Daniel Schönbauer (Ed.)

Postcolonial Indian Experiences, page 38 - 113

Teaching the Faces of a Rising Nation

1. Edition 2020, ISBN print: 978-3-8288-4293-9, ISBN online: 978-3-8288-7205-9,

Tectum, Baden-Baden
Bibliographic information
Part A FROM EMPIRE TO GLOBALIZATION: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES 39 An Invitation to Colonial India – Alice Perrin’s “The Rise of Ram Din” Natascha Münnich 1 Introduction As prescribed by the Common European Framework Intercultural Communicative Competence, in short ICC, is the main goal of foreign language teaching (Müller-Hartmann & Schocker-v. Ditfurth 2014: 18). To realise this, literature is taught because it serves as “authentic material” (ibid.: 120). To help to achieve ICC regarding the Asian countries, an increasing number of German federal states deal with the topic of India in English as a Foreign Language, short EFL, classroom (cf. Wandel 2013: 387). The growing popularity of Indian literature can also be seen at German universities, where it is taught in many courses at present (Lindner 2008: 8). But why India? English is the leading second language in this country (ibid.) due to the colonisation that lasted until 1949. About 35 million English-speaking people live in India, which makes the country “the largest English-speaking community outside the USA and the UK” (British Library, n.d.). One possibility to deal with India in the EFL classroom is given in this term paper on the basis of the short story “The Rise of Ram Din” by Alice Perrin. Alice Perrin, born in India and the child of British colonisers, lived from 1867 – 1934, consequently during the time of the British Raj1. She was an Anglo-Indian novelist and short story writer, whose main focus laid on the British colonial experience in India, which she had made herself to some extent (cf. Victorian Secrets, n.d.). Her short story dealt with in this term paper is about a servant, 1 The rule by the British Crown in the Indian subcontinent. 40 called Ram Din, and how he gains power not by means of rebellious behaviour but by just obeying orders. The aim of this term paper is to examine to what extent the short story “The Rise of Ram Din” is suitable for the EFL classroom. Additionally, the perspective of Postcolonial Studies in the EFL classroom is analysed by taking a closer look at several postcolonial concepts. In order to do that, this paper is organised as follows: It is divided into four sections, beginning with an analysis of the short story in accordance with its prevalent postcolonial key concepts. The second section analyses the short story from the point of view of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), focusing on its suitability for the classroom while weighing its chances and challenges. Afterwards, some suggestions for possible activities divided into pre-, while- and postreading activities are given. They are designed in order to secure the pupils’ understanding of the short story and to promote their ICC. In the end, a conclusion, which answers the research question regarding the suitability for the EFL classroom and points at perspectives for further research, is given. 2 Postcolonial Key Concepts in Alice Perrin’s “The Rise of Ram Din” Postcolonialism is “a field of study concerned with the critical analysis of the ideological impact of Western imperialism and its continuing influence” (Chandler & Munday 2016). Several postcolonial key concepts occurring in the short story can be differentiated, which help it to become more authentic regarding the colonial setting. In the following, these are discussed while their occurrence in the story is considered as well. The prevalent concepts are ‘Colonial Discourse’ and ‘Orientalism’ including ‘Othering’. 2.1 ‘Colonial Discourse’ ‘Colonial Discourse’ is the main concept behind Postcolonialism. The term builds up on Michael Foucault’s concept of discourse, meaning a “system of statements within which the world can be known” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 51). Furthermore, Foucault states that by discourse, the dominant people impose their beliefs upon the inferiors who are controlled by that discourse (Wisker 2007: 177) since language is a powerful tool. Therefore, discourse can manipulate the way people look at things and sometimes even give the possibility to silence certain groups (ibid.: 42). 41 Edward Said expands the concept of discourse by connecting colonialism to it and coined the term ‘Colonial Discourse’. It denotes novels, anthropological and historical publications, as well as parliamentary speeches, etc., which ‘describe’ the experience of colonisation from the colonialists’ point of view (cf. Innes 2007: 235). In these, the colonised people and the colonisers are related to as binary opposites: the colonised are described as immature, uncivilized and/or savage people and the colonisers as superior ones, opposed to the colonised. Furthermore, colonisers are represented in a positive light using the colonised’s attitude of immaturity and being primitive. The following quote by Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin (2013) verifies this point: Colonial Discourse tends to exclude statements about the exploitation of the resources of the colonized, the