Cultural Exchange In The Postcolonial Context English Literature Essay Free Essay
The paper is a comparative survey of two novels, Mohsin Hamid ‘s Moth Smoke, and Bapsi Sidhwa ‘s The Pakistani Bride. It focuses on two major characters in the novels, Mumtaz Kashmiri in Hamid ‘s Moth Smoke and Carol in Sidhwa ‘s The Pakistani Bride. Through a comparing of the two characters, the survey points out some of import inquiries which theories of migrancy and hybridity tend to disregard or sideline. It points out that cultural interaction between the developed and the developing states of the universe takes topographic point in a state of affairs of unequal distribution of power. Culture is therefore treated as non a privileged infinite of free interaction but a portion of the game of political domination that is being played out in the universe of power and political relations. The survey starts with the general theoretical background as expounded in the workds of Homi Bhabha, and Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin. It sets out the inquiry to be explored through the work of Aijaz Ahmed and describes the principle for the choice of the novels and characters for the comparative analysis. The survey so analyzes the selected characters in item. The survey concludes by indicating out that in the visible radiation of the comparative analysis, it is as yet premature to observe the coming of an age of free cultural interaction and exchange.
Of Hybridity and Migrancy: Cultural Exchange in the Postcolonial Context
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In a globalized cultural infinite, how do we joint a distinguishable individuality? Differences of race, ethnicity, and state have been dismissed as turning out of essentialism. Sexual differences are still debated ; nevertheless, the way of the argument is off from sexual essentialism – masculinity of the male and feminineness of the female – and towards a genderless individuality. Thus we are populating in an epoch where work forces and adult females are attributed ( at least in theory ) equal bureau and control over their lives.
All the traditional limits of individuality have been erased. Theories of hybridity and migrancy have extended a celebratory gesture towards this disintegration of individuality in a globalized infinite. States and civilizations mix up with each other as ne’er before. Harmonizing to Homi Bhabha,
America leads to Africa ; the states of Europe and Asia meet in Australia ; the borders of the state displace the centreaˆ¦The great Whitmanesque sensorium of America is exchanged for a Warhol explosion, a Kruger installing, or Mapplethorpe ‘s bare organic structures.
In the words of Ashcroft et Al,
The postcolonial universe is one in which destructive cultural brush is altering to an credence of difference on equal footings. Both literary theoreticians and cultural historiographers are get downing to acknowledge cross-culturality as the possible expiration point of an seemingly eternal human history of conquering and obliteration justified by the myth of group ‘purity ‘ , and as the footing on which the postcolonial universe can be creatively stabilized.
This jubilation of hybridity, nevertheless, has to be seen in its full political, economic and cultural context. Leela Gandhi warns, “ But if the linguistic communication of hybridity is to retain any earnestly political significance, it must foremost profess that for some laden peoples, in some fortunes, the battle is merely non over. Hybridity is non the merely enlightened response to subjugation. ”Since 9/11, in-migration policies have become more and more rigorous, visa limitations have been increased, hate offenses in the developed states have escalated. There is an increasing accent on alienness of the migrators among the indigens of the developed states. A Pakistani passport is likely to separate you from other fellow travellers by the sheer intuition and examination it arouses in the in-migration functionaries of the developed states. Furthermore, the cost of travel and abode has besides risen. Those who migrate have to pay a brawny monetary value for their travel and remain in the developed states. Therefore, merely the flush categories can afford the cost of travel and abode in the developed states. Keeping in head these worlds, Leela Gandhi ( Gandhi, 1998 ) asserts that “ we need to guarantee that the euphoric Utopianism of this discourse [ of hybridity ] does non devolve into a premature political memory loss. ”
Aijaz Ahmed besides has these worlds in head when he launches a vituperative unfavorable judgment of theories of hybridity and migrancy. Harmonizing to him,
“ The basic thought that informs the impression of cultural hybridity is in itself simple plenty, viz. that the traffic among modern civilizations is now so alert that one can barely talk of distinct national civilizations that are non basically transformed by that trafficaˆ¦The stairss that follow this truism are more debatable, nevertheless. At two terminals of this same statement, this status of cultural hybridity is said to be ( a ) particular to the migrator, more pointedly the migratory rational, living and working in the Western city ; and, at the same clip ( B ) a generalised status of postmodernity into which all modern-day civilizations are now irretrievably ushered – so that the figure of the migrator, particularly the migrator ( postcolonial ) rational residing in the city, comes to mean a cosmopolitan status of hybridity and is said to be the Subject of a Truth that that persons populating within their national civilizations do non possess.
