The Oriental Phobia: A Postcolonial Reading of The Thing About Thugs
European Enlightenment created such categories as ‘civilized vs. uncivilized’ or ‘west vs. non-west’. With European colonial expansion, these ideas were identified, expanded and reworked. Colonial enterprises of European nations generated stereotypes of outsiders and some characteristics were attributed to these groups of ‘others’ such as laziness, aggression, violence, greed, sexual promiscuity, bestiality, primitivism, innocence and irrationality*. Thus, postcolonial theorists such as Frantz Fanon, Edward Said and Homi K. Bhabha refer to the colonized as the colonial other. Tabish Khair mainly focuses on some of widely debated subjects of Postcolonial Literary Theory such as otherness, identity and discontent in colonized cultures. In this sense, his novels provide a perfect basis to analyse and understand the psychology of the colonized immigrants and their discontent. To put it in a nutshell, with the help of postcolonial studies, this paper will study the concepts of discontent, anarchy, otherness, and ethnic and religious terror by focusing on the “colonized” characters appeared in Tabish Khair’s 2010 novel; The Thing About Thugs. By the same token, theoretical and narrative reflections of postcolonialism will be explored in the novel.
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