Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 1 January 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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Deconstructing Human Society: An Appreciation of Amitav Ghosh's Sea Of Poppies

Ravi Bhushan, Ph.D. & Ms Daisy


The recent short listing of Amitav Ghosh's latest novel Sea of Poppies for this year's Man Booker Prize is an occasion for all of us to rejoice. In fact, Sea of Poppies has been received favorably by the Booker jury for the compelling story told against an epic historical canvas. The first in Ghosh's new trilogy of novels, Sea of Poppies is a stunningly vibrant and intensely human work that confirms his reputation as a master storyteller.

Sea of Poppies tells the compelling story of how it is that in the ship Ibis, headed to Caribbean sugar plantations, small new worlds are forged, bringing together north Indian women, Bengali Zamindars, black men, rural laborers and Chinese seamen. The novel closes with the Ibis in mid-ocean in a storm. Serang Ali, leader of the lascars, has abandoned the ship. Few key figures survive and watch from the deck the disappearance of the long boat.

If Rushdie can be said to have revitalized the Indian novel in English with the 1981 publication of the magnificent Midnight's Children, Ghosh's fiction has over the years probed the unlit corners of the genre and brought it into powerful dialogue with other places, peoples and times.

Amitav Ghosh's career began in the experimental wake of midnight's children and the techniques it put into play: magical realism, satire, wordplay, mythology, allegories etc. one of the recurring themes in Ghosh's work is that globalization in terms of trade, migration and cultural contact is not new. Putting up a moderate stance, Ghosh believes that although European colonialism constitutes a great rupture in the histories of Asia and Africa, out of these tragedies communities were unmade and again made.

Sea of Poppies is imbued by a deep commitment to human values. In this joint paper we propose to examine the underlying philosophy of Amitav Ghosh, in understanding the evolution of human society and to reclaim all that in our heterogeneous culture is valuable and ultimately indispensable.

Amitav Ghosh and His Inventiveness

Amitav Ghosh is a writer concerned with India's place in larger international cultural networks, whose fiction seems directly informed by contemporary academic debates about colonialism and culture. His very first novel, Circle of Reason (1986) written in Salman Rushdie's magical realist mode, attempts to recover a continuing tradition of cultural exchange for India.

Ghosh is a novelist given to generic inventiveness and champion of post-modern cultural weightlessness, but his writing is as interested in the ties that bind as in the transitory nature of global culture. In fact Amitav Ghosh has, over the last two decades, brought substance and range to Indian English fiction and indeed, added richly to the literature of the subcontinent as a whole.

If Rushdie can be said to have revitalized the Indian novel in English with the 1981 publication of the magnificent Midnight's Children, Amitav Ghosh's fiction has over the years, probed its unlit corners, and brought it into powerful dialogue with other places, peoples and times. Ghosh has chosen to set new literary challenges for himself, constantly transforming his work over the years.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Linguistic Purism and Language Planning in a Multilingual Context | The Problems of Teaching/Learning Tenses | Language and Literature: An Exposition - Papers Presented in Karunya University International Seminar | Similes in Meghduta - The Absolute Craftsmanship in Language | Culture of the Tamil Society as Portrayed in Ponniyin Selvan | Deconstructing Human Society: An Appreciation of Amitav Ghosh's Sea Of Poppies | Enabling Students to Interpret Literary Texts Independently by Enhancing their Vocabulary | Coping with the Problems of Mixed Ability Students | Displaced Diasporic Identities - A Case Study of Mordecai Richler's The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz | English Language Teaching in Developing Countries Error Analysis and Remedial Teaching Methods - An Overview | Diaspora Literature - A Hybrid or a Hybridized Product? | Anita Desai's Journey To Ithaca - A Manifestation of Vedantic Knowledge | A Study on the Physiological, Psychological and Spiritual Perspectives of Different Selves in a Self with Special Reference to Yann Martel's SELF | Conveniences and Complexities of Computer-Aided Language Learning | The Danger Lurking Within: The African American Woman in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye | Practices and Paradigms of Using Multimedia and Language Laboratory for Teaching Communication Skills to Technical Students | English: A Blessing in Disguise - A Study of Chinua Achebe's Technique of Hybridization | Language Teaching - The Present Day Challenges | Is Literature a Viable Medium for ESL Acquisition? | The Lord of The Rings : Galadriel, The Light Of Middle-Earth | Teaching Reading - A Challenge in Itself | The Silent Way | Translator as Reader: Phenomenology and Text Reception - An Investigation of Indulekha | The Dysfunctional Women in Mary Gordon'sThe Other Side | Utopia and Dystopia, Conflict Between Two Extremes - An Appraisal of Anita Desai's Cry, The Peacock | Reading 'god' Backwards | The Comic Vision in the Stories and Sketches of R.K.Narayan | My Responses to The English Teacher | 'Fall from Grace into Grief': Putting into Perspective the Outrages of Terrorism in Salman Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown | Style and Language in M. G. Vassanji's The Assassin's Song | Affirmation of Life in Lloyd C. Douglas' Magnificent Obsession | Effectiveness of Group Investigation Model and Simulation Model in Teaching English | A Mathematical Treatment of Feministic Literature for the Prediction of Social Trends | Multiple Intelligences and Second Language Learning | Amitav Ghosh's The Circle Of Reason - A Study of Diaspora | The Role of Multimedia in Teaching Writing in English | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF JANUARY 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of January 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Ravi Bhushan, Ph.D & Ms. Daisy
Department of English
BPS Mahila Vishwavidyalaya
Khanpur Kalan (Sonipat)
Haryana, India

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