(A) Cover

TITLE of GAMBA Research Paper / Thesis Statement: “Ambivalent Culture as a Migrant Subject in The Inheritance of Loss”

A.2. PURPOSE of Study: A GAMBA Research Paper published on WordPress for the observation of Kamal’s Blogging Café to spread PEACE & SAVE ENVIRONMENT for the unofficial partial fulfillment of the WordPress Writing Session of the Award – GAMBA SHINING STAR AWARD For PEACE & SAVE ENVIRONMENT.

A.3. GAMBA Research Paper Presented By:
Kamal Shrestha
WordPress Session Unique Number (WPSUN): 7001
Date: August 2020

(B) Letter of Approval

This GAMBA Research Paper entitled “Ambivalent Culture as a Migrant Subject in The Inheritance of Loss published on Blog by Kamal Shrestha has been approved by the undersigned members of the WordPress Scholar Panel.

(Kamal’s Blogging Café)
………………………………….       ……………………………….
External Examiner       External Examiner
Date: August 2020

(C) Acknowledgements:

I am very happy to get this GAMBA Research Paper complete with the hope of its better critical aspect in the multicultural society of this present world. I am indebted to my Observer …………………, Kamal’s Blogging Café, who has suggested me thoroughly while writing this paper.

I am indebted to Professor, Rudra Paudel, Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus, Tribhuwan University who had supervised my thesis and now I am happy to present my views on GAMBA Research Paper through WordPress Writing to spread PEACE & SAVE ENVIRONMENT. His supervision was quite remarkable for me to prove my ability and competency in the researchable matters which prepared me, my in-built analyzing skill as a sharpened tip of pencil.

I thank my family members for being supportive and providing a good environment. I am very thankful to those friends who shared much about post-colonial matters. I am very grateful of being an WordPressian surrounding all of you my fellow bloggers. And, I am much pleased to introduce GAMBA Research Paper to spread PEACE & SAVE ENVIRONMENT and supported by all of my fellow bloggers to encourage me personally.

And at last, I thank my fellow bloggers who nominated me on Inspiration Blogger Award by Anjali Khanal and Astha Srivastava, Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award by Iqra Aqib, Liebstar Award by Arati Banstola and Inspiring Blogger Tag by Dulcy Singh because this is an initiation to create new things in WordPress to help shape the world better with harmony spreading PEACE & SAVE ENVIRONMENT.

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More than 20 percent of the world oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest. More than half of the world’s estimated 10 million species of plants, animals and insects live in the tropical rainforests. So we have to think about the conservation of wildlife forests, insects and animals. It’s a good saying, “Plant a tree even if it is your last deed.” We have to apply it in our life and SAVE ENVIRONMENT promoting publicly in our community. Plastic cannot be banned, cracked plastic bottles, metal rings and other different shapes of things create hazard to birds, animals, fish and insects. If these things go on to them to entangle deadly.

(E) Abstract:

It is indeed a relevant matter of studying cultures of the migrant during the post-colonial period. Although the topic “Ambivalent Culture as a Migrant Subject” deals around the novel The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai, it centres on the poor localities of Kalimpong, India in which the subject matter moves around the issues of multiculturalism and globalization.

Ambivalent Culture is the subject of Third and Fourth World people. At first, these people observe the First and Second World; and assume they have their superiority in culture, custom and lifestyle; and they are highly modernized and technologically updated. Due to these assumptions the Third and Fourth World people willingly migrate to the First and Second World with the dream of economic prosperity and for the betterment of life to secure better future accepting the very concept of western lifestyle, custom and culture. The main problem of migrant appears with the involvement of western lifestyle and culture; and they encounter the cultural dilemma and trauma. So the research studies whether there is an ambivalent culture prevalent in migrated people and whether it is the subject of a migrant.

The contact of a migrant with the western people and their culture matures the dilemma of identity and belongingness. It is the hypothesis that there is ambivalent culture in migrant people due to the cultural difference. The migrants realize the gap between their own culture and another culture; and as a compensation the hybridity in culture appears—the migrants relocate their existence with the cultural hierarchy, disorder, geopolitical confusion, inequality, illegal immigration, and forefront terrorism activity. The post-colonial criticism and Homi K. Bhabha’s notion of mimicry and ambivalence work as a thorough theoretical modality to study and analyze these matters in the book, The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai.

There are great trauma and dilemma as well as chaotic and complex situations in the immigrant’s life whereas these things have been the current issues of contemporary world and the ambivalent culture is created in the migrant with their mind-boggling existence and contact of superior culture, custom and lifestyle. The Third and Fourth World people’s migration to secure life with prosperity and bright future in First and Second World postulates the imbalance contact between self-identity and foreign identity which lead to the crucial situation and form ambivalent culture; the subject of migrant. Though the latest pandemic Coronavirus, may shift the idea of living in originality surroundings to Spread PEACE & SAVE ENVIRONMENT and cultural dogma.

(F) Introduction and Statement of Problem:

F. 1. Introduction:

Kiran Desai, a migrant Indian-American writer, daughter of the author Anita Desai, is a born story-teller. She is perhaps the youngest recipient of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2006 in The Inheritance of Loss. She left India when she was eight, lived in Great Britain for a very short time, and then moved to Massachusetts, USA.

The term “ambivalent” derives from the Latin prefix ambi, meaning “both” and valence which is derived from the Latin valentia, meaning “strength.” So it means an individual has both positive and negative feelings toward something, or has feelings for both sides of an issue. So as the ambivalent culture is the culture that a person experiences the thoughts and emotions of both positive and negative valence toward a culture. There is love and hate for a culture i.e., dilemma of cultural identity and existence of hybridity. It is the culture of mixed feelings; an individual experiences uncertainty or indecisiveness. Most of the migrated people have got this type of attitude which is more apparent basically in third world countries.

In The Inheritance of Loss some of the characters expresses dual attitude toward the thoughts and feelings of the so-called impressive western culture. Biju, the cook’s son, an illegally migrated person working in New York Restaurant starts to negotiate with the fractured identities between western modernity and non-western ‘backwardness’ between first world wealth and third world poverty. The judge fails to get into the center of the western culture. His English lifestyle remains as other, as inauthentic to the British. The quarrel between an Indian-Nepalese, Gyan and a Westernized-Indian, Sai reflects the ambivalence thinking about the western culture. Gyan argues it is completely nonsense for a non-westerner to enjoy Christmas holiday while Sai shows her broad-mindedness towards a western culture. Though she is anglophile like her grandfather, she refuses to accept the idea that the Indian culture is inferior.

F.2. Statement of Problem

Most of the third world people have been migrating one place to another for the betterment of life. Their involvement with another culture gets mixed feelings: trauma and dilemma of culture. Is there ambivalent culture prevalent in migrated people? Is it the subject of migrant?

(G) Limitations of Study

Though, my GAMBA research topic Ambivalent Culture is vague and complex, I limit its analysis in the text of Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss.

(H) Methodology

I observe the text The Inheritance of Loss by using post-colonial theory. I use library and internet resources during my research. I collect the information regarding cultural criticism and post-colonial issues.

(I) Literature Review:

Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss got its height with the praise made by reviews from various media and authors, and its success laid in getting a Man Booker Prize in 2006. This novel captures many issues of post-colonial India.

The cook, servant of judge, though poor; is fond of western culture. He has sent his son to America for the betterment of his son’s life. In the press release made by Atlantic Monthly Press: “And the cook—too poor, perhaps, to even have a name—dreams of his son Biju’s fairy tale existence in America [. . .] ‘perfectly first-world on top, perfectly third-world twenty-two steps below'” (par. 4).           

There is cultural gap between first and third worlds. Third world people migrated to first world with the hope of betterment but ambivalence in culture got pain of exile and ambiguities. Publishers Weekly reviewed The Inheritance of Loss as the “Stunning [. . .] In this alternately comical and contemplative novel, Desai deftly shuttles between first and third worlds, illuminating the pain of exile, the ambiguities of post-colonialism and the blinding desire for a ‘better life’ when one person’s wealth means another’s poverty” (par. 11).

There is a great trauma and dilemma as well as chaotic and complex situation of the immigrant’s life whereas it is the issue of contemporary world. As the Carlin Romano has praised for The Inheritance of Loss in Philadelphia Inquirer magazine that “A finely textured story that mixes post-Raj dilemmas of modern India with the challenges of Indian immigrant life in New York” (par. 29). And in “Praise for The Inheritance of Loss“; Francisco Goldman, author of The Divine Husband writes: “The Inheritance of Loss, so moving, funny, and unflinching, is the best novel I’ve yet read about contemporary immigrant life and the ongoing parallel world ‘left behind'” (qtd. in Desai, n.pag.).

Most of the Indian people and as a whole non-western people feel western culture as superior and their own culture as inferior. And, the western culture ultimately influenced and made them to think and feel as ambivalence. As Homi K. Bhabha in his Commitment to Theory says that “The concept of cultural difference focuses on the problem of the ambivalence of cultural authority; the attempt to dominate in the name of a cultural supremacy which is itself produced only in the moment of differentiation” (19).

The Inheritance of Loss, the beautiful text which is analysed from various prospective. This emerged me to find out the ambivalent culture which is prevalent in this modern society due to the rise of immigration worldwide.

(J) Main Body of GAMBA Research Paper: 

Kiran Desai was born in New Delhi, India to a renowned post-colonial author, Anita Desai in 1971. She is an Indian writer because of her Indian birth in one side and her representation of Indianness in her writings. Her writings explore the theme of multiculturalism, cross-cultural conflicts, hybridity, the illegal immigrant experience, and about the post-colonial India. Her own exploration of self identity and cultural background depicting in her work represents her as a post-colonial Indian writer.

Kiran Desai’s first novel Hullaballo in the Guava Orchard (1998) secures her footsteps on the ranks of Anglo-Indian writers. Her Indianness in character depiction and story-telling gift as an Indian transfigure her to be an Indian writer with English tone from diaspora. Her second novel, The Inheritance of Loss (2006), blasts with the multiple themes and subjects of post-colonial India depicting the social periphery, cultural diversity and activity. It has got wide range of critics and reviews on the newspapers and news portals. Though it becomes a masterpiece of story-telling, the Nepalese character’s depictions and descriptions have outraged the heart of Nepalese reader with fume and fire. But her genius writing skill and true sportsmanship on her diasporic Anglo-Indian writing has got the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2006.

Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss provides much of post-colonial subjects in the text to establish her as a post-colonial Indian writer. Desai projects English education forefront of dominating native culture. The English tone and its taste completely mesmerized to the colonized people. Tyson writes in Critical Theory Today:

That so many people formerly colonized by Britain speak English, write in English, use English in their schools and universities, and conduct government business in English, in addition to the local languages they may use at home, is an indication of the residual effect of colonial domination on their cultures. (419)

The English education in the Indian culture creates the unparallel order between western culture and native culture. In the mission school, there is a portrait of Queen Victoria to show the symbol of imperial power. Jemubhai deeply impresses by her portrait and thinks how powerful she is, though it is an only odd dressed woman. Desai writes in The Inheritance of Loss:

In the entrance to the school building was a portrait of Queen Victoria in a dress like a flouncy curtain, fringed cape, and a peculiar hat with feathery arrows shooting out. Each morning as Jemubhai passed under, he found her froggy expression compelling and felt deeply impressed that a woman so plain could also have been so powerful. The more he pondered this oddity, the more his respect for her and the English grew. (66)

Jemubhai respects that there is cultural differentiation categorizing lower and upper culture. English education closely makes up the mind towards the western as a powerful thing. This powerful thing influences him and desires to copy the western lifestyle and culture as a high class people. It is the promotion of western culture and it is the domination of western culture to respect them. 

 English education is the cause of native people’s thinking that they are inferior and inferiority is in their culture. Jemubhai inclines towards western culture because of his English education in the mission school, further education at Cambridge University and service at British offices. This creates Jemubhai to accept the cultural hierarchical order. The post-colonial mentality towards Indian community generates to realize their own culture as inferior. The recognition of hierarchical order leads them to identity crisis. And identity crisis creates personal dilemma in culture whether to follow native culture or western culture. Sai’s lover, Gyan has the same conflict in his mind whether to choose Sai or Gorkha Nepalese Liberation Front (GNLF). For Gyan to choose Sai is to follow western culture and acceptance of western culture as ‘center’. Gyan becomes completely unnoticed to Sai and her family due to the conflict risen in the cultural issues. Gyan doesn’t like to enjoy a Christmas holiday. He thinks that it is fully rubbish for a non-westerner to take pleasure in Christmas holiday though Sai shows her broad-mindedness towards a western culture that she has experienced through her childhood. But she refuses to accept the idea that the Indian culture is inferior. She has multicultural feelings and she wants to make harmony between the cultures.

Racial discrimination is one of the subjects of colonial mentality which creates otherness. The othering made by western people has no prominent logic on race. The colour of skin differentiates whether black or white. The westerners mind engages to think blackness in face as the non-human-being or second human parallels to animal. Tyson writes in Critical Theory Today, “Racism refers to the unequal power relations that grow from the sociopolitical domination of one race by another and that result in systematic discriminatory practices (for example, segregation, domination, and persecution)” (360). Jemubhai, though has got English education and job at British civil service, his black skin colour is never regarded as equal to British people. He is dominated by British rules and regulations. Jemubhai shocks when he has not got a house for several days at his first arrival of England to study at Cambridge. British people are unaware of Indians like him. They always ignore Indians because of the colour of skin, the blackness.

Isolation is the realization of self, the outburst of cultural disorder and estrangement. People become isolated when something goes on wrong with identity, the recognition of self. The cultural influences and social frameworks force one to think where the self-respect and social status are. Desai herself is the sufferer of double isolation. She leaves India, gets education and works in the west.

When the judge returns home, he suffers from double isolation. Double isolation is the post-colonial trauma and sense of estrangement of the self. For Jemubhai, one of the isolations is free from British rules and regulations; and another one is with family affairs due to the otherness in his family.

Western hegemony is the key prospective of colonial mentality and it is still prominent worldwide. Western people believe that they come the foreign land to civilize the barbaric, uncivilized people. They prominently inscribe the power of their own culture and other culture as lacking something. This concept of hegemony creates the post-colonial old people to spread western culture. Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin write in Post-colonial Studies:

Fundamentally, hegemony is the power of the ruling class to convince other classes that their interests are the interests of all. Domination is thus exerted not by force, nor even necessarily by active persuasion, but by a more subtle and inclusive power over the economy, and over state apparatuses such as education and the media, by which the ruling class’s interest is presented as the common interest and thus comes to be taken for granted. (106-107)         

The neighbour of judge, Lola and Noni keep them fit to western culture. The activities like listening to BBC Radio, reading British novels, using customs made from Britain and following other so many natures create them typical anglophile.  It is the western hegemony, a powerful weapon to make the western culture higher than the Indian culture. The judge fears to teach Sai in a public school because she learns only Indian culture and Indian accented English.

There is always the existence of sense of inferiority in colonized people’s mind due to the presence of the western culture. The power of western culture creates a gap with native culture. The influencing characteristics of western culture make some fond of taking it easily. Tyson writes in Critical Theory Today, “The colonizers saw themselves as the embodiment of what a human being should be, the proper ‘self’: native peoples were considered ‘other,’ different, and therefore inferior to the point of being less than fully human” (419-420). And further he says, “colonized persons who did not resist colonial subjugation because they were taught to believe in British superiority and, therefore, in their own inferiority” (421). Gyan feels the same sense of inferiority when he gets his footstep to the judge’s house to teach Sai. Though Gyan is not aware of western culture, he is interested to be a part of western culture. Sense of inferiority degrades Gyan though he is well-educated and has a young energetic mind to solve the problem.

Before the presence of colonial westerners, there was a pure place of native culture. The native culture was shrine and believed to be great for self identity. The lifestyle and other activities were true spirit of successive life.  But the presence of western people makes their lifestyle draught and gets influenced in every activity. This is the cause that is created to adopt something from western culture and there is impossibility of returning to pre-colonial culture. Gyan rages with Sai and joins Gorkha Nepalese Liberation Front. Though GNLF is not completely influenced by western culture, they wear American T-shirts admiring Bruce Lee.

Desai vividly explores the west’s uncivilized manners. Though westerners think themselves as superior and civilized; the harsh reality in New York City explains what they are actually. New York is full of illegal workers in the basement. Everywhere there is disorder and uncivilized manner.

Desai’s power of writing mesmerizes with the glimpse of the reality in the Western world. It is the destiny to live with that place, there is no life and no culture. Only the sufferings and harassments give birth to the lower people. The cook’s son, Biju completely lives in a disorder and works as an illegal immigrant. Biju, a pure Indian culture follower negotiates with the fractured identities between the western modernity and non-western backwardness. He is thinking; what to follow, what to do for his career and for the growth of lifestyle. Desai projects the first world wealth, and third world poverty and unprivileged manners in a nutshell.

Desai provides reality of lifestyle and ambiguity of their identity very clearly. The hybrid and multicultural background has a great impact on social life. People unwillingly incline with the preferred one and cannot exist in the same for long. Post-colonial environment establishes the follower of hybrid culture and the society is becoming multicultural. Tyson writes in Critical Theory Today:

Postcolonial identity is necessarily a dynamic, constantly evolving hybrid of native and colonial cultures. Moreover, they assert that this hybridity, or syncretism as it’s sometimes called, does not consist of a stalemate between two warring cultures but is rather a productive, exciting, positive force in as shrinking world that is itself becoming more and more culturally hybrid. (422)

There is still problem of living suitable life as they want in the home. The judge feels ashamed and has a pain of exile when he has left colonial services. He is not accepted by his family due to his western nature.

 The power of English system and the power of western culture dominate the native culture and its locality directly and indirectly. The main cause is that the rich people of Indian community are too influenced by western culture and lifestyle, and they feel themselves superior. The concepts of thinking superiority and high-class people directly affect the poor localities. Desai’s picture of poor localities of Kalimpong is the reality of the terrorism, insurgency and caste discrimination. Indirectly, the poor people have a hesitation to copy the lifestyle and culture followed by rich people because of their unprivileged manner of living. This leads inferiority complex.  This causes to fight for demanding Gorkhaland.

Post-colonialism is the study of loss of the native land and culture which was pure and idealized world before the colonial activities. It is the loss that Kiran Desai has felt and expressed in her novel, The Inheritance of Loss. The loss has been occurred due to the footstep of western culture, their hegemonic nature and so influencing lifestyle and their English tone.

Sai has a great loss of her parents who were dead in Russia. She loses her childhood education in convent school. And at last, Sai loses her love too with Gyan. Jemubhai’s life is filled with ostracism. He is alone and abused of being Indian. The relation with his wife is not good because of her simple lifestyle and had never a warm relation with his daughter. The cook is in poverty working in Jemubhai’s house where he is missing his son that he has sent to New York for betterment of life. Jemubhai continuously exploits bitterly as a westerner did. Tyson writes in Critical Theory Today:

Colonialist ideology, which is inherently Eurocentric, was a pervasive force in the British schools established in the colonies to inculcate British culture and values in the indigenous peoples and thereby forestall rebellion. It’s difficult to rebel against a system or a people one has been programmed, over several generations, to consider superior. (421)

Biju has a hard time in the USA. He has lost his dignity; repeatedly he is abused by managers and has a pathetic way of living in basement of New York city as a illegal immigrant. Father Booty loses his adopted motherland; deported for not being Indian.

Gyan finds it difficult to earn his livelihood though he is educated. He develops hatred towards the rich and high-class people and joins the insurgent breaking his love affairs with Sai. He joins GNLF, it is an outlet for him to escape his own rage and alienation. He suffered great loss in this sense. The people of Kalimpong lose a lot in the struggle for Gorkhaland in the year 1986, a year after Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Colonized country, India negotiates between a new better way of life inherited from the imperialists and national pride. There is loss in both.

Kiran Desai’s writing explores the turbulent effects of post-colonialism. Still the western culture is in ‘center’, though multiculturalism and globalization exist. Her Indianness in her writing and her exploration of self with the conflict and dilemma of culture make her a post-colonial Indian writer. She extracts the background of the Kalimpong with a glimpse of beautiful vision and urges to write of their poor localities which are an essence of Indianness.

The thorough study of The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai confines to prove her as a post-colonial Indian writer. Her post-colonial view described in this chapter shows the cultural difference, identity crisis, racial discrimination, western hegemony, isolation and inferiority complex in the colonized people. Chapter 2 discusses the historical background of the post-colonialism and theoretical modalities regarding ambivalent culture by the notions of post-colonial criticism. Chapter 3 discusses the main subject of this thesis, ambivalent culture as a migrant subject. The research studies whether it is the subject of a migrant. And chapter 4 concludes the whole thesis.

J.2. Historical Background of Post-Colonialism

The term post-colonialism is the inspection of impact and permanence heritage of European, colonization and domination of non-European lands, people and cultures. Post-colonialism is understood as Third World literature. As Kenzo writes in “What is Post-Colonialism,” “Post-colonialism has come to mean used to be identified as Third world literature” (1). In post-colonialism, we study and analysis the art, literature and history that has been produced after the colonial period. Colonial period is the time of expansion of the colony by Europeans. After this period, the rise of analysis of various matters discussing the issues of racism, terrorism, national identity, immigration and multicultural society has opened the platform of post-colonialism. The exploitation of native people by British and other imperial powers are written and expressed from various medium as one of them is literature. M.H. Abrams defines post-colonial studies in his A Glossary of Literary Terms:

The critical analysis of the history, culture, literature, and modes of discourse that are specific to the former colonies of England, Spain, France, and other European imperial powers. These studies have focused especially on the Third World countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean islands, and South America.