political status accruing to colonizing powers, the importance to domestic politics of the development of an empire, all of which may be compelling reasons for maintaining colonial ties. Rather it conceals these benefits in statements about the inferiority of the colonized, the primitive nature of other races, the barbaric depravity of colonized societies, and therefore the duty of the imperial power to reproduce itself in the colonial society. (51-52) Colonised people are clearly seen as savage, not being able to live a ‘normal’ life – at least in the coloniser’s eyes. Within ‘Colonial Discourse’, Europe is seen as the centre, whose inhabitants are welleducated, share certain social conventions and have functioning political structures, opposed to the colonised people. Therefore, the impression of the need for improvement in the colony is given, which manifests itself in advancing its population by improving trade, administration and culture. (ibid.: 52). Additionally, the colonisers do not only improve the existing system, but they impose their own values, norms and technological progress on the colonies. ‘Colonial Discourse’ clearly is a vehicle for power, which is seen in the given descriptions. There is a need of the colonised to challenge ‘Colonial Discourse’ in order to express their own view (Wisker 2007: 177), which is often done as can be seen in stories by e.g. Salman Rushdie. Writing offers the possibility to express oneself in an autonomous way. The colonised can try to refute their inferior and primitive image, evoked by the colonisers, and express their difference when comparing to the 42 colonisers. Consequently, there is a chance of gaining more power and being heard. This phenomenon is also called ‘Writing Back’. There are two more terms, which are connected to ‘Colonial Discourse’. The first one is ‘Ambivalence’. It was adapted by Homi K. Bhaba and “it describes the complex mix of attraction and repulsion that characterises the relationship between coloniser and colonised” (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 13). What is meant here is that on the one hand, the settlers can be regarded as exploitative or on the other hand as caring. According to Bhaba (1994), ‘Colonial Discourse’ is always ambivalent since the colonised are wished to but shall never exactly resemble the colonisers (cf. 122). A paradoxical concept connected is ‘Mimicry’, whereby on the one hand the colonisers want the colonised people to look or act like themselves and on the other hand the colonised people use this as a mockery against the colonisers (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013: 155). Furthermore, Antonio Gramsci adopted the term ‘Subaltern’ that denotes “those groups in society who are subject to the hegemony of the ruling class” for example peasants or workers (ibid.: 244). Taking ‘Colonial Discourse’ into account, the colonised are the subaltern, regarded as inferior by the colonisers. Of course, Perrin writes this short story to express her experiences with British colonialism in India but as Ram Din, the Indian servant, is her first-person narrator, it is not done out of the colonialist’s view. Nevertheless, the distinction and tensions between the coloniser and the colonised can also be identified within the story “The Rise of Ram Din”. Ram Din and Kullan, the two servants, are definitely portrayed as inferior. Firstly, proven by their position as servants and secondly the ‘engineer-sahib’ can treat them however he likes to, no matter if it is violent or not, which shows his superiority and power: “but the sahib dragged him over the floor till his coat came off in the sahib’s hand, and he kicked the man along the ground like a game ball [...] Then the sahib went to his room and lay on the bed and slept” (Perrin 1906: 332). Ram Din is presented as quite primitive as he does not think about the consequences leaving Kullan for several days in the lamp go-down. He is just focused on obeying the engineer-sahib’s orders. For that, even the sahib calls him a fool (cf. ibid.: 335), which shows his superior and presumptuous attitude towards his servant, whom he regards as a primitive person. But Ram Din considers himself to be inferior, too, by calling himself a “slave” (ibid.: 333). 43 Nevertheless, the story can also be seen as an attempt to challenge ‘Colonial Discourse’. It is written from Ram Din’s point of view and he gets more and more self-confident throughout the story – at the beginning he is just a normal servant without any experience (cf. ibid.: 330) and towards the end of the story, he is the most powerful servant in the coloniser’s house, even having authority over keys and money (cf. ibid.: 335). Connected to this, the description of the coloniser’s position and characteristics changes in the course of the story. At the beginning it is said that he is a good employer and treats everyone with respect, but soon it is revealed that he is “truly a devil” (ibid.: 331), beating and punishing his servants. Additionally, in the end it seems, as if he is not that powerful any more, since Ram Din manages his whole household (cf. ibid.: 335). By working hard, Ram Din gets a high position, kind of similar to the sahib’s one – he “ha[s] bought land in [his] own district and ha[s] married four wives and [is] a person of importance in the village” (ibid.). Alice Perrin, as already mentioned, lived during the Raj and as the child of British colonisers, she might have had an Indian servant in her family as well. In her story, she more or less criticises living under the imperial rule of the British, since the coloniser is not just shown in a positive way but most of the time as a drunk and brutal man. Nevertheless, in the end, he turns out to be a little bit human. From his behaviour, it could have been suspected, that he is not sorry about the death of Kullan, but he reacts aggressively and shakes Ram Din hard, for which he is punished with being “ill for many days” (ibid.). 