Title

Alone in the Storm: The Dangers of Isolation and Weather in Rudyard Kipling's ""At the End of the Passage"" and Bithia Mary Croker's ""To Let.

Presenter Information

James Thomas

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Room 135

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Victorian, Imperialism, Haunting

Abstract

Two of the most well-known elements of Victorian Britain are its literature and its empire. Both Rudyard Kipling and Bithia Mary Croker were writers who lived and wrote in India during this period. Both writers produced stories, Kipling's “At the End of the Passage” and Croker's “To Let,” which followed the conventions of the Victorian ghost story genre, a genre that was wildly popular in Britain at this time. However, unlike most of their contemporaries, Kipling and Croker set their ghost stories outside of Britain, in colonial India. In these stories, the authors utilize isolation, weather, and hauntings to present a gritty and more realistic picture of life in India than their readers were accustomed to. The themes of isolation in these stories are used to demonstrate the perils of the resistance by British people in India to socializing with the native people of India. The weather is used as a commentary on the under-preparedness of the men and women who came to India and the consequences of their underestimation of natural hazards. Finally, the hauntings in these stories can be seen as the British imperialists being haunted by their own imperial practices, as the ghosts in both stories are British, not Indian. Through these stories, Kipling and Croker attempt to dispel some of the romantic illusions of the exotic reaches of the empire, while simultaneously criticizing elements of British imperial attitudes and practices.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Sutphin, Christine

Additional Mentoring Department

English

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May 15th, 3:00 PM May 15th, 3:20 PM

Alone in the Storm: The Dangers of Isolation and Weather in Rudyard Kipling's ""At the End of the Passage"" and Bithia Mary Croker's ""To Let.

SURC Room 135

Two of the most well-known elements of Victorian Britain are its literature and its empire. Both Rudyard Kipling and Bithia Mary Croker were writers who lived and wrote in India during this period. Both writers produced stories, Kipling's “At the End of the Passage” and Croker's “To Let,” which followed the conventions of the Victorian ghost story genre, a genre that was wildly popular in Britain at this time. However, unlike most of their contemporaries, Kipling and Croker set their ghost stories outside of Britain, in colonial India. In these stories, the authors utilize isolation, weather, and hauntings to present a gritty and more realistic picture of life in India than their readers were accustomed to. The themes of isolation in these stories are used to demonstrate the perils of the resistance by British people in India to socializing with the native people of India. The weather is used as a commentary on the under-preparedness of the men and women who came to India and the consequences of their underestimation of natural hazards. Finally, the hauntings in these stories can be seen as the British imperialists being haunted by their own imperial practices, as the ghosts in both stories are British, not Indian. Through these stories, Kipling and Croker attempt to dispel some of the romantic illusions of the exotic reaches of the empire, while simultaneously criticizing elements of British imperial attitudes and practices.