British Literature an Elephant Shooting Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

E.M. Forster's the Life to Come, on the other hand, is a tale divided into four parts: Night, Evening, Day and Morning. Its main character is a young missionary by the name of Paul Pinmay who is sent to spread the word of Christ to the native people. All prior attempts to proselytise these people have failed. During his attempt he meets with the tribal chief, who approaches him to learn more about "this god whose name is Love." The two then sleep together and the tribe becomes Christian.

This leads to Pinmay being appointed by the Bishop to become the minister of the
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new district. The chief again asks Pinmay to sleep with him, and Pinmay orders the chief not to mention the night ever again. This causes the chief to question the new religion. Eventually this relationship dissolves and the story ends with the chief killing Pinmay.

Clearly, this story serves as a symbolic criticism of the British Empire's imperial role over native people. Pinmay represents the Briton point-of-view, essentially that they were better than the natives and thus could have it both ways. However, the chief and his actions show that both ways cannot be had, that you cannot preach love but then not follow through in terms of your actions.

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