The Death of Indian Culture Exposed in The Jewel In the Crown

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The Death of Indian Culture Exposed in The Jewel In the Crown

The Jewel in the Crown, by Paul Scott, is a postcolonial novel about the realism of the interracial love affair between Daphne Manners and Hari Kumar, the subsequent rape of Daphne Manners, and the after effects on British and Indian relations. At a time when British and Indian affairs were strained, at best, the rape of Miss Manners is significantly metaphoric of the British rape of Indian land and culture. British colonial sentiment became a primary influence in India, when the revolt of 1857 led to the reorganization of British influence. The British felt that India could not rule itself, that they (the British) would govern India as its benefactor, bringing modernization to an inferior culture. The Indian economy was transformed into a colonial economy, whose nature and structure was determined primarily by the needs of the British economy. Britain's policies, in effect, ruined India's urban and rural industries, which caused a great pressure on the land, as the development of India's industry could not keep up with British needs.

The Jewel in the Crown focuses on how British colonialism affected the relations between native Indians and the British English, and the affects on Indian culture seen through the tragedy of the unique triangle formed by Hari Kumar and Ronald Merrick, at two opposing points (English vs. India), and Daphne Manners (the catalyst) connecting them both. The story is significant in understanding the historical aspects of British colonial rule, and the subsequent destruction and transformation of Indian culture. Through the eyes of the characters, we get several very distinct and personal stories about the values and custo...

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...e history unfolds itself, as the personal lives intertwine with social and historical attitudes of British India and its ideology of benevolent governance. In a metaphorical sense, the personal tragedies of Hari Kumar and Daphne Manners represent the inability of two clashing distinctly different cultures to mix in creating an atmosphere of modern unity. The fact that Daphne Manners dies in childbirth, a birth that would have represented such a unity between these two cultures, idealizes the very nature of the problems associated with the rights and wrongs of colonialism, and represents perhaps the very death of native Indian ideology and culture.

Works Cited

Agatucci, Cora. "Jewel in the Crown Study Guide Timeline" English 103, Spring 2001.

Scott, Paul. The Jewel in the Crown: The Raj Quartet:1. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. C. 1998.