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A Passage to India: Images of India in U.K/U.S Feature Films from 1930-2000
Unformatted Document Text:  A Passage to India Page 10 of 29 Student Paper example in Wee Willie Winkie, a British general instructs his soldiers that in India “the sun can kill a man just as surely, just as swift as a naked bullet.” Similarly, in keeping with stereotypical notions about Indian monsoons, India was also featured as much more likely to have rains (4.5% of the scenes, N=27) as compared to the West (0.7% of the scenes, N=3), χ 2 (1, N = 1016) = 11.9, p < 0.005. It is to be noted that the rains seen in these movies were almost always torrential downpours rather than gentle drizzles. In the City of Joy, the monsoons are depicted as a blessing leading to prosperity. In The Rains Came, rains form a central role in the plot set in a fictitious town called Ranchipur in India. Here the rains are depicted as a good fortune that people pray for but a force that eventually leads to death and destruction. Pollution. India was much more likely to be portrayed as polluted (15.5% of scenes, N=94) as compared to the West (1.7% of scenes, N=7), χ 2 (1, N = 1016) = 52.3, p < 0.001. Pollution was defined as the absence or presence of dirty/dusty streets, unclean waters, overflowing sewers, marshy streets, spoilt foods, presence of garbage, noisy locales or overcrowded places (especially bazaars, trains and stations) in a given scene. Apart from such visual depicters of pollution, there were also several characters that made verbal references to pollution. For example in Wee Willie Winkie, a British sergeant reprimands a British boy thus: “How many times have I told you that in India everything has to be sterilized – the food you eat, the water you drink?” and at another time, a young American girl is told: “Don’t eat any fresh fruit, don’t drink any water from the spoils, don’t ever go out of the Army gates. Keep out of the sun.” Calamities. Scenes with India as its background were marginally more likely (1.8%, N=11) than those with Western countries as its background (0.5%, N=2) to be

Authors: Ramasubramanian, Srividya.
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A Passage to India
Page 10 of 29
Student Paper
example in Wee Willie Winkie, a British general instructs his soldiers that in India “the
sun can kill a man just as surely, just as swift as a naked bullet.”
Similarly, in keeping with stereotypical notions about Indian monsoons, India was also
featured as much more likely to have rains (4.5% of the scenes, N=27) as compared to the
West (0.7% of the scenes, N=3),
χ
2
(1, N = 1016) = 11.9, p
< 0.005. It is to be noted that
the rains seen in these movies were almost always torrential downpours rather than gentle
drizzles. In the City of Joy, the monsoons are depicted as a blessing leading to prosperity.
In The Rains Came, rains form a central role in the plot set in a fictitious town called
Ranchipur in India. Here the rains are depicted as a good fortune that people pray for but
a force that eventually leads to death and destruction.
Pollution. India was much more likely to be portrayed as polluted (15.5% of
scenes, N=94) as compared to the West (1.7% of scenes, N=7),
χ
2
(1, N = 1016) = 52.3, p
< 0.001. Pollution was defined as the absence or presence of dirty/dusty streets, unclean
waters, overflowing sewers, marshy streets, spoilt foods, presence of garbage, noisy
locales or overcrowded places (especially bazaars, trains and stations) in a given scene.
Apart from such visual depicters of pollution, there were also several characters that
made verbal references to pollution. For example in Wee Willie Winkie, a British sergeant
reprimands a British boy thus: “How many times have I told you that in India everything
has to be sterilized – the food you eat, the water you drink?” and at another time, a young
American girl is told: “Don’t eat any fresh fruit, don’t drink any water from the spoils,
don’t ever go out of the Army gates. Keep out of the sun.”
Calamities. Scenes with India as its background were marginally more likely
(1.8%, N=11) than those with Western countries as its background (0.5%, N=2) to be


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