. . . Postcolonial studies sometimes encompass also aspects of British literature in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, viewed through a perspective that reveals the ways in which the social and economic life represented in that literature was tacitly underwritten by colonial exploitation. (245)

Post-colonial concepts lead to the analysis in the social contexts in the form of domination which starts from the late fifteenth century. Tyson writes in Critical Theory Today, “European domination of the New World began in the late fifteenth century” (417-418). And until the nineteenth century, British almost become the largest imperial power and by the turn of twentieth century ruled one quarter of the earth’s surface. Tyson further says, “British colonial domination continued until the end of World War II, when India gained independence in 1947, and other colonies gradually followed suit. By 1980 Britain had lost all but a few of its colonial holdings” (418). Before the appearance of the term post-colonial, it was combined, analyzed and criticized in the form of commonwealth literature. It refers to the literature (written in English) of colonies, former colonies (including India) and dependencies of Britain, excluding the literature of England. This is in fact that the post-colonial attitude was expressed in the form of commonwealth literature until the early 1990s. Tyson writes in Critical Theory Today, “Long before postcolonial criticism emerged as a powerful force in literary studies in the early 1990s” (417). Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin write in Post Colonial Studies, “Spivak, for example, first used the term ‘post-colonial’ in the collection of interviews and recollections published in 1990 called The Post-Colonial Critic” (168).

Though post-colonial is the period after the collapse of imperial power, it has been said that the liberation of a colonized country did not result automatically to the ending of exploitation in terms of cultural, social, or any in the colonized people. According to Tyson the term post-colonial refers:

The word postcolonial generally refers to the cessation of colonialist domination of one country by another. . . . the cessation of colonialist domination— the liberation of a colonized nation by the removal of the colonizers’ military and governmental forces— does not automatically result in the cessation of the cultural, social, or economic exploitation of the liberated nation by more technologically developed countries. (448)

Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin write in Post Colonial Studies:

Post-colonialism (or often postcolonialism) deals with the effects of colonization on cultures and societies. As originally used by historians after the Second World War in terms such as the post-colonial state, ‘post-colonial’ had a clearly chronological meaning, designating the post-independence period. However, from the late 1970s the term has been used by literary critics to discuss the various cultural effects of colonization. (168)

Post-colonial understanding comes forefront when it is about the matters of colonizer and colonized. Colonized people understand the values of colonizer very deeply and their resistance is a kind of revolt against the colonizer. Tyson writes in Critical Theory Today:

A good deal of postcolonial criticism analyzes the ideologies forces that, on the one hand, pressed the colonized to internalize the colonizers’ values and, on the other hand, promoted the resistance of colonized peoples against their oppressors, a resistance that is as old as colonialism itself. (418)

Post-colonialism is the study of literature that has been emerged after the colonial period in retort to the colonial domination from the beginning of their presence. Tyson clearly says in Critical Theory Today, “Postcolonial criticism analyzes literature produced by cultures that developed in response to colonial domination, from the first point of colonial contact to the present” (418).

Post-colonialism is the discourse of after effects of colonial culture. It is the study of interactions between European nations and the societies they colonized. Though the post-colonial studies appeared in the early 1990s, it has great effects and effort to establish the mentality of Europeans towards the colonized and colonized people’s resistance and complicity towards the Europeans’ dominance. Tyson writes in Critical Theory Today, “Postcolonial criticism defines formerly colonized peoples as any population that has been subjected to the political domination of another population” (417).

In regards to the post-colonial upbringing with the clash and conflict of the colonizer and the colonized world it is filled with the attitude of domination, discrimination, hegemonic nature and cultural hierarchy. And so as there are four worlds in the Eurocentric point of view— the European culture as a standard one than the other cultures. Tyson writes in Critical Theory Today:

An example of Eurocentric language can be seen in the terms First World, Second World, Third World, and Fourth World to refer to, respectively, (1) Britain, Europe, and the United States; (2) the white populations of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Southern Africa (3) the technologically developing nations, such as India and those of Africa, Central and Southern America, and Southeast Asia; and (4) the indigenous populations subjugated by white settlers and governed today by the majority culture that surround them such as Native Americans and aboriginal Australians. (420)

So, the post-colonialism is the study of art and literature produced in once colonized country throughout the world written with the deeply-rooted sense of exploitation made by the colonizer. The effects of political, cultural and social domination are vividly explored in the writings of post-colonial period which abruptly started to think about post-colonial criticism.

Post-colonial period emerges to think about the socio-political and cultural differences between the western and non-western people. The western people’s view towards the non-western one completely emerges in terms of domination, discrimination and isolation. English becomes the common language to express the thoughts of the colonized people. Tyson writes in Critical Theory Today, “English provides a common language for the various indigenous peoples within Third and Fourth World nations, who speak a number of different local languages, to communicate with one another” (422). Further he says that, “the term postcolonial should be reserved for Third and Fourth World writers observe that white settler cultures share a tremendous common ground with Britain, including race, language, and culture” (424). Because of the contact with the colonizer, the inner sense of subjugation and domination is explored in the eye of the colonized.

 The conceptual framework of the relation between the colonizer and the colonized has developed the thinking of different issues of socio-political and cultural differences which has emerged the thinkers to analyze it with their own perspective.  The key post-colonial theorists are Franz Fanon, Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravarty Spivak, and Homi K. Bhabha who have observed the world of the colonizer and the colonized in the colonial period and post-colonial period.

Franz Fanon (1925-61) was born in Martinique in the French Antilles in 1925. His theoretical concept has emerged through his experiences as a member of the Free French Forces during World War II. The involvement of Black soldiers in the forces makes him to think the reality of being a white and a black because all the black soldiers treat as subordinate and experience racism. His work goes to search for the black identity, the struggle against colonialism and, the process of decolonization. His two books are Black Skin, White Masks (1967) and The Wretched of the Earth (1961).

The book Black Skin, White Masks by Franz Fanon explores the search of Black identity. Black people feel inferior and alienated due to their existence with the white community. Communication and Culture website writes in “Post-Colonial Theory,” “Fanon suggested that Colonised people were made to feel inferior and alienated from their own culture, because the history, culture, language, customs and beliefs of the colonisers were promoted as universal, normative and superior” (2).

The colonized people are bound to the colonizers’ mind and concept. Because of this, the decolonization process is very effective if otherwise, it is maintained with the thinking— their education and system based on colonizers. Communication and Culture website writes in “Post-Colonial Theory,” “The process of decolonisation for Fanon involved post-colonial nations developing their own forms of social democracy rather retaining existing colonial institutions and filling them with indigenous people” (2).

In the colonized people the success only comes with the change of whole social structure from the bottom up. Fanon writes in The Wretched of the Earth:

The need for this change exists in its crude state, impetuous and compelling, in the consciousness and in the lives of the men and women who are colonized. But the possibility of this change is equally experienced in the form of a terrifying future in the consciousness of another ‘species’ of men and women: the colonizers. (1)

Decolonization is the contact of two forces, opposed to each other by their nature of their originality and is nourished by the situation in the colonies. Both the colonizer and colonized first get encountered by the violence and later they exist together because of the exploitation of the native by the colonizers. Fanon says in The Wretched of the Earth, “In fact, the settler is right when he speaks of knowing ‘them’ well” (1).

Fanon opines that the white racial superiority over non-white people has created a sense of order and alienation in the self-identity of the non-white colonized people. The adoption of the colonizer’s culture, value and lifestyle creates the divided sense of self in the colonized. There is vital importance of the culture and representations of the past in the new forms of social organization in the post-colonial era. The decolonization process is concerned with the reclamation and reconstruction of colonized own history and culture as the basis for new post-colonial forms of nation and national identity.

Edward Said (1935- ) was born in Jerusalem in 1935. He was educated in Egypt and America. His famous work Orientalism was published in 1978 which analyzes the stereotypes and colonial assumptions in-built in western mind’s representations of the orient. The term orient signifies the North African Arab and Middle-Eastern people and cultures. It is represented as the binary opposition of the west or occident and it is as the occident’s other. Said argues in Orientalism, “The Orient was almost a European invention, and had been since antiquity a place of romance, exotic beings, haunting memories and landscapes, remarkable experiences” (1).

For the Europeans’ orient is the special place that they have experienced. The contrasting image, idea, personality and experience help the west to understand orient in an imaginative way and the orientalism is the discourse of the wests with their own available understandings. Edward Said in Orientalism says:

The orient is an integral part of European material civilization and culture. Orientalism expresses and represents that part culturally and even ideologically as a mode of discourse with supporting institutions, vocabulary, scholarship, imagery, doctrines, even colonial bureaucracies and colonial styles. (2)

Orientalism is the concept and framework of eastern people defined by their own style to dominate, discriminate, restructure. European culture has managed to analyze it very logically from any aspect of socio-political and cultural ideologies. Said writes in Orientalism:

Orientalism as a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient . . . systematic discipline by which European culture was able to manage—and even produce—the Orient politically, sociologically, militarily, ideologically, scientifically, and imaginatively during the post-Enlightenment period. (3)

The contact of west to orient and vice-versa concerns with the hegemonic power structure almost at all. The west by their civilized eye and their existence of civilized and educated and systematized world views east or orient as the other. The othering process is the real form of domination and it is only the lies that they have assumed. Said writes in Orientalism, “The relationship between Occident and Orient is a relationship of power, of domination, of varying degrees of a complex hegemony” (5) and further he says, “Orientalism is more particularly valuable as a sign of European-Atlantic power over the Orient than it is as a veridic discourse about the Orient” (6).

