Det första könet, dess ”Andra” och den tredje världen : västerländsk manlighet i reseskildringar
Travel literature and especially the ”adventure story” has excited young British boys for over two centuries. However, it has also been a vehicle for the assertion of male dominance and European supremacy. The story of a British man who goes to the colonies, performs some test which is essentially a test of his manliness, and whose compulsory victory marks the end of the book, has been a central myth in colonial masculinity.
Through looking at three Anglo-Saxon male travel writers from the 20th century, this essay aims to study the different ways in which Western male identity is shaped against an Indian background. The novels analysed are Topee and Turban or Here and There in India by H.A. Newell, the Don Juan- tetralogy by Carlos Castaneda and Are You Experienced by William Sutcliffe. Whether the Self is defined against the Indian other; by identification with the Indian other, or through deconstructing the notion of an Indian other, and what role femininity plays, are the central themes of this essay.
Theory paramount to the analysis has been Ann McClintock’s discourse on the feminisation of the colonized country; Simon Gikandi’s assumption that imperialism was crucial in shaping British identity, and Gayatri Spivak’s notion of epistemic violence.
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