Heat and dust Analysis
In the novel H&D, Ruth Jhabvala uses the presence of heat and dust to represent the stress and effects india has on characters and the relationship between characters and culture The presence of heat and dust acts as a motif to represent the stress and effects india has on characters and the relationships between characters.
Heat and dust is a very important factor in the story not only as the title of the book but also as a symbol. DUST: the purpose of dust is to represent the frustrating effect of india on the characters through the setting. Dust has an annoying characteristic and is often seen as a polluting element.
Especially dust: the sides of the bus are open with only bars across them so that the hot winds blow in freely, bearing desert sands to choke up ears and nostrils and set one’s teeth on edge with grit”. Anne describes dust as the major element present in an old town which has been left behind, and is the factor which is uncomforting to her.
The writer uses diction such as choke, on edge, grit and the distressing tone to create an unpleasant imagery illustrating troubles and hardships of everyday locals in india. “Dust storms have started blowing all day, all night. Hot winds whistle columns of dust out of the desert into the town; the air is choked with dust and so are all one’s senses.
Leaves that were once green are now ashen, and they toss around as in a dervish dance. Everyone is restless, irritable, on the edge of something. It is impossible to sit, stand, lie, every position is uncomfortable and one’s mind is too in turmoil” (pg69). The extract describes the dust storm in india and how it causes everyone to be uncomfortable and restless. And it further support the unpleasant imagery created using the diction and tone.
This further promote the motif of dust and how it symbolizes the irrating effects of india’s environment people In another extract in the story, jhabvala uses dust again to illustrate to the readers olivia’s bad persective towards the indian environment and how she feels discomfort from the dust as seen ain the quote: “the landscape which, a few weeks earlier, had been blotted out by dust was now hazy with moisture” Not only is dust used to represent the frustrating effects of india on characters, it helps to showt he cultural displacement and the discomfort the british experiences in india. The dust helps to illustrate to readers the overall negative and bad perspective from the british
HEAT: The heat acts as a motif to symbolize the tension in the relationships between characters in the novel. It is often mentioned as a type of suffering where the characters are unable to stand it. “As the glow faded and sky and air and water turned pale and silver and the birds fell asleep in the dark trees and now only soundless bats flitted black across the silver sky at the lovely hour she died” (pg100), Jhabvala uses words such as pale , silver, dark, soundless, silver sky to create an imagery which is contrasting heat to emphasis more on the absence of it and to create the pleasant and calm tone.
The absence of heat also builds the pleasant and relaxed mood of leelavati’s death because heat represents the tension and without heat it illustrate that there is no strain during her death. Jhabvala uses the heat to illustrate the character’s love and hate relationship with india, its people and its culture. “She hadn’t asked herself if that before, had vaguely thought it was too hot or she didn’t feel like it. But there was something more and she tried to think what could be”. The author uses juxtaposition to draw a connection between heat olivia’s feelings of negativity. In this quote the writier implies heat as one of the factors contributing to why olive hasn’t played piano.