What Is The Theme Of Cultural Conflict In 'The Coffer Dams'?

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From the standpoint of Environmental Critics, Culture, is viewed as a network of neighbourhoods or communities that is rooted and tended. Culture doesn’t segregate Nature; culture is an entity of nature as well. Probably the diverse views of nature, industrialisation , may differ and that differentiation is plunged in The Coffer Dams. The vast difference in development between the East and the West from the point of nature, being a point of culture , thereby leading the East to be the supreme and the West backlogged is quite picturesquely described in the novella. The element of river is merely viewed as a thing of subjugation depicting mechanical strength through human power to out rule nature between the chaos of the sacredness and modernity.…show more content…
The forward-surging motion of the narrative presents Helen’s story reinforced with those of her husband and the wider social circle of the British encampment, and the East-West encounter. The East-West encounter is not only on the level of people but also on that of ideas. Markandaya presents the cultural clash in terms of the humanistic concerns and technological progress. The values of human relationships , and the question of integrity and communication that enters into them cannot be sacrificed at the altar of steel. This, in a nutshell, is Markandaya’s concern in The Coffer Dams.
The symbolic experience of Millie Rawlings also expands the meaning and impact of growth of the individual in relation to an alien culture. Millie also feels the strange spell of the country. She tries to forget it at parties and in her consciousness, on which impinge the noise, the dust and the stress of living in this mysterious cultural milieu. The advent of the rains is the symbolic backdrop for the quelling of passions. The rains become the cleansing agent for bitter prejudices and ill-gotten notions. Millie comments on the growth of
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All the people of the Maiden and the Malnad, the plains and the hill country watch with awe the precipitate birth of a town in the jungle. Like any other Indian village, this tribal village too has been enjoying the slumber of peace since generations. So far it has been only the vagaries of Nature that have interfered with their lives: but now for the first time an outward human agency is going to disrupt their life by way of the technological onslaught. The very success and strength of technology seems thus to cauterize human sensibility so much that Helen searches for an identity in a world where people have forcibly been torn from their
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