Towards the terminal of his paper, Aijaz Ahmed asks a rhetorical inquiry, a inquiry that for the intent of my paper I take as a echt inquiry, and seek to reply through a comparative analysis of two characters, Mumtaz Kashmiri and Carol, in two novels by Pakistani authors, Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid, and The Pakistani Bride by Bapsi Sidhwa. Harmonizing to Aijaz Ahmed “ these jubilations of hybridity foreground the unequal dealingss of cultural power today ; instead, intercultural hybridity is presented as a dealing of displaced peers which somehow transcends the profound inequalities engendered by colonialism itself. Into whose civilization is one to be hybridized and on whose footings? ”This is the inquiry I seek to reply in my paper.
Both characters under analysis are adult females, but Mumtaz Kashmiri comes from Pakistan – a Third World state – while Carol comes from America – the foremost of the First World state. Both characters are besides migrators – Mumtaz migrates to America, while Carol comes to Pakistan. Both have had some instruction in the American academy. Both are married to Pakistani work forces – Mumtaz to Aurangzeb, a westernized Pakistani, and Carol to Farrukh, a typical ( read jealous, leery, hypocritical ) Asiatic, Pakistani. Both matrimonies break down – Mumtaz ‘s because Aurangzeb comes to demand a traditional function from her in taking attention of their boy, and Carol ‘s because she discovers the truth of the Pakistani/Asian barbarian and barbarous attitude towards adult females.
Therefore both the novels dramatize a contact between Pakistan and America – a Third World and a First World state. The contact nevertheless does non convey a cultural exchange ; Pakistan gets the worse of the deal. Mumtaz Kashmiri, the Pakistani adult female, goes to America and gets Americanized ( read civilized ) , while Carol comes to Pakistan and non merely retains her American cultural values, but besides acquires a profound disgust for the Pakistani society. In both the societies it is Pakistani civilization and society that is at mistake, particularly in its attitude towards adult females. However, this unfavorable judgment of Pakistani society is made through a comparing with American cultural values, which besides represent ‘modernity ‘ and ‘civilization ‘ . Interestingly, the two novels seem to offer the familiar colonial discourse of the barbaric and barbarian indigens, the white adult male ‘s ( adult female ‘s in the two novels ) load, and the demand for modernisation of Pakistan. The undermentioned analysis of the two characters brings this out more intricately.
Mumtaz Kashmiri – Hybridization par excellence
Mumtaz Kashmiri is a Pakistani Born who goes to America to analyze. Interestingly, her life before the stay in America is ne’er described in the book, even called by herself as unimportant to cognize for to understand her narrative:
Where to get down? Certainly before Muazzam [ her boy ] was born. Decidedly before I got married. Before I went to America? Hmm. No. We have n’t the clip to travel that far back merely now.
The sort of adult female she was before the trip is hard to garner from the novel. Her life in America is described really vividly by Mumtaz herself. It is a life non merely of merriment and frolic, of dance and drink, but besides of a great trade of acquisition:
I remember geting in the metropolis for the first clip, go throughing with my parents through the first universe nine ‘s chucker-outs at Immigration, acquiring into a monolithic cab that did n’t hold a minute to waste, and falling in love every bit shortly as we shot onto the span and I saw Manhattan rise up through the expressions of parental panic reflected in the window. I lost my virginity in New York twice ( the 2nd one had wanted to believe he was the first one so severely ) . I had my head blown unfastened by the combination of a broad humanistic disciplines instruction and a drug-popping international crowd. I became tough. I had merriment. I learned so much.
