The Narrative of Hybrid Identity in the Third Space: A Postcolonial Critique of The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
The study aims at analyzing the construction and the working of hybrid identity in The Reluctant Fundamentalist. The review of the literature discusses how postcolonial identity research has undergone a paradigm shift in recent times. Among the modern postcolonial critics like Bhabha (1994) and Spivak (2013), 'colonizer' and 'colonized' are dynamically dependent on each other for their subjective constructions. The identities of the 'colonizer' and the 'colonized' are not autonomous; rather, they have mutually exclusive identities—a structuralist stance taken by the earliest postcolonial theorists. Instead, such identities of 'colonizer' and 'colonized' are transcultural and fluid in nature and can negotiate themselves 'in the third space of enunciation' for 'new' forms of 'social collectives' (Bhabha, 1994). This aspect of hybrid identities provides the framework for our research. So, the study, through the textual analysis of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, has applied Bhabha's (1994) concept of 'hybridity' to unearth different aspects of Changez's identity in the wake of changing geopolitical and global scenario after the 9/11 event. The study ends on a note that there is a further need to develop the concept of hybrid identity so that it might enlighten us more about the role of 'cultural materials' in constructing such identities.