The Representation of Home and Identity in Taiye Selasi's Ghana Must Go and Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing

ABSTRACT

This research explores the issues of home and identity in two postcolonial novels, Ghana Must Go and Homegoing. In the era of globalization, people are pushing for borderlessness, transculturalism and hybrid identities as against a pure national or cultural identity. Among such people are African third generation writers who are also second generation migrants. They themselves have had issues in trying to define their identities and, due to the many spaces and cultures they encounter, they have acquired complex identities. They, therefore try to craft a narrative that will define their identities. So the aim of this study was to investigate how second generation migrants in the novel construct their identities and define their home(s) since they face the issue of displacement. It was also to determine the extent to which the writers have been able to yield unique solutions to the problems of home and identity for the second generation migrant. It was the aim of this research to prove that the writers suggest, through their novels and ideologies, that home(s) and identities are no longer fixed but are fluid and personal.

The study applied the concept of Afropolitanism and Hybridity theory in investigating the novels. The primary texts, critical works pertaining to the issues of home and identity and the ideologies of the writers were put under scrutiny to arrive at the findings.

At the end of the analysis, we notice that the characters struggle with identity issues because of the environment they find themselves. However, they do not succumb to a victim position but they try to attain an identity that celebrate personal achievement over cultural identity. We also notice that the characters become hybrids of the many cultures they encounter. Lastly, they cannot fully belong to any nation and so become transnationals who keep shifting homes. Home for them does not become a fixed location but where they feel comfortable.

Finally, the writers succeed in providing a solution to the problem of identity and home for the second generation migrant characters in the novel, and by extension the second generation migrant in the Diaspora. They push for multiple identities instead of one authentic cultural identity and suggest that such an identity is a powerful tool to project the image of Africa.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

DECLARATION………………………………………………………………………………...ii

CERTIFICATION…………………………………………………………………….………..iii

DEDICATION…………………………………………………………………………..………iv

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT………………………………………………………………….……v

TABLE OF CONTENTS……………………………………………………………….……....vi

ABSTRACT……………………………………………………………………………………viii

 

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1

1.1 Background of the Study 1

1.1.2 Conceptualizing Diaspora………………………………………………………………...1

1.1.3 Conceptualizing Identity……………………………………………………………….…4

1.1.4 Conceptualizing Home……………………………………………………………..……..7

    1.2  Research Objectives 13

    1.3 Research Questions ……………………………………………………………………….13

    1.4 Conceptual Framework……………………………………………………........................14

    1.5 Research Design/Methodology ……………....……………………….…………………..16

    1.6 Thesis Structure …....……………………………………………………………………..17

    1.7 Limitation of the Study ......………………………………………………………….....…17

    1.8 Significance of the Study ………………………......……………………………………..18

    1.9 Justification for the Study…………………....…………………………………………....18

 

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 19

2.1 Introduction 20

    2.2 Identity, Cosmopolitanism and Africa: Situating the Afropolitan Concept 20

    2.3 An Overview of Afropolitanism……………………………….....……………………….23

    2.3.1 Afropolitan Identity: Re-inventing the African Identity…………...........………………26

    2.3.2 Criticisms of Afropolitanism…………………..…………………………......................29

    2.4 Cultural Hybridity and Multiple Identities: The Afropolitan Consciousness……........…..33

    2.5 Home and Identity in African First and Second Generation Fiction………………….......39

    2.5.1 Home and Identity in African Third Generation Fiction………………………………..40

    2.6 Critical Works on Ghana Must Go…………..........………………………………………43

    2.7 Critical Works on Homegoing……....…………………………………………….………46

    2.8 Conclusion………………………………………………………………….......................49

 

CHAPTER THREE: HOME AND IDENTITY IN GHANA MUST GO……………………51

    3.1 Introduction………………………………………………………………………………..51

    3.2 Global Africans: Identities of the Sai Children ………………….........…………………..53

    3.2.1 The Sai Children as (Multi)Cultural Hybrids…………………………………………...59

    3.3 Finding a Place in the World: What Home means for the Sai Children…...………….......62

    3.3.1 Reworking the Social Script: An Afropolitan Image of Africa…………………………67

    3.4 Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………...71

 

CHAPTER FOUR: HOME AND IDENTITY IN HOMEGOING…………………………..72

4.1 Introduction……………………………………………………………………………..……72

4.2 Descendants of Slaves: Dismembering Practices in Homegoing…………….………...…....73

4.2.1 (Multi)Cultural Hybridity in Homegoing…………………..………………………………82

4.3 Finding a Place in theWorld: Negotiating Home and Belonging in Homegoing………..…..85

4.4 Conclusion………………………...…………………………………………………………89

 

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS……….91

5.1 Introduction……………………..……………………………………………………………91

5.2 Summary……………………………………………………………………………………..91

5.3 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………...96

5.4 Recommendations……………………………………………………………………………98

REFERENCES…………………………………………………………………………………ix

 


 

 

 

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APA

Kingful, P. (2022). The Representation of Home and Identity in Taiye Selasi's Ghana Must Go and Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/the-representation-of-home-and-identity-in-taiye-selasis-ghana-must-go-and-yaa-gyasis-homegoing

MLA 8th

Kingful, Princess "The Representation of Home and Identity in Taiye Selasi's Ghana Must Go and Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing" Afribary. Afribary, 22 Dec. 2022, https://afribary.com/works/the-representation-of-home-and-identity-in-taiye-selasis-ghana-must-go-and-yaa-gyasis-homegoing. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

MLA7

Kingful, Princess . "The Representation of Home and Identity in Taiye Selasi's Ghana Must Go and Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing". Afribary, Afribary, 22 Dec. 2022. Web. 27 May. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/the-representation-of-home-and-identity-in-taiye-selasis-ghana-must-go-and-yaa-gyasis-homegoing >.

Chicago

Kingful, Princess . "The Representation of Home and Identity in Taiye Selasi's Ghana Must Go and Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing" Afribary (2022). Accessed May 27, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/the-representation-of-home-and-identity-in-taiye-selasis-ghana-must-go-and-yaa-gyasis-homegoing

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