Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-14-2014

Major Department or Program



Gaurav Majumdar


This thesis examines the partition of India using literature approaching the event from Indian and Pakistani perspectives. The texts analyzed include Anita Desai’s Clear Light of Day, Abdullah Hussein’s The Weary Generations, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, Intizar Husain’s Basti, Sadaat Hasan Manto’s Mottled Dawn: Fifty Sketches and Stories of Partition, and Sara Suleri Goodyear’s Meatless Days. These texts depict instances of failed claims to patriarchal protection at the level of the nation-state and more private contexts, such as the family. Therefore, this thesis argues the presence of subalternity persists despite national claims to post-colonialism. This thesis also explores the manner in which memory resists partition by maintaining hybridity and mixture. Literature offers alternatives to dominant historical narratives, and thus, in criticizing the partition of India, resists externally perpetuated homogeneity based on categorical identity and works against partitioning of the self.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Louis Mountbatten (1900-1979) -- Mountbatten of Burma, Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964), Mahomed Ali Jinnah (1876-1948), Narratives -- Politics and government, India -- History -- Partition (1947) -- In literature, Pakistan -- History -- 1947, Nationalism -- Religious aspects -- Islam, Nationalism -- Religious aspects -- Hinduism, Literature and history -- Criticism and interpretation, Identity (Philosophical concept) -- Religious aspects, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2014 -- English Department

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Public Accessible Thesis

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