The Creation of Diaspora and Its Historical Significance
The first in Amitav Ghosh’s new trilogy of novels, Sea of Poppies, is a stunningly vibrant and intensely human work. At the heart of this epic saga is a vast ship, the Ibis. Its destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean to the Mauritius Islands. As to the people on board, they are a motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts. In a time of colonial upheaval in the mid-nineteenth century, fate has thrown together a truly diverse cast of Indians and Westerners, from a bankrupt Raja to a widowed village woman, from a mulatto American to a free-spirited European orphan. As they sail down the Hooghly and into the sea, their old family ties are washed away, and they view themselves as jahaj-bhais, or ship-brothers, who will build whole new lives for themselves in the remote islands where they are being taken. It is the beginning of an unlikely dynasty. The historical adventure is played out in the poppy fields by the Ganga and relates to the opium wars of China.
This chapter seeks to study the emergence of the concept of diasporic entity and its existence in the multivocal global village of today’s time through the study of Ghosh’s novel.
KeywordsOpium Trade Caste System Indenture Labourer Oral Narrative Woman Character
- Ghosh, A. (2008). Sea of Poppies. New Delhi: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
- Mishra, V. (1996). New lamps for old diasporas: Migrancy border. In H. Trivedi & M. Mukherjee (Eds.), Interrogating post-colonialism: Theory, text, and context (pp. 65–85). Shimla: Indian Institute of Advanced Study.Google Scholar
- Paranjape, M. (2001). Displaced relations: Diasporas, empires, homelands. In M. Paranjape (Ed.), Diaspora: Theories, histories, texts (pp. 1–15). New Delhi: Indialog Publications.Google Scholar
- Satendra, N. (2001). The adventure of indenture: A diasporic identity. In M. Paranjpe (Ed.), In diaspora: Theories, histories, texts (pp. 257–285). New Delhi: Indialog Publications.Google Scholar