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Indian Contempt for Imperialism

"Bride and Prejudice"

“Bride and Prejudice”

Filled with pride and driven with the false assumptions that the world should be “cleansed,” becoming one unified culture lacking difference and unfamiliarity, imperialists tend to impose their ideas upon others. Often believing their own cultures to be superior, Englishmen have become known for imperialism, and Americans are now infamous for spreading their ways across the globe. With fears of imperialism rising in India, history and media continue to spread messages of concern. From the acts of Gandhi, to the movie, Bride and Prejudice, based off of Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice, imperialism remains the enemy.

True to their culture, Indians become defensive against imperialism, each in his own individual way. Famous for his nonviolent rebellions and ways of life, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi became and Indian leader, defying imposed ideas and spreading his knowledge, wisdom, and peaceful ways. “In the end, you will walk out. Because 100,000 Englishmen simply cannot control 350 million Indians, if those Indians refuse to cooperate,” he remarked. Sharing these ideas, Lalita Bakshi from the film, Bride and Prejudice, rejected Mr. Darcy, the American businessman. Upset with the American businesses encroaching on India and converting the country from its true Indian roots into an American paradise, Lalita shares her opinions with Mr. Darcy and refuses him from sheer prejudice. Both feeling helplessly attacked, Gandhi and Lalita retaliate against their foreign enemies and eventually succeed.

Upset with the careless ignorance of the Englishmen and the Americans, Indians try to cry out. Against imperialism and frustrated with the changes imposed upon them, Indians create groups and rebel, or create movies and share their opinions. By taking a familiar English book and twisting it to show our faults, the message against imperialism was clearly delivered. With a firm belief and true loyalty to their country, Indians support Lalita’s message about standards, “Don’t force them on others.”


Unveiling Poverty

“Slumdog Millionaire”

All throughout history and all over the world, poverty plagues the world. People continually seek solution to this, including Jonathan Swift in his writing, A Modest Proposal: For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to their Parents or Country, and for making them Beneficial to the Public. While Swift writes about poverty in Ireland, it is not the only country suffering. India is another country dealing with a poor economy and the movie Slumdog Millionaire shows this through the flashbacks of a homeless child named Jamal. Relating Jamal’s life events to the ideas brought up by Jonathan Swift help unveil the dark truths of poverty and stir emotions to find a solution.

Desperate to end his impoverished lifestyle, Jamal Malik became a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?. After each question, life experiences return to him and help him find the right answer. The movie opens on a ghetto part of India filled with crowded streets and beggars around every corner. “It is a melancholy object to those who walk through this great town or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads, and cabin doors, crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rages,” writes Swift, seemingly describing Jamal’s flashback. After observing the poor environment, Jamal grew up in, the first question is introduced.

When the famous Indian movie star, Amitalo came to town, the streets flushed to his location as if he was a magnet attracting metal. It was through this craze that Jamal remembered having to jump into human feces because of the city’s poor sanitation to meet his idol. From this memory, Jamal was able to answer the question.

Because Jamal had not received a proper education, he was forced to use a lifeline when asked to recall a famous Indian saying. Not relevant to his life, the knowledge was not necessary for him to live.

Another question was answered when asked what a Hindu God was holding. Jamal recalled watching his mother as she was murdered. Running through the streets, Jamal saw a child dressed like the God holding a bow and an arrow. From then on, Jamal was forced to live on his own without his mother, making his life even more difficult. “Mothers…are forced to employ all their time in strolling to beg sustenance for their helpless infants: who as they grow up [and] turn thieves for want of work,” but without his mother, the burden was passed to Jamal and his brother Salim.

Jamal continues to answer questions using accounts from his own life that illustrate situations Jonathan Swift writes about. Both sought to end poverty and seek better lives for those who had nothing. Through Slumdog Millionaire, one can view the poor environments that A Modest Proposal: For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to their Parents or Country, and for making them Beneficial to the Public tries to address. Poverty eliminates jobs, strengthens religion, and ends conflict, and the problem is too obvious and rampant to be ignored.


