The Dystopic Vision: A Study of the Spatial Politics in E. M. Forster`s A Passage to India

Sourav Kumar Nag


This paper attempts to bracket together two extensive areas of enquiry: on the one hand what we might call the philosophy of space in the postmodern theories by Foucault, Lafebvre and Edward Soja, and on the other, the study of postcolonial space with direct reference to Bhabha and Said to locate these two mutually embracing fields in E. M. Forster`s A Passage to India. A Passage to India is undoubtedly a novel of journey, both physical and ideological. Mrs. Moore and Adela`s curiosity to see ‘Real India' is a result of the colonialist discourse impacting upon their consciousness.  It is a passage to more than India. The novel combines several post-colonialist issues theorised by Bhabha and Said as well as postmodern ones philosophised by Foucault, Lefebvre and Soja. Postmodernism and Postcolonialism go hand in hand often overlapping each other in matters of spatialisation. In the postmodern analyses of space or ‘heterotopologies,' space becomes abstract, more ‘conceived' than ‘perceived'.  The common ground shared by both Postmodern and Postcolonial spatialisations is the in-betweenness. Bhabha`s doctrine of the Thirdspace as a result of Hybridity and Lefebvre`s Lived Space in his Trialectics of Spatialisation tend to intersect in matters of cultural and spatial in-betweenness. This paper will focus on the mutual contamination of these two otherwise distinct concepts reinforced by a Postmodern and Postcolonial analyses of Forster`s A Passage to India.    


Postmodernism; Postcolonialism; E.M. Forster; Philosophy of Space and Spatial Politics

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