Zinnatullina Z.

The system of images in Ruth Jhabvala’s novel “Heat and Dust”


Ruth Jhabvala was one of the most famous English writers in the 1960–1970s. She is the only person to have won both a Booker Prize and an Oscar. She spent most of her life in India, consequently, the main theme of her novels is the relationship between the East and the West. This paper considers Ruth Jhabvala’s novel “Heat and Dust” (1975). We analyze the system of images, which illustrates the author’s position with respect to the above mentioned issue. The action takes place in two time layers: colonial and postcolonial periods. However, there are no changes in the small Indian town of Satipur. It seems that time stands still there. This situation is realized through the dual motif of the two main female characters: Olivia and the narrator herself whose name we will never know. The latter practically repeats the life of Olivia. We can single out a group of characters who lose their real identity, trying to become a part of another civilization. These characters are found both in the East and in the West.

Key words: 

Ruth Jhabvala, colonial discourse, postcolonialism, India, English literature.

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