Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Grand Choice

Rushdie's use of wording stands out in this passage, along with the fact that each is italicized. He uses the words "selected discontinuities", "willing re-invention", and "preferred revolt" to describe Chamcha and in contrast he uses "wishing to remain" to describe Gibreel. The use of these words presents a connotation when read or spoken that illustrates rebellion and accepting. For Chamcha there is choice involved with his description, "selected", "willing" and "preferred." There was a legitimate effort on behalf of Chamcha to create his "type of self." He felt that his Indian origins were not good enough for his perceived standards of the Londoners. These actions taken by Chamcha show one side of the double edged sword that comes from immigration. Chamcha feels as though to be accepted he must discontinue his natural self and re-invent what he thinks is the acceptable being. This move, as seen in the transformation of Chamcha, is not a particularly good one. By lying to himself and others about who he is his appearance becomes that of something he claims he is not, but at this point, based on the lies he has told himself, it is tough to decide whether this new appearance is truly him or not. Gibreel doesn't face this dilemma. Instead of the "re-invention" of himself, Gibreel "wish [es] to remain" himself, his true self. As a result he does not face the same physical disparity that Chamcha is plagued with.
Being true to who they truly are is what immigrants fail to do. Social pressures from the powers that be may be to blame for this acceptance of what others think is acceptable, but it is ultimately up to the individual to decide who and what they are. Rushdie’s use of Gibreel and Chamcha as two characters in which we are to compare show the positives and negatives of self-identity.

No comments:

Post a Comment