Myself in India, by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

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Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was born in Germany but she moved to England at the age of 12. She then moved to India in the fifties, where she married and settle for the better part of her life. The essay is “Myself in India” is based on her experiences there. Jhabvala refers to India as an animal four times in the essay. We first come across it when she is describing India “...but there is no point in making a catalogue of the horrors with which one lives, on which one lives, as on the back of an animal “. She uses it as a metaphor. When we think of animals we often have this image of wild and dangerous creatures and as we know in the animal world only the strong survive. This is something that she references to trough tout the essay when she is talking about the hardships which the Indians have to endure throughout their lives “from birth to death they never for one day cease to suffer from hunger “. It could also refer to the fact that animals are inferior to humans and that she sees India as inferior to the western countries. If we would have to choose what animal India is based on Jhabvala's feelings, the natural choice would be a tiger, because the Bengalese tiger is the national animal of India. The tiger is known for being a wild and dangerous animal, but also its beauty. In relations to India this could be a reference to the beautiful culture which enriches our experience of India, but also some of the downsides that it has like poverty and unemployment and other sociological factors which paint a grim picture of Indian life. According to Jhabvala there are several ways for Europeans to adjust to life in India. One could be to have a purpose for coming to India in the first place ex. a doctor or a social worker....

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...ure” as “ culture shock is an extreme reaction to an international transition...Culture Shock comes from the natural contradiction between our accustomed patterns of behavior and the psychological conflict of attempting to maintain them in the new cultural environment”. Jahabvala goes through five stages. The first one is surprise where she becomes aware of the differences in the cultures. The second one is stress, where the daily annoyances are becoming ever more difficult resulting in her becoming more withdrawn. The third one is the irritation phase where small objects ex. the Indians view on cows, trigger a strong reaction. The fourth phase is fatigue, where she is exhausted and can't bring herself to talk about India, when people ask her. The last and final stage is culture shock where all the things come into contact with each other causing this cultural shock.

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