This is the birth of the loanblend and the migrator. She loses her virginity or pureness of her civilization twice, one time through the broad humanistic disciplines instruction and the other through mixing with the drug-popping crowd. The last clinching sentences of the transition sum it up good. She has become tough, no longer the modest, earth-gazing Oriental adult female, which possibly she ne’er was. She has had fun, imbibe, dance and drugs, and she has learned so much – a broad humanistic disciplines instruction. This is the type of migrator celebrated in postcolonial unfavorable judgment. The ocean trip to the Centre is the ocean trip off from place and from the civilization of place. A loanblend is one who accepts and imbibes the Western values and civilizations. Harmonizing to Leela Gandhi “ The West remains the privileged meeting land for all apparently cross-cultural conversations. ”Back place, Mumtaz continues to populate out her Western ways. A Pakistani-American become an American-Pakistani.
Reading Moth Smoke, one will be surprised to happen that all characters, state of affairss, and subjects seem to hold been taken from an American underworld film. Sexual activity, dance and drugs characterize this ambiance. This universe is the universe of the elite of Pakistan. The feudal Godheads, administrative officials and upper degrees of the military make up this category. Whether Mumtaz belongs to this group of people before her nuptials to Aurangzeb, or joins it after her matrimony is non clear from the novel, which significantly does n’t depict her life prior to her visit in the US. The emancipating experience of broad humanistic disciplines instruction, and a broad and promiscuous civilization does look to hold come to her as a disclosure.
What portion does the ‘liberal humanistic disciplines instruction ‘ drama in crossbreeding Mumtaz? A expression at the course of study of the broad humanistic disciplines instruction gives such topics as Human Sexual Behavior, Introduction to Women ‘s Studies, Issues in Feminism, Women and Social Action, etc. Traveling through such classs does ‘open up ‘ one ‘s head to issues one would ne’er hold thought about while life in a conservative civilization like that of Pakistan. However, more than analyzing specific topics, it is the thought that any topic can be studied by anyone, without any limitation of age, gender or civilization, that seems to be ‘liberating ‘ . Therefore, the broad humanistic disciplines instruction acts as a site of induction into the ‘postmodern ‘ civilization of limitless picks. It is non surprising that she sees her career in composing. Many Pakistani English authors are adult females populating in the US.
Arif Dirlikhas connected the credence of postcolonial unfavorable judgment in the American academy with the visual aspect of the postcolonial intellectuals in America. However, his ‘postcolonial intellectuals ‘ are intellectuals prior to the entry into the American academy. There is on the other manus a group of ‘intellectuals ‘ who get their ‘intellectuality ‘ merely after they have been a portion of the American academy. The great value and welcome given to foreign degree holders in Pakistani academies is cogent evidence of this ‘acquired ‘ intellectuality. University instruction from America or any of the First World states, including Australia, is grounds sufficiency of a individual ‘s certificates as an rational. The sentiments of these foreign educated persons are given great weight in Pakistani universities in peculiar, and in Pakistani society in general. After her return to Pakistan, Mumtaz Kashmiri ‘s transmutation into Zulfikar Manto, a author whose Hagiographas are greatly admired or hated but ne’er ignored, is facilitated by her American instruction.
After her return to Pakistan, Mumtaz starts composing under the anonym of Zulfikar Manto. The pick of this peculiar name reveals her perceptual experience of her self-identity and the mission that such an individuality confers. The ground for taking this name, as she tells Darashikoh is that Zulfikar is the name of a blade, while Manto is the name of a South Asiatic writer ill-famed for covering with sexual issues:
“ Why Zulfikar Manto? ” I [ Darashikoh ] ask her.
“ Manto was my favorite short narrative author. ”
“ And? ”
“ And he wrote about cocottes, intoxicant, sex, Lahore ‘s underbelly. ”
“ Zulfikar? ”
“ That you should hold guessed: Manto ‘s pen was his blade. So: Zulfikar. ”
She does n’t look to be cognizant that Zulfikar was the blade of Hazrat Ali RA, and hence, the name carries a strong spiritual spirit. The name is, hence, a unusual loanblend, uniting faith and liberalism. However, as we get to see in the novel, Mumtaz ‘s Hagiographas have barely anything to make with faith. The lone usage of the blade is in cut downing down the ironss of suppression and lip service that have bound the society of Pakistan. This alteration of name suggests that in Pakistan, one is inhibited by the norms of the civilization, and hence 1 has to build a false individuality for oneself. Paradoxically, one has more opportunity of being his/her ain ego in this false individuality than in his/her existent individuality. As Zulfikar Manto, Mumtaz fulfills all her demands that can non be fulfilled while she acts as Mumtaz.
