Prof. Bassim Al-Gizawi
Liberty and Dissatisfaction in Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
And E. M Forsters A Passage to India
We are born free this aboriginal notion inside each one, is a strong incentive for achieving liberty spiritually and martially. Human being by his innate nature refuses to be controlled by external or even sometimes internal restrictions, always he is in search of a way to break the barriers. Whatever the relations are strong between humans, yet still it is not acceptable to be controlled by others, or controlled by social and conventional barriers.
We have this tendency for freedom.
This aboriginal notion deliberated by many poets, dramatists, novelists, they made it a rich material for their writings, that was a good point which made them gain a wide reputation and success, they reached to the deepest point in human mind, that they explained things inside human even not realized by himself.
What contributes more to this spread and success is the conditions that they were living all over the world, in all its continents and countries, the internal and external struggles, the conflicts, the occupation, colonialism and its sequences, economic and political developments are all important factors that shaped a new kind of writings. Works of art at that period are tends to depict realty and consciousness.
Nationalism, this notion which evokes the unity with a nation gives a strong motivation for anti-colonial movements in consequence of colonialism. Language and culture were major factors in integrating the sense of national identity to combat the influence of colonialism. People shared this national community taking advantage of printing press, newspapers and magazines. The post-colonial literature helped to integrate that national identity in anti-colonial conflicts and also evaluated the European colonial parentage.
The protagonist of James Joyce Stephen is a representative character of some details of the author’s own life, so much events which took place in this novel are viewed as a very significant for the developing artist. Joyce poses dissatisfaction as a must for the evolution of the artist. The main hero’s (Stephen Dedalus ) unhappiness with everything around him ,his family , his Jesuit school ,his setting in general ,are major factors to the consequent transformation (from observant child to a blooming writer ) .
Till the time he is aware, that his talent is to become a writer, he feels purposeless, isolated and not sure. Anyway , it is very obvious for the readers to feel that he is never arrived at this epilogue without subjecting a phase of thorough resentment .Stephen Dedalus is giving the priority to his family considering it as a fundamental in his life , when he is at school , he feels very anxious to go back home enjoying the atmosphere of family ,in fact he was a kind of blind on his genuine feelings that he wants to be free of commitment spiritually and martially , he is following the principles and thoughts of his parents whether religiously or nationally ,yet there inside him is found a seed for liberating from these restrictions , he doesnt become aware of this till he reaches maturity and becomes independent in his life .
We have almost the same internal and external struggle in the character of Dr. Aziz in E .M. Forster A passage to India , this character shares certain aspects with Stephen Dedalus . Dr.Aziz is also carrying this tremendous love ,respect , gratitude and loyalty to his family , religion and to his nation ,he has this feeling from his childhood and continues to the rest of his life , which is the opposite of Stephen Dedalus ,Dr.Aziz is certain of his orientations and never to feel them as imposed or unwillingly follow them , the roots of belongingness are planted inside him and grow greater and greater .An important factor should be taken in consideration is the difference between Stephen and Dr.Aziz concerning the
feeling of liberty ,it grows in Stephen due to family problems and conflict but with Dr.Aziz it is out of the political and social conflict in his country .
The status of the colonialist India and the rude social discrimination for natives by the colonialists arose the feelings and needs to be liberated. Both of the novels are dealing with a topic that considers a worldwide one, what reinforce it more was the bad political and economical conditions that many parts of the word were living it, and this effected the writings of authors to choose such sensitive subject to write about.
Dehumanizing , also is a consequent of these conflicts , as we can see in Joyce’s protagonist as being beaten by his tutor when he didnt do his homework , his glass were broken this was the cause, but the cruelty and dehumanizing of father accepted no excuses , Stephen got a harsh beats one on each hand , but this gives him more courage to refuse this dehumanizing treatment , rejecting this action , Stephen went to the rector telling him what happened ,the spirit of liberation and freedom encourages him to do so , he is not convinced with this .
We can see this spirit of resistance for injustice dehumanizing, with Dr.Aziz too .He is a well educated doctor ,yet this doesnt prevent the colonialists from dehumanizing him and the other Indians too. He refuses this low attitude toward them, his attitudes are generalized to all British even though he has intimate relations with some effective characters from British society. Dr.Aziz eventually decided to cut of any relation with his British friends , he cant tolerate the feeling of being ruled by strangers who
manipulates their economic and cultural resources, and at the same time they receive humiliation and ignorance from the colonialists who carries this ethical and racist behaviors towards them.
Both of the novels are carrying the aspects of resistance and racism, which resulted in unleashing the need for being free and liberated, though the circumstances are different but the result is the same everywhere in the world.
In A Passage to India, life in Chandrapore , in general not in there too but also all over the British empire , is very affected by the racism , putting all the white Europeans on one side, and all other races on the other. Indians are called as “Orientals,” an archaic racial term that was used to refer to everyone settles east of Europe, from Turkey all the way out to China. Orientals were simply regarded to be peculiar, sensitive, inefficient, and residual, on the contrary of the speculative, urban, advanced Westerner. Thus Orientals, such as the Indians in A Passage to India, were considered unable to rule themselves, basically in need for the British Empire to lead them towards civilization (in spite of the fact that they had civilizations for their own). Even as the novel criticizes this stereotyping of Orientals or “Orientalism” it is itself not entirely free of the Orientalist attitude. The novelist makes wide popularization about Orientals, about their psychology and their sexuality, that shows how firm the Orientalist viewpoint is even in a novel that is sympathetic to them.
It is for sure that these ideas are the limited possessions or innovation of Western civilization. Forster’s novel itself recalls both Muslim and Hindu practices to show how there is a universal practice at work weaving the fabric of a common humanity.
Yet in this novel the concentration is on what happens to the arrogant Western ideals when they restricted in a morally distorted institution as the British Empire. The leaders on British colonials are all in a conflict between their essential desire to humiliate native Indians, and their commitment to uphold the best features of British culture and Western civilization.
Beside racism, gender also splits colonial society. British colonial society in India, made up as it is of administrators and their wives, is not exactly a reduced English society it resorts to aggravate whatever is most conservative and traditional about English culture, including a traditional attitude toward women as the much weaker sex. The common idea is that Englishwomen are in need of a white male, specifically a knight with his armor to rescue them from lusting Orientals, so the character of Adella as an example of those Englishwomen, is in need for that night to rescue her from DrAziz and that knight must be a racist too. This attitude modifies the idea that Englishwomen are much more racist than Englishmen and this is to demonstrate their weakness
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is an autobiographical account of the adolescence and youth of Stephen Dedalus, who comes to realize that before he can be a true artist he must rid himself of the stultifying effects of the religion, politics, and essential bigotry of Ireland.