Individuality In Colonial Colonisation

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“The colonial situation manufactures colonialists, just as it manufactures the colonised” (Memmi 1974:56-57). Anglo-Indians, the ‘experienced’ colonists, force their own stereotypes of the natives upon newcomers. The colonisers arrive fresh from England “intending to be gentlemen, and are told it will not do.” Hence, “[t]hey all become exactly the same – not worse, not better” (p.34). Ronny Heaslop complains that “[p]eople are so odd out here, and it’s not like home – one’s always facing the footlights …. They notice everything, until they’re perfectly sure you’re their sort” (p.68, my italics). Individuality is problematic in a colony because the people there should all adopt the same ideologies. Ronny, like Aziz and the others, is…show more content…
He explains that the coloniser: … finds himself on one side of a scale, the other side of which bears the colonised man. …. [T]he more freely he breathes, the more the colonised are choked. … It is impossible for him not to be aware of the constant illegitimacy of his status (Memmi, pp.6-9). To him, the illegitimacy of colonisation is a double one. The coloniser finds a place to settle into by taking away that of the inhabitant (Memmi, p.9). If the coloniser refuses his role and shows sympathy to the colonised, other colonisers will reject him. If he accepts it, he will enjoy its privileges and will be accepted in the colony. Ronny realises the illegitimacy of the British presence in India. Yet, to retain his privileges and to remain an accepted, as well as respected part of the colony,…show more content…
Moore is shocked at the metamorphosis of her son. “The traces of young- man humanitarianism had sloughed off”. She thinks that “[o]ne touch of regret … would have made him a different man, and the British Empire a different institution” (p.70). She is also shocked to hear her son’s adopted ideological stance. She protests, “[y]ou never used to judge people like this at home.” Ronny announces that “India isn’t home” and relies on “phrases and arguments that he had picked up from older officials, and he did not feel quite sure of himself” to silence his mother and convince her of his adopted new logic (p.54). Adela, too, notices the change in Ronny. “India had developed sides of his character that she had never admired. His self-complacency, his censoriousness, his lack of subtlety” (p.96, my italics). The colony changes the personality of the coloniser in almost every aspect, even aesthetic appreciation. When Adela and Ronny watched the play “Cousin Kate in London together in the past, he had scorned it; now he pretended that it was a good play, in order to hurt nobody’s feelings” (p.60). Further, Mrs. Lesley considers an “unkind notice” about the play in the local paper
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