Neocolonization and the Otherising Policy: Agonistic Identity in A’la Al-Aswani’s Chicago and The Republic of False Truths

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad university, Karaj, Iran

2 Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Colonial Politics and the way freedom and equality are addressed have long been the subject of scrutiny by postcolonial critics. This study undertakes a literary analysis of the portrayal of Arabs and Muslims in relation to Americans in the post-9/11 era. Specifically, it examines Ala Al Aswani’s novels, namely Chicago and The Republic of False Truths, through the lens of Chantal Mouffe’s theories on agonistic identity and pluralistic democracy. The objective is to explore the dynamics between Arabs and Americans, as well as the influence of American ideology, in order to ascertain whether genuine equality and freedom are universally realized or if such claims merely serve as veils for new forms of colonialism. Consequently, this article argues that following the September attacks in America, certain neo-colonial policies have come into play, engendering the construction of agonistic identities. By fostering this antagonism, animosity towards individuals of different cultures and religions remains concealed, thereby enabling more effective control over perceived adversaries. The post-9/11 era has witnessed a resurgence of animosity towards others who are viewed as potential sources of threats and fear. Such animosity can be discerned and analyzed within the selected novels, shedding light on the covert reality that Americans harbor neocolonial tendencies of marginalization towards individuals of different races or religions. However, this enmity remains obscured, serving as a means of enhanced control.


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