"The Inheritance of Loss" Analytical Essay by Quality Writers

"The Inheritance of Loss"
An analysis of the theme of national identity in Kiran Desai's "The Inheritance of Loss".
# 104746 | 816 words | 1 source | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Jun 22, 2008 in English (Analysis) , Ethnic Studies (General) , Literature (General)

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The paper looks at how Kiran Desai in "The Inheritance of Loss" offers an indictment of a capitalist system that has managed to crush the spirits of a large portion of the world's inhabitants through a relentless attack on their national and racial identity. The paper looks at Desai's portrayals of the characters Biju and the judge and highlights the difficulty in maintaining one's national identity in hostile environments. The paper notes how Desai portrays two very different responses to the degradation that so often befalls the inhabitants of exploited countries.

From the Paper:

"The central issue in the judge's life is racial self-hatred, and he spends his bitter years in an awful quest for pale skin and European civilization. Desai does not offer many details about the judge's childhood in India, but it is clear that he arrives in England with a healthy amount of self-respect. It is in England, however, that the judge begins to feel shame at his heritage and darker skin, and it is there that he begins to experience bitterness over the circumstances of his birth. The magnitude of his shame is understandable, and the harrowing scene of his civil service examination encapsulates this well. In it, the judge is forced to recite a poem from memory, but his recitation, riddled as it is by a heavy accent, only manages to amuse his merciless examiners: ""When he looked up, he say they were all chuckling" (Desai 124). "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Desai, Kiran. The Inheritance of Loss. New York: Grove Press, 2006.

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