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'Indias of the mind': the construction of post-colonial identity in Salman Rushdie's fiction

Cundy, Catherine (1994) 'Indias of the mind': the construction of post-colonial identity in Salman Rushdie's fiction. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86159) (KAR id:86159)


This study will examine both the technical development of Salman Rushdie's fiction and its reflection and representation of different levels of psychological stability on the part of the post-colonial subject. Rushdie's writing is introduced by way of a discussion of the work of earlier British writers - chiefly E.M. Forster and Paul Scott. These authors' writing on India serves primarily as an exploration of British self-image and the role of India as a psychological bulwark to British imperial identity rather than its significance as a geographical reality. Paul Scott's work also serves ironically to illustrate shared themes and characteristics between his writing and that of Rushdie. Chief among these are concerns with the individual's role in history and the physical and psychological determinants of identity.

Enoch Powell is discussed briefly as another linking figure; this time between Scott and Rushdie. For Scott, he illustrates the extreme manifestation of imperial self-imagining, while for Rushdie he is seen as largely responsible for creating the demonized persons of the 'immigrant' against which a text like The Satantic Verses seeks to assert itself.

The remainder of the thesis is a detailed exploration of the ways in which Rushdie achieves the representation of a re-integrated and non-demonized identity for the post-colonial subject. This representation is similarly achieved within the framework of texts which increasingly assert their hybridized nature - a blend of eastern and western techniques and ideas - as a positive characteristic.

NOTE: The term 'Anglo Indian' is used in this study to denote those British men and women who lived and worked in India and the literature they produced as a result of their experiences. The term 'Indo-Anglian' is used to denote the work of Indian writers writing in English.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86159
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Literature; India; Britain; Salman Rushdie; Enoch Powell; E.M. Forster; Paul Scott
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:31 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:27 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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