanted to do well in England “His dream of doing well in England would have come true.” Similar is in “The Rainbow Sign”, the narrator tells that his father “… married here and never went back to India” and “the young people continually asked me about the possibility of getting into Britain”. In my view, there is this socially-constructed image of the West that resides in the minds of the people. Parvez and even the narrator of “The Rainbow sign” both are prone to the ways of the West. They ostensibly seem to be having no major issues residing there. They have been through much and to a great extent they have adopted the style of living that the Western world presents to them irrespective of the sufferings inflicted on them. Just as the narrator of “The Rainbow Sign” tells us, “… This is where the lads congregated to hunt down Pakistanis and beat them.” Despite the maltreatment, the racial abuse and the discrimination, the narrator is fine with being there in England. “… But despite all this some identification with England remains.” Parvez knows what problems he or his son can get into yet he does not bring into consideration the idea of him being in a society which offers but less to the “Others”. His son Ali tells him, “‘The Western materialists hate us’ Ali said. ‘Papa, how can you love something which hates you.’” Giving us a view that despite knowing this, it is as if they have been tied down being forced to accept the Western World. Something very similar goes on with the narrator of “The Rainbow Sign”. The attitude of the Occident towards the “Others” gets seen in both works. The problem of being a “half caste” is presented, indirectly if not directly. Being half-caste, you do not belong anywhere fully. You are made to sit on the fence unable to decide where to belong. This exactly is what has been presented, according to me. Culturally hybrid individuals are presented. The historical and cultural conflict between East and West, in one way or the other is put forth in both the works. Parvez has become wholly a part of the Western World, when his son acts the way he does not expect him to, he gets perturbed, inquiring him and even kicking him by then end of this. There is a clash between the East and the West. The base is Eastern and they are in an entirely different world; A world that is opposite to “their” world. Residence in a foreign country and the problems faced by those living there present to us a point of similarity in both. The perspective of “fitting in” is seen in addition to Cultural Dominance which remains a lingering theme in both.
This article puts forth a comparison between two works.
Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?A-Link-Between-The-Rainbow-Sign-and-My-Son-the-Fanatic-by-Hanif-Kureshi&id=10108179] A Link Between “The Rainbow Sign” and “My Son the Fanatic” by Hanif Kureshi