Term of Award

Spring 2011

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Literature and Philosophy

Committee Chair

Joe Pellegrino

Committee Member 1

Gautam Kundu

Committee Member 2

Dustin Anderson

Abstract

This thesis traces the decline of the British Empire through the perspectives of prominent British authors, beginning with Rudyard Kipling's Kim, which establishes the height of the British Empire. Thereafter, the Empire's decline is incisively chronicled through the various catalysts that contributed to the overall demise of the Empire: E.M Forster illustrates the impact of the introduction of British women into India in A Passage to India; George Orwell demonstrates the significance of burgeoning native dissent and the empowerment of the compradore class in Burma in Burmese Days; Anthony Burgess offers an exhaustive fictional meditation of the zenith of native resistance in Malaysia in The Long Day Wanes; and finally, Paul Scott provides insight into the death of the Empire where the inversion of British and native authority in liberated India has occurred in Staying On.

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