Imagined Communities in the God of Small Things, No Telephone to Heaven, and Burger's Daughter

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In Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson sets forth his theory of the nation, that "it is an imagined political community - and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign." The kinds of communities envisioned by the three main novels we have studied thus far are not all that dissimilar. These communities are stifling for the main characters, who all seek some form or another of acceptance: Clare, to feel at home within on culture or another, Rosa to gain the acceptance of herself minus the title of Lionel's daughter, having to live up to the expectations that she'd continue her father's legacy, and Rahel, the love and acceptance of Ammu and the forgiveness of Velutha and Sophie Mol. These communities differ from those that …show more content…
The other option is for the man of Color to not comply with the set standards of the dominating culture; if he is a particularly positive, intellectual individual then he is called a `credit to his race', and if however he is in any way a negative individual, not well educated, speaks slang, is unemployed, etc. then the man of Color is inevitably a `nigger'.

Race plays a large part in complicating this issue further. Often the descendants of white and African unions are judged and labeled based on the lightness or darkness of their skin. This intra-racial racism is what separates Clare and her family, the descendants of plantation owners, from the poor `cotton-picking darkies' the people of the Dungle. Because of a lighter skin tone, the members of Clare's family would've been more likely to be called `sellouts'. It's no wonder considering that her father, Boy Savage, decided to pass himself off as a white man, and furthermore rejected all evidence of his Jamaican Creole roots, even discouraging his daughter from providing physical evidence of her Jamaican roots. Nationality too, works against Clare and Kitty in particular. Kitty cannot pass as white, and her accent marks her as definitely foreign, and therefore probably black, to interviewer in the bank. Clare encounters a similar situation when Boy enrolls her in school and is forced to concede her black heritage because, as Mrs. Taylor says, "Mr. Savage, but we have no room

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