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Masaryk University in Brno

Faculty of Arts

Department of English and American Studies

English Language and Literature

Miroslava Kovov

British Women in India as Portrayed by R. Kipling, E.M.

Forster and P. Scott

Masters Diploma Thesis

Supervisor: PhDr. Lidia Kyzlinkov, CSc., M.Litt.

Brno 2007

Authors Statement:

I declare that I have worked on this thesis independently using only the

primary and secondary sources listed in the bibliography.

Miroslava Kovov


I would like to express my gratitude to PhDr. Lidia Kyzlinkov, CSc.,

M.Litt. for her kind help, useful advice and time dedicated to the revision of

my dissertation.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1
1 India: Historical Background 4
1.1 The Rise and Fall of British Empire 4
1.2 The Rise of Imperialism and Rudyard Kipling 6
1.3 E.M. Forster and India 8
1.4 The Fall of the Empire and Paul Scott 10
2 Colonialism and Post-colonialism 13
2.1 Racism and the Concept of the Other 16
3 Women in Britain and India 18
3.1 Women in Britain 19
3.2 Women in India 20
4 Conventional Women 24
4.1 Flirting and Adultery 24
4.2 Gossiping and Racial Prejudice 30
5 Futile Mission 38
5.1 Mrs. Moore and the Missionary Women 39
6 Unconventional Women 49
6.1 Unconventional Acting Rewarded 49
6.2 Unconventional Behaviour Punished 60
6.3 Theres Nothing I Can Do 65
7 Staying on in India 70
Conclusion 76
Works Cited 80

The British rule in India has had a great impact on the literary field over the centuries.
Many a scholar has been inspired by both the glorious and controversial past of the
British Empire. Questions regarding imperialistic policies, racial attitudes, bloodthirsty
conflicts springing from the complicated relationship between the colonizer and the
colonized have remained topical. As within the post-colonial theory woman is frequently
equated with the colonized, I decided to consider a slightly subverted idea, and to attempt
to examine the women representing the other party, the colonizers. The main aim of my
dissertation is the analysis of the cultural and social assimilation of British women during
the rise and fall of the Raj in the narratives of Rudyard Kipling, E.M. Forster and Paul
Scott. While Kiplings collection, Plain Tales from the Hills (1888) features British
women in India during the height of the British Empire, Scotts tetralogy The Jewel in
the Crown (1966), The Days of the Scorpion (1968), The Towers of Silence (1971), A
Division of the Spoils (1975), and Staying on (1980), which can be read as a sequence to
the Raj Quartet, deal with female protagonists in the time of disintegration of the Raj and
further in independent India. Forsters A Passage to India (1924) portrays women at the
outset of Anglo-Indian crisis, focused on the clash between the East and West. The texts
explored cover the colonial and post-colonial experience of the British Empire in India
and the above stated issues are dealt with as they inevitably appear in the writings of the
authors. The main area of my analysis is the authors interpretation of the British ruling
class in the historical and cultural context, focusing on the female character.
The literary analysis of the female colonizer results in the division of the characters
explored into two main groups: the former group of women I classify as conventional,
law-abiding and supportive of the British authority; the latter I view as unconventional,
rebelling against the imperialistic policies and disagreeing with the injustice carried out
on the native inhabitants. While the majority of women settle in the British society in
India and faithfully support their husbands, thus indirectly being advocates for the British
rule with all its positive and negative impact on the native population, there are
noticeable, albeit minor attempts by unconventional women to adapt to the Indian society
and become part of it rather than separate themselves in upholding the imported British
social values and customs. The solitary missionary figure also belongs, by serving and
loving the Indian subjects, to the latter group, however, maintaining an autonomous
In his tales, Rudyard Kipling is mainly concerned with the dominating male ruling
class soldiers, doctors and officers and his female protagonists therefore seem to be
overshadowed by their male counterparts, either confined to the domestic realm or
engaged in frivolous and trivial enterprise. On the one hand, there are women fulfilling
their social roles as mothers and wives, on the other hand there are women who dare to
break conventions within the British society. Nonetheless, Kiplings major group of
women consists of morally shallow female protagonists. E.M. Forster and Paul Scott
create distinctive female characters varying profoundly in their relationship towards the
native inhabitants, and the proportion of the dedicated-to-the Crown and the rebellious
ones is more balanced than in Kiplings writing.
The dissertation thus examines ordinary British women and their struggle not only in
their everyday life but also against the system they are subjected to during the rise and
fall of the Empire. Even though Kiplings female protagonists follow the Victorian values
with the emphasis on matrimony, they often violate their loyalty towards their husbands.
Forsters and Scotts characters do not agree with the injustice the colonized are exposed
to, and they even dare to develop a friendship with the natives outside the domestic
domain, however, their struggle for equality of races often ends in vain. This research
provides a concise compendium of the colonial and post-colonial experience of female
characters, namely their physical and cultural adaptation to India, their relationship
towards the colonized, resulting either in their ignoring the pressing issues or in
helplessness after their lost struggles for justice.
The first chapter deals with the historical background of India, focusing on the
decisive moments in shaping the Anglo-Indian relationship events that strengthened the
British rule in India and also incidents that triggered hostility and aversion towards the
rulers. In addition, the authors experience in India is set in the historical context as the
events had an impact on their writing. The second chapter examines the colonial and
postcolonial questions regarding the authors narratives; moreover, it tackles the issue of
racism. Chapter Three outlines the status of women in Britain from the end of nineteenth
to the middle of twentieth century and makes comparisons with the position of British
women in India. The next four chapters focus on the literary analysis of the female
protagonists, drawing similarities and differences among the female representatives,
beginning with the narrow-minded, prejudiced and disloyal wives followed by
missionaries and spiritually anti-racial characters, albeit passive ones. The last group of
women discussed are unconventional women, struggling with the lack of acceptance and
tolerance towards the colonized.

1 India: Historical Background
As the title suggests, this thesis primarily deals with the portrayal of British women in
literature during different phases of the British Empire in India. It is therefore appropriate
to outline some major historical events that proved to become significant issues discussed
not only by the media but also by authors in their literary works. The main focus of this
text is devoted to British women during the climax and decline of the British Empire,
with the emerging crisis in-between the two contrasting periods. While Rudyard Kipling
mainly tackles the issues of the former era, Paul Scotts novels give a detailed account of
events during the disintegration of the Empire in India. E.M. Forsters novel comes
chronologically between these two eras, as his narrative is set on the background of the
omnipresent but hidden tensions between the colonizer and the colonized, discussing the
presence of the British in India and their racial attitude towards the natives.

1.1 The Rise and Fall of the British Empire
Before the arrival of any European travellers, powerful Indian empires under the
dominion of Mauryas, Guptas and Delhi Sultanate had been altering during the centuries,
the Mughals being the last rulers before the sovereignty of the British. In the sixteenth
century, India gradually became a country of commerce and at the end of the seventeenth
century, three European powers Portugal, Holland and Britain, interacted with their
trading. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, European trading companies started
to require imperial directives, farmans, in order to secure their status and trading terms
throughout the Mughal empire (Keay 370). The English East India Company, after
several hardship and unsuccessful negotiations, had been secured by the farman in 1716
(Keay 375). With the arrival of Richard Clive and his decisive victory at the Battle of
Plassey in 1757, the British gained sovereignty of Bengal that later led to their surpassing
rule in India under the British East India Company, securing its commercial as well as
military power (Keay 380-83). Even though the British regarded their conquest of India
as fortuitous [], historians of the British Raj
have generally explained its triumph []
more in terms of the pull of chaos, stating that the Company benefited from the power
vacuum during the decline of Mughal empire. In order to establish peace among the
threats of the lawless warlords of Afghans, Marathas and other, political, judicial and
revenue settlements had been desired (Keay 383). In 1756, the Black Hole tragedy
took place during the rebellion of Siraj due to his demand for discontinuance of the
existing merchant communities, imprisoning hundreds of European defenders (Keay
388). As many of them died, the incident became a cause celebre in the idealization of
British imperialism (Black Hole of Calcutta, Encyclopaedia Britannica Online). The
Second Maratha War fought between 1803 and 1804 left the British victorious, their
position in northern and central India strengthened (Keay 410). Years 1820-1880 are then
known as Pax Britannica, bringing order and stability in India at the expense of the latter
(Keay 414).
By 1856, most of India had been under the control of the British East Indian
Company, however, the first attempts for independence took place next year as the Indian
Mutiny broke out due to the fact that cartridges had been greased with the religiously
forbidden lard and tallow. After this incident, India was directly ruled by the British
Crown. This event, engraved in the memories of both the colonizer and the colonized,
triggered tension between the two races as many women were killed during the Mutiny

British dominion over India from 1757 to 1947 (Raj, Random House Unabridged Dictionary).
(MacMillan 68). The negative outcome of the Mutiny had undesirable and damaging
consequences, namely the ingrained prejudice that all Indian men lusted after European
women (MacMillan 75). There were, however, other major obstacles to friendship with
the Indians, for example their obsolete caste system, the fact they would not eat with the
Europeans out of fear for being polluted and their mistreatment of women whose
essential roles were to bear children and worship their husbands (MacMillan 36). On the
one hand, it was the misunderstanding and intolerance of cultural and social differences;
on the other hand, British women had often been criticized for their superficial
knowledge and prejudice of India, contributing to the gulf between the races (MacMillan
During the last decades of the nineteenth and first decades of twentieth

century, India
went through several developments concerning the transport, education, agriculture and
other sectors of the economic domain. It is noticeable that in 1881 the total of Europeans
numbers was 145,000 out of 250,000,000 of Indians (MacMillan 19). Great Britain was at
the height of her power both in the economic and naval sphere and it was at this time
when Kipling arrived to live and work in India as a journalist, creating authentic stories
that made him famous (Maugham vii). He found his inspiration mainly within this
incredibly tiny British ruling caste, exploring different aspects of the British characters.

1.2 The Rise of Imperialism and Rudyard Kipling
When Kipling returned to live and work as a journalist to India in 1882, he entered the
environs of the best Anglo-Indian society as his parents were of a distinctive status
(Encyclopaedia Britannica 382). His articles [observe] the humors, the rituals, and the
characteristic patterns of the life of the ordinary British soldier far from home, helping to
maintain an empire of which he had little real knowledge and in which he had no real
interest (Daiches 1090). His attitude of schoolboy imperialism, deriving from a love of
classes and orders and rituals and schoolmasterish views of duty and responsibility led
to his depiction of the British soldier in India following the codes and rituals in order to
survive in the new country (Daiches 1091). For this view he has often been criticised and
viewed as an advocate of military imperialism.
In his work Imperialism and Rudyard Kipling, H.L. Varley explains Kiplings position
perceived by the public as an imperial writer due to his time spent in India as a journalist
for The Civil and Military Gazette and later for The Pioneer, publishing his stories and
verse regarding the life of the colonizer, namely his portrayal of the military scene (124-
30). The main object of the authors examination is thus the male representation due to
the cultural, political and social conditions of that time. As the ruling caste consisted
mainly of the viceroys, the Indian Civil Servants (ICS) and the military staff, it is natural
that his experience should be mirrored in his literary works. In his autobiography
Something of Myself, the author confesses the major role of the environment he finds
himself in. The centre of his life was at Punjab Club, where bachelors, for the most part
gathered to eat, further stating that he met none except picked men at their definite
work Civilians, Army, Education, Canals, Forestry, Engineering, Irrigation, Railways,
Doctors, and Lawyers samples of each branch and each talking his own shop (Kipling
SM 36-7). It is this experience that is reflected in his stories and verse with the focus on
men occupying the above mentioned positions and it is therefore the male hero that is
also at the centre in his stories. That is, however, not to say that he does not portray
female characters. He does indeed, however, he seems to concentrate on their negative
traits and for this he has been criticised. In an introductory essay in A Choice of Kiplings
Prose, W. Somerset Maugham comments on Kiplings female characters, claiming that
they were shallow, provincial and genteel spending their time in idle flirtation and
their chief amusement seems to have been to get some man away from another woman
(ix). If Kipling spent most of his time in the presence of officers and soldiers in action
and saw women only when accompanying their husbands to the Club, this advantage of
observing men in their posts then necessarily led to a more detailed examination of male
rather than female characters.
When Kipling returned to London after a six-year-experience and career in India, his
collection of short stories Plain Tales from the Hills (1888) brought him a worldwide
fame. Even though his Barrack-Room Ballads and Other Verses (1893) and poems such
as The White-Mans Burden seem to support the British imperialism, his book for
children, The Jungle Book (1894) and Kim (1901) serve as evident examples of his
genuine love and passion for India and its people (Brantlinger 88). According to Patrick
Brantlinger, the duty of the white colonizer was to bring justice and civilization to the
lesser breed without law and for Kipling imperialism was not a political or economic
regime of exploitation, but a moral ideal, perhaps even a surrogate religion (88).

