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|Title:||Displaced and Minor Children in Selected Canadian Literature: An Analysis of Ethnic Minority Child Narratives as "Minor Literatures" in Funny Boy, Lives of the Saints, and Obasan|
|Abstract:||This study examines the ethnic minority experience and its effects on approaches to childhood in Shyam Selvadurai's Funny Boy, Joy Kogawa's Obasan, and Nino Ricci's Lives of the Saints. The novels' protagonists, Arjie, Naomi, and Vittorio, are marginalized not only geographically, but also in terms of age, language, race, and sexual orientation. In addition to having been written and narrated by members of ethnic minorities, the novels concentrate on characters belonging to the age of minority. Using these "child focalizers" in order to depict defamiliarized, displaced, and minor perspectives, the authors write in the genre I call minor literature, a term adapted from Deleuze and Guattari's concepts of such literature. In focalizing various linguistic deterritorializations and socio-political displacements through the eyes of minor children, the authors disturb and deconstruct social nor.ms and conventions. In the thesis I analyze the minor child focalizer's vulnerabilities to, and subversions of, major languages, social conventions, and codes of behaviour. I argue that the children's identities as ethnic minorities intensify and complicate their various displacements, and allow for the authors to comment on the radical experience of multiple deterritorialization. I establish three categories in my discussions of these novels as minor literatures and their protagonists as minor focalizers: the disturbance and manipulation of language, the minoradult's alignment with the child's subject position, and the transgressive nature of identity-performance. The children's manipulation of language, bodily expressions and performances of gender and language are all means of resistance to major adult impositions of expected identities and behaviours. I demonstrate how the processes by which these children "resist" impositions of identities expose the artificialities of those identities.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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