In 1978, Edward Said published 'Orientalism, ' a revolutionary study that invited new interpretations of literature and particularly of works written by Western authors about the East. Postcolonialist and feminist critics embraced many of Said's theories, including one that implies that the West equates the East with femininity and that such a view necessarily reveals the West's prejudice against both the East and with femininity in general. This thesis does not argue the overall validity of Said's theories. Rather, it explores the treatment of 'femininity' in E.M. Forster's 'A passage to India' with the aim of determining the validity of postcolonialist and feminist critiques of that novel. This study found that the femininity does not play a subservient role in the novel but that it is an essential half of an androgynous whole that Forster constructs as an ideal to promise hope in a troubled universe.
Thesis (M.A.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2001
Table of Contents
Several histories -- Critical views on Forster -- The Forsterian vision of the world -- Personal inclinations -- The classical view -- Religion and mythology -- The androgynous vision -- "Only connect" -- A humanist reading -- Mosque -- Masculinity, femininity, and androgyny -- Chapter I -- Dinner party -- Meeting at the mosque -- Bridge party -- Tea party -- Caves -- The picnic -- Trial -- Temple -- The birth of Krishna -- Walk to the shrine -- Baptism -- Marriage -- Conclusion.
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