1.3 E. M. Forster and India
E.M. Forsters (1897 - 1970) stay in India dates from 1912-1913 when he travelled
around the country and returned there, working as a private secretary in Central India for
a Hindu court from 1921 to 1922 (Gower 441). Even though his novel A Passage to India
was published in 1924, the plot is set soon after the Amritsar Massacre in 1919 when a
crowd proceeding towards the residence of the Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar was
violently suppressed by the British Indian Army, wounding more than a thousand of men,
women and children with the total deaths of 530 (Keay 476). This incident was accepted
and defended by many Englishmen even though the massacre of unarmed people was
unnecessary. At that time Ghandi became a dominant figure in the Congress, seemingly
strengthening the Hindu-Muslim relationship, however, their collaboration undoubtedly
sprang from a common wish to rid the land of the British (Keay 479).
Forsters characters and their relationship thus mirror the complicated and tense
relationship between the ruling class and its subjects (Dover, A Passage). In his novel
Forster examines inter-racial friendship, tackling the issue of empire and race, standing in
contrast with Kiplings representation of the East as a training ground for manliness
and Forsters harsh criticism of Anglo-Indian prejudice, snobbery and narrow-
mindedness made him unpopular (Dover, A Passage). It is said that his polyphonic
approach to the novel, exploring the issues from multiple perspectives, and his giving
voice to the native people was due to his long-term relationship with Syes Ross Masood
(Dover, A Passage). As E.M. Forster applied psychology of the subconscious to his
fictional characters, they became anti-heroes and his main focus was on the inner and
outer relationships of the protagonists (Rose 29). According to Luikkenen, Forster
criticized in his books Victorian middle class attitudes and British colonialism through
strong woman characters that were not one-dimensional (Edward Morgan Forster
In her book Portraits of Women in Selected Novels by Virginia Woolf and E.M.
Forster, Kerstin Elert examines the role of women in the Victorian era. The roles that
women were supposed to fulfil were the roles of wives, mothers and daughters,
dedicating their lives to their husbands and children, receiving inferior education and
besides these requirements, marriage was supposed to be the most common profession
(49-53). This stereotype is present in Kiplings stories, however, Forster implies his
liberalism and unlike Kipling, creates such characters that on the one hand ridicule
human narrow-mindedness and greed for power, and that on the other hand approve of
human love and goodness towards the colonized.
1.4 The Fall of the Empire and Paul Scott
Paul Scotts (1920 - 1978) experience in India is reflected in his tetralogy the The Raj
Quartet, where he authentically depicts everyday lives of soldiers, drawing on his post as
an Officer Cadet in India during WWII. His tetralogy could be regarded as a historical
novel due to the detailed information he provides the readers with. It was during these
years that the British experienced the Quit India movement in 1942, followed by rioting
and ravaging railway lines, attacking police stations, leading to the arrest of the leaders.
India had become automatically involved in WWII as it was a British colony and Gandhi
believed that only immediate British withdrawal and a declaration of Indian neutrality
could save India from Japanese attack (Keay 498). Five years later India gained
independence of the British Crown after a forty-year-struggle launched by the Indian
National Congress with Mahatma Ghandi in the lead (Keay 495-99). The year of
independence, 1947, marked the end of the British Empire in India. The independence
was, however, followed by a painful and bloodthirsty separation of Muslim-majority-
populated areas, forming a contemporary state of Pakistan. The horrors of the massacre
are depicted in the last novel of the tetralogy.
Paul Scott, similarly to Rudyard Kipling and E.M. Forster, does not escape criticism
by the public. While Rudyard Kipling has often been criticized for his pro-imperial
writing, namely due to his poem White Mans Burden, I would argue that his main
asset to literature is his interpretation of how imperialism had been experienced in India.
Stories from Plain Tales from the Hills serve as vivid examples of his genius aptitude in
capturing the reality. His characters when put into an authentic situation become far from
fictional. In addition to this authenticity of individual fictional characters, it is the
authors compassion towards the colonized rather than indifference of their fate which is
clearly expressed in his novels. Unlike Kipling, E.M. Forsters novel has harvested
criticism from V.S. Naipaul who has claimed that E.M. Forster just knew a few middle-
class Indians and the garden boys whom he wished to seduce rather than India as a
country (VS Naipaul Attacks Forster). Whatever Forsters motive might have been, he
manages to depict India in an authentic way, scrutinizing the imperial ideology carried
out by the colonizer. Paul Scott has received criticism from Rushdie for his reinforcing
old stereotypes by using a gang-rape of an English girl as the central motif for the whole
book (Banerjee, Paul Scott). It could be debated to what extent Scott defends or attacks
past conflicts of the British and Indians and to what extent the author intertwines
subjective and objective truths resulting in multiple points of view.
These authors could also be attacked by feminist scholars as the texts scrutinized are
unified not only by British women in India, but also by the fact that the authors are male.
In her Introduction on the Politics of Literature, Judith Fetterley demonstrates on famous
fictions by famous American male authors how women are degraded and devalued in
their works, underlying the fact that American literature is male. To read the canon of
what is currently considered classic American literature is perforce to identify as male
(493). Woman, according to her interpretation, is mostly portrayed as a powerless being,
claiming that to be maleto be universal, to be Americanis to be not female (494). I
would like to stress that reading Kipling, E.M. Forster and P. Scott in the light of
feminism could prove that women viewed by the above mentioned authors are powerless,
a scapegoat, the enemy, the OTHER, however, I would argue that all three authors,
even Kipling, create characters that are multi-dimensional and multifaceted (Fetterley
507). The female figures discussed in the texts prove that even though they live in a male
dominated society they often dominate the man and even though many of them struggle
in their daily lives they are not victims of particular men but of a particular political and
ideological system both men and women are subjected to.

2 Colonialism and Post-colonialism
Many scholars, namely Edward Said, Aim Csare, Jenny Sharpe and others, have
over the years tackled the issues of imperialism, colonialism and post-colonialism. In
their discourse they often question the impact of the dominant group on the dominated
regarding, among others, their culture, language and gender. Over the years scholars
seem to have either confused colonialism with imperialism or chronologically classified
the terms. According to Said, the term imperialism means the practice, the theory and
the attitudes of a dominating metropolitan ruling a distant territory; [while] colonialism
which is almost always a consequence of imperialism, is the implanting of settlements on
distant territories (9). As the definition suggests, the latter is not being practiced
anymore, while the former lingers where it has always been, in a kind of general cultural
sphere as well as in specific political, ideological, economic, and social practices, in
other words, imperialism seems to have transformed into globalization (Said 9). One is
tempted to call the period after the collapse of the existing Empires resulting in political
independence of former colonies post-colonial. However, Anne McClintock, in her essay
The Angels of Progress, attacks western historicism and the idea that post-colonialism
is an outcome of linear, historical progress (292). In addition, McClintock agrees with
the authors of The Empire Writes Back, that the term post-colonialism should not be
understood as everything that has happened since European colonization, but rather
everything that has happened from the very beginning of colonialism, which means
turning back the clocks [] to 1492, and earlier (294). This approach then inevitably
leads to a revolutionary reading of authors publishing during the height of colonialism,
for example Conrads The Heart of Darkness, Jane Austens Mansfield Park or Rudyard
Kiplings Kim.
In the process of geographical and economic expansion, there had been many attempts
to establish colonies. The desire to conquer, to rule and to prosper had not been novel in
the making of British Empire. Under the doctrine of terra nullius, no-mans-land,
empty, unsettled or unpopulated land could be claimed by any one who would settle and
develop it (Perkins, Researching). The idea of cultivating a land evokes immediately
the idea of a civilizing mission that had started with the Spanish conquistadores,
bringing Christianity to the native peoples. The Crusades provided the initial impetus for
developing a legal doctrine that rationalized the conquest and possession of infidel lands
(Kohn, Colonialism). The colonized was exposed both to physical as well as spiritual
changes: the conquest of land that was later mapped and finally brought under the control
of a superior power, the implementation of new religions and Europeans laws, the
introduction to new languages and finally compulsion to adapt to subjugation, resulting in
the loss of tribal or national history, religion and identity. By the end of the nineteenth
century, Britain had established colonies all over the world, dominating not only in
acquiring land but also by maintaining supremacy at sea. The colonies served mainly as
sources of natural resources, food commodities and free labour. These practices of the
colonizer gradually transformed into imperialistic policies.
Marxist thinkers elucidate the intimate connection between economics and politics,
viewing colonialism as a particular phase in the history of imperialism, which is now
best understood as the globalization of the capitalist mode of production, its penetration
of previously non-capitalist regions of the world, and destruction of pre- or non-capitalist
social organization (Williams and Chrisman 2). The practice of authority inevitably led
to the concept of binary oppositions: the colonizer and the colonized, the dominant and
the dominated, the superior and the inferior, the white and the black, the former being
always the privileged one. The conceptualization of race thus lies in the core of
colonialism. According to Edward Said, the right of the colonizer to bring civilization
to primitive or barbaric peoples springs from the colonizers comprehension of the
differences between them and us, and because they were not like us and they
mainly understood force or violence best they deserved to be ruled (xi).
The disintegration of the British Empire had triggered hot debates in literary studies
regarding literature written by non-British. The term used had undergone changes,
transforming it from the Third World via Commonwealth to Post-colonial literature, the
first still suggesting inferiority, the second acknowledging the mother country and the
third being most neutral (Mishra and Hodge 276). As Mishra and Hodge refer to The
Empire Writes Back, they draw the readers attention to many postcolonialisms, namely
the oppositional postcolonialism and complicit postcolonialism; at the heart of the
former are three fundamental principles [] which may be summarized as (a) racism,
(b) a secondary language, (c) political struggle and any other concepts belong to the
latter (Mishra and Hodge 284, 286). The term post-colonial vis--vis literature refers
mainly to works written in ex-colonial countries, nonetheless, the term also relates to
literature written by citizens of colonizing countries that in any ways tackled the issues of
race, gender, education and described or criticised the British imperialist policies.

2.1 Racism and the Concept of the Other
The notion and development of races has always been in the enquiring mind of human
mankind, and the result of this human inquisitiveness is anthropology. According to
George L. Mosse, the main influence of defining races besides scientific conclusions is
aesthetics. The Lamarckian view stands in opposition to the aesthetic preferences,
claiming that races were chance variations determined by material factors (Mosse 18).
While Buffon and Lamarck represent the tradition of Enlightenment, conceiving race as
mere variations conditioned by environmental factors (Mosse 19), Blumenbach, being
influenced by aesthetic judgment does not advocate any national racial superiority but
physical differences (Mosse 21). However, as Camper comes out with the facial angel,
the physiognomy of mankind became a criterion of racial classification (Mosse 23).
Racial differentiation can thus be seen as a result of anthropology, phrenology and
physiognomy, expanding into the field of linguistics, and finally, in mid-nineteenth
century fusing with nationalism (Mosse 34). In his work Dicourse on Colonialism, Aim
Csaire declares that the time has come to study how colonization works to decivilize
the colonizer, to brutalize him in the true sense of the word, to degrade him, to awaken
him to buried instincts, to covetousness, violence, race hatred and moral relativism
(172). His revolutionary insight puts the colonizer under strict scrutiny regarding not only
the policy of the colonizer but also the moral principals. His major argument expresses
that colonialist Europe has grafted modern abuse onto ancient injustice, hateful racism
onto old inequality, thus undermining the good intentions of the imperialistic policies
carried out all over the world, questioning to what extent the main aim of colonialism
bringing civilization, has contributed to the colonized countries and to what extent
economic progress achieved under the colonial rule is sheer justification (Csaire 177-
79). While Csaire strongly argues about the positive outcome of colonialism in terms of
progress and cohabitation, stating that wherever there are colonizers and colonized face
to face, [he sees] force, brutality, cruelty, sadism, conflict, and, in a parody of education,
the hasty manufacture of a few thousand subordinate functionaries (Csaire 177), Jenny
Sharpe debates the myth of the black sexual threat to white femininity (193).
As two different races try to co-exist, the concept of the Other necessarily comes out.
In his essay The Concept of the Other, Michael Pickering argues that stereotypes and
the concept of the other mutually complement each other and some parallels can be
drawn between them (47). As the concept of the Other indicates differences, this
necessarily leads to drawing boundaries between cultures, societies and races (Pickering
48). Further on he claims that Western societies classifying themselves as modern and
civilized relied heavily on the contrast between their own sense of advancement and the
idea of racially backward and inferior societies (Pickering 51). This classification
inevitably leads to discrimination and to exercising power over the Other. In his essay
The Social Formation of Racist Discourse, David Theo Goldberg mentions Foucaults
statement that nothing is more material, physical, corporeal than the exercise of power
and extends this statement onto the concept of authority that is established and exercised
only by being vested with the force of discrimination, exclusion and enforcement (305).
The exercise of authority is on daily basis in India. Even though women rarely exercise
their power on a large scale, their superiority can often be perceived in their behaviour
towards their servants or by supporting their husbands. Some women make an attempt to
break the boundaries, however, this leads to their fall.
3 Women in Britain and India
The social and political status of women in Britain seems to have been reflected in
India. The majority of British women that left for India had never cut off the umbilical
cord binding them to their mother country, strengthened by the already familiar
environment in forms of the Club where only the British had been granted access. Their
participation in several sport and cultural activities reminded them of their home country
which seems to have been transported to India together with moral, social and cultural
values. On the one hand, women that left Britain were perceived as unconventional due to
their brave decision to either establish home in India or accompany their husbands; on the
other hand they remained conventional regarding their female roles as mothers and wives.
Sara Suleri emphasises the fact that
while the transportation of British women to serve as wives certainly
establishes their contingent relation to colonialism, their very entry into the
world of rigidly maintained stereotypes points to a political engagement of
an order other than that of the male colonizer. [] she was in India as a
symbolic representative of the joys of an English home; she was the
embodiment of all that the Englishman must protect; most significantly, she
was a safeguard against the dangers posed by the Eastern woman. (76)
The British woman in India is thus confined by the moral and social expectations from
her male counterpart. However, as any society and nation goes through critical changes,
the roles of women in India altered, shifted and modified. Different women assimilated in
a different way, some succumbed to the required conventions while others rebelled
against the rigidity of the British society in India.
3.1 Women in Britain
Middle-class womens lives in the Victorian era (1837-1901) were limited to the realm
of domesticity and motherhood. Womens careers were confined within the house
boundaries; they supported their husbands, looked after their children and maintained the
family harmony. Their social roles were situated within motherhood, matrimony and
household management. It was, nonetheless, motherhood that was supposed to be the
highest emotional and spiritual achievement of women. Motherhood became a social
responsibility, regarded as a full-time occupation (Abrams, Victorian Britain). In
addition, middle-class women extended their moral and domestic belief into the working-
class areas, visiting the poor and by 1900 this moral mission expanded into the political
field, as the first-wave feminists fought for vote, for better education and employment for
middle-class women, and better working-conditions and wages for working classes
(Abrams, Victorian Britain).
The status and role of women changed in a significant way at the turn of the century.
The feminist suffragette movement was at its strongest in the 20s as the long-fought
battles for vote and better working conditions gradually became implemented. The
Victorian rigidity was replaced by partial liberation within domesticity, fashion and
working positions. During WWI women entered the labour market, discovering that work
outside their home was being valued (History of Feminism). E.M. Forsters principal
female protagonist Adela comes to India and finds the womens perception of feminism
as backward due to their performance of a play, Cousin Kate.
WWII brought revolutionary changes to the status and role of the female worldwide as
they began to replace male positions and places, substituting for men in offices and
factories. Many women in Britain filled in the gaps and so did the women in India.
Scotts female protagonists undergo this change, strengthening and helping out in the
void occurring at the outbreak of the war. They worked in offices, edited newspapers,
and helped out in hospitals. Many joined the armed forces as cipher clerks, drivers or
nurses []. Women also ran canteens for the troops along railways and at the big depots
(MacMillan 186). It is in these uncertain times when the Raj Quartet takes place.

