2014 | 57/113 z. 1 | 59-74
Article title

Cosmopolitanism and its Discontents: Postcolonialism and the Immigrant Experience in Andrea Levy’s Small Island

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Andrea Levy’s Small Island captures the immigrant’s experience in cosmopolitan London. In this novel, she showcases the fact that contrary to its claims to be accommodating to this diversity, the values upheld make no room for difference as they are strictly Eurocentric. The characters who through their colonial experience and education have been misled to believe that they are part of the British Empire are presented here faced with the shock of discovery that once in England, they are ascribed the second class position. This paper intends to interrogate the claim to cosmopolitanism. This is done through an engagement with postcolonial critique which conceptualizes the power relations between the colonizers and the colonized. The main argument of this discussion is that although the London of Andrea Levy’s Small Island accommodates individuals from a variety of racial, national, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, they are never given the chance to experience any form of social integration.
Small Island (pol. Wysepka), autorstwa Andrei Levy, przedstawia losy imigrantów w kosmopolitycznym Londynie. Jednym z głównych problemów powieści jest ukazanie rozdźwięku między deklarowaną otwartością i tolerancją a rzeczywistością, w której na stosunek do inności rzutują silnie zakorzenione eurocentryczne schematy myślenia. Niniejszy artykuł, posługując się narzędziami krytyki postkolonialnej, konceptualizującej problem relacji między kolonizatorami i kolonizowanymi, analizuje na przykładzie ukazanego w powieści Londynu, skomplikowane problemy kulturowe, narodowe, rasowe byłego imperium kolonialnego.
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  • Higher Teachers’ Training College, The University of Maroua
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