Stoler and Orwell

I found Stoler’s discussion of the “interior frontier” very intriguing. To think of mixed blood offspring as such a threat politically, morally, and sexually raises a lot of questions about the colonial enterprise and the civilizing mission. When paired with Burmese Days modern readers are also able to get a sense of what living at that time in those places might have been like.

Orwell has been described by some as a realist in his works. I can see that. His style of writing is very different from Conrad’s. Where Conrad would use close-up imagery to let his readers feel the tone Orwell takes it step by step. He explains things in detail in a matter-of-fact manner. He is also not like Forster who had the ability to make sweeping movements in his descriptive passages. Orwell uses the surface as something smooth and slippery, like it could reflect us but not let us see into the depths of the picture. This is why I can feel frustration, like the sweltering heat he describes, build and latch onto the characters like the crowd did in Shooting and Elephant. The sense that imperialism has that kind of weight on a writer says a lot about society. In this way, what is important is the emotional truth of Orwell’s work.

I think this can compare to Stoler’s article. The metissage really had no outlet. They were not allowed to be fully European nor could they be a native in everyone’s eyes. I can see where this is especially true with women who married native men and their children. If political rights were divvied out through the father’s side, the children would not have the same rights as their mother and this could be a disadvantage in regards to future education, marriageability, and careers. However, if the children were given the same or similar rights to their mother this could be hard on the family in that it might undermine the father’s role in the home. The repressive nature in the latter years of the colonial period can be seen through both tough legislations and works of fiction.