The Consequences Of Colonialism In Desai's Inheritance Of Loss

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“Gradually the vapor replaced everything with itself, slid objects shadow, and nothing remained that did not seem molded from or inspired by it” (Desai, 2) this quote on the surface describes the environment. But in the larger context of the novel is symbolic and foreshadows the events to be discussed at length in the novel. In Inheritance of Loss Desai discusses at length the consequences of race, class, gender in the larger scope of colonialism. In discussing these issue Desai encourages readers to adopt a postcolonial lens in understanding the characters plight as revealed in the novel. The judge in the inheritance of loss is an ostensibly well-developed character however he is also a clear depiction of the results of colonization. He irrevocably…show more content…
From his departure readers it seems that Jemubhai is aware of his imminent destruction. “Never again will he know love for a human being that wasn’t adulterated by another, contradictory emotion.” (Desai, 37) Returning he feels no more positive than he did upon his departure “He was a foreigner-a foreigner-every bit of him screamed” (Desai, 166-167) Even when he returns home he is no less at home than he was whilst in England. He is now ridiculed due to his adopted westernized way of life. He now powders his face and critiques Indian activities. As a result of his masque of whiteness as Lone describes it James is no longer able to be Indian. He now strives to identify with the English masque of whiteness which is that of cruelty, which makes him a full breed pariah to both the Indian society who are annoyed by his denouncement of his true identity and the White Society who are displeased by his pathetic strides at mimicry. His refusal to be Indian is upsetting to both groups and develops his position as an outcast. Additionally, his decision to entirely adopt this English identity by means of projection, which is the defense mechanism he uses to survive the abuse and trauma suffered whilst in England he becomes detestable. As Lone summarizes “he transfers his misery to his nineteen-year-old wife Nimi, in order to ease his…show more content…
The process of discrimination through the characters journey in the novel is ostensibly a damaging one. It is arguably a snow ball effect where what might seem a trivial action, debatably the discrimination experienced by the judge was that felt by several others and we see the results of that in the story of his life. Now we are forced to fathom the possibility of 5 fifty other Jemubhai and their wives and families that suffered due to their own suffering. How horrible this discrimination must be and continues to be. This is precisely what writers like Desai strive to do in their novels. They attempt to create awareness of the toxic past in hopes of paving a pleasant future for

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