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Vi och Dem : en analys av skapandet av "den Andre" i Den ovillige fundamentalisten och Pojken i randig pyjamas

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Södertörns högskola/Institutionen för kultur och lärande


My paper, “Us and Them – an analysis of the creation of “the Other” in The ReluctantFundamentalist andThe Boy in the Striped Pyjamas”, aims to examine Mohsin Hamid´s andJohn Boyne´s novels from the years 2007 and 2008. The paper tries to answer the following questions: How is “the Other”and“Us and Them”created in the novels? And: What consequences does the thinking in terms of “the Other”and“Us and Them”lead to in the novels? The examination is done through the method of close reading and by applying the theory of Orientalism and Edward W. Said’s analysis of the theory to the reading.

It is, I believe, of utmost importance for teachers to create unity among their pupils, and peaceful and democratic classrooms where co-work is promoted. This is especially important in multi-cultural classrooms where different ethnicities, cultures, religions, nationalities, and so on, are present and represented. Unity, peace, democracy, and co-work prevent negative ways of thinking in terms of “the Other”or/and“Us and Them”among pupils, and they are also terms that the curriculum refer to. Literature can be a tool and a method to do this by, used properly. This is why I, a becoming teacher, have decided to close examine two novels that many Swedish schools have in class settings and find out whether they are creating unity, peace, and democracy between people or if they on the contrary are creating disruption between people and maybe support negative ways of thinking in terms of “the Other”and“Us and Them”.

The examination of the novels revealed that they both do create “the Other”and“Us and Them ”and that it leads to negative consequences in the novels. But this only makes the novels perfect material for teaching, if, the teacher offering this material to pupils does not just expect pupils to read the novels, but helps them reflect upon them and problematize the themes, the events, and the characters in them.

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