Day 24: Xenophile X-Factors

Welcome to Day 24 of the A to Z Challenge. For this year’s challenge, I’ll be examining different types of characters that can be found in international fiction. Today I’m looking at xenophile x-factors.

Xenophiles are those who are in love with a love of the foreign.  Xenophile X factors are character who serve as elements of change within their stories and have a love for foreign things.

These characters tend to shine a spotlight on society after having exposure to a world different from their home.   They tend to struggle with the sense that things aren’t as they should be.

Things Aren’t as They Should Be

Xenophile x factors tend to see something in the world as it shouldn’t be. Ronsel Jackson in Mudbound, for example, returns from a war and is soon offended by segregation in post-war Mississippi. Phiona Mutesi in Queen of Katwe sees her world as being too rustic after traveling as a chess player. Hugo in Perdiendo el Norte thinks there should be better job opportunities for immigrants after spending a few weeks abroad.

Questioning Society

Xenophile x factors also tend to have stories that make the reader/viewer question society. Ronsel’s journey deals with racism and oppression in society. Hugo’s story revolves around the question of the quality of life of immigrants both within Spain and abroad. Phiona’s journey examines poverty and wealth.

Xenophile x factors tend to be seen in historical fiction and non-fiction, but can also appear in other genres, such as romantic comedy. Other xenophile x factors are Vikram from the short story “Guerrilla Marketing,” Eilis Lacey in Brookyln, Oyelowo and Ruth Williams from A United Kingdom, and Prince Akeem in Coming to America.

Can you think of other examples of xenophile x factors?

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