Colonialism and Morality in The Moonstone and The Man Who Would Be King

Colonialism and Morality in The Moonstone and The Man Who Would Be King

Let us presuppose to begin with that the cursed jewel is an impossibility and the powers of the Moonstone or any other gem for that matter only exist on an atomic level ( i.e. the energies which bind such objects together and make them what they are). Additionally it should be considered that no such object is the means by which a being exerts powers and no such object consciously exerts powers itself. Notions of the cursed or powerful jewel can be seen as a bi-product of what Said terms “Orientalism.” Said describes “The Orient” as “almost a European invention,” a place of “exotic beings and remarkable experiences.” (Ashcroft et al ed. p.87) This hypothesis adequately compliments Wilkie Collins’ characterisation of the eponymous jewel in The Moonstone and the moral pattern the author forms around its adventures.

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In the Nineteenth Century the jewel was the ultimate exotic object, Collins describes the Moonstone as “a yellow diamond- a famous gem in the native annals of India,” (Collins p.33) and clearly credits influence to the Koh-i-Noor in his preface to the novel. Collins builds upon the alien nature of such an object utilising the perceived mysticism of the Orient linking the jewel to a “four handed Indian God” (Collins p.33) [Said’s “exotic being” ?] and superstition, the notion of the jewel “feeling the influence of the deity who adorned it” (Collins p.33) [“remarkable experiences” to Said?]. Collins rapidly develops the exotic object into the cursed object primarily to create a long involving tale with a successfully satisfying denouement. the novel is, of course foremost a detective story; how memorable or lengthy a tale would it have been if the…

…———————————————-Controlling of persons. Tolerated Peachy Carnahan (book).(Pseudo-looting in of the crown?)—————————————————————————————Innocent appreciation Good Imperialism. Franklin Blake, Rachel Verrinder, Mrof native culture. Murthwaite, Narrator of The Man Who Would BeKing (Kipling?)————————————————————————————–


Collins, Wilkie The Moonstone London: Penguin 1966

Kipling, Rudyard The Man Who Would Be King and Other Stories London: Granada 1975

The Post-Colonial Studies Reader e. Ashcroft, Griffith, Tiffin, London: Routledge 1995

The Man Who Would Be King dir. John Huston 1975


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