Why can’t we still be friends?: othering in intercultural relationships in E. M. Forster’s a Passage to India and Zadie Smith’s White teeth

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2015
Demirel Aydemir, Gül Deniz
This thesis aims to compare E. M. Forsters’s A Passage to India and Zadie Smith’s White Teeth basing its argument on the assumption that both novels contemplate in good faith on the possibilities for people from different cultures and ethnicities to genuinely relate to each other without engaging in the negative practice of othering. Both novels dwell on contexts in which the (ex) colonizer and the colonized have to live together – one in colonial India and the other in postcolonial England. While making this comparison, the concept, otherness, is going to be used mainly as it is conceptualized in Edward Said’s theoretical framework. A Passage to India is going to be handled as a novel which tries hard to criticize the mentality behind the phenomenon of othering but cannot go beyond the conjunctural circumstances of its time, while White Teeth is going to be portrayed as a novel aimed to celebrate the coexistence of cultures but questions whether it really works well in individual or interpersonal life-practices. When these two propositions are considered, this thesis aims to reach the conclusion that A Passage to India paved the way for a novel like White Teeth in terms of its stance and ideology and that the two novels are similar in the way they simultaneously promote progressive views concerning intercultural relationships and suggest that there are still many obstacles to overcome on the way towards achieving this desired end.
Citation Formats
G. D. Demirel Aydemir, “Why can’t we still be friends?: othering in intercultural relationships in E. M. Forster’s a Passage to India and Zadie Smith’s White teeth,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2015.