Marriage and nation: Victorian literature, the Anglo-Indian tradition, and the 19th-century Indian novel
Doctor of Philosophy
My project looks at the ways that the marriage plot in three literary contexts (Victorian fiction, 19th-century Anglo-Indian fiction, and 19th-century Indian fiction) allegorizes questions of independence and imperialism in both Victorian England and 19th -century India. I argue that in many instances marriage is liberating for Indian women and confining for Victorian women; the ramifications of this argument on idioms of freedom and choice are crucial to critical issues such as nationalism and imperialism. To this end, I have examined works such as Jane Eyre, Dombey and Son, The Moonstone, Seeta, The Slaying of Meghanada, and Anandamath. Looking at imperialism through an analysis of the marriage plot will allow a literary relationship to be plotted along the axes of marriage and nation in both 19th-century India and Victorian England.
Comparative literature; Asian literature; English literature