Comparative Analysis between A Fine Balance and the Poisionwood Bible
Cultural relativism really emphasizes the concept that each individual cultural belief differs from one societal class to another; in consequence, moral and ethical principles are related to what a certain culture perceives to be considered acceptable or unacceptable, right or wrong. Jack Donnelly, a teacher at the University of Denver, he states, "when internal and external judgments of a practice diverge," an uncontrollable rivalry, " cultural relativists give priority to be the internal judgements of a society" (89). Cultural relativism correlates with the idea that ones own personal religious belief is above anyone else's, thus, all beliefs in society should be assessed with the same principles that they themselves hold. Rohin Mistry, the author of the book A Fine Balance suggests that Muslims in India during the 1970's were discriminated upon, as Hindus they acted on their own religious beliefs trying to fix or turn "animals," into what they believe is proper, in an ethnocentric manner. It can be stated that the majority of the Hindus did not attempt to accept Muslims because of their religion during this period of time; consequently the the people of Islam living in India faced hatred and were almost entirely wiped out of India. Mistry focuses depicts Ishvar and Omprakash's relationships as only a smaller portion of what most Muslims went through during the 70's. Barbra Kingsolver, the author of the novel The Poisonwood Bible also discovers a parallel when discussing the methods in which Western society encounters unfamiliar foreign countries. Kingsolver creates an allegory where the Price family and the people of the Congo exemplify...
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...308) Anatole is trying to explain that the missionaries are pushing the Congolese down just as the ants are pushed down, and the result if enthocentrism can be detrimental.
The entirety of the two novels A Fine Balance and The Poisonwood Bible is a series of microcosms through which Kingsolver and Mistry advance their political agendas; that the practice of enthocentrism is destructive and that a cultural relativism is a more enlightened concept. In the novels, they portray a country and a foreign society in a different light than most are accustomed: in a light of equality. As shocking and and unsettling as unfamiliar rituals and characteristics can be, Kingsolver and Mistry suggest that one must not only tolerate them, but ultimately accept them. There us no foreigner, we are all the same: human beings suited to their surroundings and doing their best to survive.
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