How does Mumtaz see her function as Zulfikar Manto? She conceives her function as one of the ‘enlightenment missional ‘ as described by Ian Almond. This enlightenment missionary, in the words of Almond, is a “ Western-educated supporter who finds himself [ or herself ] , to his [ or her ] discouragement, surrounded on all sides by a sea of ignorance and superstitious notion he [ or she ] at one time deplores and yet is closely familiar with aˆ¦ . ” Almond explores the character of these missionaries on the footing of these inquiries:
How make such enlightenment figures operate in the postcolonial contexts? What do they understand as their undertaking, and how does it alter their relationship to their parent civilization? What sort of intercrossed, schizophrenic ego becomes necessary for them to go on utilizing both vocabularies? And most significantly, what sort of autochthonal subjectivenesss do such minutes of enlightenment excitement green goods?
Zulfikar Manto ‘s Hagiographas tell us how Mumtaz sees her function in her ‘home state ‘ . “ I wrote about things, ” Mumtaz tells us, “ people did n’t desire seen, and my authorship was noticed. ” When Darashikoh asks him why she was fascinated with [ Saadat Hasan ] Manto ‘s capable affair, she replies, “ Finding I do n’t quite fit into what ‘s expected. I ‘m interested in things adult females do that are n’t spoken approximately. Manto ‘s narratives allow me take a breath. They make me experience like less of a monster. ” However, anyone familiar with the plants of Saadat Hasan Manto, and Ismat Chughtai will at one time notice the difference between their plants and that of Mumtaz/Zulfikar Manto. The narratives of Manto and Chughtai are narratives of human existences driven by their most cardinal inherent aptitudes. There is a echt desire in their plants to convey out the most indispensable human passions and desires, and to give voice to the marginalized categories in the Indian society. Manto ‘s involvement in the cocottes is surely non adult, it is instead humanistic. The cocottes are treated as human existences with feeling and sentiments, and non as the diabolic enchantresss of honest and pious work forces.
Zulfikar Manto ‘s plants are disgraceful. His interviews of cocottes, and narratives of abduction of misss, colzas and other offenses against adult females are non intended as a societal unfavorable judgment of the Pakistani civilization. Alternatively, they are simply provocative, aimed at eliciting hatred and offense among the readers. Mumtaz exults in the sort of reaction her Hagiographas arouse in the readers. Between her work and that of the existent Manto, the difference is between that of news media – and some really bad news media that thrives on sensational narratives and dirts – and art. While the existent Manto dainties sex as a portion of human life, Zulfikar Manto treats sex as a dirt.
Theorists of hybridity besides assert that a hybrid/migrant is gifted with a ‘double position ‘ . In the words of Rushdie, the migrator authors “ are at one and the same clip insiders and foreigners in this society. This stereoscopic vision is possibly what we can offer in topographic point of ‘whole sight ‘ . ”Therefore, the migrator, intercrossed author has a better apprehension of both the First and the Third World cultures, than any of the dwellers of merely one of these civilizations may possess. In Mumtaz Kashmiri ‘s instance, there does n’t look to be any dual position. Her focal point on the atrociousnesss committed against adult females in Pakistan is non driven by any desire for societal action. There is no echt involvement that she has in the lives of these adult females she writes about. In fact, her ain position as the ‘elite ‘ in Pakistani society keeps her at a distance from the adult females she writes about. Thus, in composing about the agony of Pakistani adult females, she makes the same mistake that Mohanty has identified in her essay, “ Under Western Eyess: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourse ”. Harmonizing to Mohanty, feminist bookmans derive their values from Western civilization, and have a really superficial apprehension of the lives of the adult females of the Third World civilization. This deficiency of understanding bounds their apprehension of the position of adult females in Third World cultures, and why atrociousnesss are committed against them. ( Full citation from Mohanty ‘s essay is given subsequently ) . The dual vision that Rushdie attributes to migrators and loanblends grows out of a committedness to the place civilization – a echt respect for the agony of the place people – and an grasp of the adoptive civilization. Though Mumtaz shows great grasp of the adoptive civilization, she lacks the committedness to her place civilization, the committedness that the existent Manto had.