In the understanding of authority that the European applies to disseminate the information on orient; it is not mysterious and natural. It is only the discourse made in various respect as Said writes in Orientalism:

It is formed, irradiated, disseminated; it is instrumental, it is persuasive; it has status, it establishes canons of taste and value; it is virtually indistinguishable from certain ideas it dignifies as true, and from traditions, perceptions, and judgments it forms, transmits, reproduces. (19-20)

The knowledge is developed in the western mind in both academic and practical; the knowledge about the orientals, their race, character, culture, history, traditions, society, and possibilities. And this knowledge becomes effective to define the orientals as Said writes in Orientalism:

Orientals or Arabs are . . . ‘devoid of energy and initiative,’ much given to ‘fulsome flattery,’ intrigue, cunning, and unkindness to animal; Orientals cannot walk on either a road or a pavement (their disordered minds fail to understand what the clever European grasps immediately, that roads and pavement are made for walking); Orientals are inveterate liars, they are ‘lethargic and suspicious,’ and in everything oppose the clarity, directness, and nobility of the Anglo-Saxon race. (38-39)

The structure of the east and the west is conceived with the political vision made by westerners. It happens to visualize because of their privilege, because of their stronger culture they could penetrate, they could wrestle with, they could give shape and meaning to the great Asiatic mystery. Orientalism is only the political vision of reality that promotes the structure of familiar and strange. Said writes in Orientalism, “For Orientalism was ultimately a political vision of reality whose structure promoted the difference between the familiar (Europe, the West, ‘us’) and the strange (the Orient, the East, ‘them’)” (43).  They designate themselves “ours” and orient as “theirs”. Because of the geographical distinction as they have categorized Said clearly writes, “A group of people living on a few acres of land will set up boundaries between their land and its immediate surroundings and the territory beyond, which they cal ‘the land of the barbarians’ ” (54).

Orientalism is the term used by Edward Said; a generic term employing to describe the western approach to the orient. The vision of west has been made possible on their side because as Said says in Orientalism, “Yet in general it was the West that moved upon the East, not vice versa” (73).

Gayatri Chakravarti Spivak (1942 – ) was born in 1942. She is an Indian literary critic and theorist. Her essay “Can the Subaltern Speak?” is the founding text of post-colonialism. Subaltern means the ‘inferior rank’; is a term adopted by Antonio Gramsci. It refers the groups in society who are subject to the hegemony of the ruling classes. Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin write in Post-Colonial Studies, “Subaltern classes may include peasants, workers and other groups denied access to ‘hegemonic’ power. Since the history of the ruling class is realized in the state, history being the history of states and dominant groups” (198).  The great diversity of subaltern groups, there is a notion of resistance to elite domination. The concept of the subaltern is to cut across several kinds of political and cultural binaries, such as colonialism vs. nationalism, or imperialism vs. indigenous cultural expression. Ashcroft Bill, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin write in Post-colonial Studies on the Gayatri Spivak’s subaltern studies:

Her first criticism is directed at the Gramscian claim for the autonomy of the subaltern group, which, she says, no amount of qualification by Guha – who concedes the diversity, heterogeneity and overlapping nature of subaltern groups – can save from its fundamentally essentialist premise. Second, no methodology for determining who or what might constitute this group can avoid this essentialism. The ‘people’ or the ‘subaltern’ is a group defined by its difference for the elite. (200)

Spivak positions the Indian women through an analysis of a particular case, and concludes with the declaration that ‘the subaltern cannot speak’. There is no way in which oppressed or politically marginalized groups can voice their resistance, or the subaltern only has a dominant language or a dominant voice in which to be heard. Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin write in Postcolonial Studies:

Spivak’s target is the concept of an unproblematically constituted subaltern identity, rather than the subaltern subject’s ability to give voice to political concerns. Her point is that no act of dissent or resistance occurs on behalf of an essential subaltern subject entirely separate from the dominant discourse that provides the language and the conceptual categories with which the subaltern voice speaks. (201)

Spivak writes in Can the Subaltern Speak?,” “In subaltern studies, because of the violence of imperialist epistemic, social, and disciplinary inscription, a project understood in essentialist terms must traffic in a radical textual practice of differences” (27). Further she writes, “For the ‘true’ subaltern group, whose identity is its difference, there is no unrepresented subaltern subject that can know and speak itself; the intellectual’s solution is not to abstain from representation” (27). Their overall project is to rewrite the development of the consciousness of the Indian nation. The subaltern subject has double effect in the track of sexual difference. The relationship between woman and silence is plotted by women themselves; race and class differences are subsumed under varieties of feminist criticism. It is not that the female participation in insurgency or the ground rules of the sexual division of labor, for both of which there is evidence. Spivak says in “Can the Subaltern Speak?”:

It is, rather, that, both as object of colonialist historiography and as subject of insurgency, the ideological construction of gender keeps the male dominant. If, in the context of colonial production, the subaltern has no history and cannot speak, the subaltern as female is even more deeply in shadow (28).

Spivak concerns with the dominant voice which is othered by the complex framework of society. The suppressed desire and oppressed voice must speak. The consciousness of the subaltern implies in the colonial subject in the dominant groups.

Homi K. Bhabha was born in 1949. He is the most cotemporary post-colonial studies, and has emerged to describe a number of the fields like hybridity, mimicry, difference, ambivalence. The contacts between the colonizer and the colonized have created the concept of mimicry and ambivalence. The colonized people’s resistance and complicity of colonizer’s power make the essence of the theory.

Colonizer were of the civilizing mission for the indigenous people who seems uneducated and barbaric and they considered them as not wholly human as Bhabha writes, “mimicry emerges as one of the most elusive and effective strategies of colonial power and knowledge” (Of Mimicry 126). Mimicry is the colonial discourse; the discourse which is constructed around an ambivalence. Bhabha says in Of Mimicry and Man:

Mimicry represents an ironic compromise. If I may adapt Samuel Weber’s formulation of the marginalizing vision of castration, the colonial mimicry is the desire for reformed, recognizable other, as a subject of a difference that is almost the same, but not quite. (126)

The disturbance of the simple relationship between the colonizer and the colonized make the clear-cut authority of colonial domination disrupting the ambivalence; ambivalence is the unwelcome aspect of colonial discourse. The colonizer encourages to mimicry the colonizer. The result of mimicry is never a simple reproduction of the colonizer’s cultural habits, assumptions and values. Bhabha says, “Mimicry is not the familiar exercise of dependent colonial relations through narcissistic identification so that, as Fanon has observed, the black man stops being as actional person for only the white man can represent his self-esteem” (Of Mimicry 129).

Homi K. Bhaba talks about the colonial discourse which consists of the conflicting relationship between the colonizer and colonized. The representation of mimicry creates the ambivalence toward the colonized and indigenous people.

Post-colonialism as a current criticism emerged with the feeling of domination, discrimination and subaltern from the European hegemonic power structure. With the collapse of imperial power brings a new conscience in the intellectuals of the colonized who were educated in western world. And their experimentation, analysis, in-depth socio-economic situation and cultural variation make an attempt to build the concept of post-colonialism which studies the art and literature of the Third and Fourth World of the post-colonial time period. Post-colonial criticism deals with the subject matter of colonized that colonized people have resisted and experienced the power of colonizers.

J.2.3. Ambivalent Culture: A Theme of Post-Colonialism

Ambivalence is the subject of post-colonialism. It is believed to be the discourse of minorities within the geopolitical divisions of east and west, north and south. The issues are of cultural difference, social authority, and political discrimination to expose the contrasting and ambivalent moments as the explanation provided by Homi K. Bhabha in “The Survival of Culture”:

Postcolonial perspectives emerge from the colonial testimony of Third World countries and the discourses of “minorities” within the geopolitical divisions of east and west, north and south. They intervene in those ideological discourses of modernity that attempt to give a hegemonic “normality” to the uneven development and the differential, often disadvantaged, histories of nations, races communities, peoples. They formulate their critical revisions around issues of cultural difference, social authority, and political discrimination in order to reveal the antagonistic and ambivalent moments within the “rationalizations” of modernity. (438)

Post-colonialism works as a translation, it translates the culture of lower group and minority rather than higher class or culture. According to the paper “What is Post-colonialism and Why does it Matter: An African Prospective” by Mabiala Justin-Robert Kenzo, “Post-colonialism translates a deep concern for the perspective of persons from regions and groups outside the hegemonic power structure” (5). The translation makes aware of the subject matter concerned with the relation of the colonizer and colonized. Because of the contact between colonized one and colonizer ambivalence creates to question the identity which is prevalent in westernized people and migrants.

Ambivalent Culture is the culture that exists in the person and people’s mind with some fluctuation between two or more cultures simultaneously. It is the attraction and repulsion towards the culture time to time. A person experiences the thoughts and emotions of both positive and negative valence towards a culture. The positive and negative attitudes create the love and hate relationship with the culture. The love and hate situation to the culture establishes the dilemma of cultural identity and at the same time, it has the existence of hybridity. It is the culture of mixed feelings; an individual experiences uncertainty or indecisiveness.

Colonial power and knowledge have the significance of understanding colonial mentality; it emerged to change the thinking of colonial and colonized culture. Colonized copy the colonial culture which becomes effective to the colonized. Bhabha says, “mimicry emerges as one of the most elusive and effective strategies of colonial power and knowledge” (Of Mimicry 126). Mimicry creates a colonized people to convert their established culture and identity into ambivalence because the influencing character of western culture deeply affects in the mind of colonized. Their familiarity with colonizer and unfamiliarity with own culture is constructed around ambivalence which is the reflection of mimicry as Homi K. Bhabha says, “the discourse of mimicry constructed around an ambivalence” (Of Mimicry 126).

Ambivalence is the product of two things that are mixed and affects according to the relationship it has made. One side stands the colonizer whereas another side stands the colonized, the relationship between them is conflicting and contrasting. Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin write about ambivalence in their book Post-colonial studies The Key Concepts:

A term first developed in psychoanalysis to describe a continual fluctuation between wanting one thing and wanting its opposite. . . . Adapted into colonial discourse theory by Homi Bhabha, it describes the complex mix of attraction and repulsion that characterizes the relationship between colonizer and colonized. The relationship is ambivalent because colonized subject is never simply and completely opposed to the colonizer. (10)

Ambivalence disrupts the relationship between the colonizer and the colonized as it is the unwelcome aspects of colonial discourse for the colonizer. The colonial discourse desires to produce compliant subjects and reproduces its assumptions, habits and values. Ashcroft Bill, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin writes in Post-Colonial Studies as it is itself the ” . . . ‘mimic’ the colonizer. But it produces ambivalent subjects whose mimicry is never very far from mockery. . . . The effect of this ambivalence (the simultaneous attraction and repulsion) is to produce a profound disturbance of the authority of colonial discourse “(10).

