A Cultural-Linguistic Approach to Postcolonial Literature: Jhumpa Lahiri and Zadie Smith
This doctoral thesis is based on a cultural-linguistic approach to postcolonial literature, which is called to uncover the complex web of relationships between linguistic devices and the ideological message they deliver more or less directly. For a better understanding of the relevance of such an approach for linguistic, cultural and literary studies, we have chosen to closely examine four novels which hold a controversial position, still generate heated debates and defy strict categorization. What Jhumpa Lahiri and Zadie Smith share are their immigrant background and their common preoccupation with voicing the struggle of the first and second-generation of immigrants and portraying the consequences of living in a multicultural and increasingly intercultural society. Hopefully, our analysis provides enough evidence to support the inclusion of both Jhumpa Lahiri‟s The Namesake (2003) and The Lowland (2013) and Zadie Smith‟s White Teeth (2000) and NW (2012) into the larger category of postcolonial novels. The major aim of the doctoral thesis is to prove that whether consciously or not, postcolonial writers of different backgrounds make use of a series of similar linguistic devices meant to support their artistic endeavour to express various postcolonial issues shaping a common core of postcolonial literature. In order to achieve this aim, we rely on a series of methodological tools which include the comparative and contrastive analysis, the case-study and the corpus-based research methods.