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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 11 of 29 Student Paper struck by catastrophes such as diseases and natural disasters, χ 2 (1, N = 1016) = 3.4, p =0.06. Scenes were coded for the absence or presence of natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, severe thunderstorms, thunder, lightning, dust-storms, fire outbreaks, heat- waves and volcanic eruptions or diseases such as cholera, leprosy, rabies, ring worms, “Black Majubi” and plague. To illustrate, in The Rains Came, the fictitious Indian township that is portrayed faces such disasters as thunderstorms, floods, dam-breakings, earthquakes and epidemic outbreaks. Similarly, in movies such as the City of Joy, several Indians are shown undergoing physical suffering because of severe diseases such as leprosy. Scene locales. Scenes in India were much more likely (43.3%, N=256) than those in the West (7.3%, N=30) to have traditional stereotypical locales, χ 2 (1, N = 1016) = 148.3, p < .001. Stereotypical locales within the context of this study were defined based on prior research (Mitra, 1999) as places such as natural environments/ jungles, huts, temples, caves, palaces, bazaars and trains/railway stations. Non-stereotypical places included all other locales such as office, street, houses, apartments, shops, hotel/restaurant, barracks/garrison, prison, courts, schools and so on. The bazaar forms a unique and fascinating location for Western film-makers as a “urban jungle” that is crowded not with trees and undergrowth but people, shops and animals. The bazaar also becomes a place where “spectacles” and “mysteries” such as sword-eating, rope-walking, snake-charming, fire-walking and the like take place. Urban/rural places. Regardless of the particular locale, it was observed that scenes in India (58.1%, N=351) were significantly more likely than those in the West (16.5%,

Authors: Ramasubramanian, Srividya.
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background image
A Passage to India
Page 11 of 29
Student Paper
struck by catastrophes such as diseases and natural disasters,
χ
2
(1, N = 1016) = 3.4, p
=0.06. Scenes were coded for the absence or presence of natural disasters such as floods,
earthquakes, severe thunderstorms, thunder, lightning, dust-storms, fire outbreaks, heat-
waves and volcanic eruptions or diseases such as cholera, leprosy, rabies, ring worms,
“Black Majubi” and plague. To illustrate, in The Rains Came, the fictitious Indian
township that is portrayed faces such disasters as thunderstorms, floods, dam-breakings,
earthquakes and epidemic outbreaks. Similarly, in movies such as the City of Joy, several
Indians are shown undergoing physical suffering because of severe diseases such as
leprosy.
Scene locales. Scenes in India were much more likely (43.3%, N=256) than those
in the West (7.3%, N=30) to have traditional stereotypical locales,
χ
2
(1, N = 1016) =
148.3, p
< .001. Stereotypical locales within the context of this study were defined based
on prior research (Mitra, 1999) as places such as natural environments/ jungles, huts,
temples, caves, palaces, bazaars and trains/railway stations. Non-stereotypical places
included all other locales such as office, street, houses, apartments, shops,
hotel/restaurant, barracks/garrison, prison, courts, schools and so on.
The bazaar forms a unique and fascinating location for Western film-makers as a
“urban jungle” that is crowded not with trees and undergrowth but people, shops and
animals. The bazaar also becomes a place where “spectacles” and “mysteries” such as
sword-eating, rope-walking, snake-charming, fire-walking and the like take place.
Urban/rural places. Regardless of the particular locale, it was observed that scenes
in India (58.1%, N=351) were significantly more likely than those in the West (16.5%,


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