When more than two cultures are mixed there will be no unity in the totality of the cultures. So far as concern with the ambivalent culture, it is the established framework in the mind of mankind with the clash or mix of cultures which disrupts self or other. In The Commitment to Theory Homi Bhabha says:

Cultures are never unitary in themselves, nor simply dualistic in relation of self to other. This is not because of some humanistic nostrum that beyond individual cultures we all belong to the human culture of mankind; nor  is it because of an ethical relativism that suggests that in our cultural capacity to speak of and judge others we necessarily ‘place ourselves in their position’ . . . . (20)

The colonial encounter with the black community shifts anxiously between piety, prevarication, and perversion; and creates the problem and emerges the ambivalence. Homi K. Bhabha says, “From such a colonial encounter between the white presence and its black semblance, there emerges the question of the ambivalence of mimicry as a problematic of colonial subjection” (Of Mimicry 131). To understand ambivalent culture, it is created in a colonial discourse between the colonizer and colonized. The discourse is effective to travel by the representation of mimicry because of feeling marginalized, uncivilized, uneducated, subaltern attitudes and non-white races. Further, the power of knowledge regarding the colonial discourse abruptly changes into the colonized with lack of something as the colonizer have. So, Homi K. Bhabha presents the deep concern about ambivalent culture in the post-colonial prospective; and understanding and embedding the ambivalence refers to the formation of hybrid culture though the national identity is in crisis. Identity is the main thing that creates alienation and life becomes isolated. The isolated one cannot live in a peace and cannot return back to the then state which is pure.

J.2.4. Ambivalent Culture in The Inheritance of Loss: A Post-Colonial Study

Kiran Desai’s Man Booker Prize winner novel The Inheritance of Loss is written through the perspective of post-colonial India. In this novel, the judge, an ex-British service holder has full characteristics of Englishness than Indianness. The boys of GNLF (Gorkha Nepalese Liberation Front) come to take judge’s hunting rifle, though they have threatened. They carry out the survey of house and advise, “House needs a lot of repairs” (8). The house symbolizes the collapse of colonial empire. The influence of the colonizer and residence in Indian community makes it clear that the judge and his family are in ambivalence.

The judge seems very nostalgic about his life in England and his position. And becomes aggressive feeling irritate, lifting his nose from a muddle of pawns in the center of the chessboard like a colonial person when his dog, Mutt shakes her tail with hunger. The judge says, “Why is there nothing to eat?” (3). His colonial voice comes time to time. At the situation when Noni cannot handle Sai for her education; she sends a note to the judge about her exhausted mentality of her weakness in mathematics and science. She requests to get the new tutor. And the judge says, “Bloody irresponsible woman” (78) with full of reminiscence with his own nationality.

The Indian culture is pure because it is very spiritual and very significant to the native to take something as essential to do something. And the Indian culture believes in it very profoundly. The cook says to the policeman:

I wasn’t bitten but mysteriously my body swelled up to ten times my size. I went to the temple and they told me that I must ask forgiveness of the snakes. So I made a clay cobra and put it behind the water tank, made the area around it clean with cow dung, and did puja. Immediately the swelling went down. (14)

The Indian culture believes in fate too. It affects when the colonial culture contact with it. The fate plays a great role which is conventional idea and unbelievable to western thought. The cook talks and shares with Sai about his family incident. How her wife has dead. Desai explains:

She had died seventeen years ago, when Biju was five, slipping from a tree while gathering leave to feed the goat. An accident, they said, and there was nobody to blame-it was just fate in the way fate has of providing the destitute with a greater quota of accident for which nobody can be blamed. (15)

Though Biju has a birth of Indian culture, his father’s vision makes him to reach in the dreamland, New York. He is very happy to be in America getting a restaurant job. It is the influencing one to Biju that he gets the glimpse of western world. Though he is a pure Indian he amuses and writes letter to his father, the cook, “Respected Pitaji, no need to worry. Everything is fine. The manager has offered me a full-time waiter position. Uniform and food will be given by them. Angrezi Khana only, no Indian food, and the owner is not from India. He is from America itself” (16). And the cook becomes very happy to hear it and reports to everyone, “He works for the Americans” (16). So the Third World people or once colonized people are very aware of western world and they like to join their name with the western world. It is the representation of mimicry which creates the colonial discourse and affects the cultural hierarchy. It is proving that western culture is superior and their culture, life is inferior. Because of their financial crisis and cultural backwardness, they seem to be getting in touch with colonizer’s world. The cook feels he is in higher position though he is cooking Indian cuisine. Desai writes, “The cook had thought of ham roll ejected from a can and fried in thick ruddy slices, of tuna fish shuffle, Khari biscuit pie, and was sure that since his son was cooking English food, he had a higher position than if he were cooking Indian” (17).

The Europeans make the other people inferior by making a separate platform. This creates the other people to think very different about their culture and race. At the time of departure to the future judge for England, then Jemubhai or Jemu; the benches are labeled “‘Indian Only’ and ‘Europeans Only'” (41) with different platform. Jembhai thinks and feels he is odd and very stranger when he is studying in Cambridge University. He is more confusing about his culture and the western culture. The ambivalence is striking more with the mix of colonizer and colonized culture. Desai writes about the Jembhai’s feeling while he is in Cambridge University:

Thus Jemubhai’s mind had begun to warp; he grew stranger to himself than he was to those around him, found his own skin odd-colored, his own peculiar. He forgot how to laugh, could barely manage to lift his lips in a smile, and if he ever did, he held his hand over his mouth, because he couldn’t bear anyone to see his gums, his teeth. (45)

The passion of westernization is prevalent in the anglophiles like Lola and Noni, the two sisters live in their cottage Mon Ami. Their cottage name is also influenced by French language. They grows broccoli grown from seeds procured in England, listens BBC news. They think Nepali people are inferior, uneducated and disloyal though their guard named Budhoo is Nepali. They think of Budhoo as Desai writes, “‘But if we dismiss him’ said Noni, ‘, ‘then he’ll be angry and twice as likely to do something.’ ‘I tell you, these Neps can’t be trusted. And they don’t just rob. They think absolutely nothing of murdering, as well'” (51). When the Indian girl reads news in BBC World, there is a laugh and uneasiness to the people of India. “All over India, people hearing the Indian name announced in pucca British accent laughed and laughed so hard their stomachs hurt” (53). People think it is funny and ridiculous while copying the English tone by the Piyali Bannerji. Ambivalence is counter-effecting to the mass people though they laugh and hear the English sound by an Indian girl. Though Noni outrages, Lola purrs with pride because she is her own daughter, Pixie. The pride of these things continue because Mrs. Sen heads to Mon Ami to tell Lola about her daughter’s good news. Her daughter Mun Mun has been going to hire by CNN. She reflects happily on how this would upset Lola. Desai writes, “Mrs. Sen, undefeated by the heat, started up the road to Mon Ami, propelled by the latest news from her daughter, Mun Mun, in America: she was to be hired by CNN” (74).

In New York, Biju works very hardly bearing lots of problem, moving one restaurant to another, one place to another. Though western world is developed and so called civilized and educated one. There is disorder and dangerous situation to the workers from Third World. Desai explains:

. . . camping out near the fuse box, behind the boiler, in the cubby holes, and in odd-shaped corners that once were pantries, maids’ rooms, laundry rooms, and storage rooms at the bottom of what had been a single family home, the entrance still adorned with a scrap of colored mosaic in the shape of a star. (58)

Because of this situation the Indian and other Third World workers feel their culture in trouble and in risk of adopting western culture. But, Biju thinks his culture is very genuine and better. In any case where he moves though he feels uneasy, he doesn’t like to do things except his culture accept.

Jemubhai becomes completely follower of the British rules and regulations because of his interests towards the Englishness. He and His friend Bose is quiet trained in England by English officers. They have read A Brief History of Western Art, A Brief History of Philosophy, A Brief History of France, etc. a whole series. Their mentality is changed. Especially, Jemubhai forgets his Indian culture and loathing western culture which creates ambivalence due to the contrast of both cultures. He takes revenge on earlier confusions and mistakes. Desai writes:

Thus it was that the judge eventually took revenge on his early confusions, his embarrassments gloved in something called “keeping up standards,” his accent behind a mask of a quiet. He found he began to be mistaken for something he wasn’t—a man of dignity. . . . He envied English. He loathed Indians. He worked at being English with the passion of hatred and for what he would become, he would be despised by absolutely everyone, English, Indians, both. (131)

The more confusing and contrast is the judge who reads How to Speak Hindustani though he is Indian and he has been posted to a part of India for the civil service. He will begin to realize the ambivalence with the deception towards his further life and society. Desai writes, “On board the Strathnaver on his way back, the judge sipped beef tea and read How to Speak Hindustani, since he had been posted to a part of India where he did not speak the language. He sat alone because he still felt ill at ease in the company of the English” (131).

The tuter Gyan, a Nepalese-Indian science student gets a part-time job in the judge’s house to teach Sai. Gyan is completely unaware about their culture because of his living standard from poor localities of Kalimpong. His culture is pure for his standards. But, he is much influenced by their culture that he has seen in the judge’s house. He is quite in ambivalence which creates him cultural dilemma and identity crisis. Desai writes:

In the spare room, Gyan was wondering what he had done—had he done the right thing or the wrong, what courage had entered his foolish heart and enticed him beyond the boundaries of propriety? It was the bit of rum he had drunk, it was the strange food. It couldn’t be real, but incredibly, it was. He felt frightened but also a little proud. “Ai yai yai ai yai yai,” he said to himself. (132)

Though Biju is working an illegal immigrant living in the basements of New York restaurant, he says to the female Americans, “‘Hi, Hi.’ But they barely looked at him” (135). It is because he is also going to catch the western styles and interests to reach with the Americans. He is too influenced though he is not cared by so called civilized world, and the ambivalence is created because of his crisis of living and making money in America.

The western influence has seen in the rallies and crowd of the procession of GNLF. They are shouting for the victory to the Gorkha Liberation Army wearing American T-shirts being as a fan of Hollywood actors as Desai writes, “. . . these unleashed Bruce Lee fans in their American T-shirts made-in-China-coming-in-via-Kathmandu?” (173). Gyan becomes aware of this liberation front and he feels uneasy to walk such long walk and go teach for a penny amount. Sai sees a sudden change in her tutor and a lover Gyan. To cheer up Sai tells him about the coming Christmas party. But Gyan ignores her and opens physics book. Gyan is in ambivalence though he is much amused by western culture he quarrels with Sai thinking that he doesn’t like to enjoy such parties which is not in our culture. Gyan feels as a slave when someone runs after the west. But it is the society that copies the western culture and accepts the cultural hierarchy and enjoys much. Their conversation in the Sai’s house as Desai writes:

‘I am not interested in Christmas!’ he shouted. ‘Why do you celebrate Christmas? You’re HIndus and you don’t celebrate Id or Guru Nanak’s birthday or even Durga Puja or Dussehra or Tibetan New Year.’