3.2 Women in India
The Canadian scholar, Margaret MacMillan, examines in her book Women of the Raj
the roles of women during the British rule. She answers basic questions concerning the
main reasons why women left Britain and established a life in India. According to the
author, British women in India were, by and large, a part of the Raj, due to their being
daughters, wives, sisters, mothers of men who kept the Imperial machinery going
(MacMillan xi). As the British dominated India, their main task was to support the
Imperial mission, not to doubt or weaken the authority of the Raj. The policies imposed
on India might be questionable, nonetheless, women could not afford to question them or
stand out against them as they would be misplaced in the small British community there.
The Victorian values were also transported to India. Womens main roles covered the
domestic realm, they were to be good and supportive wives and good mothers, raising
their children and managing the household. Middle-class women tended to marry within
their rank and it was common to have Indian servants to help around in the house. Even
though women joined their husbands in the Club or at other social and sporting events
more than their contemporaries in Britain, for example in playing tennis, archery, riding,
garden parties (MacMillan 117), women did get bored and disloyal to their husbands,
especially if their husbands spent a considerable time travelling, carrying out their
mission (MacMillan 123). On the other hand, one correspondent of The Pioneer in 1881
observed that women at Home had more opportunities to educate themselves in
ambulance classes or at lectures and to make contributions in hospitals and campaigns for
better conditions in everyday life, unlike the young and bright female taking to such
degrading activity as gossip (MacMillan 90). Before WWI, women were expected to
further their husbands careers (MacMillan 30) and they often accepted the ready-
made roles however tiresome or monotonous they might have been, they conformed to
them for the psychological security of knowing where they belonged to the ruling
caste (MacMillan 32). Besides gossiping and boredom, adultery occurred on a frequent
basis. In particular, adultery occurred in closely-knit communities and hill stations where
women took the advantage of being alone, whilst their husbands were working in the
Women who came to India were frightened for they had not expected the vast
diversity in language, types of people and the sacredness of the caste system whose
violation or pollution from the lower castes, the Untouchables, was heavily punished
(MacMillan 15). In addition, they had to acclimatize and to learn to survive epidemics
and illnesses unknown in Britain, but most of all, they had to learn new things not about
India but about British society in India (MacMillan 18). This nationalism meant that
many of the British representatives did not develop any ties with the natives for they
believed that they would be going back Home. Their future outlook thus caused a total
separation from the Natives as they attempted to re-create Britain in India. They preferred
to be bored rather than to go native, and in order to keep contact with their mother
country they carried on in their Englishness, buying English newspapers, wearing clothes
according to the latest Western fashion (MacMillan 23).
As many women came to accompany their husbands in positions, such as the
ICS district officers, judges, governors, members of the Viceroys council, their main
task was to further their husbands careers (MacMillan 24-30). Their role could be
mainly seen in works of Rudyard Kipling and in his portrayal of women as supportive
wives or totally overshadowed by their husbands. Many women, as a consequence of
their sheltered and secure life within the British society, developed a snobbish manner
towards natives. MacMillan gives an example of Mrs. Montgomery who asked her guest
why he was going out and when he replied that he went to take notes of an Indian play
she was wandering why one should put down such rubbish (27). This negative racial
attitude towards the Natives does not appear in Kiplings stories as much as in the novels
of both Paul Scott and E.M. Forster.
As India underwent cultural, political and social changes and the Raj was at its
strongest, there existed women who dared to break the stereotype, such as Annette
Beveridge who translated the memoirs of the Emperor Babur, or Anne Wilson doing a
study of Indian music, or Mrs. King, the typical burra memsahib
who was in favour of
the Indian character (MacMillan 41-2). These women, however, defied the stereotype of
women who were later criticized for their ignorance of the Indian way. They chose a
secluded life out of their needs for safety. This need was fulfilled within the tiny British
community at the Club, the hill stations and their secluded homes. On the one hand, it is

Burra adj., great, used as title of respect; memsahib n., title of respect for white women; madam
(Burra, Memsahib, Hutchinson Encyclopaedia).
understandable that women succumbed to the conventions of being good wives and
mothers, as required by the society. Their submissive attitude might have been,
nonetheless, caused by many other aspects, such as the new environment and climate they
had to adjust to, new languages they were incapable of understanding and new culture
they would have to get used to. In addition, many women were dependent on their
husbands, which resulted in their obedience and acceptance of their feminine roles. The
indifference towards the outer world and their superiority displayed on everyday basis
seem to have sprung from their preoccupation with fulfilling what was required by

4 Conventional Women
No human being is one-sided or one-dimensional. People display various qualities,
some prevail and some are suppressed or not visible. Conventional women, in the
analysed texts, are women who do not go against the mainstream culture, who support
their husbands, who are confined in homes raising children, managing their households.
These conventional types are not homogenous: some women support their husbands
careers, others display a high degree of racial prejudice and gossip. Moreover, there are
female characters that break the Victorian values of piety in being unfaithful to their
husbands. However immoral or moral, they do not divert from the socially accepted
norms and therefore can be seen as conventional.

4.1 Flirting and Adultery
In his essay on Rudyard Kipling, Henry James mentions the authors triple focus on
India: the first concerning the life and customs of Indians, the second, his main area of
interest, describing the common soldier, and the third, sketching social life of the
ordinary British people in administration and military spheres. It is in the last area where
Kipling delineates the wonderful rattling ladies, who at Simla
and more desperate
stations, look out for husbands and lovers; often it would seem, the husbands and lovers
of others (James 16). It is at Simla station where almost all Kiplings stories dealing
with infidelity take place.
In Three and an Extra. Mr. and Mrs. Bremmil seem to have a contented marriage,
with Mrs. Bremmil fulfilling her role as a mother and a supportive wife. Their baby,

Town and district in British India, in the Punjab district. A famous hill station, the summer residence of
the viceroy and staff of the supreme government, a hub of social activities, such as viceregal, balls, and
educational, medical, religious and military institutions (Simla, Classic Encyclopedia).
however, dies, and as Mrs. Bremmil mourns for too long for Mr. Bremmils taste, he goes
off with the renowned beauty and flirt, Mrs. Hauksbee. Mrs. Hauksbee makes sure the
public is aware of her new acquaintance, and Mr. Bremmil joins her riding, walking and
dining while Mrs. Bremmil [stays] at home, turning over the dead babys frocks and
crying into the empty cradle (Kipling, Three 14). Mrs. Bremmil soon learns about her
husbands transgression and as a proper warrior begins her battle with the Stormy
Petrel (14). Mrs. Bremmil pulls herself together and wins her husband back due to her
thorough knowledge of his weaknesses. Mrs. Hauksbee, after her defeat, expresses her
admiration for Mrs. Bremmil, claiming that the silliest woman can manage a clever man;
but it needs a very clever woman to manage a fool (17). Similar situations were not
unusual in India. Margaret MacMillan points out that hints of scandal were plentiful.
Malicious tongues gave cruel nicknames to pretty and indiscreet women and Mrs.
Hauksbee fits the stereotype of women who were bored with their lives and tired of their
own husbands, and therefore occupied themselves with the latest gossip and any scandal
was welcoming (94).
As flirtation [] had become a game admirably adapted to Indian habits, it often
destroyed happy marriages or engagements of to-be-married couples (MacMillan 93).
Flirtation is a commonplace phenomenon in Kiplings stories, and Mrs. Reiver together
with Mrs. Hauksbee are no exception to the rule. However, even corrupt women are not
thoroughly amoral and one-dimensional characters. Although Mrs. Hauksbee may have
had an affair with Mr. Bremmil, she interferes when a liaison is about to ruin an
engagement of a young couple. Pluffles is a young subaltern, engaged to a girl in
England, however, he is having an affair with Mrs Reiver, Mrs Hauksbees rival (Kipling,
The Rescue 42). Even though the latter does not know Pluffles fiance, she plays a
game with Mrs Reiver and gains young Pluffles on her side, lecturing him about life in
India, persuading him in the end to return to England to his fiance (46). One might ask
what Mrs Hauksbees motive is. Does she really care for Pluffles welfare or does she
interfere for her own sake? If taken into account that she might be either bored or feel her
power over men diminishing, she can at least exercise her power even without being
interested in the man per se. The outcome of her interference is positive as she becomes a
guiding providence for Pluffles, saving his future marriage. Despite her other adulterous
transgressions and her selfish motive of winning the game with Mrs Reiver, she leads the
young officer onto the right path.
Similarly to Mrs Hauksbee, in In Error her rival Mrs Reiver performs a virtuous
deed as well: she too manages to save a man, Moriarty, from drinking. Mrs Reiver is
depicted as a woman in the height of her power, and many men [lying] under her yoke
(Kipling, In Error 122). It is difficult to say whether Moritary idolizes Mrs Reiver due
to his insufficient observation talent or due to the fact that he has spent a considerable
time in the jungle, or due to his infamous drinking, thinking that even though
Mrs Reiver was cold and hard he said she was stately and dignified.
Because she had no brains, and could not talk cleverly, he said she was
reserved and shy. Mrs Reiver shy! Beacause she was unworthy of honour or
reverence from any one, he reverenced her from distance and dowered her
with all the virtues in the Bible and most of those in Shakespeare. (123)
However incorrectly Moriarty might have imagined Mrs Reivers virtues, his belief in
something Mrs Reiver has never been saves him from drinking (125). It is an incredible
story of how even careless and immoral women could have had such an impact on
somebody who struggles with alcohol and displays alcohol-addiction symptoms. The
story is mysterious in the sense that the reader never learns what has been so tremendous
about Mrs Reiver that Moriarty is able to fight with his vice. Although Mrs Reiver does
not care for Moriarty and his relationship towards her is purely platonic, she has the
capacity to turn him into a good man. In her ignorance and with her influence over
Moriarty, she helps him overcome a weakness that could have in the end turned fatal.
Both Mrs Reiver and Mrs Hauksbee, besides their immoral transgressions, they manage
to have a positive impact on their admirers.
On the Strength of a Likeness deals with the same phenomenon as in the cases of
Mrs Hauksbee and Mrs Reiver. Mrs Haggert arrives in Simla probably from the
scorching weather of the plains, to the favourable climate of the hill station for the good
of her health (Kipling 199). Due to her likeness to Hannasydes old flame, Alice
Chisane, he soon makes an acquaintance with her, accompanying her at garden parties,
tennis, picnics, dinners and ball (199). Hannasydes attempt to cure his broken heart with
a married woman whose appearance equals his old flames however, ends unsuccessfully.
Mrs Haggert is highly sophisticated, world traveled and her knowledge and opinion does
not amuse Hannasyde. He wishes she metamorphoses to placid, submissive Alice,
realizing that his experience was like making love to a ghost (201). Even though Mrs
Haggert is not terribly interested in Hannasyde, onlyonly no woman likes being made
love through instead of to (201) and therefore on their second meeting she spent a long
time in making Hannasyde see what a comfort and pleasure she has been to him because
of her strange resemblance with his old love (202). Her remarks cause Hannasyde to
wish never to see her again.
The way Mrs Haggert is portrayed suggests her shallowness which W. Somerset
Maugham refers to (ix). Despite her travels and high social position, she seems to be
bored but instead of doing anything useful, she too succumbs to having an affair with a
man she does not even fancy. In the case of Mrs Haggert and women like her, one dares
ask why these women did not display any interest in India. Had their infidelities been
considered a lesser evil than any plausible interest in the lives and customs of Indians?
Had their immoral behaviour been accepted and regarded without a second thought? It
seems that Kipling allows male characters only to join in the native life, to display any
interest in their linguistic and ethnological realms and to have an interracial relationship.
It can be debated to what extent Kipling drew from his experience and to what extent his
portrayal of female characters was determined by temporary male-dominated society.
MacMillan reports on women in the heydays of the Raj who were unconventional in their
attitudes and interests, namely Annette Beverige, translating the memoirs of the Emperor
Babur and founding a school for girls, or Anne Wilson studying Indian music or Mrs.
King who had a positive relationship to Indians (41). They were, without doubts,
exceptions to the rule, however, if Kipling could have created and praised male characters
like Strickland or Holden the former spending a considerable part of his life in the
bazaar, observing Indian customs, learning their slang, thus almost becoming one of them
and the latter having a relationship and an offspring with an Indian girl, it is rather
perplexing that British women are portrayed as selfish snobs, caring about their affairs
and gossip. According to John Buchan, Kiplings statement in his story Kidnapped that
we are a high-caste and enlightened race is a criticism of British moral ascendancy,
however, no matter how ironically it might appeal to readers, the comment must be
viewed as reinforcing and echoing traditional views of the colonizer as superior to the
native and other colonizing races, such as the Portuguese (Kiplings Notion of race in
Plain Tales from the Hills). Whatever the genuine reason for such a remark, Kipling was
believed to be a moralist as well as a seer and his inability or reluctance to introduce in
his stories interracial relationship between an English woman and an Indian might
indicate that such a liaison was impossible to accept at that time (T.S. Eliot 122). On the
other hand, as Kipling was drawing mainly from his experience and his stories reflect
authentic situations and events, he might not have created characters such as Daphne
Manners or Sarah Layton due to his lack of such experience. Having said that, I would do
Kipling a wrong accusing him of a biased and chauvinistic estimation had I not
acknowledged his unconventional young female characters breaking the boundaries
within British society which this paper deals with in the next chapter.
Some of Scotts female protagonists display similar traits to Kiplings women.
Mildred Layton seems to be constrained to have an affair with Captain Coley by present
circumstances. Her husband is a prisoner of war and her younger daughter is about to get
married. Mildred, probably out of desperation of being stuck in India with two unmarried
daughters, not knowing whether her husband would return or die in the prison camp,
takes to drinking and having an affair (Scott TS 46). Barbie Batchelor witnesses
Mildreds transgression, getting glimpse of Mildreds desperation, their copulation filling
her with horror, the instantaneous impression of the absence of love and tenderness: the
emotional inertia and mechanical pumping of the man, the cries coming from the woman
who seemed driven by despair rather than longing, or even lust (Scott TS 308). This
scene evokes not only disgust but also unbearable desperation Mildred finds herself in.
Sex and drinking for Mildred present momentary satisfaction and substitute in her
husbands absence, an escape from the unbearable and the intolerable.
Even though Mildred is portrayed as a drinking and promiscuous woman, she is also
broken and fragile in her desperately lonely life without her husband. She seems to be
forced by circumstances to cope with her unpleasant situation and the only way she is
able to cope is drink. If she were a woman of prayer, she might have prayed for her
husband and the widowed women but instead she finds temporary consolation in her
affair and drinks in order to continue in her deteriorating life (Scott TS 46).

