Chapter

The Invitation’s Success

Benjamin Bateman

in The Modernist Art of Queer Survival

Published in print December 2017 | ISBN: 9780190676537
Published online October 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190676568 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190676537.003.0005

Series: Modernist Literature and Culture

The Invitation’s Success

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This chapter argues that E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India conceives survival not as an individual and competitive struggle but as a careful succession of creaturely life. As Mrs. Moore cultivates intimate contact with wasps, trees, and bacteria in India, she comes to see her life as both fundamentally intertwined with the lives of other creatures and constituted by organisms that preceded her in time. Thinking survival in collective terms, she breaks with the rigid racial hierarchies of the British Empire and splinters into a multitude of rallying cries for, and echoes of, Indian independence.

Keywords: British Empire; bacteria; succession; creaturely; echo; England

Chapter.  13912 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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