Sayfullina M.

Postcolonial Irish novel: On the gradual loss of identity (based on the novel “What Are You Like?” by Anne Enright)


This article studies the novel “What Are You Like?” (2000), written by Anne Enright in the postcolonial period. The conflict of the novel centers around the issue of the gradual loss of the ethnic (Irish) identity concept in the context of cross-cultural interactions with Great Britain. Ireland was the first colonial territory conquered by the metropolis of England, which gained independence only in the early 20th century. The long phase of the colonial rule contributed to the fact that in the Irish society ethnic identity has undergone irreversible changes that are a natural consequence of assimilation and acculturation processes of the two cultural codes: English and Irish. The relevance of the paper is due to the fact that modern Irish literature, particularly the works of Enright, have not been extensively studied, hence, they are of great scientific interest to researchers. The writer, whose creative work is characterized by the traits of postmodernism, reveals, in her inimitable style, the problem of the gradual loss of ethnic identity and historical memory, respectively. Doubtless, these issues are relevant not only for modern Irish literature, but also the world literature in general. The article identifies specific methods, associated with the cultural code of the Irish society, which are used to represent the images of the country as a colonizer and the country as a colony, and highlights the allegories and key symbols of the novel.

Key words: 

Anne Enright, postcolonial novel, identity loss, representation techniques, image, symbol, allegory.

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