4.2 Gossiping and Racial Prejudice
As already stated above, gossip had been perceived in a negative light by an unknown
correspondent, presumably by a man, as this trait is often attributed to women. Whether
gossip is or is not a common feature for the female sex is certainly not a prior focus for
discussion in this work. What does matter, however, is the outcome of gossip. This vice
brings about, most of the time, complication, damages somebodys reputation or even
destroys trust. In some cases it plays a decisive role in the pursuit of personal goals.
While Kiplings protagonists fulfil the latter, Forster and Scotts characters relate to the
As regards Mr. Bremmils liaison with Mrs Hauksbee, it takes eight ladies to voice
their concern about the husbands affair, explaining the situation at length to her in case
she should miss the cream of it (Kipling, Three 15). Had it not been for these eight
ladies, Mrs Bremmil might have never learnt about her husbands transgression due to
her preoccupation with bereavement. Had it not been for these eight ladies, Mrs Bremmil
might have never overcome her babys death and she might have withered. In the tragic
context the appearance of eight ladies informing Mrs Bremmil about her husbands
infidelity is comic. It seems that only these eight ladies working as a team can convey the
message to Mrs Bremmil who experiences double tragedy. One might wonder whether
they do it out of malice or compassion. The latter, however, seems more apparent as
females do tend to stick together in times of crisis. All eight of them come in case Mrs
Bremmil is unable to cope with the information. Their concern to come in a greater
number seems also obvious as mourning includes various mental inclinations. That is,
nonetheless, not to say that gossiping does not give them a certain amount of pleasure, as
pleasure forms a diversion from the everyday idleness, from the Club activities, and from
their looking after their families and supporting their husbands.
In the case of Mrs. Turton, gossip takes a different form, and that is exclusion from the
British circle. In her need to share her opinion with her husband, she talks about Adela
behind her back. Her verdict is clear, Adela Quested is not pukka
and therefore should
not marry nice little Heaslop (Forster 49). People, who are differentiated in any aspect,
e.g. Mr Fielding who frequently visits the households of Indians and avoids the Club, is
not pukka either and therefore Adela should marry him rather than Heaslop. After
Adelas mysterious experience in the Marabar Cave, it is Mrs. Turton who is most
sympathetic to her own darling girl (Forster 187). It is this scene that authentically
portrays the two-faced British colonizer. People like Mrs. Turton do not accept others as
they are, with their weaknesses and failures. They can only associate with pukka people,

Anglo-Indian or genuine, reliable, or good; proper (Pukka, Random House Unabridged Dictionary).
proper in their behaviour and social attitude. In India this attitude means social separation
from the Indian subject. The British live their secluded lives in their secluded quarters
and the Club.
This seclusion clearly indicates the notion of superiority of one race over the other.
Besides flirtation, promiscuity and discrimination, racial prejudice is another negative
trait seen in female characters. MacMillan quotes the anti-imperialist, poet, and traveller,
Wilfred Scawen Blunt who claimed that women who arrived to India after the Mutiny in
1857 became responsible for the gulf between the races as they deliberately separated
themselves from the servants and had a limited knowledge about the people and the
country they had been living in for years (39-40). Kipling does not seem to apply racial
prejudice to his female protagonists as much as Forster and Scott who create women that
clearly draw the boundaries not only within the British exiled society in India but also
between races. His Lispeth, however, tackles the conversion of a native hill girl and her
following education and bringing up at the Christian mission. Lispeth grows into a
beautiful girl, however, as a result of her new religion she is hated by her own people and
the Chaplains wife feels at a loss regarding her future career. The Chaplains wife would
like to send her to Simla as a nurse but Lispeth does not want to hear about it and the
mention of Simla makes her scared (Kipling 9). When Lispeth falls in love with an
Englishman whom she finds half-dead in a ravine and carries him all the way in her arms
to the station, she decides he is the one she wants to marry. It is after this comment the
Chaplains wife makes a racial remark about her improper thought on marrying an
Englishman who was of a superior clay (Kipling, Lispeth 12). D. C. R. A.
Goonetilleke suggests that Kipling managed to illustrate the complicated East-West
relationship portraying the Christian and the civilised characters [as] two-faced and
cruel whereas the primitive heathen [as] open and trusting, though not fully confident
(34). Kiplings criticism is palpable when he (through the narrator or the Chaplains
wife) says that it takes a great deal of Christianity to wipe out uncivilised eastern
instincts, such as falling in love at first sight (Kipling, Lispeth 10). From the narrators
point of view, the British attitude is criticised and if the words are said by Chaplains
wife, then her superiority over the subject is clear.
In A Passage to India E. M. Forster deals with the same issue. Natives are not allowed
to join in the Club unless it is an official invitation by the government staff. The social
division or the differentiation in races and cultures is obvious at the Bridge Party. The
Bridge Party takes place in order to appease Adela Quested and Mrs. Moore. Their wish
has been to see real India and according to the Anglo-Indian colonizer, they can
experience it at the organized party with the aim to bridge the gulf between races. Mrs.
Turton is to fulfil her social role as a representative wife of a man in a high position and
when her husband urges her to go on with her work to greet Indian ladies, she says Oh,
those purdah
women! I never thought any would come. Oh dear! (Forster 61). One of
the other remarks made at the party is that the British are superior to them, anyway.
Dont forget that. Youre superior to everyone in India except one or two of the ranis
and theyre on an equality (Forster 61). The gulf between races is apparent as is the
racial prejudice of the British. Had there been more women like Mrs. Moore or Sarah
Layton, the empire could have been a different institution. For Mrs. Moore the bridge
between the races would be repentance and this remark makes her son enraged. He is a

The seclusion of women from the sight of men or strangers, practiced by some Muslims and Hindus
(Purdah, Random House Unabridged Dictionary).
Female Indian ruler or the wife of an Indian ruler (Rani, Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary).
representative of the ruling class whose supreme attitude is ingrained in their thinking and
leads to justification that they are there to do justice and keep the peace. []. India isnt
a drawing-room and they are doing their best to hold this wretched country by force
(Forster 69). However, Ronny does not stop there but goes on that the British in India are
not to be pleasant in India as they have something more important to do (Forster 69). This
attitude of superiority is unacceptable to Mrs. Moore who believes that one touch of
regret not the canny substitute but true regret from the heart would have made him a
different man, and the British Empire a different institution (Forster 70). However, there
are not many females of Mrs. Moores embracing heart. An unknown, friendly but stupid
lady makes some comment on Indians: What I mean is, I was a nurse before my
marriage, and came across them a great deal, so I know. I really do know the truth about
Indians. A most suitable position for any Englishwoman I was a nurse in a Native State.
Ones only hope was to hold sternly aloof (Forster 48). Another lady, Mrs. Callendar,
even dares to claim that the kindest thing one can do to a native is to let him die and
when Mrs. Moore deliberately ask what happens if they meet in heaven after death, Mrs
Callendar replies that he can go where he likes as long as he doesnt come near me.
They give me the creeps (Forster 48). This remark literally ostracize the colonized on
earth as well as in heaven, however, on the abstract level it discharges any future
acceptance of the inferior.
Although Paul Scotts major female characters seem to be unconventional, his minor
female protagonists display features similar to Kiplings or Forsters women. Lucy
Smalley and other women fulfil their roles as supportive wives, their weaknesses,
however lie in their gossiping that is often extended to racial discrimination. When the
riots break out in 1942, a committee of women is to arrange a place for Indian mothers
and children looking for protection from any possible danger (Scott TS 60). Lucy
Smalley, having lived in India for years and having a childless marriage, focuses on her
husbands career and forwards his career with her own help at different official meetings.
Even though she is aware of the declining power of the British rules as well as the
mistakes made in the past, she still believes that India benefited from the British
connexion and that those who came to shoulder the responsibility could rely to a great
extent on moral support at home (Scott TS 61). Lucy has come to India to support her
husband for she believes in the goodness carried out by the British Empire. Besides being
a supportive wife, she also knows all the gossip. She is the first one to inform the women
about Edwina Cranes incident and Daphne Manners rape. It is also Lucy who offers
further detailed information on Daphne Manners, gossiping in the library about Daphnes
threatening impulse to blame the authorities and finally coming to a conclusion that the
Indian boy Miss Manners thought she was in love with must have been some kind of
hypnotist (Scott TS 79). Lucy, just like the other women, is blind in her snobbishness
and Englishness regarding an inter-racial relationship. She is incapable of imagining or
even accepting that Miss Manners could have genuinely been in love with Hari and that
he need not have been endowed with supernatural abilities.
Mildred Layton, besides drinking and having an affair, bears negative traces regarding
social stratification in India. She too is socially and racially prejudiced. Lady Manners
and Barbie Batchelor do not escape her criticism as well as her mother-in-laws servant
Aziz. During preparations for Susans wedding, Mildreds sister Fanny criticises Lady
Manners noisy grand-niece and the British elite ignores the announcement of Parvatis
birth. Only Sarah pays Lady Manners a visit, making up for her familys rudeness.
Mildred does not seem to be on good terms with her mother-in-law and she is glad Barbie
went off her head and later died, not understanding how Mabel could have made a
provision for the elderly spinster (Scott DS 349). Mildreds dislike of Barbie deepens
after Mabels death even more as Barbie startles Mildred with her presence while waiting
for Captain Coley. Half-naked Mildred calls Barbie bloody bitch, thinking she has
planned to surprise her, however, soon realizing Barbie has come to discuss Mabels
burial (Scott TS 241). When Barbie brings about the unwanted subject whether Mabel lies
in the correct graveyard, Mildred throws water into her face (Scott TS 243).
It is also Barbie who witnesses Mildreds racial prejudice towards Aziz who,
according to her, should have stolen silver spoons. Merciless, enraged and frustrated
Mildred lets off steam when Susan is in labour and Barbie has not been there to assist
Susan. While Susan is wailing in her bedroom, Mildred accuses Aziz of stealing silver
spoons, for who else would have done it if not the Indian. It is again Barbie that stands by
the poor and unjustly accused servant, replying to Mildreds where that bloody man
could have got that she did not understand at all. About Indians like Aziz (Scott TS
226). Mildred fails as a wife as well as a person, she too is narrow-minded and snobbish
about social and racial stratification. In addition, she fails to be a good mother, and
despite her immoral decline she at least admits being a bad mother. Mildred finds out that
Sarah is pregnant not from her daughter but from prying on her privacy. She does not
discuss this situation with her daughter but forces her sister Fenny to redress the issue as
it was her fault, taking Sarah to Calcutta, letting her off with a sexist British officer.
Mildred does not even think about Sarahs intention, does not ask whether she would like
to keep the child, and orders Fenny to deal with it (Scott TS 324-26). Mildred is a woman
that despises women compassionate towards the Indians Barbie Batchelor, Lady
Manners or Mabel Layton.
These women, analysed as mothers, wives or mere co-habitants, do not come out
without fault. Besides the minute virtuous qualities they possess, they mostly give a
negative impression. They are women without any profound knowledge on India and if
they have any, it is not mentioned. Kiplings female characters prime concern is about
the social events they might attend and later gossip about, Forsters and Scotts women
abound with gossip, racial prejudice and malice. They do not question the British mission
in India, they do not explore the Indian traditions and culture but surrender to the
secluded life at the Club and their homes. Whatever their reasons, psychological, social,
cultural or financial, they go with the main stream and unlike women who dare voice or
demonstrate their disagreement and who deliberately avoid the company and events
organized by the British, they are outside the pale of danger and future insecurity.

5 Futile Mission
There were various reasons for women to arrive in India. As Gilmour states, some
came in order to accompany their husbands and to make a home, manage their
households, supervise the well-being of their children and last but not least, to assist their
husbands careers, either by joining them on their journeys or organizing parties (297).
Some came in order to reunite with their fiances and to get married, others were in the
process of finding a husband and hoped to settle down (MacMillan 83). Many women,
however, felt called to do a mission work (MacMillan 155). Their aim was not to get
married but to save the souls of the Indians, learning soon that it was difficult to convert
Indians to Christianity. Even though the missionaries made few converts, these came
mainly form the lowest castes and their reasons of conversion was often purely out of
basic character survival (MacMillan 166). Women missionaries frequently landed in a
peculiar and dangerous situation with men shouting insults or even confusing them with
prostitutes, others confronting the arising notion of doubts and futility of their mission
work (MacMillan 168). As a result, many of them broke down, physically and spiritually,
like Miss Edwina Crane and Miss Barbie Batchelor, some women even flirted with the
new religions and others lost their faiths, experiencing a spiritual death, for example Mrs.
Moore. However futile their service in India might have seemed, however disappointed
they had become due to unexpected events, however disheartened by the realization that
there is no God, what matters in the end of their lives is their unconditional love and care
for the Indians.

