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Connection, Conflict, Unity

Author MuJing
Tutor JiangZhiQin
School Shandong Normal University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords E. M. Forster A Passage to India postcolonial criticism connect conflict unity
Type Master's thesis
Year 2009
Downloads 222
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E. M. Forster is a famous English novelist and essayist of the first half of the twentieth century, whose masterpiece is his last novel—A Passage to India, which was published in 1924. Since its publication, this novel has been widely studied by critics. For more than eighty years, critics have read and interpreted it from diverse perspectives of politics, religion, race and culture.Forster is famous for his theme of“only connect”in most of his novels. However, in A Passage to India, meaningful connections haven’t been made, in spite of individuals’good will and great efforts. Compared with the temporary connections between Anglo-British and native Indians, the conflicts and alienation between nations, religions and individuals are much more long-lasting.In the second half of the 20th century, a new critical approach—postcolonial criticism appeared. Postcolonial criticism emerged as a remarkable development in literal theory, which gave us a new perspective to re-examine A Passage to India. Critics have done a lot to explore the colonial and anti-colonial themes of the novel, however, few have combined Forster’s theme of“only connect”with the connotation of postcolonialism.This thesis intends to explore Forster’s contradictory and ambiguous thoughts and attitudes beneath the surface of the story, and to find evidences that reflect Forster’s improbability of“only connect”in the novel, meanwhile, to explore the“otherness”of India, Hinduism and Indians by analyzing the long-lasting conflicts under the postcolonial discourse, and seek possible solutions in the novel. Besides introduction and conclusion, this thesis consists of four chapters.Introduction gives a brief survey of the life, the main works and the famous theme—“Only Connect”of E. M. Forster.Chapter One looks back to the emergence, development and the main concepts of Postcolonial criticism, then explains the adaptation of Postcolonial criticism in this thesis. Chapter Two explores the friendship between Aziz and Mrs. Moore and between Aziz and Fielding, from establishment to breaking off, to expose that cross-racial connections are temporary.Chapter There offers a close-up study in the conflicts between nations, religions and individuals under the postcolonial discourse, and examine the“otherness”of India, Hinduism and Indians.Chapter Four explores the possible bridges to set up harmonious interpersonal relationship and realize connection between the East and West that Forster provides in A Passage to India.Conclusion tries to summarize the reasons why Forster’s“only connect”cannot be realized. And the real path to harmonious connection is also put forward, that is the equality between individuals.

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