Yuyun Wahyuni




The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears is a debut novel of Dinaw Mengestu that represents the condition of African diaspora in the United States. This novel is the portrayal of the difficulties faced by Ethiopian diasporic through the main character inside the story. This study aims to find out the condition of African diasporic subjects in the United States, the struggles they experience and the survival strategy they play in order to be recognized and accepted by the dominant society. The problems are analyzed through the light of the postcolonial theory proposed by Homi K. Bhabha about hybridity. This theory is suitable to discuss the topic because living in diaspora leads people to have hybrid identity. Moreover, postcolonial criticism does not only examine the problems related to the colonizer and colonized countries, but also it can be applied to analyze the relation between the minority and majority society. The result of this study shows that being hybrid in the midst of dominant culture is a must for diasporic subject in order to be accepted by the dominant society. Being hybrid means that the diasporic subject can adapt the dominant culture without leaving the mother culture completely. The construction of hybridity in this case puts American value as the more dominant and ideal orientation for the diasporic subject represented in the novel. The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears is Mengestu’s voice to convey the condition of African diasporic subject living in the United States.


Keywords: Diaspora, Unhomeliness, Mimicry, Hybridity, Identity

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