Cultural Encounter Analysis

712 Words3 Pages
If someone examined a dictionary, they might be astonished by the wide range of meanings the term 'Culture' has. Indeed, it is a notoriously difficult concept to outline while ‘Cultural Encounters’ is exceptionally clear in comparison. It merely encompasses how cultures interact, overlap, and transform. These encounters manifest in the form of conquest, submission, and exploitation. An obvious example is the British imperial forces. Another type is the peaceful conversion processes such as the missionaries dispatched to the powerful West African kingdom of Benin. Furthermore, they tend to occur throughout the interaction between two parties who operate according to different social norms. This essay is concerned with how this significant theme…show more content…
Cultural encounters have diverse impacts. They can result in culture shock which is precisely what our protagonist experienced. Upon his arrival to his destination, he was disoriented by the differences between the culture he abandoned and the one he landed in. In Bombay, he was completely free while his initial reaction to life in Washington is a lack of freedom. Unlike Bombay, certain unwritten rules are in place and certain things were expected of him. For instance, he can't walk barefoot and discovers that once he's barred entrance to a café. His employer pays him a small sum of money so that he can’t pursue enjoyment through leisure activities. However, this fact eludes him as a result of his nativity so he foolishly wastes his income. He slowly but surely yearned for his home but his request to return to it is denied. Eventually, it dawned on him that his autonomy was usurped and he retreated into…show more content…
Once he was eighteen, he ventured to England on a university scholarship, with the ambition of becoming a renowned author. After completing his course at Oxford, he worked part-time for the BBC on a world service program known as Caribbean Voices. While he was there, he began writing short stories. However, his reputation as a significant international writer was not established until the publication of his fourth book 'A House for Mr Biswas'. Following its major success, he began traveling the globe and writing about what he experienced. (Prescott, 2008, p.259) With regards to the author’s background, one can only assume that he was actually aware of the cultural encounter that occurred within this story but Santoch was not. From the beginning of the story, he did not strike me as the shrewd, cunning, and ingenious character that you would expect the protagonist to be. As the story developed his actions and choices proved my assumption. He was a weakling. Instead of forcing people to accept him, his culture, and his identity he blindly followed them and their beliefs on the expense of his own. He followed the proverb 'when in Rome do as the Romans do' but his course of action was wrong and it lead to his

    More about Cultural Encounter Analysis

      Open Document