She considered it: Why? She always had. Not because of the convent, her hatred of it was so deep, but

‘You are like slaves, that’s what you are, running after the West embarrassing yourself. It’s because of people like you we never get anywhere.’ (179)

Gyan blames Sai for the copying or mimicrying the western world and it is the reality in her education and background too. Gyan says, “All right, I will. What is the point of teaching you? It’s clear all you want to do is copy. Can’t think for yourself. Copycat, copycat. Don’t you know, these people you copy like a copycat, THEY DON’T WANT YOU!!!!” (180). Though they are lover as well as tutor and student; there are conflict, clash and contrast due to the cultural background. Though Sai is Indian girl she brought up in convent school of Russia. Though Gyan is well-educated, he does not find any job and makes fond of western culture after the presence of judge’s house and their environment. The colonial discourse of power and knowledge works better in these two characters. The relationship is ambivalence, because it is the product of colonizer and colonized culture.

Most of the Indian people and as a whole non-western people feel western culture as superior and their own culture as inferior. And, the western culture ultimately influences and makes to think and feel as ambivalence. As Homi K. Bhabha in his Commitment to Theory says that “The concept of cultural difference focuses on the problem of the ambivalence of cultural authority; the attempt to dominate in the name of a cultural supremacy which is itself produced only in the moment of differentiation” (19). The colonial culture is very high in the society. Their hegemonic nature and ill mentality maneuver to control the native people. And the native people who can able to copy and mimicry the activity embraces the western culture with the hope of being part of them.

In The Inheritance of Loss, the judge is very unaware of European people at first. When he gets in contact with them, he is mesmerized with the culture of power, domination and circulation of hegemonic structure though he had a shame and hesitation to speak with them because of his black-skin where he could not get any help for the first time. Desai writes, “Jemubhai carried his own bags, stumbled onto a train, and on his way to Cambridge, found himself shocked as they progressed through fields by the enormous difference between the (boxy) English and the (loopy) Indian cow” (44).

So in The Inheritance of Loss characters like the judge, Sai, the cook, Biju, Gyan express dual attitude towards the thoughts and feelings of the so-called impressive western culture. Biju, the cook’s son, an illegally migrated person working in New York Restaurant starts to negotiate with the fractured identities between western modernity and non-western ‘backwardness’ between first world wealth and third world poverty. The judge fails to get into the center of the western culture. His English lifestyle remains as other, as inauthentic to the British. The quarrel between an Indian-Nepalese, Gyan and a westernized-Indian, Sai reflects the ambivalence situation with the western culture. Gyan argues it is completely nonsense for a non-westerner to enjoy Christmas holiday while Sai shows her broad-mindedness towards a western culture. Though she is anglophile like her grandfather, she refuses to accept the idea that the Indian culture is inferior.

Ambivalence is one of the prominent terms defined in post-colonial criticism that procures the thought of clash and contrast in cultural relations, social orders and geopolitical confusions. It is the subject of a migrant because of the creation of diasporic situation, disorder, inequality, illegal immigration, cultural hierarchy, terrorism activity, othering and differentiation that question mark into the self-identity which generate hybrid culture in intercultural location. Ambivalence produces the seeds of destruction as Ashcroft, Gareth and Helen describes, “Colonial relationship is always ambivalent, it generates the seeds of its own destruction” (11).

The creation of orient and occident is making the concept of self and other as Homi K. Bhabha writes in his The Commitment to Theory, “I could see the mirror image (albeit reversed in content and intention) of that a historical nineteenth-century polarity of Orient and Occident which in the name of progress, unleashed the exclusionary imperialist ideologies of self and other” (6). The cultural practices of self and other are initiated by the colonial discourse with the colonial mentality and vision. Ambivalent culture becomes a subject when self and other differentiate while migrating from east to west. Because of the western hegemony, racial discrimination and domination; ambivalence is created which is also the subject of migrant, because migrated people feel and realize when they enter the western world.

The influencing characteristics of western lifestyle and culture make the poor people of Third World to shift into the First World for the betterment of life. Even this shifting is in high range due to the hope of overall development and economic prosperity. When the people reach their destination, the western world and lifestyle, they see their culture as an inferior and hesitate to reveal their culture; then follow the western as a fond of with some interest. This creates the trauma and cultural dilemma of self and the ambivalence is constructed. This culture becomes as a migrant subject. Migrated people have always ambivalence. They mimicry the western world but cannot succeed as the whites have did. The crisis begins with them to suffer invisibly; and clash and conflicts destruct the identity, as Homi Bhabha writes in Of Mimicry and Man:

Almost the same but not white: the visibility of mimicry is always produced at the site of interdiction. It is a form of colonial discourse that is uttered inter dicta: a discourse at the crossroads of what is known and permissible and that which though known must be kept concealed; a discourse uttered between the lines and as such both against the rules and within them. (130)

It is the migrant subject because migrated people are anglicized they want to become anglophile completely and there is always the difference between English and Anglicized. Bhabha says in his Of Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse:

Those inappropriate signifiers of colonial discourse–the difference between being English and Anglicized; the identity between stereotypes which, through repetition, also become different; the discriminating identities constructed across traditional cultural norms and classifications. (130)

It is the orientalism that initiated to think the Third World people as uncivilized, barbaric and uneducated as constructed by the Europeans. And this concept makes easier to rule the eastern people. And the eastern people inquisitively become a slave to western culture which is very opposite thinking and they migrate and work in European countries. And the ambivalent situation is created which becomes the subject of migrant. Edward Said on his Orientalism writes:

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the Orientalists became a more serious quantity, because by then the reaches of imaginative and actual geography had shrunk, because the Oriental-European relationship was determined by an unstoppable European expansion in search of markets, resources, and colonies, and finally, because Orientalism had accomplished its self-metamorphosis from a scholarly discourse to an imperial institution. (95)

Complicity and resistance are the terms which refer to the colonial subjects in the ambivalent position of  people made by colonial discourse. And it exists in a fluctuating relation. More prominently, it is realized in the migrant due to the contrasting relationship between the East and West. Ashcroft, Gareth and Helen say in Post Colonial Studies The Key Concepts, “. . . ambivalence suggests that complicity and resistance exist in a fluctuating relation within the colonial subject” (10). Aijaz Ahamad talks about the cultural nationalism which seems to be ambivalence because of the tradition that the Third World always goes for better than modernity. He says, “. . . nation of the ‘Third World’ has a ‘culture’ and a ‘tradition’, and that to speak from within that culture and that tradition is itself an act of anti-imperialist resistance” (101).

So the Third World people are migrating day by day for the betterment of life. They get in touch with western culture and value it. They want to enjoy and celebrate the western culture more intensely until they recognize where their identity is existing. Their relation with western culture make ambivalence and this ambivalence is the self destruction of their own self. Ambivalence creates the bias and contrast opinion which initiates cultural clash and conflict. That cultural clash and conflict never have a resolution. The collapse of self begins with the migrant very rapidly. The cultural gap between First World prosperity and Third World poverty is the main concern about the migration and inquisitive towards the betterment of life and future. The effective tone of English language and elusive life of western covers the illusion of reality. This illusion of reality fosters in the migrated people without unaware of ambivalence. It is quiet ambivalence because the migrated people feel completely betrayed, homelessness, alienated, isolated, etc. and to recover it is no way. The healing process is absolutely unquestionable with the birth of hybridity and multicultural; and the globalization matures.

J.3.2 The Judge’s Hatred towards his own Presence in Europe

When the judge returns home from England, he is greeted by the geriatric brassband. Two thousands of people have been gathered to witness his presence in India making a historic event, the first son of the Indian community to join the Indian Civil Service (ICS) by the British government. Desai writes:

He was a foreigner—a foreigner— every bit of him screamed. Only his digestion dissented and told him he was home squatting painfully in that cramped outhouse, his gentleman’s knees creaking, swearing ‘Bloody hell,’ he felt his digestion work as super efficient as—as western transportation.  (183)

In Kalimpong, the retired judge is not enjoying his better life. Something troubles him eventually. When the GNLF boys come and rob his house taking rifles and making scary situations, the policeman cannot do anything. As so far, he is powerless too. The judge thinks the irresponsibility of policeman. The policeman couldn’t find the person who has robbed his gun. They said, “Madman” (320), when he has lost his dog mutt and reports about the lost of dog to police. But the judge cannot think that punishment is the great thing but he thinks:

A man wasn’t equal to an animal, not one particle of him. Human life was stinking, corrupt, and meanwhile there were beautiful creatures who lived with delicacy on the earth without doing anyone any harm. “We should be dying” the judge almost wept. (320)

The judge’s mind becomes full of trouble and suddenly questions about his presence in England and joining in ICS. Desai writes, “It was clearer than ever why—but now that position of power was gone, frittered away in years of misanthropy and cynicism” (320).

Although he was retired and living with chaos and conflict, his colonial mentality and power only works in his house. He shouts to the cook about the lost of dog. The judge chides, “FIND HER. It’s your fault. Mutt was in your care! I will KILL YOU. Wait and see. You didn’t your duty.  It was you duty and let her to be stolen. How dare you? How dare you??”  (344). So far as concern with the cook, he has also deceived the judge while buying vegetable and other things taking pocket money. He accepts that he has kicked the Mutt sometimes. Because of this reason the cook commands to the judge to kill him and beat him.

The judge has hatred towards his presence in Europe and his adopted European culture and life because he has experienced a lot of ambivalent situation while living at Kalimpong. His retired life is full of nostalgia. Now, he has no power. His house is in a critical condition where repair is to be made. His culture that he follows is not accepted and realized by the people of poor localities. He suffers as a migrant in his homeland because of his resemblance with a foreigner. So the ambivalent situation is presented.

J.3.3 Mr. and Mrs. Mistry’s Mysterious Death & Sai’s Contact with European Culture

Mr. and Mrs. Mistry have migrated to Russia. They are migrated because of the skill and capacity has with the Mr. Mistry. When he was at Indian Air Force, he was a pilot and as a possible candidate for an Inter-cosmos Programme. From Russia some of the visiting Soviet aeronautical and aviation experts have came to select the candidate as a space pilot. They visit the Air Force of India and Mr. Mistry is selected because of his competency and steely determination. He joins in Moscow and her daughter Sai is sent to the convent school. Mr. Mistry persuades her wife that the competition was fierce. He has chosen to become the very first Indian man beyond the control of gravity, the fates has decided otherwise, in this skin, to see the world as the gods might. But his vision becomes blurred when he and his wife is crushed by local bus wheels, weighted by thirty indomitable ladies. They have a mysterious death. Desai writes, “Thus they had died under the wheels of foreigners, amid crates of babushka nesting dolls. If their last thoughts were of their daughter in St. Augustine’s, she would never know” (30). Mr. and Mrs. Mistry’s vision and hope of better and prosper life have been doomed by the accident. Their European contact becomes unsuccessful and their daughter Sai becomes orphan.

