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Cultural Negotiation through Romantic Love: Nation, Belonging, and Multiculturalism in The Namesake and Native Speaker

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dc.contributor.advisor Franklin, Cynthia Ikehara, Samantha 2018-06-28T19:43:48Z 2018-06-28T19:43:48Z 2015-05
dc.description.abstract This project examines cross cultural love stories in Chang-rae Lee's 1995 novel Native Speaker and Jhumpa Lahiri's 2003 novel The Namesake, particularly how immigrants of each novel, through their search for belonging and acceptance, attempt to write themselves into the dominant narrative of Western society by way of their romantic efforts. These depictions of romance complicate and intensify racial and cultural tension between those in the relationship and, to differing degrees, expose America as a nation founded on racism and exclusion. In my analysis, I apply queer theory, which gives me a way to understand how heteronormativity organizes social structures, and a diverse range of criticism to address the hardships of immigrating to a new space where one exists as a deviation from the dominant narrative of Western society. Of particular note is how attempted assimilation causes cultural and intergenerational conflict; how multiculturalism is an insufficient antidote to the myriad issues of being culturally deviant, and in fact, often ensures the perennial existence of an Other; and how, despite the dominant perceptions in the Western imagination, America is not so much a multicultural salad bowl as much as it is defined by its legacy of racism and tendency to exclude Others. And while both novels critique the exclusionary aspects of American nationalist ideology, I argue that they do so within a liberal model, as the implied solution of both novels is greater inclusivity within existing structures rather than any transformation that would challenge society and disrupt its institutions.
dc.format.extent 67 pages
dc.publisher University of Hawaii at Manoa
dc.rights All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
dc.subject heteronormativity
dc.subject diaspora
dc.subject nation
dc.subject romantic love
dc.subject assimilation
dc.subject multiculturalism
dc.title Cultural Negotiation through Romantic Love: Nation, Belonging, and Multiculturalism in The Namesake and Native Speaker
dc.type.dcmi Text
dc.contributor.department English English
Appears in Collections: Honors Projects for English

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