Document Type : Original Article


university student


Introduction: This research aims to investigate the effects of geography in the reconstruction of subjectivity and also shows that there is a mutual relationship between spatiality and subjectivity. The theoretical framework is mainly based on Henri Lefebvre’s theories of space which represent a reconciliation between mental space and real physical space. On this account, the study relies primarily on Inaam Kachachi’s novel-The American Granddaughter- and Lefebvre’s spatial triad. In investigating the geo-effects on subjectivity-formation, the characters’ inner struggle, their spatial reproduction, and the creation of the third mental space will be explored. The colonial role of homeland in the creation of mental geography, and the characters’ various postcolonial responses will be discussed further. The article finally indicates that geographical expectations and norms can act as colonial forces which control the characters’ will and determination and eventually lead them to the production of mental geography.
Background of the study: This article focuses on The American Granddaughter and it is designed to study the novel by demonstrating the geographical effects on subjectivity formation. It, also, shows that spatiality can be viewed as a colonial power that manipulates the minds of people and controls everyday life practices. Inaam Kachachi, an Iraqi journalist and author, officially presented herself to the literary society in 2005 with the publication of her first novel, Heart Springs. Her second novel, The American Granddaughter, was a depiction of the American occupations of Iraq through the eyes of a young Iraqi-American woman who returns to her birth country as an interpreter for the US Army and witnesses emotional outbursts, familial conflicts, and the fall of the country of origin.
Methodology: The present study applies an interdisciplinary approach that integrates perspectives from different fields of knowledge; i.e., spatiality, immigration, and subjectivity. Lefebvre’s space is a social product and is reproduced through human interactions, relations, and intentions. His spatial triad, i.e., private, public, and mental spaces can affect positively and negatively the reproduction of both space and subjectivity. According to Lefebvre, a social space contains a diversity of networks and interactions which can help spatial growth. Not only can people bring a set of concepts and change spatial representations, but also they can neither be separated from spatiality nor interpreted separately. Through this interdisciplinary study, the readers are given a chance to understand the effects of spatial mechanisms on both an immigrant’s mentality and her/his self-reformation. Because of spatial confirmation, an immigrant adjusts her/his subjectivity/self-representation to new forms of challenges and norms in a receiving country. When the new self-images cannot be matched with the homeland’s doctrines, an immigrant starts creating a mental geography. Furthermore, this study indicates how Kachachi merges the spatial images of an immigrant and her/his rooted-images into mental images by which she/he can be attached to her/his homeland and can forget the pain of being known as the Other.
Conclusion: The American Granddaughter offers a site to study the dynamic relations between spatiality and subjectivity. The use of mental space gives a chance to the characters to survive and attach to the remnant of past memories. In addition, the readers can understand the characters’ decisions and suffering better. Kachachi employs a multitude of variations on the characters’ voices as a postcolonial reaction to indicate the social aspects of spatiality and subjectivity; both are social products and have a transient nature


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