England and Italy Essay
England and Italy
In Indian Ink unlike A Room with a View the cultures overlap. There is a definite connection between Flora and Das which is hinted at later on in the play by Anish when he talks about the painting – ‘”This was painted with love” ‘. Das’ love of all things English and Mr Coomaraswami’s belief that the English have not exploited India enough also links the cultures. A Room with a View is different to this as Italy and England are presented as two worlds apart.
In Chapter 6 the kiss between the Italians, the reactions to it specifically from Mr Eager and the allusions to Persephone3 and Phaeton4 contribute to separating England and Italy. This is also shown later with the kiss between Lucy and George. They are in a beautiful landscape with violets, streams and hollows and their kiss is ‘broken by Miss Bartlett, who stood brown against the view,’ as Miss Bartlett is presented in stark contrast against the surroundings and this seems to represent her separateness from this beautiful world of freedom and passionate embrace.
She calls to Lucy ‘before she could speak, almost before she could feel,’ this could show how she is also trying to keep Lucy separated from this world. From the very first in Indian Ink it is possible to see that the Indians treat the English with great respect. Mr Coomaraswami’s over-enthusiasm (everything he says is punctuated with exclamation marks and he interrupts Flora on numerous occasions), and Das’ meekness when he is around her highlight this- ‘ “… not all Englished-up and all over me like a Labrador….. I want you to be with me as you would if I were Indian” ‘.
The assertiveness of Das’ son Anish to Mrs Swan compared to Das with Flora shows the change in attitude over the years; Anish gets into an argument with Mrs Swan over colonialism but Das is always checking that he has not offended Flora in some way. In A Room with a View unlike Indian Ink there is not much written about the Italian’s attitude towards the English apart from the carriage driver. Ironically he is described as ‘a common man’ and Miss Lavish called the Italian wine cart driver a ‘”dear simple soul” ‘, yet he says that he knew about Lucy’s feelings for George and comments that ‘these English.
They gain knowledge slowly, and perhaps too late’ (pp76). Both authors use time and humour differently. Stoppard intermixes the 1930s with the 1980s to show changes and similarities in attitude through time towards colonialism and foreign cultures. Stoppard’s use of time allows for speculation from characters in the 1980s on characters in the 1930s, for example, Mrs Swan saying how like Flora it was to get that painting done or when Anish analyses Das’ painting and concludes that Flora and Das had a special relationship.
This allows the audience to get a deeper understanding of the characters. Forster, however, has a part one and two in his novel. This helps clearly differentiate experiences in Italy and experiences in England. This shows Lucy’s changing attitude to the world around her and the change that Italy has had on her as she begins to consider and feel unsatisfied with her life at Windy Corner with Cecil. Forster and Stoppard both use their characters to present their own views. Both Indian Ink and A Room with a View are very political in their own ways.
Indian Ink challenges ideas of colonialism through the viewpoints of four different characters, all with different political views. Through Durance Stoppard presents how some of the English felt very superior to the Indians and how the cultures were so divided in some ways and yet overlapped in others. In A Room with a View Forster seems to be advocating socialism through Lucy as she becomes discontent with the life she had before and finds her true self when she falls in love with socialist George.
As the two central characters in the novels grow more experienced in the countries they are in they each discover something about themselves. Flora discovers the notion of rasa and this helps her in her work, likewise Lucy discovers about emotions in the form of passion which changes her ideas and helps her decide to be with George. In A Room with a View the use of many English people means that their reactions can be compared for example the reactions of Mr Eager and the Emersons to the kiss were completely different.
This highlights the fact that it is political difference between the characters that causes the different reactions and not cultural difference like in Indian Ink. In Indian Ink the English people interact a lot more with the native people than in A Room with a View, perhaps this is also to show the difference and similarities in the two cultures. Both writers use humour differently. Forster gently mocks his characters, he is not harsh and this allows the reader to develop affection for them.
Stoppard’s characters however are humorous themselves in the things that they say, this also allows for a deeper understanding of the characters but in a different way to Forster. The central characters in Indian Ink and A Room with a View are presenting Stoppard ‘s and Forster’s ideas through their growing experiences and changing ideas in the foreign countries they are visiting.
Books Indian Ink – Tom Stoppard A Room with a View – E. M Forster The Oxford Encyclopedic English Dictionary Video Hat and Dust A Room with a View Internet www.amazon.com
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 11 July 2017
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