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By Ralph Crane

Operating on the interface of old and fictional writing, Ralph Crane considers the historical past of India from the rebel of 1857 to the Emergency of 1975 because it is gifted within the works of twentieth-century novelists, either Indian and British, who've written approximately specific classes of Indian historical past from inside of quite a few sessions of literary background. a relentless thread within the publication is the exploration of using work as iconography and allegory, utilized in the novels to bare features of British-Indian relationships.

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Farrell uses the 'tea' that Fleury is invited to at Rayne's to show the British at their least admirable. On top of the disgusting treatment of the servants, named after various animals and presumably treated with as much respect, there is the arrival of Lieutenant Cutter who rides his horse into the room waving his sabre and continues to ride around the room until the horse refuses to jump the sofa for a second time and he finally falls to the floor. Through Fleury, the only sober man at this drunken gathering, we are able to view the anties whieh amuse the others with a detached clarity.

This view is later echoed at Gondwara by Sir Hector, who has entrusted the final defence of the fort, and thus the lives of everyone inside it, to a troop of loyal Bombay Lancers: ' ... Perhaps I have done wrong. ' (p. 311) Rodney, earlier, had had to place his trust in Indians if he was to survive, and on a grander scale so must Sir Hector now, and the whole of British India later. They could never fight tOO whole of India, and without humanity they can never hope to gain the trust they need to remain there.

Or, conversely, the British are, until removed from the environment of their choosing, unaware of their senses, suggesting the repressions of Victorian sodety. The billiard room further resembles Indian life in that 'the ladies in the billiard room had divided themselves into groups according to the ranks of husbands or fathers' (p. 172), wh ich, like the British officers gathering to hear the Dewan' s news in Masters's Nightrunners 01 Bengal, c1early paralleis the Hindu easte system, so often critidsed by the British, yet little different, in many respeets, from the sodal divisions adhered to by the British residents in India.

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