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The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh as a partition play

 The Shadow Lines

Amitav Ghosh


The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh as a partition play

How does class politics play in Amitav Ghosh's The Shadow Lines?

Answer: Published in 1988, The Shadow Lines is a novel by the award-winning Indian novelist Amitabh Ghosh. The second in a three-part series, the novel is written to capture the thoughts and ideas of different people, constantly changing attitudes and perspectives. For this reason, the book is called The Shadow Lines. The main idea of the novel is that different people have different opinions; one of the philosophies is able to be fully realized by the other.

The postmodern analysis of The Shadow Lines would be incomplete without looking at the class-politics of the novel. The novel finds a very distinct class line in the features and events of its characters and in non-events and narratives. After first appearing in the characters, most of the characteristic features that occur in the hologram of the same class are either bureaucratic or socially upward. This, of course, omits the narrator's childhood narrative in his grandmother's character. Yet, a certain class phenomenon can also be attributed to the grandmother, as the characterization makes her a product and spectator to class politics. 

Amitabh Ghosh's The Shadow Lines explores India's political and economic growth through the lives of two generations - two families - one Bengali and one English - through three generations. The novel is expressed through the memories of two family characters. The novel begins in Calcutta in the 1960s with an unnamed 8-year-old narrator who observes the complexities of the novel's main character, Tridib - the narrator's cousin - and two family members. Through the memories of his family members, Ghosh traces the history and development of various historical events in Calcutta and India through the riots in Dhaka and Calcutta in the bloody years of 1963 and 1964, and continues into the late twentieth century. Therefore, the memories of the characters become a shadow line, a hidden web that connects people and history together. The main theme of the novel examines the way in which personal lives are being built and influenced by political and historical forces.

The novel begins in Calcutta, moves to Delhi where the narrator goes to school and ends in London. At the beginning of the novel, the child narrator presents to the reader two branches of his family, representing his grandmother Thamma and his sister Mayadevi. Thamma, a retired schoolteacher, is a strict, pragmatic and intelligent woman who spent a horrific period of partition from her native Bengal. His main goal is to reunite the whole family, especially to bring his uncle Jethamoshai back from Dhaka. Their family is middle class. The narrator thinks very deeply about Mayadevi's son Tridib and looks at him because he has a deep knowledge of history and his views on events and people. But Mayadevi is frustrated with her son's lack of ambition. The Datta Chowdhury family in London and the two families are involved in the bond between their father's personality - Justice Datta Chowdhury and Lionel Tresassen. The narrator falls in love with his cousin Ila, who lives in London, but he never admits to his forbidden feelings; Ila later goes to marry Nick Price. Tridib has feelings about May and she too has fallen in love with him. However, when Tridib Meke was rescued from the mob during the Dhaka riots, their fortunes were shattered and both Tridib and Jathamoshai were killed by the mob.

With the reconsideration of this national event, Ghosh has successfully expressed both personal and political; According to Ghosh, history is a collection of experiences and memories of those who survived and survived through these events. Without memory, there would be no history. In addition, the location, address, and strengths of the houses in which the two families lived, such as the narrator's house in Gol Park, the pricey family at 44 Limington Road in London, and Mama's house in Dhaka, raise the notion that the place helps people to somehow identify. . Thamma's displacement as a Bengali, and his birthplace travels to Dhaka to bring his uncle back to reunite his family, depicting Ghosh's theme where there is a conflict of identity with the current political reality: Thamma sees himself as a Bengali but must wander through Indian places.

Thus, Ghosh tested against the background of political events that have been raging for almost two decades, against the colonial post-cultural displacement and the damage to the cultural generality of the subcontinent. Shadow lines are not just the story of grandparents, it is the story of every person, man, woman or child who is torn between the past and the present. The novel ends but does not end. This raises serious questions about our roots, our identity and at the same time the question: why fight? Why the riot? Why the division? Why borders? Why the shadow line.


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