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Miss Sahib by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala - Essay Example

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In the paper “Miss Sahib by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala” the author analyzes the short fiction by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, a colonial romantic with a colonial curiosity for India. The problem is that she mistakes it for love ultimately to realize the cultural superiority inherent in her that she cannot escape…
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Miss Sahib by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
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"Miss Sahib by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala"

Download file to see previous pages She was not yet cured of her colonial gaze. She was still the “Self” and the Indians the “Other” and she remained “too engrossed in the present to allow fears of the future disturb her” except for “once, in an uncharacteristically realistic moment she had calculated” (Jhabvala, p 560), if she could really afford to continue with her “passionate inclination” (Jhabvala, p 560) for teaching. Her “usurpers” (Jhabvala, p 560) made her proud for it was she who has bequeathed her legacy of English language and of Western ideology to the Indian girls, thus became “sharp, emancipated, centuries ahead of their mothers and grandmothers” (Jhabvala, p.560) The story ensues with her nostalgic escape into India, once she discovers her “real love” for the country. Miss Tuhy’s quest is an idea of the orient that to her seems at once exciting and sensual but also fearful. However, the fear and disgust of the colonized seem to haunt her only after she is exposed to the human aspect of Sharmila and her grandmother. To Miss Tuhy it was the idea behind each of the people she encountered counted more than the actual being itself that was human. She considered all the Indian people a different category who inhabited her mind and she moved her affection from one cluster to another without any personal involvement…they were all the same to her – the outsiders who made her existence vibrant just by being the object of her ideal idea about the colonizers. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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