An Otherness Discourse In Colonial Literature Essay

4459 WordsApr 12, 201218 Pages
Do Conrad’s ‘Heart Of Darkness’ and Forster’s ‘Passage To India’ Create An ‘Otherness’ Discourse? | | | | | Joshua Bingham | November 2011 Word Count: 3950 November 2011 Word Count: 3950 | | Abstract The following essay deals with colonial literature and explores the creation of an ‘otherness’ discourse. The ‘otherness’ discourse deals with European perceptions of the colonised peoples, the qualities that were attributed to them and the transformation that the colonised peoples undergo; from individuals to a singular being of ‘other’. It attempts to show that the novels Passage To India and Heart of Darkness create this form of discourse. It shows how the ‘other’ breaks down social constructs set out by the coloniser and how through doing this becomes alienated from the colonising nation. It also demonstrates how sometimes the ‘other’ strives to resist the stereotype it has fallen into. The essay also shows that the environment of the colonised lands can be a part of the ‘otherness’ discourse. The essay compares the characters of Mrs Moore, in Passage To India, and Mr Kurtz, in Heart Of Darkness, to explore the transformation that the coloniser’s soul can experience when confronted with the ‘otherness’ of other lands. It also shows the process of de-individualisation and how, through a lack of personal description, characters are reduced to functions and stereotypes. The essay finally deals with the way in which the ‘other’ is sexualized by the colonising force. The essay concludes that because the books display everything mentioned above they are prime examples of a European ‘otherness’ discourse. Abstract Word Count: 224 words At the turn of the 19th Century, when British colonialism was at the height of its power, over 22% of the entire world was under British imperialist rule. In Said’s ‘Orientalism’ we learn how

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