5.1 Mrs. Moore and the Missionary Women
In A Passage to India, E.M. Forster masterly depicts the confrontation of Eastern and
Western values, the clash of cultures and religions. All his protagonists seem to undergo
certain spiritual passages: while Fieldings passage ends in a happy relationship, Ronny
makes a wrong choice and loses his direction. Adela Quested learns her lesson during her
passage, while Mrs. Moores Christian belief is confronted with the ghosts of the
unknown country. In India Mrs. Moore encounters spiritual death and further
contemplates the Christian notion of the hereafter (Findlay 67). During her stay in India
the failure of the Christian basic message of love is revealed to her. It seems that out of
all the female characters portrayed, only Mrs. Moore does not judge, but simply likes or
dislikes people (Forster 45). When a trial regarding Adela Questeds incident in the
Marabar caves takes place, it is Azizs friend and defender Mahmoud Ali who claims that
the opposing party have smuggled [Mrs. Moore] out of the country; [], she would
have proved his innocence, she was on our side, she was poor Indians friend (Forster
226). Her affiliation with the Indians is clear from the very beginning when Mrs. Moore
refuses to participate in the Club and leaves its premises in order to discover real India.
Findlay points out that her relationship towards Aziz transcends age, race, culture and
religion, and [] proves to have lasting value and in their most tender moment at the
mosque, with the moon shining over the Gangha river, their souls become united (68).
Their first encounter seems to symbolize not only bridging the gulf between races and
cultures, but also reflects mutual understanding of the spiritual world. Christianity and
Islam meet at the heart of the mosque. Aziz comes to the mosque after his work and
contemplates about building his mosque with a Persian inscription that those who have
secretly understood [his] heart will come and visit his grave (Forster 42). Having
thought of his resting peace and secret understanding of the heart, Aziz suddenly sees
pillars moving, thinking it to be a ghost, but instead an Englishwoman, Mrs. Moore
comes barefoot. She is the one that seems to understand the secrets of his heart. Her
spiritual journey begins at the mosque where she is aware of Gods presence. She does
not find the Clubs activities fulfilling, her preference lies in watching
the moon, whose radiance stained with primrose the purple of the
surrounding sky. In England the moon had seemed dead and alien; here she
was caught in the shawl of night together with earth and all the other stars. A
sudden sense of unity, of kinship with the heavenly bodies, passed into the
old woman and out, like water through a tank, leaving a strange freshness
behind. (Forster 50-1)
According to Findlay, this moon experience is Mrs. Moores most important moment, as
her loving mind encompasses the whole universe (71). Her tolerance towards various
spiritual worlds enables her to see goodness in other people, Indians including.
This universal attitude is reflected when her son speaks with a kind of aloofness of the
Indian subject. When Ronny suggests that the role of the ruling class is not to be pleasant
but to do peace and justice and other things, Mrs. Moore, believing that regret from the
British part would make the Empire a different institution, says out of desperation and
helplessness that Godislove (Forster 70). She becomes a preacher of the
fundamental teaching of Christianity that God loves people regardless their colour, age or
social position and that people should love their neighbours, whether one is in England or
in India. This struggle for justice and inclusion of other races into the Christian teaching
about afterlife seems to be futile, just like in the case of Edwina or Barbie.
In The Jewel in the Crown and The Towers of Silence, Paul Scott creates missionary
workers, Edwina Crane and Barbie, struggling in fulfilling their task to educate and
convert Indians to Christianity. This struggle springs out from their missing or declining
faith as the former has no faith in God and the latter loses it. Both women dedicate their
lives to teaching and missionary work in India and both women die under painful and
helpless circumstances, in a way protesting with their deaths, a suicide and silenced
death, against the well-established position of the colonizers and the consequences of
their intended goodness. In addition to the spiritual failure, they are modest,
impoverished, elderly spinsters so insignificant as to be virtually invisible to the more
powerful and articulate members of the British community in India (Spurling 34). That
excludes them from the British society and places them on the periphery. Moreover, they
are passive witness who play no part in the decision-making process who remain
barely aware of its existence, let alone its ramifications behind the scenes but who must
gather themselves nonetheless to receive and absorb its impact (Spurling 378). Their
invisibility and impassivity places them then on the same strata as the Indians rejected
on two levels, social and racial.
Many women felt called and made a life-long commitment in the missionary field
representing in fact the largest group of women. Missionaries were, however, looked
down on by the British community. They seem to have separated themselves from the
ordinary activities at the club and avoided any sporting events (MacMillan 165). Women
missionaries came to do good, to fight wickedness in all its manifold forms (MacMillan
166). Among these Christian missionaries were also some feminists, convinced to save
not only the individuals souls but also women from child marriage, ignorance and
disease by running schools and doing medical work besides preaching (MacMillan 166).
They were, however, discouraged from coming to India as they were wanted neither by
the British society, nor by the Indians who were not interested in Christianity (MacMillan
Paul Scott depicts the rejection of missionaries by the British society in an authentic
way. Even though many women missionaries were British, they came from lower-classes
and their attempt to convert Indians was regarded as ridiculous. Both Edwina Crane and
Barbara Batchelor feel this rejection at a certain point in their lives and in addition to
their being outcasts of the local British society, they gradually realize the futility of their
life-long missionary work. Both women work as superintendents of the Protestant
mission schools, both are single and both die disheartened, knowing their struggle for
goodness and justice has been futile.
Edwina Crane comes to India as a governess to Major Nesbitt-Smiths children. Even
though Edwina comes from a middle-class family, she encounters social snobbery in
India when her employers treat her not exactly like a servant but like a poor relation
(Scott JC 15). As the Major is ordered home and his wife is certain that Edwina will
automatically join them, she rebels against this presumption, decides to stay on and
becomes a teacher without real qualifications, a missionary worker who [does] not
believe in God (Scott JC 11). Her teaching method comprises namely of a picture, The
Jewel in Her Crown, and the Indian children are educated on two levels, literal and
abstract. The picture depicts Queen Victoria sitting on a golden throne in the open air,
surrounded by representative figures of her Indian Empire, princes, landowners,
merchants, money-lenders, sepoys, farmers, servants, children and mothers, and
remarkably clean and tidy beggars (Scott JC 26-27). The children thus learn to identify
objects, colours and people they see, acquiring the knowledge of English language; in
addition and probably more importantly, they learn about the social and political structure
in India and also about Christianity presented in the picture by angels, hovering above the
Queens head, granting her protection (Scott JC 27). According to an ordained member of
the Church, Edwina Crane has managed over the years to teach English and at the same
time love of the English, namely their good intentions (Scott JC 28). Miss Crane,
however, has mixed feelings regarding the picture. She is aware of the superiority of the
British not only expressed in the picture but also in the everyday voices, the note of
authority, the special note of us talking to them, which perhaps passes unnoticed when
what we talk about is the small change of everyday routine but at times of stress always
sounds like taking charge (Scott JC 57-8). Edwina realizes the wrongdoings and
injustice carried out on the British subjects and so does Barbie Batchelor.
Barbie Batchelor arrives in India after her parents deaths and joins the mission. Her
faith in God, in Christ the Redeemer and in the existence of heaven is strong (Scott TS
10). When she retires at the outbreak of WWII, she retires to live in a Rose Cottage with
a widowed woman Mrs. Mabel Layton. There she experiences what she has experienced
before in her life, the presence of a curious emanation, of a sickness, a kind of nausea
that was not hers but someone elses (Scott TS 24) and it is to this presence she talks and
in the end, realizing there is nothing she can do, she sends it away, preferably to the Lord
(Scott TS 25). Being a newcomer and because of the novelty of retirement disturbing her
everyday routine, she sets out to write a letter to Edwina Crane, a woman she admires for
her bravery and courage during a civil riot and her standing up to enraged Muslims who
came to burn down the mission (Scott TS 25). And it is three years later that she starts to
write letters to her again, after a riot in which Edwinas colleague teacher got killed and
Edwina injured. During her retirement, Barbie seems to be lost in many aspects: she talks
to herself, she is not comfortable in a company of people and she seems to be losing her
faith in God, praying and waiting for a renewal. It, however, never comes (Scott TS 31).
Instead, she encounters a lonely ghost.
When Edwina Crane commits a suicide and Barbie learns what has happened,
Barbies Devil, a fallen angel, comes back to her and this desperate creature seems to
follow Barbie in her own desperation (Scott TS 98). Later, after Mabel Layton dies and
Barbie is forced to move out of the Rose Cottage, she loses the sense of belonging and
her life soon fills with silence. Within a short period of time she does not only lose a
precious place and person, she also witnesses Mildred Laytons transgression, she catches
a dreadful cold and again she is caught up in silence. Barbie recovers and tries to move
on. When an orphaned boy, Ashok crosses her path she realizes that the corrupted world
they live in and the futility of her mission work is more than she can cope with. She tells
him, nonetheless, that even though he is an orphan, she is his mother and his father, thus
expressing her unconditional love for him (Scott TS 364). Her desperation deepens as she
learns that Edwina denied the existence of God, saying there is no God. Not even on the
road from Dibrapur (Scott TS 386). And this non-existence of God echoes in the non-
existence of the unknown Indian, that is, according to Barbie, missing in The Jewel in
Her Crown simply saying that He isnt there. So the picture isnt finished (Scott TS
388). This observation can be interpreted on a larger scale, namely in the relationship of
the British towards all the invisible unknown Indians who are integral part of the Empire
and whose needs have been masterfully overlooked and denied to them.
After a lifelong service for the mission, Edwina Crane feels lonely, on the one hand
not wholly accepted by the Indians, on the other hand, rejecting generality of the
English (Scott JC 11). Having lived for thirty five years in India, Edwina wonders
whether she should have not spent these years among her own people, persuading them
to appreciate the qualities of Indians, instead of among Indians, attempting to prove that
at least one Englishwoman admired and respected them (Scott JC 11). Either attempt
seems to be impossible to carry out on a larger scale. It is mainly individuals, like Mrs.
Moore, Daphne Manners or Sarah Layton, who have the courage to go against the
mainstream culture and attitudes, unafraid of their associations with the Indians. To ask
the representatives of the British rule to regret, as suggested by Mrs. Moore, and thus
make the Empire a different institution, seems to be impossible of accomplishment.
In the biography Paul Scott: A Life, Hilary Spurling states that Scotts female
characters such as Edwina Crane and Barbie Batchelor are depicted as lonely, defeated,
stoical, unwanted women, bearing traces of unexpected dignity (104). It is this stoical
dignity they die with. Edwina Crane, a funny old bird no one knew, except for the
Indian children in the schools or her Indian friends and half-castes, gets hurt in the riots
and her colleague teacher killed (Scott DSc 407). This attack on Edwina is ironic as she
has been the advocate of the Indians. Her inability to comprehend such violence and
feeling abandoned by God she had in her heart but not soul (Scott JC 19), feeling forlorn
on the road to Dibrapur where she laments that theres nothing I can do, nothing,
nothing, she realizes there is one thing to honour the death of Mr. Chaudhuri (Scott JC
69). Her helpless lamentation about nothingness turns into action. She goes back to the
dead body and holds his hand, an act she should have done a long time ago (Scott JC 69).
There she waits and guards the body. In addition, when asked to give evidence and
identify the attackers she refuses to serve as a witness and is therefore seen as implicitly
expressing sympathy for Indian people (Mezey, Morning the Death of the Raj?). For
her rejection of collaborating with the police she is criticised (Scott JC 165), however,
her action goes beyond reasonable understanding when she takes upon herself the role of
a widow and commits suicide, suttee, a symbolic act regarding her faith and her opinion
on the role of the British Raj in India (Scott DSc 407).
Barbies silence seems to demonstrate a similar attitude. She too finds there is nothing
she can do, no one she can turn to regarding the immorality and injustice carried out by
the people she knows and lives with. Her faith seems to break with the knowledge of
Edwinas denial of God. Mildreds affair silences Barbie and when she has an accident,
she ends in a sanatorium overlooking the towers where dead bodies are placed and
cleared by the vultures. Barbie, just like Edwina, dies lonely, unwanted and defeated by
the corrupted world. Spurling claims that Barbies tragic figure bears traces of Paul
Scotts aunt Ruth, who was filled with anxieties: insecurity, want, ill health [] her
meagre emotional harvest, her fearful loneliness, her painful diffidence in company, her
growing, even more grievous sense of the futility and waste of her life (257). And so
does Barbie die, with the final nausea [entering] the room and when she is found dead,
eternally alert, in sudden sunshine, her shadow burnt into the wall behind her as if by
some distant but terrible fire (Scott TS 397). Barbies life and death are tragic in the
sense that after a lifelong missionary service, she has nowhere to go, has no home, and no
friends. When Mabel Layton from the Rose Cottage dies, the last peaceful place for
Barbie, her daughter-in-law, Mildred Layton does not care about Barbies future and
orders her to leave. Barbie becomes a lonesome wanderer, forlorn in her helplessness.
Similarly to Scotts Barbie and Edwina Crane, Forsters Mrs. Moore also loses her
faith in her God. The Marabar cave expedition brings about a new comprehension of the
spiritual world, the frightening echo reverberating in her head long afterwards and the
fear extends to an area larger than usual; the universe, never comprehensible to her
intellect, offered no repose to her soul, [] and she realized that she [] didnt want to
communicate with anyone, not even with God (Forster 161). Her spiritual death causes
fear of physical death she is trying to postpone and worrying about her health she decides
not to stay on in India even though she might have helped Aziz (Findlay 78). Her attempt
to escape from India to Europe leads to a surprise rendezvous with death and her burial
in the Indian Ocean (Findlay 79). Findlay also states that as Forsters India epitomizes
the live spiritual world, Mrs. Moores death becomes death without spirit, that is death
without resurrection (79). India has opened Mrs. Moores eyes but she has not dared go
further and explore other religions that, according to Forster can also lead to salvation
(Findlay 80). It is, nonetheless, her love that prevails and for which she will be
remembered by the Indians, becoming a Hindu goddess Esmiss Esmoor, echoing
throughout the trial of Aziz.
All three female protagonists, nonetheless, passively witness the decision-making
process. Mrs. Moore refuses to elucidate the Marabar incident, leaving India and all it
represents behind. Edwina and Barbie are inert to the political scene barely aware of it,
let alone its ramifications behind the scene but who must gather themselves,
nonetheless, to receive and absorb its impact (Spurling 378). Mrs. Moore scrutinizes the
attitude of the British colonizers towards the Indians, showing affection for the latter,
however, her spiritual insight frightens her and she rejects discussing it with Adela who
looks up to the wisdom and understanding of Mrs. Moore. Edwina and Barbie do not only
observe and become familiar with the Indian way of life, they also transform their love
into action, becoming missionaries, serving in the Indian community. All three women,
despite their Christian moral values displayed towards the inferior, lose their faith. This
loss, however, does not seem to matter in the end as they will always be remembered by
the Indian community. Edwina for her symbolic death, paying respect to her unjustly
killed colleague teacher. Barbie for becoming a mother and a father to little Ashok, and
Mrs. Moore for her unconditional love and goodness towards Aziz, therefore, towards the
inferior man in India. Their ethics and morals, their labour of love, their effort to carry
out rightness make them immortal.

6 Unconventional Women
MacMillan states that many women came to India to work as missionaries, doctors,
nurses or governesses; some came for the possible adventure and some women, pathetic
figures, who married Indians without realizing the consequences of such an
unconventional behaviour (155). Many women could have afforded being unconventional
due to their status, such as Lady Hailey, the wife of a Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab,
exploring the Himalayas, taking flying lessons; or Lady Minto, wife of a Viceroy, making
acquaintance with Margaret Noble, an Irish woman known as sister Nivedita whose
supportive attitude towards radical Indian nationalism made her a centre of police
attention as she epitomized a threat to the British Raj (MacMillan 156). Women at the
pinnacle of British society could have been eccentric or whimsical due to the fact that
they came to India knowing they would, sooner or later, return to their mother country.
MacMillan also points out that unconventional behaviour in the eighteenth and early
nineteenth century was not viewed as shocking as later on, due to the fact that these
women were already unusual in their coming to India (158). This flexible attitude
towards unconventional women stiffened in the nineteenth century as the limits of
ladylike behaviour were drawn more tightly (MacMillan 159). The figures discussed in
the next subchapter are, in my view, unconventional not due to their eccentricities but due
to their audacity in standing up against rigid social and racial demarcation.

