Literature of Global Experience, (How we fit into our societies and…
Literature of Global Experience
Identity within society and communities
Tsitsi Dangarembga, This Mournable Body
Tsitsi Dangarembga, This Mournable Body showcases some of the complexities of Socioeconomic class and inequality. As well as gender, feminism and identity in society. Examines gender dynamics and the challenges faced by women in a patriarchal society. Tambudzai struggles to find her identity within her community and socioeconomic class.
"I'm alive. I breathe in the oxygen and the fumes. I breathe out my own fumes, my own waste, my own exhaust. I breathe out my toxins. I'm alive. I breathe out my poison and I keep breathing it in again." Acknowledging her identity and also admitting to her negative actions. Internal battles. External Battles
Jenny Erpenbeck, Go, Went, Gone
Similar to Drive your Plow over the Bones of the Dead, this novel explores themes of identity, empathy, social justice and migration. It highlights some of the complexities and struggles when adapting to a new physical and social environment. This book also showcases the imbalances of power and privileges in the world. I learned about some of the insane hardships and the struggles for survival that some asylum seekers face in modern times. How those who are privileged neglect some of the issues of the less fortunate and cant understand perspective. This book shows how relationships and empathy transcend social and cultural barriers.
Richard is a retired academic living a comfortable and relatively isolated life. Throughout the novel he develops a deeper understanding of the harsh realities of immigration and privilege
Han Kang, The Vegetarian
Yeong-hye throughout the novel struggles with her own identity as she explores her purpose and role in South Korea.
3 part novel told from different perspectives
This novel explores individuality, rebellion, identity, oppression and conformity. We seeYeong-hye slowly lose control throughout the novel. Her husband tries to facilitate Yeong-hye's actions and it is seen as a societal norm.
This book is a deeply introspective novel that challenges traditional norms and offers a powerful commentary on the pressures and expectations placed on individuals within a society. It delves into the complexities of human relationships, desires, and the pursuit of personal freedom. She experiences oppressions and trauma which leads her to question her identity. By the end of the novel her psychological state has detreated and she chooses to identify as a plant. I believe this is due to the fact that she feels helpless and out of control in her life. By becoming a plant she feels she has regains some of that control.
Zadie Smith, Swing Time
This novel explores the nuances and complexities of racial identity. self discovery, cultural differences and globalization.
The narrator and Tracey grow up understanding some of the complexities regarding race and identity. They also learn how talent and admission can shape and mold relationships for the better or worse. How friendships can turn into rivalry and how jealousy can blind one's actions.
Another prevalent theme in this novel is perspective . It is apparent when Amy goes to a foreign country she seems to only care about her own self image and neglects the negative implications of her actions. The disparity, imbalance in resources and privilidge in the world is not shared equally.
Olga Tokarczuk, Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead
Janina is a very secluded woman who questions the way that society works in regards to ethics and morality. She believes that justice is carried out through nature and that all living things deserve privilege. At first her views seemed reasonable to me but as the novel continues she slowly devolves into deranged beliefs. She is very idealistic and contemplates on the nature of life and human condition.
Eventually she turns to anger and vengeance and she kills those who harmed nature. By killing, she proves that she is no better than any of the victims throughout the novel. She views their deaths as a poetic justice and the novel raises questions about the nature of justice and the consequences of human actions. Animals kill each other all the time but she neglects the fact that we are also animals with the capability to end life.
Identity Self Discovery
Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
Murakami frequently explores his characters' innermost feelings, ideas, and psychological environments in his work. The work connects with readers from all backgrounds and emphasizes the universality of human experiences and emotions by capturing the subtleties of human cognition and the depths of human emotions.
Kafka on the Shore" explores universal themes such as identity, loneliness, love, loss, and the search for meaning.
Growing up Kafka must explore his own identity and place in the world. He leaves his home and is haunted by a prophecy which apparently tells his chilling destiny
Nakata also struggles with his identity and is haunted by past trauma.
Similar to the story of Oedipus
Mohsin Hamid, Exit West
Nadia is moved to compassion and empathy by her interactions with other refugees and the struggles they go through. She develops connections and offers support as she becomes more sensitive to the difficulties of others. Her empathy broadens her perspective and enhances her appreciation of the common humanity shared by all people.
Nadia's transformation involves reconciling with her past and the events that shaped her.
Transformation of Saeed in "Exit West" is a reflection of his transition from naivety and a sheltered upbringing to a more complex understanding of reality. He goes through loss, adaption, and a reassessment of his ideals and views. He is thrown into societal and cultural displacement throughout the novel which ultimately shapes him into a wiser individual.
As the narrative opens, Nadia is a strong, independent woman. She defies social expectations and standards by dressing unconventionally, riding a motorcycle, and living alone. Her independence displays her resolve to claim her own identity and lead an independent life.
How we fit into our societies and whether the world will accept us for who we are.