Therefore Mumtaz sees her function as that of the enlightenment missional, seeking to distribute consciousness of things people ignore. In making so, she has to keep a double individuality, and that is what causes the injury in her life. On one manus, she is required to play the function of a married woman and a female parent in the traditional mode, a function she finds herself unfit to play. Much though she tries to love her boy, she ne’er succeeds. Finally, she abandons this function. It is nevertheless, in her function as the enlightenment missionary that she finds fulfillment. As Zulfikar Manto she finds a manner of showing her ‘self ‘ . Therefore, the schizophrenic, intercrossed ego that Almond has pointed out destroys her relationship with her hubby and boy.
Therefore Mumtaz Kashmiri becomes Zulfikar Manto after her return from America. The demand to build a new individuality suggests the estranging impact of her visit in America. Having been initiated in the cult of modernism, she is no longer tantrum for the Pakistani society. This is the impact of hybridisation.
Carol – Failed Hybridity
The narrative of Carol in Sidhwa ‘s The Pakistani Bride is that of another migrator. However, her motion is off from the Centre and towards the fringe. She marries a Pakistani because she likes the manner he behaves towards her. Farrukh, her hubby, is really genitive and covetous towards her, and she basks in the visible radiation of his attending. She travels to Pakistan and settees in Lahore. It is here that she realizes that “ what she had thought was a alone attractive force for Farrukh had in fact been her captivation with the alien aˆ¦ . ” Despite life in Lahore with Farrukh ‘s household, she retains her Americanness, the values and traditions of the West, which include a neglect for any superficial restraints upon ‘natural ‘ inherent aptitudes – sexual inherent aptitudes to be more exact.
Dressed in close fitting pants and half-sleeve shirts, she is an object of phantasy for Pakistani work forces, who lose no chance of ogling at her. This migrator does non undergo any enlightenment of the kind Mumtaz goes through in the US. All that she discovers about Pakistani civilization is the ‘atmosphere of suppressed gender ‘ :
Slowly Carol had begun to recognize that even among her friends, where married womans did non have on burkhas or live in particular adult females ‘s quarters, the general separation of the sexes bred and atmosphere of sensualness. The people seemed to absorb it from the air they breathed. This sensualness charged every brush no affair how fiddling.
In this sort of ambiance, Carol had found herself losing her ‘American values ‘ : “ It had corroded her artlessness, stripped her, bed by bed, of civilised American justnesss. She was frightened to see a portion of herself alteration into a horridly coarse individual. ” However, she does bask the privileged place she has courtesy of her being an American:
One of the pleasant surprises of her matrimony to Farrukh was her really particular position. As an American married to a Pakistani she was allowed much more freedom than a Pakistani married woman. She could state things and acquire off with behavior and frock that would hold been flooring in a Pakistani – and even in an American. Cut loose from the restraints of her ain civilization, she did non experience restricted by the new.
But her brush with the native miss Zaitoon eventually makes her make up one’s mind to travel back to her place.
She does do an attempt to follow herself to Pakistani civilization. She tries to keep her candor with work forces, even with her hubby ‘s friends: “ God knows Carol had tried to modify her behavior. She had conformed every bit good as anyone brought up to be free and easy with work forces could! – she thought, reflecting on the progresss she had resisted, at first casually, so with increasing strain. ” She even fantasizes get marrieding Sakhi, the Kohistani hubby of Zaitoon. She dreams:
aˆ¦ He would believe her so particular aˆ¦ For his interest she would win over all the work forces and adult females and kids of his small town. In the distant ranges of his magnificent mountains, she would edify a kin of barbarians and cave mans. She would be their wise, beloved goddess, ministering Aspro and diarrhoea pillsaˆ¦She would defend their causes and concentrate the benign blaze of American academe upon these beautiful people, so pitifully concealed from the universe by a crease in the Earth.
How much this phantasy retains the Orientalist and colonial vocabulary is apparent from this interior soliloquy.
