Loss of Identity in Ayad Akhtar's American Dervish
International Journal of Literature and Arts
Volume 3, Issue 5, September 2015, Pages: 80-87
Received: Aug. 18, 2015; Accepted: Sep. 6, 2015; Published: Sep. 17, 2015
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Author
Ragab Selim Ali, Dept. of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Education, Mansoura University, Cairo, Egypt
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Abstract
This paper focuses on the concept of the loss of identity in Ayad Akhtar's debut novel American Dervish. The novel explicates the inability of the Muslim protagonist, Hayat Shah, to assimilate himself into community as far as he still holds on his remnant tenets he has inherited from his homeland Pakistan. This theme is overtly applied to both Hayat's character as well as his father's. Hayat represents the younger generation while his father represents the older one. They both follow the same path in that Hayat finds his identity in befriending the Jewish girl Rachel as well as in discarding the Islamic tenets, taught by his mentor Mina; in the meantime, his father finds his identity in accompanying his lifelong workmate--Nathan Wolfsohn, a Jewish professor. With regard to this point, Ayad Akhtar's message to the readers perhaps lies in the way the immigrants to the west in general and to America in particular encounter the so many teething troubles in their lives until they find a path to assimilate themselves into their new community.
Keywords
Loss of Identity, Assimilation, Dervish, ISLAM, Jewish, Community, Tenets
To cite this article
Ragab Selim Ali, Loss of Identity in Ayad Akhtar's American Dervish, International Journal of Literature and Arts. Vol. 3, No. 5, 2015, pp. 80-87. doi: 10.11648/j.ijla.20150305.13
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