"Otherness" in Conrad's Heart of darkness and Forster's A passage to India
'Otherness' in Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Forster's
A Passage to India
Submitted by SO Mang Luen, Marilyn
for the degree of Master of Arts
at The University of Hong Kong in March 2004
By 1930s, more than 80% of the surface of the globe was either colonized or had been colonized. The relationship between the colonizer and the colonized had been a recurrent feature in fictions and novels. The relationship was usually an unequal one based on the 'Self' and the 'Other', meaning the 'ruler' and the 'ruled', the 'civilized' and the 'uncivilized' and so on.
The reason that Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and E.M. Forster's A Passage to India are chosen for this thesis is because both authors attempt to look into the long strained relationship between the colonizer and the colonized from new perspectives at their times.
Conrad's Heart of Darkness was published in 1902 and Forster's A 1
Passage to India was published in 1924. The period marks the beginning of the disintegration of colonialism and both works mark the beginning of a new attitude towards the relationship between the coloniser and the colonized.
This thesis looks into how the 'Others' are represented in the colonial relationships in the two world-renowned novels. It also looks into the different responses towards the two novels.
Finally, the thesis attempts to connect the two novels to some of the ideas concerning the relationship between novels and imperialism posed by Edward Said in his book Culture and Imperialism and Ania Loomba in her book Colonialism / Postcolonial ism. Said suggests that both Conrad's works and Forster's works contain prominent characteristics of modernist culture and are responses to the external pressures of the imperial system. Loomba, when discussing the relationship between colonialism and literature, suggests that literary texts such as Heart of Darkness and A Passage to India can be used to challenge colonialism. Both intellectuals uphold the importance of the role literary texts play in helping to narrow the gulf between the 'Self' and the 'Other'.
School:The University of Hong Kong
School Location:China - Hong Kong SAR
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:conrad joseph 1857 1924 heart of darkness forster e m edward morgan 1879 1970 a passage to india imperialism in literature
Date of Publication:01/01/2004