The Rise of Indian Americans’ Identity in Zitkala Sa’s “Impressions of an Indian Childhood” and Jhumpa Lahiri’s “Interpreter of Maladies”

Kifah (Moh'd Khair) Al Omari, Hala Abdel Razzaq Jum'ah



The present paper scrutinizes the seismic shifts of the Indians' identity during the twentieth century. It tends to outline the Indians' collapsing image at the end of the century, taking Zitkala Sa's "Impressions of an Indian Childhood" and Jhumpa Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies" as sample stories to represent such shifts. Both Sa and Lahiri embody different aspects of the Indians’ identity in which the sense of originality, culture and spirituality changes. The paper dwells on the changes of these aspects from the beginning to the end of the twentieth century due to several factors such as World War I, World War II, and many other social and political developments during this century. The main argument, thus, is that the writings of the Natives transfer to depict their transitional period. To prove this argument, the researchers analyze the Natives’ distinctive identity, inspecting four distinguished components, originality, culture, spirituality, and struggle in Zitkala Sa’s story. The paper moves to contradict the Natives distinguished identity at the end of the twentieth century, taking Lahiri’s story as a sample for application. It ends by tracing the transitional break of the earlier identity’s components, emphasizing the aspects of imitation, destruction, and shallowness. These aspects make up the main thread of the Indians’ changing identity at the end of the century. By adopting this frame, the researchers consider the Indians’ identity to be one of the most important constitutive norms that changes and adjusts itself to suit many drastic developments that took place throughout the century.





Voice; culture; Zitkala Sa; Jhumpa Lahiri; identity; shallowness.

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