6.1 Unconventional Acting Rewarded
Many women came to India accompanying their husbands, many came to find a
husband and many were born in India and their task was to get married and raise children.
MacMillan claims that marriage was necessary, even if it was not made in heaven; it
was useful to a man and practically, the only career for a woman (80). In the story
Cupids Arrows, Miss Beighton, a very pretty daughter of a poor but honest District
and Sessions Judge, is unmarried and her mother is very much concern with her
daughters future. When Anthony Barr-Saggot, a Commissioner in Simla, turns his
attention to Miss Beighton, her mother is thrilled (Kipling 47). Mr Saggott might be rich,
but he is phenomenally ugly and Kitty Beighton is in love with a handsome soldier.
When an archery tournament takes place and Kitty, unbeatable in arrow-shooting, is
bound to win Saggotts gold bracelet in the archery competition, she does the opposite.
By deliberate shooting off the target, the bracelet is won by someone else (Kipling,
Cupids 50). Even though girls had to be at least a bit calculating when they chose a
husband, Kitty follows her heart rather than the desire of her mother who would like to
see her well-off (MacMillan 84). Even though many marriages may have not been made
in heaven, some female figures try to break this stereotype.
William the Conqueror is a love story as well as a story of compassion towards the
Indians. The story is set in the famine and its heroine, William Martyn, comes and joins
her brother in India. She has been supposed to get married, however, has refused a couple
of options in order to live for the day. During her four-year-experience in India she
almost drowns, learns to speak Urdu and Punjabi, survives cholera, rides on horses and
refuses to cut pages of English magazines or write to her aunt in Britain (Kipling 206). In
this regard, William is an unconventional young girl. She is aware of being a financial
burden for her brother, nonetheless, refuses to get married for the sake of being married.
Even though her main role is in the household, managing the daily routine, organizing
meals and servants, she does not fear to accompany her brother at a famine camp,
overcrowded with starving children and helpless weeping mothers (Kipling, William
204). William enters the famine scene, feeding and nursing starving children. Her
everyday fight for childrens lives is awarded not only by many surviving and returning
to their mothers, but also becoming engaged to her brothers friend. William seems to be
Kiplings sole major female protagonist caring for the well-being of the colonized,
evincing her compassion through her deed.
These two girls serve as an example that modest life chosen over glorious and
prosperous future can be rewarded in terms of genuine affection and love. Unlike Daphne
Manners or Adela Quested, Kitty and William stay conventional in their unconventional
behaviour regarding the choice of their partners. They marry within the British society
and therefore do no break any hidden tradition and customs. Mrs Schreiderling stands in
contrast to Kitty and William who marry out of love. In The Other Man, Mrs
Schreiderling obeys her mother and does not fight for her love. As a result, when she
loses her beauty, her husband ceases to provide sufficient income. Mrs Schreiderlings
only highlight after her illness and her husbands perdition, is the forthcoming meeting
with her old love. This meeting is nonetheless, tragic; her lover arrives dead and Mrs
Schreiderling breaks down (Kipling 68). Perseverance and courage are unusual, however,
when carried out the bearers receive reward. Kitty stands up for her lover in front of all
Simla that is invited to the archery contest and William is not ashamed of waiting for the
right one. If Kiplings women are wicked, mischievous, prejudiced and unfaithful to their
husbands, his younger female protagonists genuine non-calculating attitudes are
rewarded with the highest possible award, love.
Sarah Layton, a principal female protagonist in the Raj Quartet, manages to survive
the adversity of fate and ends in a content marriage with Guy Perron despite all the tragic
events enveloping her life and despite her long-term friendship with a Muslim Congress
leader, Ahmed Kasim. She witnesses the decline and death of Barbie Batchelor, the fall
of her mother, the nervous breakdown of her sister Susan, the shocking death of Ronald
Merrick and the horrific loss of Ahmed Kasim. In addition to these tragedies, she
struggles with her personal losses and failures. As the above mentioned women, she too
goes against the stream in her benign attitude towards her multiracial friends and
unconventional characters. Unlike the majority of the British society, she does not
exclude from her circle of friends and acquaintances Lady Manners, the great-aunt of the
gang-rape outcome, Parvati, or the half-insane missionary Barbie Batchelor. Her love and
friendship extends to a Muslim Congress leader, Ahmed Kasim and his homosexual
friend Bronowsky. Her years in India are filled with pain and loss, nonetheless, she finds
love, returns to Britain where she leads a contented life with Guy Perron.
Sarah Layton, the first-born daughter of Colonel John and Mildred Layton, plays an
important role in her family as well as the social scene during WWII and at the verge of
partition and gradual disintegration of India. Sarah is an unconventional woman, breaking
the boundaries within and outside British society. While in India, she is a memsahib but
not a typical one. Even though she could have married Teddy Bingham, she refuses and
finds a momentary pleasure in an affair with another British officer, resulting in her
pregnancy and a following abortion. Sarah is not only an outsider in the British circles,
but also within her family. During the war she joins the Womens Army Auxiliary Corps,
however, she is needed at home in order to help her mother who is unable to cope without
her husband and turns to drink for consolation (Spurling 326-27). Spurling also claims
that Sarah is a sceptical observer, an outsider in Pankot society, without prejudices or
preconceptions and it is this attitude that attracts Guy Perron, the liberal spirit a
humane, informed, tolerant and open approach to relations between the races (327, 365).
Sarah does cross the inter-racial boundaries, however, unlike Adela Quested or Daphne
Manners, does not go beyond the acceptable norm and the criticism she receives is not
only in regard to her relationship towards Ahmed Kasim but mainly concerns her
personal standpoints and principles within the British circles.
Sarah differs considerably from her mother, sister and other women in her relationship
towards Barbie Batchelor or Lady Manners the former having an impact on her, the
latter epitomizing goodness and bravery. Sarah develops a special relationship towards
Barbie, she cares for the elderly missionary when she is at the Samaritan hospital,
speechlessly awaiting her death. Only Sarah seems to understand her seeing birds in the
distance and it is Sarah to whom she leaves her trunk that covers the whole of her past.
The garden becomes a sacred place for talking, confessing, contemplating. Walking in the
rose garden, Barbie asks Sarah if she knows who Gillian Waller is, a name pronounced
when Mabel Layton falls asleep, explaining she is afraid to ask the woman herself. Even
though Barbie has been trying to find out who this woman is, she does not wait for an
answer and instead confesses how she feels about her life in India, saying that her sister
Susan should marry for some people are made to live and others made to help them. If
you stay youll end up like that, like me (Scott DS 386-87). It is in the garden where
Barbie learns about Sarahs visit to Lady Manners and she pictures this young girl and
the old woman, and the child somewhere in the vicinity. I came, the girl was saying,
because I couldnt go without saying hello. So said hello and talked and later was shown
the child. One of Gods creatures (Scott TS 175). Even though Sarah does not practice
Christianity, her behaviour is certainly hinted by unconditional love. In this sense her
personality is similar to Barbies and that is also why Barbie warns her about a plausible
futile future. Barbie, as well as Lady Manners, are women on the verge of the British
society; Barbie for her missionary work and Lady Manners for keeping her nieces child,
Parvati. Peter Childs points out that Sarah Layton makes up for her familys rudeness
after the announcement of Parvatis birth which was evidently directed at the Anglo-
Indian community which ostracized any English person who mixed freely with Indians
(A Division of the Spoils). Sarah refuses to be a passive observer of her familys racial
and social prejudices. According to Lucy Smalley, Sarah should settle, which might mean
taking seriously the British role in India, however, Sarah does the opposite: she questions
why and what they are doing in India (Scott TS 104).
In addition to associating with the British women not accepted by society, she makes
the acquaintance of Ahmed Kasim, a secretary of the Muslim Congress Party. Sarah
herself classifies her encounter with Kasim as a novelty in the sense that it wasnt until
we actually set out that I realized it was the first time Id been alone with an Indian who
wasnt a servant (Scott DSc 159). What Sarah means by the first time is the time when
such an encounter makes both parties self-conscious. Sarah even admits it was unwise of
her to go off riding with him alone as it put both of them into a difficult situation. With
Ahmed riding a few paces behind her, keeping appropriate distance, Sarah suddenly
realizes the presence of Daphne Manners who was alive for [her] completely. She flared
up out of my darkness as a white girl in love with an Indian. And then went out because
in that disguise she is not part of what I comprehend (Scott DSc 160). Whatever Sarah
means by that disguise a woman with white skin, Sarah does not fall in love with
Ahmed, nonetheless, after his death realizes she has loved him. When she returns from
Susans wedding, it is again in the garden she talks to Barbie and Barbie senses that Sarah
has not come back but sent only her reflexion home (Scott TS 181). Barbie feels the
distance and understands at the end of the talk about Sarah being haunted by something
from the past, someone vis--vis Parvati and for Barbie it is the unknown Indian (Scott TS
183). It is not only Ahmed and Parvati Sarah is happy to associate with, but she also does
voluntary work in the Mirat hospital for purdah women, crossing cultural as well as social
boundaries by taking the Nawabs
difficult and hasty daughter to hospital, letting her
hold a baby of a commoner. Sarah dedicates her time and energy to Shiraz out of
compassion and understanding the girls unhappiness. When asked what made her give
her so much time, devotion and care, Sarah replies: Her unhappiness (Scott DS 552).
And may be it is also Sarahs own unhappiness she projects in helping Shiraz. Sarah
makes it possible for Shiraz to cross the social boundaries designed by the Muslim laws.
By going to the hospital and holding the baby of an ordinary woman, the life of the
former and also of the latter is enriched. Shiraz finds some meaning in life and the
common woman will never forget that her child was once held by a girl from the palace.
Sarahs contribution to diminishing the rigid stratification is priceless. Her attempt is
challenging, however, she does not go beyond the racial barrier. Her relationship to
Ahmed develops into a friendship and when his life is abruptly finished, Sarah is

A native governor during the time of the Moghul Empire; or a Muslim nobleman or person of a high
status (Nawab, Random House Unabridged Dictionary).
In his essay Mourning the Death of the Raj? Melancholia as Historical Engagement

in Paul Scotts Raj, Mezey claims that Sarah Layton

provides [] another level of melancholic self-criticism as she registers her

discomfort and disgust with her role as defined by the gender codes of the Raj,

which transform her sincere desire to assist into an easily dismissable

stereotype; she acts the part of the brave little memsahib but hates herself for

her performance. She recognizes that her role in India is as useless,

meaningless, and as much a part of the bloody code as Ahmed's death. (327-


The final scene of the Raj Quartet is horrific and shocking as is the final partition and

division of India and Pakistan. Ahmeds death symbolizes the seemingly unexpectedly
expected bloodthirsty partition. None of his co-travellers are certain what Ahmed has
exactly said, however, they are led to belief that they heard it seems to be me they want
(Scott DS 582). When the train is attacked by Hindu mob, Susan and two other English
women panic, Ahmed is trying to hide Edwards ayah
under the seat, asking a co-
traveller to make sure no one can see this young Muslim girl. And when Kasims name is
chanted and everyone is trying to do their best, for example Mrs Grace reassuring Susan,
Sarah rocking and soothing Edward, Kasim suddenly opens the door and disappears. That
is the moment Sarah realizes her role in India is meaningless and futile, despite her brave
face through her fathers imprisonment, Susans mental breakdown, mothers drinking
and affairs or Barbies miserable decline and death.

A Spanish word for childrens nanny or maid, introduced by the Portugese into India and adopted by the
English (Ayah, Classic Encyclopedia).
No matter how much Sarah has suffered, the reader finds out later on that Sarah is
married to Guy Perron. When he comes to India, he sees Sarah as an ordinary girl,
recognizing she is the daughter of the Raj, a memsahib, however, lacking the qualities of
a typical memsahib:
a compound of self-absorption, surface self-confidence and beneath, a
frightening innocence and attendant uncertainty about the true nature of
the alien world they lived in. They were born only to breathe that
rarified, oxygen-starved air of the upper slopes and peaks, and so seemed
to gaze down, from a height, with the touching look of girls who had
been brought up to know everybodys place and were consequently
determined to have everybody recognize their own. (Scott DS 17)
Sarah does not fit this definition and the commonplace knowledge or classification of
Anglo-Indian women. It is Sarahs quiet self-reliance that attracts Guy Perron and as he
gets to know her he also finds out that she is lacks the common racial prejudice (Scott DS
147). Moreover, it seems that what they have been through brings them closer and seals
their future. Guy Perron witnesses Sarah sisters struggle with Merricks death and
becomes familiar with Susans attempt to burn her own child, Edward. The most
significant incident they go through together is, however, the death of Ahmed Kasim and
the slaughter of other Muslims a week before the official hand-over of power,
independence and partition, in August 1947 (Spurling 359). The bloodshed of Muslim
men, women and children is helplessly watched by all the other travellers and this
passivity and helplessness haunts Sarah who cannot comprehend how they just could
have let him go. She is scared of the fact they have been paralyzed, incapable of doing
anything, of protecting Ahmed, stopping him from jumping into the midst of the enraged
Hindu crowd. Sarahs questioning and repenting probably matches the authors own
conviction what the British should have done, and as Guy Perron
is struck by something greasy and evasive about the gliding motion of
that train. [] he [the author] certainly came to feel later that there was
something greasy and evasive about the way the British had left India,
their lack of foresight or preparation beforehand, their precipitate haste
at the time, and their invincible reluctance to discuss it afterwards.
(Spurling 165)
This reluctance and unwillingness is again broken by Sarah who, together with other
compassionate British people, assists the dying Muslims on the platform
that was becoming littered with blood-stained bundles of white cloth,
with black limbs sticking out of the cloth. One body lay on the roof of the
coach. No one seemed to have noticed it. From some of the windows of
the coaches heads and arms hung down. Blood slowly made shapes on
the dirty grey concrete of the platform. (Scott DS 585)
When Perron finally finds Sarah, she is kneeling at a tap, pouring water into vessels and
when asked to stop and that Perron will take over she asks him to do the other thing
and he goes to distribute the water among the dying (Scott DS 587). No matter how many
times it has been Sarahs duty to deal with tragic situations, to tell Susan her husband
died, to see Barbie struggling with life, to go through abortion, no matter how many times
she has been able to cope, she is broken and defeated now, kneeling, filling thoughtlessly
vessels with water. On that muddy wet ground with dying Muslims all around her Sarah
probably fights her biggest battle. She is on her knees, clutching bowls and other
containers, pouring water into them hoping the water might save some of the dying.
Kneeling Sarah resembles a praying woman, Barbie who has also struggled with the
presence of the unknown ghost, sending it to the Lord. Barbies prayer for Mabel Layton
and the unknown woman Gillian Waller, the name of the square in Amritsar
Jallianwala, whose helplessness and gradual loss of faith strongly resembles Sarahs
brave but meaningless act on that platform with crying, shrieking, mourning survivals of
the dead. Of course, her help does not end in vain for those who do survive thanks to the
intake of liquids while bleeding, nonetheless, Sarah is aware the future will be filled with
helplessness, they will just stand by and watch the Hindus killing Muslims and vice
versa, as she has just witnessed in the case of her friend, Ahmed.
Such an attitude is already performed by the British when criticism is heard from the
mouth of a white woman, claiming that they were savages and a reply from a white man
What do you expect? Its only the beginning. Once weve gone theyll all cut each
others bloody throats. Non-violence. Makes you laugh makes one wonder at the
remark, especially after the wars fought by civilized countries, civilized men killing in
order to overthrow dictatorship, bring freedom to occupied countries and to fight injustice
and evil (Scott DS 586). The white man can kill another white man just because he
believes it is correct, and this killing will not be regarded as barbarous. However, the
action of a black man killing another black man is classified as savage. Any killing, for
whatever reason, for whatever belief is wrong and their condemnation of the Indians only
shows their narrow-minded views and racial prejudice. Unlike Sarah, the other British
present are judgmental and are not moved to help the dying and those who might survive
(Scott DS 586). Despite all Sarah goes through, she, together with the others, leaves India
to her own fate, to her own struggle as she feels there is no more she can do.

