Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 3 March 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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A Moral Lesson, Amoral Lesion
Sharon Pollock's The Komagata Maru Incident

PL. Visalakshi M.A., M.Phil.

Varied Themes for All Humanity

Sharon Pollock (born 1936) is a veteran Canadian Playwright with an impressive theatre history. She has worked under various categories such as actor, director, administrator and playwriting instructor. Her themes are varied and range from personal biographic elements and family politics to racism. The unifying factor is that all her plays reflect the social concern that she nurtures towards the common good of, not merely the community or even her nation, but all humanity. This is one trait that sets her apart from the general stream of writers. Her significant contribution to theatre has been recognized in the various awards presented to her (The Governor General's Award for Blood Relations, Canada-Australian Literary Award).

Focus on Yester Years

Sharon Pollock, categorically, delves into the incidents of yesteryears purporting to throw light upon the atrocities committed under the cover of enforcements of law. The Komagata Maru Incident (1976) is one such play. It draws upon the strategic methods employed by the Canadian Government, during the early 1900s to curb the influx of Asian immigrants into their country. Pollack's play is not a mere documentation of the factual happenings; it scans the emotions of the people involved - both the inflicted and the afflicted, thus acquiring a laudable depth. It is but inevitable that human beings tend to act in their best interests, however, the play seems to suggest that a humanitarian attitude is the dire need of the hour.

Cycle or Recycle?

Man has progressed from a barbaric state, acquired modesty and become civilized. The norms of nature proclaim that everything on earth predominantly falls into a cycle. So, if man's unkind activities are left unchecked / unkempt, perhaps he may be destined to reach that degenerated state. The play, by nature of its intent is for all times and can, over and above arresting the attention of the audience irrespective of their geographical locations, set them on an introspective mode. As a playwright, Pollack feels that this is her responsibility to society1.

The Heroic Journey

In 1914, the Komagata Maru, a Japanese steamer carrying 376 prospective immigrants of Asian Origin was forbidden to disembark its passengers by Canadian officials with vested interests. This incident forms the back drop of the play. The difficulty of the enactment of an incident of such magnitude, with a cast of six characters, is surmounted by making T.S (the Master of Ceremonies) don the role of various government officials and by the constant presence of the 'woman', a representative of the Asian immigrant.

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

The Linguistics of Newspaper Advertising in Nigeria | Women in Advertisements | Case-Assignment Under Government in Modern Literary Arabic | Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Very Young Learners: A Case from Turkey | Association of Self Fashioning and Circumstances in Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin | A Moral Lesson, Amoral Lesion - Sharon Pollock's The Komagata Maru Incident | Pariksha: Test by Prem Chand | Treatment of City in Nayantara Sahgal's Storm in Chandigarh | Phrasal Stress in Telugu | Stress Among ELT Teachers: A Study of Performance Evaluation from a Private Secondary School in Haryana | Willa Cather’s Portrayal of the Pioneer Virtues in Alexandra Bergson with Reference to O Pioneers! | Man-Woman Relationship in Nayantara Sahgal's Mistaken Identity | Classroom Management and Quality Control - An Action Research | Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha - A Dualist Spiritual Journey | Impact of Dramatics on Composition Skills of Secondary School English Language Learners in Pakistan | Narrative Technique, Language and Style in R. K. Narayan's Works | Diasporic Crisis of Dual Identity in Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake | To Teach or Not to Teach Grammar isn't the Question Any Longer - A Case for Consciousness-Raising Tasks | Cognitive Flexibility in Children with Learning Disability | Coda Deletion in Yemeni Tihami Dialect (YTD)- Autosegmental Analysis | The Enigmatic Maya in Anita Desai's
Cry, The Peacock
| Developing an English Curriculum for a Premedical Program | The Ties of Kinship in Rohinton Mistry's Novels | Indian English: A Linguistic Reality | The Unpredictability of the Sonority of English Words | Women's Representation in Polity: A Need to Enhance Their Participation | Nandhini Oza's Concern for the Tribal Welfare in "The Dam Shall Not Be Built" | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF MARCH 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of March 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

PL.Visalakshi M.A.,M.Phil.
Department of English
Kongunadu Arts and Science College
Tamilnadu, India

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