Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/34836
This essay explores the dominant rhetoric of American society in the wake of 9/11 as seen through fictional narratives by Muslim-American writers, it also delves into how that rhetoric was shaped by politicians and the media. The novels employed in this essay are The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, Home Boy by H. M. Naqvi and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. The essay examines the temporality of the novel, in particular when it comes to historical fiction, and to what extent time is under the author's control. It looks into migration and the myth of return in immigrant writing and the power of nostalgia both in writing and politics, such as with Donald Trump's infamous slogan “Make America Great Again”. Additionally, it analyses the attacks on September 11 as a national trauma that destroyed Americans' illusion of invulnerability and looks at how trauma can be translated in writing. It scrutinises the cultivation of fear both on a domestic and nation-wide scale, in particular it focuses on the fear of the imagined 'other' cultivated by the American administration and media following 9/11. This leads into the legitimisation of war, principally the War on Terror; a war that has cost upwards of $6 trillion as of 2019. It discusses Americans' fear of Muslims and, the oft-forgotten other side of the coin, Muslim-Americans fear of American society at large. Throughout, it looks at how the novels at hand both translate and shape experience, arguing that fictional narratives have the potential power to bridge the gap between Muslim-American immigrants and the rest of American society and increase empathy for an ethnic minority that has, in past years, been painted as the 'radical enemy.'
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