Arab Women's Echoes in the Metropolitan Language: A Harmonious Symphony or a Dissonant Dialogue

BATAOUI Mohamed

Abstract


Writing in the language of the former colonizer has greatly sparked critical discourse among postcolonial critics and nationalist ideologues because language has been essential to the postcolonial resistance movement and the foundation of colonialism itself.  While some advocate for the imperative rejection of the imperial language as a means of "decolonizing the mind," others argue that by appropriating and reshaping the dominant language, postcolonial writers can challenge Western hegemony over discourse and retrieve the suppressed voices of the formerly colonized. In light of these controversies, the present paper aims to investigate the adoption of the English language as a medium of discourse in contemporary postcolonial literature produced in the liminal sites of diaspora. With a special focus on Arab women's appropriation and abrogation of the English language in their postcolonial fiction, this study seeks to negotiate the linguistic, cultural, and political ramifications of writing in imperial languages. Rather than simply limiting the discussion to the residual ideologies of colonialism and anti-colonialism, this study maintains that Arab women's writing in English serves as a "double critique", critiquing both colonial hegemony that has demonized them and Arab neo-patriarchy that has censored their voices and erased their individual identities.


Keywords


language; identity; orientalism; postcolonialism; gender; resistance

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