What does it mean to study English lit. in India ? Do you learn any skill at all in this course of study?How different it be to study lit. written in any language? Plz give me answer at least in...

What does it mean to study English lit. in India ? Do you learn any skill at all in this course of study?

How different it be to study lit. written in any language? Plz give me answer at least in 500 words.

Asked on by neeno

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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You should seriously consider reading the book Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.  Although it is not set in India, I imagine the sentiment is very similar.  This book gives a pretty good idea of what it means (even today) to be an educated woman in a middle eastern country.  You'll have to take into account the differences between India and Iran (religion is the most obvious).  As a woman yourself though, if this is something you are seriously considering (studying in India) it would be good to get a couple of personal perspectives on this very issue.

I also recommend the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Another fabulous look from a female's perspective into the social differences between America and Italy, India and Indonesia.  This one has more of a "finding oneself" theme than "finding education" but again, a fabulous read that might enhance your pursuit.

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whirlingdervish | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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Studying literature in the English language in India as opposed to other languages is a significant concept, because India was colonized for three centuries by the British. Inevitably, both cultures were affected by the other, but one can argue that because the British were physically present in India, more significant and far reaching changes took their root in Indian culture, changing it intrinsically.

English is a colonial legacy, and postcolonial Indian people now use it extensively. In the same way that other postcolonial cultures (ie African) have used the colonizer's language to empower themselves and celebrate their dual heritage identities, Indian people too can understand the colonial history and how it affected their present cultural identity by understanding English Literature.

Of course, it would be limiting to say that only postcolonialism defines the Indian student's relationship with English Literature. In an increasingly globalized world, all kinds of literatures are more and more accessible, and a student who is exposed to so many fields of study may very well be attracted to the multilayered and interesting centuries of English Literature.

To understand what I mean by dual heritage, and the conflicts as well as convergence that can characterize a postcolonial identity, you can read the poem "Piano and Drums" by Gabriel Okara.

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