Burnt Shadows: Transnational identities, Linguistics Consciousness and Hybridity ‘Open the Universe a Little More!’: Transnational identities, linguistics consciousness and Hybridity in Burnt Shadows

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Sadia Nazeer, Dr. Mohammad Muazzam Sharif, Shumaila Ashee, Dr. Mujahid Shah


This paper argues about the processes of negotiating and re constructing identities in Kamila Shamsie’s Burnt Shadows, particularly by the two main characters Hiroko Tanaka, a Japanese language teacher and her son Raza Konrad Ashraf. Drawing on Rushdie’s concept of migrants as translated men and women, imaginary homeland, Diaspora and identity, I aim to see how the cultural identities are shaped and reformed in a transnational dimension through linguistics consciousness, concerning different social and cultural conventions like gender, race, religion and national belonging. I argue that Hiroko Tanaka and Raza Konrad Ashraf are multi-lingual transmigrants who constantly migrate and negotiate their identities through the different languages they know, thus challenging the traditional notions of nation, home, community and sense of belonging; and even then keep their individuality having multi-linguistic abilities. I also take into consideration how these two characters are different from other characters in the novel; and the challenges and conflicts they are faced with during the course of the novel in re shaping their identity.

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