My Son the Fanatic
The theme of my term paper is the analysis of a short story with special regard to the socio-cultural and historical background. All the stories I could have chosen for that in school result from our semester theme "Britain: Past and Present", but the story of my special choice was: "My son the fanatic", by Hanif Kureishi. I have chosen this story because, as reported by my English teacher, this story does not only describe the situation of immigrants in Great Britain, it also describes problems between a father and his son so that the story also has reference to every boy′s life. So I hope the story will be interesting to read and will also help me to learn more about Britain′s past and present. 2. Historical and socio-cultural background
2.1. Postcolonial time of Great Britain with special regard to the immigration With the demands for self-government, sovereignty and the dissatisfaction with the British rule more and more colonies of the British Empire claimed their independence at the end of the 19th century. So the first result of this claim was the achievement of the "dominion" status by many colonies about 1900, which declared them to be a free nation. Finally in 1926 the "British Commonwealth of Nations" was founded which meant that all former colonies of the British Empire had reached total independence though united by a common allegiance to the British Crown, with the right to leave the Commonwealth. With the British Nationality Act in 1948, which created a British citizenship for every member of the British Commonwealth, a mass immigration into Great Britain began. Most of the two million immigrants were Indians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis. On the one hand they came to Britain because of racial discrimination and persecution in their own country and on the other hand it was just the time when the British economy was growing and so they were welcome or recruited to work in badly-paid and less popular jobs even in the coal- or steel industry. But the high rate of immigration into Great Britain from different continents and so the development to a multicultural country created problems. Because of different cultures, religions and languages immigrants had problems in identifying with other immigrants and to integrate in the existing community. A lot of the British were afraid of losing their jobs to the immigrants so racial conflicts arose and segregation became very widespread. Especially in the 60s and 70s when Britain′s economy deteriorated, the situation of the immigrants reached its lowest point. Most of the immigrants became unemployed which increased racial conflicts. Another point was that many immigrants had done unskilled jobs so that they were abandoned to do more profitable jobs which demand know-how. Since a lot of them were unemployed and wanted to escape from racial conflicts many immigrants had to live in overcrowded, unsatisfactory accommodations in run-down city areas. 1 So the British government had to consider politics against racism and problems of immigration in Great Britain. One of the first results was the Race Relation Act of 1976, which made racial discrimination unlawful. To reduce immigration in Great Britain The British Nationality Act was passed in 1983. By this act the members of the British Commonwealth and those who were not born in Great Britain or whose parents were not born there lost the British Citizenship.2 2.2. Aspects of Islam
Islam is a religion which means total submission to the one and only god Allah who is the almighty and the creator of "everything". The members of Islam are called Muslims. They believe in Allah and in Muhammed as the final prophet of god. The main source of Islamic practices result from the Koran which is understood by the Muslims as the words of god. Islam teaches the Muslims to live in peace with oneself, with other people and with the environment; nevertheless the doors of forgiveness are always open...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document