6.2 Unconventional Behaviour Punished
While Kiplings female characters break conventions within British society, Forsters
Adela Quested and Scotts Daphne Manners are not afraid to go beyond the boundaries
between races. However genuine or nave or daring their attempt to cross the gulf
between races, it ends tragically. In Adelas case her unconventionality leads to Azizs
arrest and the cancellation of her engagement. For Daphne the consequences are fatal.
Her relationship with Hari Kumar, a Westernized Indian, results in Hari and five other
innocent mens arrest and Daphnes death. Both women suffer for breaking the rules and
conventions set by the British society. While William Martyn and Kitty Beighton rebel
against the conventions and rules within the British society, Adela and Daphne go further
and therefore the punishment is greater. There seems to be no way out of the vicious
circle regarding conventions and racial issue. Edwina Crane and Barbie Batchelor lose
their faith, Adela Quested remains rejected by the British society and Daphne Manners
dies in a complicated childbirth.
All unconventional female characters at a certain point of their lives protest against the
gulf between races and refuse to be mere passer bys of the good intentions carried out
by the British society (Scott JC 28). Adela tries to break the racial boundaries by her
wish to see real India and Indians. Daphne attempts to soothe Haris tortured mind from
feeling invisible and marginalized and Sarah forms a close friendship with Ahmed
Kasim. Their association with Indians, thus their trespassing social codes and laws, places
them on the periphery of British society. It is their violation of ingrained norms and
beliefs regarding colonial politics in India that makes them stand out and be pointed at
and were not easily forgiven (MacMillan 169).
In her essay The Unspeakable Limits of Rape, the notion of British women raped by
Indian men is being discussed. She refers to the Indian Mutiny in 1857 and the sexual
interracial brutalization and mutilation of English women and its immense impact on the
British imagination, reinforcing stereotypes by rewriting the atrocity (Sharpe 234). From
a feminist point of view, Adelas accusation of Azizs assault is perplexing as the novel
creates mirror- image opposition of the English woman and the Indian man (Sharpe
222). One has to decide whether to defend the female or the male character due to the
ambiguities surrounding the alleged rape (Sharpe 222). The reading of the former
points to Adelas accusation as a result of hallucination; the most likely explanation of
the latter, the male reader, attacks frigid women suffering from sexual hysteria (Sharpe
223). The feminist conclusion is thus that Adelas confrontation of what it means to be
rapable is framed by racial tensions that cannot be understood as simply another form of
patriarchal violence (Sharpe 224). In my view, whether Adela has been or has not been
raped does not play a decisive role in this paper as the outcome will always parallel or
mirror readers various personal beliefs and ideologies. Had Forster decided to delete a
scene which might have clarified Adelas incident, the novel would have lost the
mysterious taint. What does, however, matter is the way Adela is portrayed as a human
being capable of self-reflection followed by withdrawing her accusation in case she has
been wrong. Admitting her failure in front of both the colonizer and the colonized makes
her a moral heroine, be it only for Mr. Fielding. It is her inner strength she gathers in
order to free an innocent man in case he is innocent rather than to succumb to human vice
of vanity and human need to be honoured and respected. The thought of an innocent
mans unjust imprisonment makes Adela reconsider despite the forthcoming judgment
from all the British who have come to support her during the trial.
Adela Quested comes to India to find out whether she wants to marry Ronald Heaslop,
who works as a judge and represents an archetypal subaltern of the British Empire,
fulfilling the conventions required from the British society. Adela, like Mrs. Moore and
probably all newcomers, wants to see the real India (Forster 46). She finds her new life
dull and boring and when she exclaims she wants to see real Indians, the other British
exiles who have been living in India for much longer, are amused at her request and make
racial remarks: Natives! Why, fancy! (Forster 48). In order to fulfill Adelas wish and
divert her from any contact beyond the British boundaries, Mr. Turton, decides to give a
Bridge Party where Adela can meet any type of Indian. This party is to prove the ability
of both races and cultures to come together and be decent in each others company. The
aim of the party is to bridge the gulf between East and West (Forster 49). After the
Bridge Party, Adela is not only disappointed but also disillusioned about the way her
British co patriots treat the Indians, saying fancy inviting guests and not treating them
properly (Forster 65). Her first real experience is at Fieldings house where she meets
people of different races and ideologies. According to Findlay, Adela is half-way through
the journey of understanding and loving the Indians (95). It is to Aziz she confesses her
doubts about becoming an Anglo-Indian and it is ironically Aziz assuring her she is not
like the others, Mrs. Turton and Mrs. Callendar and it is only moments away when Adela
asks a thoughtless question regarding his marriage (Forster 157, 163). It was Mrs.
Turtons information about Mohammedans always [insisting] on their full four (Forster
163) and his being a widower as well as a progressive Muslim, the remark offends him in
two ways, emotional and social (Findlay 95).
Findlays remark that Adela is only half-way through the spiritual journey suggests
also her half-developed attitudes and opinions. On the one hand, she wants to see real
India and respect Indians as she is clearly against superior behaviour of the civil station,
but on the other hand she offends Aziz either due the lack of knowledge about
progressive Muslims or out of thoughtlessness. Her indecisiveness can be also seen in her
relationship towards Ronny. Adela realizes she does not love him before she enters the
cave. Whether her previous cancellation of their engagement has been purely out of her
disliking Ronnys superior attitude and the fact that in India he has become a different
person or due to some unexplainable inner intuition, she renews the engagement, thus
succumbing to the Anglo-Indian materialism (Findlay 90).
Adela, though indecisive, has an enquiring nature. When Mrs. Moore talks about her
encounter with a Mohammedan in the mosque and Ronny learns about his impudent
behaviour, namely his rude remark on Mrs. Moores shoes, her son tells his mother she
should have not answered. Adela enters this dialog and asks Ronny whether he would not
expect an answer if he would ask a Mohammedan to take off his hat in a church. To this,
Ronny is reluctant to make any reply and instead turns their attention towards the Ganges
(Forster 52-53). Before the crucial experience in the cave, Adela also questions her
motive for marrying Heaslop. She is aware that by marrying Heaslop her social position
is going to change and she is afraid of becoming an Anglo-Indian. Adela comes from
England where the feminist movement is in progress and she has been influenced by it.
The performance of Cousin Kate, a mildly antifeminist comedy, surprises the already
emancipated Adela. The marriage thus means accepting the stalled liberation of
memsahibs (Sharpe 224). By marrying Heaslop, she fears to be labelled as the
insensitive imperialist like Mrs. Turton and Mrs. Callendar (Sharpe 224). Using
Sharpes expression, I would claim that after the trial Adela has become the sensitive
imperialist. Despite her failure, which is common to the whole mankind, she recognizes
the palpable consequence of her plausible misjudgement and revokes. Her withdrawal of
her accusation not only brings chaos to the place of imperial law and enrages the civil
servants and their wives, it also fundamentally undermines racial assumption that all
Indian men lusted after European women (MacMillan 75).
I would agree with Sharpe that the plot [is] centred on the impossibility of a
friendship between men across the colonial divide and that Adelas and Azizs
encounter and the incident in the Marabar Caves is the climax of the novel to which all
the other events gradually indicate (Sharpe 239). The outcome of the Bridge Party which
in the end is not a success, together with trial seems to symbolize the overall attitude of
the British towards the Indians. Sharpe also indicates the forthcoming decline of the
Empire Forster envisages as the novel reveals the real crime of imperialism to be an
abuse of power that can only lead to its demise (222). After the trial Adela has nowhere
to go to. She is rejected by both races and only Fielding offers her accommodation as
well as consolation as he has seen how brave she was with the entire British Raj pushing
her forward (Forster 251). Although Adelas deed amounts to a heroic feat in Fieldings
eyes, she has nothing else to do but return home. In her human failure she has won
respect at least from Fielding and later also from Aziz. Adela could have easily abused
the power given to her by her social status but she has rejected this. The deliberate abuse
of power in Sharpes view can only lead to the demise of imperialism, however, its
decline and the final departure of the British civilians cannot be credited with honour and
respect as in Adelas case.

6.3 Theres Nothing I Can Do
Forsters main aim of his novel is the portrayal of the gulf between races based on one
incident within a short period of time. Scotts tetralogy thus stands in contrast to Forsters
novel in the historical aspect, however, like Forster, Scott too tackles the issue of
interracial relationship and the rape of an English woman. Scotts tetralogy the Raj
Quartet and his portrayal of the British Raj can be perceived in historical terms and the
novel can be read as a historical work. In her article, Cora Agatucci states that Scott's
specific historical subject in the Raj Quartet is the failure of British imperialism, the
turmoil the British created and were caught by in pre-independence India followed by
the debacle of division, not only of India and Pakistan, but, more centrally, the divorce
of England from the Indian subcontinent in the years leading up to and including
partition (Paul Scott & Jewel in the Crown). While Kipling depicts the society in the
heyday of the British Empire and Forster situates his novel after the Amritsar massacre,
Scott places his novel between 1942-1947 and intertwines factual events with fictional
characters and their fates. Scott presents a picture - politically, sociologically, and
psychologically revealing - of how two nations came into tragic confrontation, and of
how and why British rule ended in failure and a sense of diminished importance
(Agatucci). Scotts historical contribution to the common reader does not impress Salman
Rushdie who strongly criticized the filmed version of the Raj Quartet which he saw as
an upsurge of nostalgia for the Raj on British television [], claiming that Scott
reinforces old stereotypes (white society's fear of the darkie) by using the gang-rape of
a British girl in India, by Indian peasants, as a central motif for his whole long work
(Banerjee, Paul Scott). Haswell negates Rushdie and other writers criticism, stating
that a careful examination of his depiction of sexual and racial violence reveals that
Scotts use of rape and buggery is far from stereotypical, and his purpose more complex
than a nostalgic longing for irretrievable longing for grandeur (The Imagery of Rape
and Buggery). Although Scott, similarly to Forster, uses rape as the main focus in the
novel, I would debate to what extent they reinforce old stereotypes and rewrite old myths
springing from prejudice and to what extent Daphnes life serves as a mirror reflecting
the deeds of the British Empire with the roles reversed and the rape demonstrating how
the British (Indians) treat India (Daphne).
Theres nothing I can do echoes throughout the first novel of the Raj Quartet.
Edwina feels desperate in her helplessness from the tragedy concerning her Indian
teacher colleague and in order to erase haunting memories of the incidents and dismiss
her helplessness, dies in flames. This tragedy collides with the tragedy of Daphne
Manners. Unlike Edwina, Daphne experiences love surpassing all British snobbish and
prejudiced understanding. Daphne falls in love with an Indian raised in Britain, Hari
Kumar, who must undergo a spiritual journey to find out his identity and acknowledge his
feelings towards Daphne. Theres nothing I can do echoes through the night when their
complicated and complex relationship reaches its climax, their intimate moment is being
overthrown by a gang of peasants, raping Daphne, beating and tying up Hari, leaving him
helpless to watch their insolent and outrageous assault. Daphne realizes straight
afterwards the dangerous and tragic consequences for their inter-racial association. She is
very much aware of the chances her lover stands to come out of the whole incident
innocent and it is, therefore, at the departure from the Bibighar garden when Daphne cries
out her helplessness. The notion of theres nothing I can do fills the days and months of
Haris stay in prison and Daphnes pregnancy, during which she longs for her lover, not
knowing what has happened to him and if she will ever see him again. Like Edwina and
Barbie, Daphne feels helplessness in relation to the natives. On the one hand, she
struggles with the snobbishness of the British, on the other hand, she cannot deny her
British heritage and as a result of her rebellion she suffers.
Her denial and criticism of the British snobbishness starts at the outset of her stay in
India. Daphne travels to stay with Lady Chatterjee, a friend of her aunt and uncle at the
MacGregor House and it is on the train where she encounters British prejudice and racial
discrimination towards the Indians. In her letter to Lady Manners, she depicts the journey
and mentions those awful English women [that] were utterly beastly and never said a
civil word to either of us (Scott JC 103). They do make though an insolent accusation,
implicitly suggesting that something has been stolen from them and that something must
have been taken by Lili Chatterjee as she belongs to the ruled caste. These women
display a high degree of racism, implying straightaway that if something has been lost the
culprit must have been the colonized. When the English women find out they have made
a mistake and nothing has been stolen, they at least make a crude remark on Indians
travelling first class that is supposed to be available for the ruling class only. Daphne
disagrees with such attitude and her rejection is also present at the club where she has no
genuine intention to join, however, her failure in her resolution that she would never go
because Lili could not accompany her, springs from the effortlessness she has got used to.
She too, after hard work at hospital, needs to be with her people as people of the same
nationality use a kind of shorthand in conversation and that makes them less tired and
weary (Scott JC 115). She is aware the members are self-conscious about the clubs
exclusiveness, she dislikes the gossip and the vulgarity and also realizes she is not wanted
due to her association with Lady Chatterjee.
Her friendship to Indians does not however stay within the boundaries of the
MacGregor House where educated Indians are frequently invited. Her affection towards
Indians culminates in her love for Hari Kumar. It is their relationship that brings Daphne
onto the periphery of British society. The tragic outcome of her love to Hari puts her in
the same boat as Edwina Crane. As Jason Edward Mezey points out, both Edwina Crane
and Daphne Manners attempt to form cross-cultural relationships, [] ending in both
characters withdrawing from British society and authoring their own deaths and their
choices are restricted to either reincorporate themselves to the ideologies of the Raj or to
be left with nothing, nothing (Mourning the Death of the Raj?). Similarly to Edwina,
she refuses to be the silent victim that British codes of femininity demand and in part as
a declaration of commitment to India and the life she has chosen for herself there, a
commitment she finds embodied almost exclusively in her child and it is her
determination to finish what she has begun in a proper way, saying:
Maybe I'm just pigheaded, but you've no idea how important it is to me
to try to do this thing properly. []. I want to try my best to end with a
good conscience what I began with one (Scott JC 362)
and it is this stubbornness that brings about her death (Mezey, Mourning the Death of
the Raj?). Daphne, through her action, articulates a new sense of responsibility to India
not as the passive recipient of British imperial control but as a mutually constitutive
terrain because her love for Hari represents her love for the whole country and in her
keeping the child, not knowing whether it is Haris but believing in it, suggests her belief
in future genuine connection to India (Mezey, Mourning the Death of the Raj?).
Even though Daphne shows deep and genuine affection towards Hari, she still acts in
a superior way when after being raped, out of love and fear what might happen to Hari,
does not give him any chance to help her, stay with her and face the coming hardship
with her (Scott JC 452). She forbids him to carry her in case someone might see them,
she does not wait to hear his reasoning and makes him promise that he knows nothing
and will say nothing in the future (Scott JC 435). Although Hari has been raised and
educated in Britain, in India, he is not being accepted and treated as one of them and even
Daphne who loves him violates her own conviction of equality. Whether Hari would be
able to explain anything or not, the latter most obvious, he could have at least been with
her, be it for a short time. Daphnes abrupt departure, her hasty decision to run home, her
order to Hari to say nothing, to keep quiet about the rape, her good intention to help Hari
and make him less suspicious end in vain. In the end, both are punished for crossing the
racial boundaries. Haris unjust imprisonment almost destroys him and Daphne dies
without seeing her lover again, helpless in her struggle for Haris release and helplessly
dying in childbirth.