This attempted hybridisation, really suitably given the name of a phantasy, a dream brings merely disenchantment. The writer has already warned us before Carol comes across a adult female ‘s chopped off caput in the river: “ But Carol, a kid of the bright Californian Sun and breaker, could no more understand the beguiling dusky universe of head coverings and adult females ‘s quarters than Zaitoon could grok her independent life in America. ” Her find of a tribal adult female ‘s chopped off caput swimming in the river shocks her into the impossibleness of the realisation of her phantasy. Disillusioned, she eventually realizes the ‘otherness ‘ of Pakistan and Pakistani people, peculiarly Pakistani adult females, even those ‘hybridized ‘ adult females ‘with British speech patterns ‘ , who ‘wore denims from the US and tops from Paris, and whose kids studied in Eton or Harvard: “ She had related to them right off: and all of a sudden their good-humored eyes flashed a cryptic quality that drew her into an inexplicable universe of sadness luxury of ancient wisdom and sensualness and crueltyaˆ¦ ”
Initially she had felt a bond between herself and Zaitoon, a Pakistani adult female, because of their common individualities as adult females: “ In the instant their eyes met, the green and black of their flags fused in an age old Communion – an apprehension they shared of their exposures as adult females. For an intuitive blink of an eye Carol felt herself submerged in the incapacitated impetus of Zaitoon ‘s life. ” However, after her find of the drifting caput, she thinks herself and Pakistani adult females as poles apart: “ A subdivision of Eve had parted some manner in clip from hers ” . Finally, she is fed up with her phantasy for the tribesman. She now thinks in the familiar vocabulary of the colonial immigrant: antediluvian and modern. The Pakistani civilisation and people were excessively ancient for her American modernness. She could “ analyze them, detect every item of their life, possibly even understand them, but become one of them, ne’er! She was n’t programmed to suit. She ‘d necessitate an familial memory of antediluvian rites, tabu and responses: familial unsusceptibilities, a different set of cistrons ” . With this realisation, she is ready to travel place, and Tells Farrukh: “ Your civilisation is excessively ancientaˆ¦too differentaˆ¦and it has ways that can ache meaˆ¦really hurt meaˆ¦I ‘m traveling place. ”
A really of import issue in this context is raised by Mohanty in her paper “ Under Western Eyess: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourse ” . Harmonizing to Mohanty,
aˆ¦ premises of privilege and ethnocentric catholicity, on the one manus, and unequal uneasiness about the consequence of Western scholarship on the other, qualify a ample extent of Western feminist work on adult females in the 3rd universe. An analysis of ‘sexual difference ‘ in the signifier of a cross-culturally singular, massive impression of patriarchate or male laterality leads to the building of a similarly reductive and homogeneous impression of what I call the ‘third universe difference ‘ – that stable, ahistorical something that seemingly oppresses most if non all the adult females in these states.
Carol ‘s appraisal of Pakistani society, peculiarly the sexual norms are coloured by her Western upbringing. When she looks at Pakistani adult females, she ca n’t assist borrowing from Western feminist scholarship, as pointed out by Mohanty above. In Mohanty ‘s words, such attacks have a inclination to ‘colonize ‘ the Third World adult females through Western feminist discourse.
It is interesting to observe the usage of a whole scope of colonial vocabulary in Carol ‘s contact with the Pakistani people and civilization. Her matrimony to Farrukh and migration to Pakistan is based on her pleasance in the alien. Pakistan is the land of phantasy and desire. In Carol ‘s brush with Pakistan, her ‘gaze ‘ is given much prominence. It is the familiar regard of the coloniser, who observes, records, and transforms a civilization and people into cognition. The first clip we meet Carol, she is “ researching the Himalayas ” , with her “ green eyes conveying their exhilaration at the sight of the mountains and watercourse hurtling by in its urgency to link with the Indus. ” In Lahore, she ‘stared at the craftsmans doing gold and Ag jewelry ” and experience “ spellbound by the whirl of coloring material and texture. ” However, her regard is returned with twice the strength from Pakistani work forces, and with added maliciousness from the tribesmen. Her sight arouses ogling among Pakistani work forces because of her dressing and the manner she carries herself casually. However, the horror that she feels in the returned regard is merely a contemplation of her ain gender which she admires in the eyes of the ‘civilzed ‘ Pakistani work forces, including the major ( ‘She knew the way of the major ‘s eyes and was warmed by an exulting female assurance ” ) , but hates in the eyes of the tribesmen. The undermentioned transition brings this out more intricately:
Now looking into Mushtaq ‘s dapper eyes, she felt light headedaˆ¦She wanted to delight in the gratefulness of his stare. But she knew better. Earthy and brazen, the work forces here expected nuance from adult females. She had already responded excessively much.
