“The Intimate Enemy”: Schizoids in Amitav Ghosh’s <i>The Glass Palace</i>


  • Binayak Roy, K.G.T. Mahavidyalaya, Bagdogra, India


Amitav Ghosh opposes the “agonistic†or “reconciliatory†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. The Glass Palace 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. 


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Author Biography

Binayak Roy, K.G.T. Mahavidyalaya, Bagdogra, India

Binayak Roy teaches English at K.G.T. Mahavidyalaya, Bagdogra, West Bengal, India. His research interests include Indian English Novel, postcolonial literature, literary theory and the cinema of Satyajit Ray. He has done his PhD on the novels of Amitav Ghosh. His papers have been published in journals such as Postcolonial Text, South Asian Review, ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes, and Reviews, Journal of Postcolonial Cultures and Societies, Asian Cinema Journal, Film International and Crossroads.




How to Cite

Roy, K.G.T. Mahavidyalaya, Bagdogra, India, B. (2015). “The Intimate Enemy”: Schizoids in Amitav Ghosh’s &lt;i&gt;The Glass Palace&lt;/i&gt;. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 9(2), 105–121. Retrieved from https://journals.iium.edu.my/asiatic/index.php/ajell/article/view/680