New England (North America) and the Coromandel Coast (India): Two British Colonies in the Late 1600s.
Bharati Mukherjee's The Holder of the World (1993) follows
the fictional story of a Puritan woman named Hannah Easton who lives
from 1670 to 1750. She is born in New England (in present-day
Massachusetts) where she spends the first twenty-two years of her life.
The novel, narrated by a woman named Beigh Masters who is living near
that area in the late 1980s, follows Hannah from when she is born in
1670 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony town of Brookfield to around 1700
when she is caught in a war between the real-life historical Mughal
(Muslim) Emperor Aurangzeb (1618-1707) and a fictional Hindu Raja (king)
named Jadav Singh on the Coromandel Coast on the east coast of India.
I want us to understand the two main regions that Hannah lives in a little better.
Study the description of the British colony in Salem, Massachusetts
at the beginning of Chapter Six of Part One (39) and search Part One for
descriptions of the Puritan culture that surrounds the young Hannah.
1. What are the differences and similarities between the
people and culture in and around the British colony in Salem in New
England (in Part One) and the people and culture in and around the
British colony in Fort St. Sebastian on the Coromandel Coast in India
(in Part Two)? Your response must quote or paraphrase at least TWO (2) distinct phrases or short passages from PART THREE (209-273) with in-text citations
(brackets with pages numbers as you would in an MLA Style essay) to
support your response. Provided the whole entry (your response to both
points) is at least 500 WORDS, the two citations will be worth TWO (2) points (one point per citation). ONE (1) more point will be devoted to a correctly-formatted MLA Style Works Cited list at the end of the whole entry (your response to both questions). This list will only contain one work The Holder of the World. Please study this sample MLA paper to format your Works Cited correctly. The total value of this question is THREE (3) points.
I cited some of the work from part three of my reading that I need
to use pick which ever two you think is most relateable
‘And now she was in
a totally Hindu world. Bhagmati seemed no longer a servant. Perhaps
she, Hannah, was about to become one’. (220)
‘the witch has
weakened him, this women has taken his manhood’. (251)
She would offer her
life, if necessary, to end the war. Only a person outside the pale of
the two civilizations could do it. Only a woman, a pregnant woman, a
pregnant white woman, had the confidence or audacity to try it. (259)
The Emperor asks
Hannah to go back to her native place ‘as woman serves man, man
serves the will of God. You have placed yourself, where no woman has
a right to be. I have decided to be merciful and return you to your
Raja Jadav Singh dies
with the promise that ‘You and Your child will always have a place.
As I promised.’(256)
Duty! Duty, judgement!
I have heard enough of duty. And of judgement. You cloak your lust
for vengeance and for gold and diamonds in the noble words of duty
and judgment and protection and sacrifice. But it is the weakest and
the poorest and the most innocent who suffer, who sacrifice, whose
every minute of every day is obedience to duty. (269)
The Emperor lifts the
diamond off from his crown and says:
I do no fight for
treasure and glory in this life. This diamond is the tear I shed as I
discharge my duty. That is why it is called the Emperor’s tear. The
dutiful and the innocent, if they are pure and if they submit, will
be judged by all-seeing, all-merciful Allah. The sum of their lives
will be weighed in the scales of judgement. (269)
This is no country for
Christians! She cried. This was not the place she wished to be
entombed. But where could she run to? She saw the folly of a
governess’s job in Cambridge. There would surely be no welcome
there for a pirate’s widow, and no place in old Salem for an Indian
lover’s daughter. (215)
Hannah’s whole life
is transformed once again, and she experiences the high tide of love,
and she discovers, ‘her own passionate nature for the first time,
the first hint that a world beyond duty and patience and wifely
service was possible, then desirable, then irresistible’. (237)
The Emperor replies,
‘a skillful ruler trusts no friend, no family member. Trust only
the hunting tiger or the vengeful enemy. The survivor is he who
distrusts his own shadow. He destroys himself who does not submit’.
Venn guides her into a
belief in design and a knowledge of “a cosmic energy that quickens
and governs the universe” (219)
she wasn‟t Hannah
anymore; she was Mukta, Bhagmati‟s word for “Pearl”.
“the survivor is the
one who improvises, not follows, the rules” (234).
“that a world beyond
duty and patience and wifely service was possible, then desirable,
then irresistible” (237).