My Son the Fanatic into Identity, Culture, and Integration: Third Space Manifestations
The current research paper intends to investigate the ambivalent aspects of postcolonial identity, culture, and integration, characterizing the fictional narrative of My Son the Fanatic by Hanif Kureishi. As it has not been addressed before, this study is going to examine such issues according to Homi Bhabha's concept of third space. Based on Bhabha's concept of third space, the intention of this paper is to explore how the postcolonial setting of supremacy and power causes the colonized through mimicking and imitation of the colonizer and through neither fully integrating nor fully withdrawing to preside eventually upon a third, contradictory, inconsistent, and vague positioning of identity and belonging. Vague, uncertain, and fickle, this third space of identity and belonging, therefore, resembles and differs from its model, but more importantly, as a result, poses a threat. In My Son the Fanatic, Parvez, Ali's father, has mostly been perceived to have completely mimicked and absorbed the colonizer's dominant culture while his son Ali has completely rejected it. The present paper, however, argues that both the father's and the son's models have been lacking in plenitude and thus are more closely located in a third positioning of neither complete adoption nor complete rejection. In addition, the research paper will show how such a third positioning of neither-nor resembles yet poses a threat both ways.