Kim and Kip in the Mirror of Mimicry: A Postcolonial Study

Authors

  • Dr. MD Rakibul Islam ALIGARH MUSLIM UNIVERSITY, MURSHIDABAD CENTRE, DEPARTMENT OF LAW, MURSHIDABAD, WEST BENGAL, INDIA, 742223
  • DR. Nazia Hasan DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH, ALIGARH MUSLIM UNIVERSITY, ALIGARH, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA, 202002

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17561/grove.v27.a2

Keywords:

ambivalence, colonizers, colonized, hybridity, identity, mimicry

Abstract

The research paper aims to give an accurate account of how Kirpal Singh/Kip in The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje copies the socio-cultural and linguistic norms of the Europeans (colonizers) unlike Kipling’s Kim who emulates the Eastern people (colonized) and their culture. They are examples of going through a long drawn process of growing up, looking into the mirror of mimicry. Kip joins the English army as a grown up, learns the need to show affinity to the new culture by way of imitation, adopting their ways to weave a comfort zone. Being different could be an assaulting fact for both sides, Kip is quick to realize that. But his childish view of looking down upon his native culture is the irony of mimicry. It wipes out the original being to rewrite a new identity. Kip leaves the small community sprouted accidentally in the Italian monastery, showing traces of a stricken conscience. Kim, by the virtue of living in close company of Indians, adopts their habits and manners without any qualm, in a most unconscious manner. He never worries to look or sound his original self which he has not experienced for long. Thus, a kind of reverse mimicry is his fate and character when we look at him as an outsider living as an Indian native. The ambivalence of their characters, presented by both, is an interesting aspect of mimicry. In the paper, we have used the views of postcolonial and cultural literary theorists on mimicry, deliberating upon how with the effect of both the processes, Kip and Kim, consciously or unconsciously, get their national identity peeled off, affixing new hybrid identity.

 

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Author Biography

Dr. MD Rakibul Islam, ALIGARH MUSLIM UNIVERSITY, MURSHIDABAD CENTRE, DEPARTMENT OF LAW, MURSHIDABAD, WEST BENGAL, INDIA, 742223

Internationally, the Aligarh Muslim University was ranked 801-1000 in the QSWorld University Rankings of 2018. The same rankings ranked it 238 in Asia and 161-170 among BRICS nations. It was ranked 601-800 in the world by the Times Higher Education of 2018, 158 in Asia and 157 among BRICS & Emerging Economies in 2017. It was ranked 17 in India overall by the National Institutional Ranking Framework in 2018, 10th among universitiesand 49 in the management ranking. The Faculty of Law has ranked 2nd in India by India Today in 2017. 

                                                                                                                       

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Published

2020-12-14

How to Cite

Islam, D. M. R., & Hasan, D. N. (2020). Kim and Kip in the Mirror of Mimicry: A Postcolonial Study. The Grove - Working Papers on English Studies, 27, 25–40. https://doi.org/10.17561/grove.v27.a2