Identity in "The Hamilton Case" Book Review by Quality Writers

Identity in "The Hamilton Case"
An analysis of the theme of identity in Michelle de Kretser's novel "The Hamilton Case".
# 105026 | 1,434 words | 1 source | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Jun 27, 2008 in English (Analysis) , Literature (General)

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The paper discusses how Michelle de Kretser's "The Hamilton Case" is a novel which complicates notions of identity, using the post-colonial genre as its method. The paper focuses on Sam, the novel's main character, and his obsession with being exclusively English despite his skin color, his location and his status as the colonized. The paper shows how Sam confuses our ideas of identity, allegiance, nationality, or even right and wrong in the colonial and post-colonial scene.

From the Paper:

"An argument may be made that Sam argues for, and inhabits, an integrated Ceylonese identity--one which recognizes its English history, but remains as something separate. At one point in the novel, Sam is mocked by Jaya, who questions his allegiance to Englishness: "[Jaya] snorted. 'A grove, a glade - why use words designed for an English forest? They have nothing to do with this jungle of ours'" to which Sam replies "'English is our inheritance too,'... 'Why shouldn't we mould it to our needs? Grove and palu in the same sentence - isn't that distinctively Ceylonese?'" (de Kretser, 71). At another time, Sam reflects nostalgically on his schooldays, claiming that the culture there was one of integration, despite the backgrounds, religions or races of the students: "'As any Old Edwardian will attest, the prevalent tone of the school was one of comradeship unmarred by racial or religious strife. We spoke English, our only common tongue, to each other as well as to our masters." (deKretser, 26). "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • De Kretser, Michelle. The Hamilton Case. London: Vintage Books, 2004.

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