Besides they were excessively exposed to the funny stares of the tribals registering across the steep path overlooking the lawn.
Carol ‘s face hardened. Three tribesmen had stopped on the path looking down at her. The held the ragged terminals of their turbans between their dentitions, and their eyes examined her insolently.
The major attempts to explicate their behavior to Carol. These tribesmen have profound regard for their ain adult females ( who sacredly observe the head covering ) , but “ allow them descry an foreigner and they go berserk in an binge of sight seeing! ” It is as an foreigner that she sees the tribesmen, and it is an foreigner that they watch her. There is “ orgy of sight seeing ” on both sides.
The major ‘s account in this episode brings out another fact: conditions of cultural exchange are carefully controlled in the contact between a First World and a Third World state, when this interaction takes topographic point in a Third World state. The First World tourers in hunt of the alien seldom get to see the true image of the civilization of the state they tour. Their abode is to a great extent guarded and carefully separated from the general population of the Third World state. Recently, with the batch of bombardments at tourer resorts in Muslim states, the tourer industry has suffered immense losingss. At best, these tourers get a opportunity to ‘gaze ‘ at the civilization of the people whose state they tour. Cultural engagement and exchange are ne’er involved. If at all any interaction of the First World civilization takes topographic point with the Third World civilization in a Third World state, it is with the flush, westernized, foreign educated category of people.
This is what happens with Carol. The major Tells her, “ Of class you merely know the sophisticated, those Pakistanis who have learnt to blend socially aˆ¦ . ” A small ulterior she counts the ground for her staying in Pakistan, despite terrible difference with her hubby:
Drawn-out forenoon javas and span, delightful Sessionss of chitchat with the set of Pakistani adult females who progressively formed her societal group – American, Australian, and British, and other Europeans, married to Pakistanis, who otherwise had really small in common. Sunk into shock absorbers of leisure they shared assurances and wept with homesickness on each other ‘s shoulders. In minutes of alone disaffection, turning hostile, they sneered at unusual imposts, at modernisation non yet achieved, at native in-laws, and soil and dust and crude plumbing.
Therefore, in this First World-Third World cultural contact, the ‘other ‘ is conspicuously absent or distant. It is either a affair of wonder ( “ craftsmans doing gold and Ag jewelry ” ) or a affair of horror and hatred ( “ their eyes examined her insolently ” ) . Cultural hybridity is impossible in this status of cultural contact. Carol comes to Pakistan an American, and decides to travel back to America without a hint of hybridity in her character.
The above analysis provides us an reply to the inquiry Aijaz Ahmed asked rhetorically: Into whose civilization is one to be hybridized and on whose footings? The reply is that cultural interaction between the First World and Third World takes topographic point on footings and conditions defined by the First World. Itself ensconced behind in-migration policies, military strength, economic clout, and cultural power, the First World overshadows the Third World in cultural contacts like in other contacts, political, military, and economic. Cultural interaction can non be dissociated from the political and economic worlds of today. Where American armed forces and economic establishments dwarf such establishments of Third World states, American civilization excessively overpowers the civilizations of Third World states. The narratives of Mumtaz and Carol may be fiction. But they are fiction carved out of the world of the unequal distribution of power – economic, military and cultural – in today ‘s universe.
All this seems rather simple. However, in the globalized cultural infinite that I outlined in the beginning, this has powerful deductions. What does it intend to be an American or a Pakistani in this globalized cultural infinite? Is the similarity in coloring material of the Green Passport, and the “ Green Card ” , besides a similarity in civilization? Have we eventually arrived at a clip when commitments of race, ethnicity and state, even of gender, have ceased to count and all human existences have become equal? What consequence does cultural hybridity have on in-migration policies, visa grants, and travel licenses of the First World states? The above analysis of Mumtaz and Carol ‘s characters shows that we are still far from a clip when cultural hybridity will be an equal exchange of civilizations. Till so, shall we observe, or shall we defy?