British Colonial Rule Expressed Through Symbolism in the Post Office

Topics: British Raj, British Empire, United Kingdom Pages: 4 (1332 words) Published: March 17, 2011
British Colonial Rule Expressed Through Symbolism in The Post Office

In the later nineteenth century, the value of India as the second center of the British Empire became more than ever an axiom of British thinking. This was partly because company rule was replaced by the direct control of the London government. It mainly reflected on the rising contribution that India made to the world-system. While Brittan had lost many of its colonies, it still held onto India. British rule in India had always been an awkward compromise between principle and practice. Many Indians wanted to emancipate themselves from British rule and regain their sovereignty. However, many Indians benefited from British rule and were content with the status quo. The British had founded their rule on the promise of social and economic improvement based on what the annual reports of the Indian government were to call “moral and material progress” (Darwin, pg. 180). India’s contribution to British world power was not left to chance or self-interest; it was shaped by British rule. The British Colonialism in India influenced controversial political views of which Tagore’s play, The Post Office, succeeds in expressing through symbolism within the characters in three ways; Indians who follow and are content with British rule, transitional Indians, and Indians who rebel. Tagore was an Indian under British colonial rule. Throughout the play Tagore's symbols help explain the state of India during the British Empire.

The Post Office introduces us to the Doctor. He is the man who diagnoses Amal and who will not let him leave the house because he is sick. The doctor symbolizes the British Empire or British rule. All the characters throughout the play respect him; some characters encourage Amal to listen to his decisions. Characters that encourage Amal to listen to the physician would be the Indians content with British rule. Indians who were content with the British Empire were easily influenced by...

Cited: Greenwald, Schultz, Pomo “The Longman Anthology of Drama and Theater: A Global Perspective” 2001 Pearson Education, Inc. 2010
Tagore “The Post Office” The Longman Anthology of Drama and Theater... 1914 Pearson Education, Inc. 2010
Ambirajan, S. “Classical, Political, Economy and British Policy in India” 1978 Cambridge University Press 2010.
Bayly, C.A. “Origins of Nationality in South Asia: Patriotism and Ethical Government in the Making of Modern India” 1998 Oxford University Press 2010
James, Lawrence “Raj: The Making and Unmaking of British India” 1997 Little, Brown and Co. 2010
Darwin, John “The Empire Project: The Rise and Fall of the British World-System 1830-1970” 2009 Cambridge University Press 2010
Roy, Kaushik “The Oxford Campanion to Modern Warfare in India From the Eighteenth Century to Present Times” 2009 Oxford University Press 2010
Hyam, Ronald “Britain’s Declining Empire: The Road to Decolonisation 1918-1968” 2006 Cambridge University Press 2010
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