Theme Of Colonization In A Passage To India

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A Passage to India, set in pre- World War II India before India gained independence from Great Britain, depicts colonization and the subsequent power struggle between the Colonizer and the Colonized. Inherent in the process of colonization is the establishment of a power hierarchy between the Colonizer and the Colonized in which the Colonizer is dominant over the Colonized, thus creating the illusion that the two are polar opposites. Essential to the process of colonization is the Colonizer’s establishment of distance between himself/ herself and the colonized peoples.
In A Passage to India colonization is only one of the many aspects of the relationship between the East and the West. The construction of the East and the West paved the way for the creation of stereotypes of Easterners by Westerners and vice versa and the physical, social, cultural, and emotional distance between the two parties perpetuated the reliance on stereotypes as a means of understanding one another. The terms ‘the East’ and ‘the West’ will be used interchangeably in the course of this thesis with the terms ‘Colonized’ and ‘Colonizer’, respectively. Specifically, ‘the West’ and ‘Colonizer’ will be used to denote Britain and the British while ‘Colonized’ will be used to refer to India and the Indians depicted in the novel. The distinction between the East and West as places (albeit abstract socially constructed entities based on a euro-centric categorization and mapping of the world) and

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