Orientalism Essay

1082 words - 4 pages

MagablehColonialism and Orientalism in E.M Forster's A Passage to IndiaIndia has suffered a lot as a British colony for more than two centuries. Many writers choose to describe the era of the British- Indian colonialism in order to indicate the conflict between the colony and the colonial country. Western writers embody oriental ideas from the Middle East and the Far East countries in their literary works. The Oriental world has influenced the westerns who were magnetized to Oriental expressions such as Love, Passion, Imagination, Fancy and Magic.A Passage to India (1924) by Edward Morgan Forster is full of references to what Edward Said calls the Orientalist discourse. Forster has borrowed the title of his novel from Whiteman's Poem Passage to India (1871). Unlike Whitman, Forster has a firsthand experience of the East as he visited India two times before writing his novel. So his writing reveals his own experience in the East, physically and spiritually. E.M Forster has a close relationship with Syed Ross Masood who is an Indian writer. This relationship is the main reason for writing A Passage to India. Forster reflects his friendship in Dr. Aziz and Mr. Fielding relationship. After Aziz's trial, a gap separates both characters and the story ends without an indication to a possibility for reconciliation.Edward Said indicates that literature from a political point of view could not be completely innocent. Current studies of E.M Forster's A Passage to India show the colonialist ideology of superiority that presents the East in general and India in specific as inferior and lesser. These studies, which are based on postcolonial theory, reveal how the British considered Indians as stereotypes rather than human beings, and expose the westerners' innate prejudices and biases toward Indians. This term paper aims at studying and analyzing the Orientalist discourse in Forster's A Passage to India.From the first chapter of this novel, a sense of humiliation and contempt is obvious from the name of the village "Chandrapore" where the story takes place, its landscapes, the climate, and its people. The landscape is described as poor, chaotic and barren. On the other hand the British-India territory is shown as a lavish and a well-organized place. While the British people are described as calm and civilized, Indians are savage, wild and raving people. April is the most beautiful month in the year while in India is the month of horrors. Everything relates to India is ugly and vulgar.The opening image of the setting shows that the writer belongs to the colonizer who looks to India from above and without love or sympathy. The stereotype of the eastern women is demonstrated in the wife of Hamidullah. This character shows the spirit of sacrifice and devotion. The wife, who cannot eat before her husband, believes that the roles of women are just motherhood and wedlock. The cruel image of the colonizer is shown in the ex- Britain nurse. She said that the best thing...

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