Misrepresenting the ‘self’: Critical Discourse Analysis of Ahmad in Updike’s Terrorist
The present paper investigates Updike’s Terrorist to examine the discursive identity construction of the protagonist of the novel named as Ahmad. It answers the question that how does western stereotypical representation misrepresents Ahmad in Updike’s Terrorist. The context of the novel deals with 9/11 attacks on American soil after which Muslims of the world particularly Pakistani Muslims were stigmatized as terrorists and fundamentalists. Neo-orientalist attitude against Muslims is not a recent fabrication. It has been carried out against them since the arrival of Islam in this world. John Updike, a Jew-American novelist treading the ways of his predecessors, has shown a Muslim character Ahmad becoming a terrorist under the influence of his religious mentor Sheikh Rashid. The subjectification of Ahmad has been explored in the light of Mitchel Foucault’s views on discourse using critical discourse analysis tools propounded by Gee (2011). The findings of the study show that Updike has misrepresented his Muslim character Ahmad as terrorist, anti-social, and a person who hates acquiring modern education.