Differentiation and imperfectionality in John Updike’s Terrorist

M Ikbal M Alosman, and Raihanah M. M., and Ruzy Suliza Hashim, (2018) Differentiation and imperfectionality in John Updike’s Terrorist. 3L; Language,Linguistics and Literature,The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies., 24 (2). pp. 58-70. ISSN 0128-5157


Official URL: http://ejournal.ukm.my/3l/issue/view/1096


John Updike, one of America’s eminent 20th century novelists, provides his own fictionalized presentation of the Muslim other within the American socio-cultural context in his 22nd novel, Terrorist. This novel is abundant with binary representations of Muslims whose acts and interactions with fellow Christian and Jewish Americans are scripted by their respective religious values. Updike’s exemplifications of Islam and Muslims within the American context are investigated through the problematizing of Muslims’ socio-cultural imperfections within the lens of orientalism and psychology of (im)perfection. Imperfectionalism as used in this paper refers to the inconsistent, unreliable and unpredictable characteristics that define the Muslim Other in comparison to mainstream American society. Using themes of ‘religious differences,’ ‘differences between religions,’ ‘social differences,’ ‘gendered and exotic differences’ and ‘optimized differences,’ Updike’s Muslim characters are presented as flawed and faulty in their beliefs and conviction. In addition, Updike’s representation of Islam rests on its blemishes including its disregard for self-improvement and modernity. Designs of orientalism and imperfection as seen in this novel frame the Muslim other as the imperfect version of the perfect non-Muslim American.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:9/11; Muslims; American novel; Differentiation; Imperfectionality
Journal:3L ; Journal of Language, Linguistics and Literature
ID Code:12886
Deposited By: ms aida -
Deposited On:07 May 2019 01:25
Last Modified:12 May 2019 21:56

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