When Sai hears this news, she doesn’t think so worry. She is very confident and strong girl to console herself. When she hears the news of her parents, she says, “‘I’m an orphan,’ ‘My parents are dead. I am an orphan'” (31). But, she has not that confidence and strong heart in Kalimpong. She is betrayed by her lover. She loses the loving and caring relationship with Gyan because of her cultural background and lifestyle that she has maintained.

Sai was six year-old when she has gone Russia with her parents. Her feeling and thinking towards the glimpse of Europe is quite remarkable. She has been sent the convent school. Sai’s European contact as Desai writes:

Moscow was not part of the convent curriculum. Sai imagined a sullen bulky architecture, heavyset, solid-muscled, bulldog-jowled, in Soviet shades of gray, under gray Soviet peoples eating gray Soviet foods. A masculine city, without frill or weakness, without crenellation, without a risky angle. An uncontrollable spill of scarlet now in this scene, unspooling. (30)

At the convent school, Sai gets a letter from her mom to meet and enjoy the leisure time. Sai thinks these letters as book exercise because Sai has had no meet since long time. Desai says, “Sai had not seen her parents in to whole years, and the emotional immediacy of their existence had long vanished. She tried to cry, but she couldn’t” (31). Her adopted western culture and foreign identity collapsed by the death of her parents and her heading to Kalimpong is quite mysterious. Sai’s western cultural background and Kalimpong’s life style clashes when she met a tutor Gyan whom she finds as a lover too.

Sai is actually uninspiring having a lot of contradictions when she gets a deceive note from her lover. Desai says, “Sai was not miraculous; she was an uninspiring person, a reflection of all the contradictions around her . . .” (287). There is completely ambivalent situation which is prevalent in Sai’s life. Desai says, “Gyan would find adulthood and purity in a quest for a homeland and she would be left forever adolescent, trapped in shameful dramatics. This was the history that sustained her; the family that never cared, the lover who forgot” (290).

When the dog, Mutt has been lost from the house, the quarrel begins between the judge and cook. The judge finds the cook as irresponsible man and wants to kill as the cook requested to kill him too. At this time, Sai becomes so astringent and bothered. Desai writes her motif as:

She fled outside. Stood in the rich hamms dark in her white cotton pajamas and felt the empty burden of the day, her own small heart, her disgust at the cook, at his pleading, her hatred of the judge, her pitiful selfish sadness, her pitiful selfish pointless love. (353)

At last, Sai completely becomes hopeless. She doesn’t know where she exists. Her life and culture couldn’t bear anything at this type. Her expression and thoughts as Desai writes:

And always there would have to be something sweet and something salty—

Sai stood there—

She thought of her father and the space program. She thought of all the National Geographics and books she had read. Of the judge’s journey, of the cook’s journey, of Biju’s. Of the globe twirling on its axis.

And she felt a glimmer of strength. (356)

Actually, ambivalent situation is created due to the co-existence with the culture. More westernization and less western people in poor localities create Sai a hard time and her cultural background and life style where she is now living is, very conflicting and chaos place. She is completely westernized and alien to the Indian culture, though she doesn’t reject any culture. Desai writes, “She was a westernized Indian brought up by English nuns, an estranged Indian living in India” (230).

J.3.4 Gyan’s Unfaithfulness to his Girl-Friend Sai

Gyan is from poor localities of hillside of Kalimpong, Bong Busti. He belongs to a migrant generation of Nepali identity. His ancestors had left their village in Nepal in the 1800s and arrived in Darjeeling, lured by promises of work on a tea plantation. His migrated identity always gives him trouble and confusion with the contact of different culture. He finds a part time job as a home tutor in the judge’s house to teach Sai. Because of his migrant heritage, his identity in Kalimpong is missing something. Their fathers and forefathers had fought for the British. They became a servant of British government. Although their contacts have been in the British services, they follow the Nepali culture. His contact with the family members of judge’s house makes him unaware of their lifestyle and culture.

He walks two hours uphill, from his place, the light shining through thick bamboos in starry, jumping chinks, imparting the feeling of liquid shimmering; he experiences the walk to Cho Oyu. The cook doesn’t like Nepali man. Because they are not intelligent as the cook has understood. The cook says:

Coastal people eat fish and see how much cleverer they are, Bengalis, Malayalis, Tamils. Inland they eat too lunch grain, and it shows the digestion—especially millet—forms a big heavy ball. The blood goes the head. Nepalis make good soldiers, coolies, but they are not so bright at their studies. Not their fault, poor thing. (82)

During the study period, Gyan and Sai fall in love. Gyan has got different things in her. Her lifestyle and cultural attitude becomes ignorant for him. Gyan sees Sai’s Kimono dress and her spotted elbow which seems to be the hybrid culture. It is neither completely western nor Indian. She follows western culture and lifestyle which influences Gyan very much. Desai writes, “Gyan felt a moment of shame remembering his tea parties with Sai on the Veranda, the cheese toast, queen cakes form the baker, and even worse, the small warm space they inhabited together, the nursery talk— ” (177).

In the background of Kalimpong GNLF creates whim for their victory. At the moment Gyan gives pang of his passion and feeling towards GNLF so when he reaches Sai’s house; Sai too sensitively talks about the Christmas party which creates chaos and conflict in their life. Gyan doesn’t like to celebrate such party. This type of environment creates completely disinterested about the friendship to Gyan and replies to Sai, “BECAUSE I’M BORED TO DEATH BY YOU, THAT’S WHY” (179). This is the clash and conflict between two different people from different cultural backgrounds. There is ambivalence in Gyan’s presence with westernized people who live in India.

At Thapa’s canteen, Gyan has a hate towards the judge’s family. Desai says, “. . . If he could get a proper job and leave that fussy pair, Sai and her grandfather with the fake English accent and the face powdered pink and white over dark brown” (193). Gyan decides to betray Sai because she has no language at all. Gyan thinks Sai as, “She who could speak no language but English and pidgin Hindi, she who could not converse with anyone outside her tiny social stratum” (193). Further he thinks:

She who thought it vulgar to put oil in your hair and used paper to clean her bottom; felt happier with so-called English vegetables, snap peas, French beans, spring onions, and feared—feared— loki, tinda, kathal, kaddu, patrel, and the local saag in the market. (194)

Desai writes, “Gyan and Sai—she thought of the two of them together, of their fight over Christmas; it was ugly, and how badly it contrasted with the past” (212). Desai says:

The house didn’t match Gyan’s talk, his English, his looks, his cloths, or his schooling. It didn’t match his future. Every single thing his family had was going into him and it took ten of them to live like this to produce a boy, combed, educated, their best bet in the big world. (280)

Gyan collides with the dual thinking; his ambivalence is created due to the GNLF’s conflicting creation of so-called terrorism. Gyan has done mistakes as he feels now that he sent the boys to rob the judge’s house and betrayal to the Sai. Desai writes:

How could he have told the boys about the guns? How? How could he have put Sai in such danger? His skin began to crawl and burn. He couldn’t lie on the bed any longer. He got up and paced up and down. Could he ever be happy and innocent after what he had done? (299)

Gyan regrets in Thapa’s canteen as Desai says,”He wasn’t laughing. Oh, that awful day when he had told the boys about the judge’s guns. What, after all, had Sai done to him? The guilt took over again and he felt dizzy and nouseous” (345). This happened with the faulty thinking, his cultural dilemma and isolation. If he has a pure heart to Sai, he can accept Sai as a girl friend and follows the culture what they want. But it couldn’t happen to Gyan. He is much stroked by the job though well-educated, living a poor life and unhealthy contact with Sai. His guilty feeling towards Sai family makes aware of a problem that he has waived. His unfaithfulness towards Sai has seen because of his ambivalent thinking and dilemma. That’s why it is the ambivalent culture that has something about migrant.

Biju, a simple boy from Kalimpong, the son of the cook has a very hard life in New York. The cook’s mentality towards western world is very clear that there is prosperity and future of life. He is totally influenced by the western culture because of his presence as a cook in the judge’s house. Western part is more important for him because he has no significant identity as the judge has, even there is no name mentioned throughout the time in the book. The judge, then Jemubhai or Jemu has different identity after getting British education and serving British civil services. The judge has a big building at Cho Oyu with respect having a high-class standard life. So the cook wants to send his son Biju for the betterment of life with the hope of economic prosperity. Biju migrates to New York getting a tourist visa and works as an illegal immigrant. Although Biju was tracing strings of jobs the cook is very happy to get the news of his son’s excellent job in New York. Desai writes, “His repetition provided a coziness, and the cook’s repetition of his son’s repetition double-knit the coziness.”‘Excellent job,’ he told his acquaintances, ‘better even than the last'” (19). This shows the Biju’s hardship and how hard it is to work and get a right job in America. This creates hopeless to Biju for his better life. Though migrated and working as an illegal immigrant, he suffers from ambivalence.

When Biju was working in Baby Bistro, there were people from different countries; on top French and down below in the kitchen Mexican, Indian and Paki. When Biju was at Le Colonial, it was authentic for colonial experience; on top rich colonial, down below poor native, Colombian, Tunisian, Ecuadorian, Gambian. Likewise, in America there are the meetings of various people from different countries. Desai says, “There was a whole world in the basement kitchens of New York, but Biju was ill-equipped for it and almost relieved when Pakistani arrived” (24). It is the cultural diversity in the western part of the world where all the Third World people migrate and go to work for the better life. Because of this many people suffer from hard life which makes their identity in isolation and the presence of ambivalence strikes very bitterly.

Biju has completely no right jobs at all. His life is becoming harder; he searches one to another restaurant asking for a job. Desai writes about his job search:

Biju approached Tom & Tomoko’s— ‘No jobs.’

McSweeney’s Pub— ‘Not hiring.’

Freddy’s Wok— ‘Can you ride a bicycle?’

Yes, he could. (55)

Biju’s hardship makes him sleep. Desai says, “When he returned home to the basement of a building at the bottom of Harlem, he fell straight into sleep” (57). Biju feels so cold while working in Freddy’s Wok as he exclaims, “I’m also cold” (58) losing his temper. Biju always thinks of hate and love relationship about the matters, cultures and people. He doesn’t like hubshi and hates black people, etc. Desai says “This habit of hate had accompanied Biju, and he found that he possessed an awe of white people, who arguably had done India great harm, and a lack of generosity regarding almost everyone else” (86). The fluctuation of love and hate relationship makes Biju completely in ambivalence which he cannot bear the things at all. His friend Saaed Saeed also finds this dilemma in Biju. Because of the illegal status in America Biju cannot get a chance to apply the green card lottery. He becomes restless sometimes and walks as a homeless man which is the subject of a migrant. Desai describes:

He walked to the far end where the homeless man often slept in a dense chamber of green that seemed to grow not so much from soil as from a fertile city crud. A homeless chicken also lived in the park. Every now and then Biju saw it scratching in a homey manner in the dirt and felt a pang for village life. (91)

Though Biju is in confusion and contrasting situation of living in New York with no money and no secure job, his father boasts to everyone saying “My son works in New York” (93). The cook has believed that his son will take him there. But the situation brings him too hard to stay in New York after running from one job to another one. He cannot find the solution. He never gets a chance to apply for the Green Card. Yet last he buys ticket to return Kalimpong. Biju completely bewilders about the road to Kalimpong when he come back. In the road to Kalimpong he is being robbed. Desai writes:

Biju handed over his wallet. He took off his belt.

