What is the importance of Rajkumar's character in Amitav Ghosh's novel The Glass Palace?

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To understand Rajkumar’s significance in The Glass Palace, it is important to look not only at his own character arc, but also those of the people who surround him. Ghosh’s novel is at its core a postcolonial narrative which seeks to examine how ordinary Burmese and Indian people confronted European (in this particular case, British) imperialism, their subsequent departure from traditional ways of life, and the colonial world order that they were thrust into. Throughout the novel, Rajkumar maintains extensive contact with different peoples, all of whom respond to this radical change of events in their own way. Through their decisions and experiences, one can better understand to what extent Rajkumar successfully contends with his new status as a colonial.

Rajkumar’s wife, Dolly, represents a colonized person who cannot ever fully let go of their past. Mostly a homebody, Dolly dreams of the day when she can find her son and live out her days in peace in Sagaing, a village that is...

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