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Duality and Hybridity are two of the various themes touched upon by Rohinton Mistry in Tales from Firozsha Baag.

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Introduction

Explore the theme of duality or hybridity in two stories. What does it mean to be "between two worlds"? Why would Mistry explore these issues? 'Duality' and 'Hybridity' are two of the various themes touched upon by Rohinton Mistry in 'Tales from Firozsha Baag'. Duality essentially means being in twos, and in the stories chosen, the idea of two worlds is put forward in addition to that of dual identities. Hybridity is empowering oneself with another culture i.e. merging of different aspects of language, culture, politics and race within oneself. These two themes have been extensively explored in 'Condolence Visit' and 'Lend me Your Light'. Duality and hybridity are very much interlinked. Within duality, there is hybridity. Mistry manages to link the two by the use of characters, symbolism and imagery. He also explores the concept of being "between two worlds". This may mean the world of the 'living and dead' or geographical worlds and ideas. And within these two worlds, there is a certain something that links them and hybridizes them. In this context, Mistry has used such features as characters and symbols to merge the dual worlds. This concept will be further explored hereon. Mistry explores these issues because they are very personal to him. ...read more.

Middle

He doesn't understand whether or not he loves India. "I, Tiresias, blind and throbbing between two lives, the one in Bombay and the one to come in Toronto..." (Page 180). This may be interpreted as a metaphor for Kersi being Tiresias, the blind one, who can't see and things are all grey like the clouds. This is an attempt to shed light in an area where there is darkness. As the story proceeds, we see that he has succeeded in his endeavor and that things have become clearer and more precise. Similar to characterization in 'Condolence Visit', in this story too, Kersi's character brings about hybridity in duality. He acts as the link between the two characters, not necessarily joining them, but rather sharing parts of their identity. He is also Canadian-Indian like Jamshed, but doesn't actually agree with all his views towards his home country. But then, he also can't relate himself completely to Percy too, as the Canadian culture has been integrated in him. Thus, he is a mixture of the two, bringing about hybridity in duality. Another important technique used by Mistry is the use of symbolism and imagery to portray hybridity in duality. The central image in 'Condolence Visit' is that of the oil lamp. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is another matter they drifted apart in their adulthood... "Rohinton Mistry was born in Bombay in 1952 and has lived in Canada since 1975". This line in itself sums up his intention of exploring such themes as duality and hybridity. It seems that Mistry has integrated the Canadian culture in him; but his writing of this book and such themes clearly indicates that deep within him, he wants to come back to his mother country. Though we can't place this as a fact, we can see why he would like to explore such issues. The book might be a means for him to merge with his true identity, to vent out his feelings to the world. Thus, Mistry explores these issues as it may relate to his own life to a certain extent, though not as explicitly as portrayed in the stories. Overall, both stories 'Condolence Visit' and 'Lend me Your Light', very extensively explore the theme of duality and hybridity, or rather, hybridity in duality. Mistry does so by the use of characters, symbolism and imagery. He relates them to 'being between two worlds' and thus brings about a whole cycle. Mistry - somewhat cunningly - handles this theme in a unique way, linking hybridity and duality when they are, essentially, two separate themes entirely. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rahul Ganji Final Essay - Tales from Firozsha Baag 1 ...read more.

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