‘you’re forgetting your shoes.’

He took them off. Under fake soles were his savings.

. . . Biju began to quake, and fumbling, tripping, he took off the last items of clothing, stood in his white underpants. (348)

He runs into the jungle and at last reaches the house of the judge to meet his father, the cook. This chaos and very dangerous has come to the forefront of Biju’s life because of his unable to catch or adopt the western values, lifestyle and culture. He only ran one restaurant to another one. He is completely unaware of the things; he has to think for his betterment of life. He ran only for the green card as the pressure given by his father. His love and hate relationship collides with the conflict. So he is totally in confusion and ambivalence about his life and culture though he respects Indian culture. This is the ambivalence that is created in the migrated world. So far as this ambivalence concerns, it has stroked hard that he could not bear while he returns with nothing.

J.3.6 Saeed’s Progress and Prosperity in America

Saeed is from Zanzibar. Biju meets him at Queen of Tarts bakery. Biju admires much of him though he is a Muslim because he had a previous fight with Pakistani. Saeed Saeed is also from Indian community and prefers to sing like Amitabh Bachhan and Hema Malini. Saeed is not drowning in America. He is admired by zanzibaries and other people from different culture and background. Desai writes:

. . . Saeed Saeed wasn’t drowning, he was bobbing in the tides. In fact, a large number of people wished to cling to him like a plank during a shipwreck—not only fellow Zanzibaris and fellow illegals but Americans, too; overweight confidence-leached citizens he teased when they lunched alone on a pizza slice. (85)

Biju accepts friendship to Saeed Saeed because he was kind and not Pakistani. So Biju has ambivalent thinking about culture and people from different countries and place. Saeed has no such ambivalence thinking. Because of his talent and very good nature, he becomes a very successful person in New York. At the end of the meet with Biju, Saeed talks about his fake marriage with the Lutfi’s sister. He has completely adopted the western culture and he is going to get the green card after 4 years too.  He says to Biju, “But in four years I get my green card and fsshht out of there I get divorced and I marry for real. Now we are only going to have a ceremony in the mosque. . . .  this girl she is.” (349).

Though Saeed has confusions, problems while working one place to another he transformed into better life easily. Biju is unsuccessful regarding this because of his dilemma and conventional mentality. Saeed gets happy life in the restaurants of New York. He accepts and follows the western lifestyle.

J.3.7 GNLF’s Demand of Gorkhaland

Gorkha Nepal Liberation Front (GNLF) is the activist group shouting for the demand of separate state, Gorkhaland. They processed the rally in the street of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and other places where Nepali people has been settled after the British Service. They cry for the compensation in lieu of their service in the British government. They have fought in world war with their great courage and brave. In fact, the GNLF people are living in Kalimpong, Darjeeling and around hill-side. Still this mission is undergoing because the formed group for liberation demanding Gorkhaland as Sanwa Roshan reports about the news of Indian Gorkha Council (IGC) in Republica on 19 Feb 2011:

Indian Gorkha Council (IGC), an alliance of the Nepali-speaking populace of the Nepali-speaking populace, has taken the initiative to form a working alliance among local political parties here that want a separate Gorkhaland state. (2)

The Nepali-speaking people of Darjeeling have been demanding a separate Gorkhaland state. And at present GJM movement of Darjeeling is calling infinite strike from February 9, 2011. And the violence has been made with the killing two cadres of its movement as Sanwa reports, “GJM had called the strike following the killing of two of its cadres in police firing. It has been demanding that the killings . . .” (2).

 They share the same feeling of their identity, culture and life style. All the Nepali-speaking people have been inhabited at the time of colonization. They have migrated from Nepal. Their service in British is quiet remarkable. The culture is different from the people of high-class living standard of Indian community. Their cultural clash and conflict with westerns make a terroristic activity which leads chaos in the village of Kalimpong. In the Ringkingpong hill whoever can see the “LIBERATION” scrawled across the waterworks. Desai writes:

But then one day fifty boys, members of the youth wing of the GNLF, gathered to swear an oath at Mahakaldara to fight to the death for the formation of a homeland, Gorkhaland. Then they marched down the streets of Darjeeling, took a turn around the market and the mall. ‘Gorkhaland for Gorkhas. We are the liberation army. (139-140)

The judge’s anglophile neighbour Lola thinks that Nepalese are the main causes to make this type of trouble in India. They have learned from other movements. Desai writes:

Separatist movement here, separatist movement there, terrorists, guerrillas, insurgents, rebels, agitators, instigators, and they all learn from one another, of course—the Neps have been encouraged by the Sikhs and their Khalistan, by ULFA, NEFA, PLA; Jharkhand, Bodoland, Gorkhaland; Tripura. . . (143)

Gyan also remembers the stirring of stories when British leave has been demanded. And now the GNLF is voicing for separate land due to their identity, culture and secure life. The slogans has voiced in the street procession, “India for Indians. No taxation without representation. No help for the wars. Not a man, not a rupee. British Raj Murdabad!” (174). They burn the Indo-Nepal treaty of 1950. And the cultural group has been requested to contribute funds to purchase calendars and cassette tapes of speeches. Desai writes:

It was requested (required) that every family—Bengali, Lepcha, Tibetan, Sikkimese, Bihari, Marwari, Nepali, or whatever else in the mess—send a male representative to every procession, and they were also to show up at the burning of the Indo-Nepal treaty. (211)

The liberation front is created because of their ambivalent thinking towards high-class people and their high-class culture, the western one. Their English tone, their lifestyle and other things are quite unbearable to the Nepalese-Indian. They wanted their own land because of their different cultural existence, though they are all migrated from Nepal.

To bring to a close this chapter, ambivalent culture as a migrant subject in The Inheritance of Loss, it is very the reality of migrant whose contact gets the cultural tussle. Their cultural tussle and superiority of western culture dominate the migrants. Those migrants who can adjust and live for the better life, they would have the prosperous life, but those who cannot adopt they seem to have ambivalence. This ambivalent creates the cultural hierarchy in the mind; neither they want to copy or can copy; neither the higher culture nor they stay quiet calm in easy with own culture. So contact between different cultures is more important to make the cultural situation ambivalent. The contacts between different cultures have only the possibility in the immigration which creates hybrid culture as a new form of culture.

(K) Conclusion

Culture transports from one place to another, one identity to another with the blink of interest and fond of making it essential. The traditional culture rests with the old one and the new-generation adopts the next one, the very stylish and valued culture in their sense. Today’s world is the multicultural and multi-ethnic world where we find the diversity of culture in existence. Only, it is the matter of harmony and cooperation to make the better lifestyle. Every culture exists in society to procure and experience life. Because of the cultural difference, the ambivalent culture is formed and this ambivalent culture becomes in crisis with the feeling of alienation, isolation and betrayed situation. The disruption of ambivalent culture gives birth to hybrid culture which is vital in the globalization concept of world.

According to Homi K. Bhabha ambivalence is an imperial discourse. It has the borderline, marginal and the doubtful which responds the ambivalence of equivocal, indefinite and indeterminate by the centre. Bhabha shows that both the colonizing and the colonized subjects are implicated in the ambivalence of colonial discourse. Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin says, “The concept is related to hybridity because, just as ambivalence ‘decentres’ authority from its position of power, so that authority may also become hybridized when placed in a colonial context in which it finds itself dealing with, and often inflected by, other cultures” (11). So the hybridity is also matured in the colonial world. They get contact with the native people. They are unknowingly interest to know about the native culture and settle with their influence. Kurtz is the person who adopts the native culture and marries the black woman and promotes the business to Europe in the Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Kurtz has a hybrid culture although he has the power and life of Englishman; at the end his life finishes due to the ambivalence created in a colonial space.

This situation or the possibility of contact between one and another culture is migration. Those who migrate they should adopt another culture for the existence and the existence creates the ambivalent culture. The ambivalent culture collides with the national identity and foreign identity. At this point national identity fears to get in contact with ambivalence and gets pain of exile. Once migrated and registered to complex identity fears with the acceptance of traditional cultural approach provided by inheritance. In this situation the mix up of two cultures give birth to hybrid culture because an alien person from foreign country cannot be the original one as native of another place, so it is hybrid.

To conclude, there is ambivalent culture in migrant people due to the cultural difference, which absolutely generates the hybrid culture. Hybrid culture is a formation of cultural difference because of the contact between different alien cultures. The thorough study of Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss, ambivalent culture is created due to the colonial discourse. The world is separated in the four worlds such as First, Second, Third and Fourth World whereas the migration rate is high towards the First and Second World. This migration rate is increasing day by day with the hope of economic prosperity and progress. They are hoping for the betterment of life and queasy to copy the English tone.

Here, I provide a mathematical representation proving hybridity and ambivalence is prevalent in the cultural differences because of the rapid growth of migration in this global village.

Let the variables for the respective following terms:

Cultural Differences= C, Ambivalent Culture= Y, Hybrid Culture= U, Migrant= M, One Culture= a, Another Culture= b, Contact= x, Disruption= r, National Identity= n, Foreign Identity= f

We know,
Ambivalent Culture = Existence of National Identity & Foreign Identity

Here, cultural differences (C) signify the combination of one culture (a) and another culture (b).

C —> a + b………………………… (i)
Or, a + b || x= Y                   {Parallel contact with cultures generate ambivalence}
Or, Y= n + f………………………. (ii)
Or, n + f || r = U………………… (iii) {Parallel disruption with identities destruct itself & produces hybrid}

Making common with above (ii) & (iii) equation, it produces:

Y = U  {Ambivalence equal to hybrid}

Hybrid culture (U) is the possibility in the migrant (M), so:

U ≈ M  {hybrid is similar to migrant}

Migrant signifies the involvement of one culture (a) and another culture (b), which:

M —> a + b                                     
U —> a + b……………………. (iv)

Making common with above (iv) & (i) equation, it produces:

U : C  {hybrid culture is to cultural differences}

Therefore, hybrid culture, a formation of cultural differences.


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(M) Appendices:

I haven’t used any material to enlarge the reader’s understanding in this GAMBA Research Paper.

Thank you.

Published by Kamal Shrestha

An Alone Traveller, Intense Blogger, Creative Designer and an English Teacher.


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