7 Staying on in India
The frightful events in 1947 effected not only the Indian population but also men and
women who felt that Britain was betraying India by pulling out so quickly and the
bloody partition of the country into India and Pakistan saddened those who cared for the
country (MacMillan 188). British civilians often felt helpless listening to the screams
and explosions from the collies quarters down the hill (MacMillan 188). The days of
the Raj ended abruptly and quickly and so was the departure of the British population. As
the majority of officials were ordered to return, women were busy selling what could
have been sold, paying off their servants, packing and contemplating their new future in
Britain (MacMillan 189). While some of the ICSs were asked to stay on to help with the
transition, some decided not to return as they were afraid of leaving the familiar way of
life, and were scared of adjusting to estranged Home (MacMillan 190-91). Lucy Smalley
stays on India, albeit involuntarily. She belongs to the group of wives who support their
husbands career, who believes in the good intentions carried out in India and as a person
she displays a higher degree of racial and social prejudice. However, as she grows older
and wiser her attitude towards Indians seems to soften, and elderly Lucy is portrayed as a
lonesome and struggling woman.
When young, Lucy is snobbish, partial and racist. Her social prejudice can be seen vis-
-vis Sarah Layton, and her remarks regarding Daphne Manners affair with Hari Kumar
are of a racist character. Lucy believes that once Sarah settles she will be alright, meaning
she would start taking seriously the British role in India (Scott TS 104-05). Lucy dares to
criticise Sarah Layton in public, however her explanation about Sarah not taking any of
it seriously meets with understanding and assent (Scott DSc 136). Sarah is perceived as a
person who thinks too much but is not too radical and who gives the impression that all
the British say is a joke, the sort of joke she couldnt share (Scott DSc 136). In
addition, Lucy believes that once she meets the right man she will be straightened up
quickly enough (Scott DSc 136). On the whole, Lucy is a gossipy person and like the
majority of British women, shows a high degree of racial prejudice. In addition to these
negative traits, Lucy is a submissive wife, supporting her husband, surrendering to his
decision to stay on after the partition.
Lucys husband Tusker decides to carry on living in India not for love of the country
or its people but rather due to the financial need and the reader meets Tusker and Lucy as
a retired couple in Staying On. While in the Raj Quartet they are characterized as snobs,
belonging to the lowest members in the hierarchy of British society, in Staying On they
are seen as struggling representatives of the once powerful Raj. Unlike the Raj Quartet,
Scotts last novel does not explore historical events in a profound way; it rather focuses
on the trivial and petty details concerning Lucy and Tuskers everyday routine. The novel
also stands in contrast to the Raj Quartet as the roles are reversed. Indians are no longer
being treated badly and unjustly by British representatives, on the contrary, the invisible
Indian becomes very much visible, powerful and merciless as regards the question of the
future accommodation of the Smalleys. Lucy and Tusker do not occupy any official posts
any longer and at the end of their lives they are on the verge to experience what it means
to be homeless, being thrown out of their bungalow by their Indian landlord.
In the tetralogy Lucy is portrayed as a narrow-minded snob, causing embarrassment to
Pankot society. Old Lucy seems to have changed considerably. It is understandable that
with her husbands declining health she fears her own future. It is not only her ability to
finally stand up for herself in her marriage but she also seems to have softened towards
her Indian neighbour. She shares a special relationship with the house servant Ibrahim,
finding what she was looking for, an envelope, she handed it to him and murmured, For
the garden, Ibrahim, and allowed her hand to stay, so that for a moment their fingers
were in contact (Scott SO 70). This scene evokes similar images from the Raj Quartet,
where it is Edwina realizing how important interracial acknowledgment was for her,
demonstrating it when it was too late for her Indian colleague; or Daphne Manners
completing once for all her desire and love for Hari in touching his hand at the Bibighar
garden resulting in Haris outrageous reproach: What were you trying to prove? That
you dont mind our touching?(Scott JC 433). It is the contact between the white and
black hands that arouses some unexplainable tension or makes the reader aware of
something extraordinary between the people involved. Lucys touch of Ibrahims hand is
extended onto the invitation to join her at the cinema and they arrange to have an evening
off together. The relationship between a memsahib and a servant takes on a different
dimension. Unlike Mildred, who was treating her mothers servant badly, Lucy shows
more compassion and tolerance. Moreover, Ibrahim witnesses her romantic side when she
turns on the gramophone, dancing to the music with an invisible partner. This moment
makes Lucy look vulnerable and fragile, her romantic desire unfulfilled (Scott SO 73).
Lucy is no more the snobbish, prejudiced colonels wife but a lonesome and fragile
human being. When she reads Sarah Perrons letter and contemplates her life, she realizes
she had a sad life, a life like a flower that has never really bloomed, but how many do?
facing the fact that her relationship towards Tusker has never been fulfilling (Scott SO
82). They do not communicate and Lucy ends up complaining to the empty living-room
as there is no point to say anything to him for he does not listen to what she is saying and
she cannot hear what he is thinking; therefore their days are filled with silence and
loquacity (Scott SO 96). At one point, being enraged by Tuskers unbearable petty
criticism, Lucy decides to be heard and listened to. She manages to attract Tuskers
attention, telling him about his deliberate forgetfulness and wilful obfuscation (Scott
SO 101), making Tusker flabbergasted and silenced, carrying on with her complaining
about their past behaviour and unfulfilled days, finally stating he deprived [her], of the
fullness of [her] life in order to support and sustain the smallness of [his] own (Scott SO
106). Tusker does realize his mistakes and acknowledges his duty to provide in some way
for his wife in case he dies first. He writes a letter to her explaining how he felt, making
last arrangements, confessing the true reasons for staying on India, or as he puts it,
hanging on as Independence came when he was forty-six, which is bloody early in life
for a man to retire but too old to start afresh somewhere you dont know (Scott SO 231).
Even though the explanation comes at the end of their relationship, Lucy appreciates his
confession, the only love-letter he has written to her and also the only insight she has had
in regards of his biggest fear: settling back at home which he no longer regarded as a
home and therefore was left with no other option than to stay in India (Scott SO 231).
After this explanation he also, in an inexplicit way, apologizes for his wrong doings,
I acted like an idiot, Luce, for years and years. The longest male
menopause on record. One long Holi. Cant talk about these things face
to face, you know. Difficult to write them. Brought up that way. No need
ever to answer. Dont want you to. Prefer not. Youve been a good
woman to me, Luce. Sorry Ive not made it clear I think so. Im not going
to read this rigmarole through when Ive finished if I did Id tear it up.
So Ill just stick it in the envelope and forget it. Dont want to discuss it.
If you do Ill only say something that will hurt you. No doubt will
anyway. Its my nature. (Scott SO 232)
After reading the only love letter at the age of sixty-six, Lucy finally finds peace. And
that is the last love words she acquires from her husband as she finds him dead on her
return from a hairdresser. And it is the end of Lucys, as she ends up in an empty
bungalow, dancing alone to the sound of the music. Her loneliness fills the last pages of
the novel and it is a helplessly frightening loneliness that awaits Lucy in a land foreign to
her, without Tusker who has always taken care of her, and with whom she has been arm
to arm to parties and back home, with Tusker being already home and Lucy staying on
for a little bit longer. Lucys lamentation how Tusker can make her stay in India by
herself while he himself goes home expresses Lucys dependence on her husband, the
only family she has had (Scott SO 255). According to Spurling, Lucys plaintive cry, the
most poignant of all the female voices lamenting loneliness, deprivation and neglect is
the central image of the whole text (382). This statement could be applied on almost all
Scotts female characters as it is the final years of their lives that matters in the end
providing a larger picture, lying at the core of their analysis. Daphne Manners dies too
young and to soon to see her development either into a positive or negative memsahib.
Edwina Crane gets over an unhappy love, dedicates her life to educating Indian children
and dies in the flames as a result of the desperate situation in India. Barbie Batchelor is,
like Edwina, a passive observer of political changes and due to her long-term experience
in India loses her faith in God she has faithfully served to. Mildred Layton, despite her
drinking problems, and an affair as a way of coping with the absence of her husband,
despite her nastiness towards Barbie, settles in Britain and later dies of cancer. It is the
ends of their lives that erase all their wrong doings as in the case of Lucy. Her re-union
with Sarah Layton, happily married to Guy Perron, shows no hard feelings from the latter
protagonist. Lucy used to criticise Sarah and it will be Sarahs acquaintance that will
enter Lucys bereavement and bring some diversion into her mourning over Tusker. The
old prejudiced and snobbish Lucy is gone, her shallow and superficial image
metamorphoses into a grieving, caring and lonesome memsahib.

Kipling, Forster and Scott lived a part of their lives in India and their experience is
therefore mirrored in their literary works. The portrayal of the imperialistic policies
imposed upon the civilians, the racial attitudes and colonialism have played an important
part in the British history as well as in the lives of the ordinary people, leaving negative
traits on both the colonizer and the colonized. Their relationship which had not been of a
reciprocal but rather exploitative character can be seen in the works examined, which
bear traces of autobiographical features intertwined in the fictional characters inhabiting
real places and experiencing real events. Through their eyes the development of India
from a colonized country towards an independent state can be perceived. All three
authors depict ordinary British women struggling in everyday lives and with the
conventions they are subjected to during the rise and fall of the Empire, nonetheless, do
they gain their independence as does their country of exile? Do these women, colonized
by the male dominated societies, achieve any improvements regarding their status and
social position? To what extent do they assimilate to India and to what extent do they
resist the alien country?
Kiplings portrayal of female characters is restricted and limited. His officers wives,
Mrs Hauksbee, Mrs Reiver and Mrs Haggart are on the whole shallow and promiscuous.
Even though they live in a male-dominant and rigid society, they find a way out of the
monotonous spirit of life in flirting, gossiping and affairs. His younger protagonists,
Kitty and William, rebel against the Victorian values practiced on a large scale by their
contemporaries; the former refusing to blindly obey her parents, the latter
counterbalancing her male coevals activities and freedom. Nonetheless, Kipling omits
any inter-racial relationship between a white female and a black male. As MacMillan
pointed out, such cases had not been unusual; however, regarding this aspect, Kipling
focuses more on the male characters and their enterprise. William is the only female
character compassionate towards the native people and the encounter of the colonizer and
the colonized, as in the case of Lispeth, and his criticism of the racially prejudiced
Chaplains wife can be viewed as his vantage point.
Adela Quested and Mrs. Moore, being newcomers in India, long for the authentic
India, despising the ways in which the Indians are treated. Neither of them is able to settle
in the British circle and accept the stiffness of it. Forsters novel can be read as an
allegory regarding the relationship between India and Britain. The novel does not
concentrate on the daily routines of the colonizer; it underlines the racial void between
the two races and while Kiplings female characters are mainly preoccupied with the
pettiness of life, with flirtation and adultery, Forsters women undergo challenging
spiritual journeys. However tolerant and open-minded Mrs. Moore seems to be, she
cannot cope with the new spiritual world in the end. Even though she displays Christian
values towards the Indians, her faith in suffocated in the Marabar Cave by something
larger and incomprehensible, by the new and live spiritual world she is unable to grasp.
According to Findlay, her death seems to be without spirit, without resurrection
symbolized by her burial in the Indian Ocean, however, she seems to metamorphose into
a living goddess Esmiss Esmoore during the trial. Despite her stay in India being short
and ending in vain, her affiliation with Aziz imprints on the minds of the colonized.
Adela comes to join her fianc and settle in. She, however, realizes the rigidity of the
British society, and despite her failure as a non-prejudiced woman, finds enough strength
to revolt against the system, her imaginary rape in the cave freeing her from the sterility
of her plausible future marriage.
Scotts female protagonists differentiate considerably. Mildred Layton and Lucy
Smalley represent the British snobbish, narrow-minded elite, drawing social and racial
lines. On the one hand, they are engaged in the activities concerning the Indians, but on
the other hand, they denigrate the Indian subject. The missionary characters together with
Sarah Layton and Daphne Manners form opposition to the two-faced hypocrites. Edwina
and Barbie dedicate their lives to the Indian people, realizing their mission has been
futile. In addition, they are confronted with the intransigence between the colonizer and
the colonized, and the missing figure of the invisible Indian compels them to rebel
against the hopelessness at the expense of their lives. Both Daphne and Sarah experience
helplessness regarding the Indians, the former losing a friend during the partition riots
and massacres, the latter with the help of her aunt, sacrificing her life for her daughter,
thus manifesting, without knowing whether the child to be born is her lovers or her
attackers, that India has a future of its own. Theres nothing I can do reverberates not
only through the tetralogy and its sequence, it could be applied on the lives of all the
female characters. I do not wish to suggest that what they did was worth nothing or that
there was nothing they could do. They certainly did their best to improve womens
conditions, bringing education not only to boys but also girls, and by their crossing of
racial and social barriers revealing other possibilities than what had been regarded sacred
or taken as unchangeable. All the female colonizers expressed either by their negative or
shocking deeds where they stand in marriage, family, the British society, maintaining to a
certain degree independence. Taking the individuals separately however, not as a whole,
there was probably nothing else to do but flirt, gossip and have affairs in order to escape
boredom without being excommunicated. The missionary attempts to save Indians souls
resulted in nullity, with Edwina unable to do anything else but commit suttee in order to
shock the British society that had over the years fought against this ritual. Barbies
attempt to cope with the injustices and the ghost of the invisible Indian ends tragically in
the loss of her voice as well as sanity. Sarah transforms her helplessness over Ahmeds
death to helping the dying Muslims, however, she too realizes there is nothing else to do
in order to restore and replay the shocking scene of Ahmeds abrupt departure. There is
nothing else to do but wait in Lucy Smalleys case. Old Lucy is left behind in India
helpless in a country in which she has spent a long time without ever fully attaining a
sense of home.
However fatalistic and dark this conclusion seems to be, the contrary is the case. Had
there not been women like Mrs Hauksbee, Mrs Turton and Mildred Layton there would
be no genuine comprehension of women like William, Edwina and Barbie, Sarah and
Daphne. There would also be none of the matching oppositions to which the human mind
is constantly drawn. Yet, no matter how many times scholars have tried to erase these
binary oppositions, rewriting the history of gender, there are always bound to be a woman
and a man, light and darkness, the poor and rich, the superior and inferior. Luckily, there
are myriads of both, creating a world of multifarious human beings, multicoloured
objects, multi-dimensional perspectives in the colonial and post-colonial


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