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A Passage to India through the Lens of Orientalism - Assignment Example

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Orientalism presents a critical study of the Western world’s patronizing cultural representations and perceptions, as well as their fictional depictions, of the Eastern world and the people inhabiting the Middle East and Asia. …
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A Passage to India through the Lens of Orientalism
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In A Passage to India, the author bases his story on the complex interactions between British colonialists and the Indian society, setting the story against the backdrop of the independence movement in India and the British Raj. The story revolves around Dr. Aziz, an Indian, and his British friends, including Miss Adela Quested. When Dr. Aziz is accused of assaulting Miss Adela (Forster 55), the run-up and aftermath of the trial bring to the fore common prejudices and racial tensions between the British rulers and indigenous Indians. This paper will seek to understand the events in A Passage to India through the lens of prevalent themes in Orientalism.
One of the central themes in Orientalism is that knowledge about the East in Western society consists of preconceived archetypes, rather than reality or facts, which envisions Eastern societies as all similar to each other and, most importantly, radically dissimilar to the West (Forster 21). This apparent a priori knowledge in Western society about the East as being antithetical to Western society is also prevalent in A Passage to India, which turns consistently to the perspective of India as a country that is so exotic, diverse, and vast that Western people cannot understand it. Indeed, the characters compare and contrast India with England, in which the latter is presented as a charming and small island that does not overwhelm its people because of its neat lakes and valleys. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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