The Masks: The Self or the Other (Postcolonial study of Ondaatje’s novels: In the Skin of a Lion and Anil's Ghost)

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Elahe Gharesoufloo
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The major focus of the study is to make an in-depth study of Postcolonialism in Michael Ondaatje’s novels: In the Skin of a Lion and Anil's Ghost under the light of W.E.B. Du Bois’s and Frantz Fanon’s theories of double consciousness and single-minded consciousness. Philip Michael Ondaatje is a well-known anti-colonial contemporary writer. The characters of his novels are mainly among the immigrants, the colonized, and the oppressed who are suffering from the loss of true self and identity. Therefore, it is demonstrated that colonialism will continue its banal effects on individual’s lives and identities by entangling them in an unhealthy state of mind like double consciousness. In the novel, In the Skin of a Lion, Patrick who is the main character finds himself an outsider in the society and tries to measure himself through the other’s look. Also, other minor characters of the novel are challenging with their lost identities. Anil in Anil's Ghost shows the signs of double consciousness as well. There exists a kind of distance between Anil and the people she has been once part of. In fact, Anil is delineated as someone who has crossed over her true self and moved towards a western other. Therefore, how the characters are suffering from double consciousness, what methods Ondaatje uses to help them reach a single-minded consciousness and how successful the characters are to fulfill his aim to resist colonization are major questions to be answered.

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