â€œThe Intimate Enemyâ€: Schizoids in Amitav Ghoshâ€™s <i>The Glass Palace</i>
AbstractAmitav Ghosh opposes the â€œagonisticâ€ or â€œreconciliatoryâ€ strand in postcolonial studies espoused amongst others by Bhabha. By fusing postcolonialism with postmodernism, this school of postcolonial thought rejects resistance. It reconfigures the historical project of invasion, expropriation and exploitation as a symbiotic encounter. As a staunch anticolonialist, what Ghosh presents in his writing is the ubiquity of the Eurocentrism of the colonised.Â The Glass PalaceÂ represents how colonial discourses (primarily the military discourse) have moulded native identity and resulted in severe alienation. Self-alienation is apparent in the characters of the soldier, Arjun, who has been transformed into a war-machine in the hands of British military discourse and in the character of the Collector, a Britain-trained colonial administrator. Both these characters are destroyed: they end up in a dead end in their existential moorings and kill themselves. Ghosh genuinely attempts to revisit and reframe the colonial past by questioning the ideological, epistemological and ontological assumptions of the imperial powers, the masks of conquest. Resistance in itself has always been an integral component of literature. Protest is simultaneously a dialogue, a deconstruction and an assertion. Literary resistance in The Glass Palace that interweaves historical-political events with individual stories thus explicates Benita Parry's critique of postcolonial discourse for its unwillingness to articulate a more oppositional politics.Â
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