Katedra anglistiky a amerikanistiky
Magisterská diplomová práce
2008 Eva Kroupová
Faculty of Arts
Department of English
and American Studies
English Language and Literature
Postcolonial Theory and Practice
Zadie Smith and Salman Rushdie
Master’s Diploma Thesis
Supervisor: Dr. Stephen Paul Hardy, M.A., Ph.D.
I declare that I have worked on this thesis independently,
using only the primary and secondary sources listed in the bibliography.
I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Stephen Paul Hardy, M.A., Ph.D., for his help and guidance throughout my work.
Table of Contents
Introduction 6 Chapter 1: Who are Zadie Smith and Salman Rushdie? 9
Chapter 2: Postcolonial Theory 10
Chapter 3: Postcolonialism in Use 23 Chapter 4: Why are Zadie Smith and Salman Rushdie Postcolonial? 29 Chapter 5: The Novels 38 5.1. The Postcolonial Analysis 39 Conclusion 65 Bibliography 67
In my thesis I would like to present the main theories and perspectives on postcolonialism in literature. There were already a lot of theories written on this subject. Therefore, I do not want to only present these theories but also find their main ideas in practice. It means applying them on literary works that are said to be part of the postcolonial literature. For this practical part I have chosen two authors – Salman Rushdie and Zadie Smith. I have deliberately chosen these two because they differ in many aspects. To begin with, their country of origin is different. Rushdie comes from India (Pakistan) where he was born and then moved to Britain. Zadie Smith was already born in Britain and “only” one of her parents is Jamaican. Even though Rushdie was born in India, it was only in 1947 – the same year India gained its independence; we cannot say that he had a first-hand experience of colonialism. Concerning this aspect we can assign both of them to the second generation of postcolonial authors – those who have not lived in the former colonies for part (or most) of their lives. However, there is an age difference of twenty six years between them. It means that they have lived through different political, cultural and social events in Britain; thus the question is if the issues and topics they dwell on differ as well. Also their rendering or approach to the problems varies. When talking about Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, it was said that she has written not only a postcolonial novel with an influence of Rushdie but also a typical English novel dealing with social classes and politics of the 1980s in Britain. On the other hand, Rushdie’s novels...