There Will Be Holy, Ironic Blood

There Will Be Blood

There Will Be Blood

From the pages of a book to the scenes of a film, stories can present deep, complicated situations and ideas to their audiences. Allusions are made, irony is created, and themes are introduced. While watching Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2007 film, There Will Be Blood, one must come prepared with a knowledge of the Holy Bible and keep an open mind to pick up on everything the film offers and understand the unexpected irony. This film challenges its viewers to comprehend the thick plots and ideas that originated from Upton Sinclair’s novel, Oil! Thrusting biblical allusions and literary irony upon them.

Names and titles can be important clues and allusions in any story just as they are in There Will Be Blood. While each major character’s name can be found in the Holy Bible, from Able, Mary, and Eli, to Daniel, some grant a deeper meaning to a character with hidden meaning in the name’s literal definition. Most can instantly relate Mary to the mother of Jesus Christ, the innocent virgin that delivered God’s son to the Earth, but others will not understand “Daniel’s” direct translation to “judgement by God” or “God is my judge.” Mary is automatically recognized as an innocent protagonist because of her name, but Daniel’s traits are more hidden. His name suggests that he is constantly being judged by God with each act the he commits. From this judgement, he is faced with hardships and punishments. Daniel is not only judged, himself, but also feels he has the power to evaluate others just as God would. “I am the Church of the Third Revolution!” he exclaims, sharing his views of his power and righteousness.

Characters aren’t the only ones to receive names from the Bible, however. The film’s changed name, There Will Be Blood, originates from quotes in the holy volume. From Exodus 7:19, God explains to Moses “that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt,” as he foreshadows the striking down of the country to bring the Pharaoh down from his pedestal of power, a privilege he has been misusing and neglecting. God lusts for destruction just as Daniel lusted for money and desired for something that should not be the final goal.

The title, There Will Be Blood, can also call Hebrew 9:22 its birthplace. “Without the shedding of blood, there can be no remission of sins.” The theme is constantly present within the film and gives Daniel a motive to end Henry and Eli’s lives and to end situations through violence. Daniel does not hesitate to use violence to get what he desires and knows that sooner or later, there will be blood.

By achieving what he strives for, Daniel ironically brings about his own demise. Living a life of loneliness, Daniel seeks love and family, wishing to find blood of resemblance. Not trusting and conflicting with those around him, he ends up ruining all the people who could have been family to him. His son is driven away, his half-brother is killed, and his brother-in-law is brought to an end, leaving Daniel with nothing left in his life although he has everything. This unusual situation is symbolically shown in the final scene of the movie when Daniel is found sleeping in his house. Succeeding enough to own his own bowling alley, Daniel is left to sleep “in the gutter” with his alcohol pressed tightly against him. All of his riches and achievements become useless and meaningless.

Of all the people that Daniel announced that he didn’t like, Eli must have been his most loathed enemy. Seeing him for the fake prophet that he was, Daniel could not bear Eli and was annoyed and offended by his presence. Constantly fighting with him, he tried to prove his power over Eli and his greater capabilities. Daniel never pauses from judging those around him and spends a great deal of attention and energy judging Eli. Daniel finds his mistakes and loathes the flaws that Eli possesses, yet Daniel possesses many of the same flaws, himself. Daniel and Eli are very similar, almost the same person, but dislike each other greatly. They are each other’s own images, yet don’t quite realize the odd occurrence.

There Will Be Blood delivers a unique blend of motifs and themes that relies on its biblical allusions and odd irony to completely reach the viewer. Carefully constructed by Paul Thomas Anderson, this film combines holy words with unusual situations and grants a mentally stimulating moment of entertainment that continues to question the viewers event after the final, shocking scene of irony is conveyed. From Upton Sinclair’s novel, Oil!, Anderson has created an award-winning theatrical movie that many argue is his best work filled with many intelligent references and interesting dilemmas.