2.1 ‘Orientalism’ and ‘Othering’ Another postcolonial key concept closely tied to ‘Colonial Discourse’ is ‘Orientalism’, to which the concept of ‘Othering’ is furthermore connected. Orientalism’s first meaning was simply “the study of the Orient” (Innes 2007: 239), but it was redefined by Edward Said in his same title’s book, referring to the “Orient’s special place in European Western experience” (Said 2003: 1), basically the study of the Orient from a Western perspective. The Orient mentioned here “has helped to define Europe (or the West) as its contrasting image, idea, personality, experience” (ibid.: 1-2). Said himself mentions three different definitions of ‘Orientalism’, of which the first is an academic one, defining every person being involved in teaching, writing about or researching the Orient as an Orientalist. The belonging process is therefore called ‘Orientalism’ (cf. ibid.: 2). Secondly, there is a general meaning of the 44 term. ‘Orientalism’ is also seen as “a style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction made between ‘the Orient’ and [...] ‘the Occident’”(ibid.). The Orient is referred to “as exotic, strange, exciting, dangerous, to be exhibited, tamed, silenced” (Wisker 2007: 201) and also as “irrational, aberrant, backward, crude, despotic, inferior, inauthentic, passive, feminine and sexually corrupt” (Macfie 2000: 4). It is opposed to the Occident, which is defined as “the western part of the world, especially the countries of Europe and America” (“Occident”, n.d) and as “developed, humane, superior, authentic, active, creative and masculine” (Macfie 2000: 4), all adjectives being wellconnotated. This differentiation is often seen as a starting point for investigations by scholars, poets or philosophers. The third meaning of ‘Orientalism’ is more based on history (Said 2003: 3). Here, the starting point is in the late eighteenth century and ‘Orientalism’ is defined “as a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient” (ibid.). In Said’s eyes, to understand ‘Orientalism’, Foucault’s concept of discourse is necessary. He writes that without discourse, one cannot “understand the enormously systematic discipline by which European culture was able to manage – and even produce – the Orient politically, sociologically, militarily, ideologically, scientifically, and imaginatively during the post-Enlightenment period” (ibid.), since discourse investigates power relationships based on languages. Williams and Chrisman (1994) directly draw the line between the two concepts of ‘Colonial Discourse’ and ‘Orientalism’ that “focused on what could be called Colonial Discourse – the variety of textual forms in which the West produced and codified knowledge about non-metropolitan areas and cultures, especially those under colonial control” (5). ‘Orientalism’ did not emerge naturally, but the concept was constructed by men – involving the Orient and the Occident (Said 2003: 4-5). It soon became “a system for citing works and authors” (ibid.: 23), but that is also a point that can be criticized about Said’s definition. He furthermore writes that every author writing about the Orient instead of bringing in new ideas, refers to ideas from authors dealing with the topic before. Thus, nobody brings in new ideas and everyone just accepts and takes over the views and opinions of the former writers without really questioning it. Said comments that this reference to former texts in particular gives strength to the concept (cf. ibid.: 20) but this can be discussed since this concept is therefore quite static and unchanging. Dennis Porter criticizes Edward Said as well for his 45 comparison of Foucault’s discourse analysis with Gramsci’s hegemonic theory2. For him these two concepts are very contrasting and cannot be compared (cf. Porter 1994: 151). Said does not really question the hegemonic and the discourse theory but his problem, Porter states, is that he always sees just one idea of ‘Orientalism’, only considers one type of literature for his investigations and regards it as absolute, “finding always the same triumphant discourse” (ibid.: 160). Out of this concept ‘Othering’ has evolved. Originally it was coined by Gayatri Spivak in connection with imperial discourse. Its general definition given by Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin (2013) is that it describes “the social and/or psychological ways in which one group excludes or marginalizes another group” (18). Spivak distinguishes between the ‘other’ “who resembles the self (ibid.: 187) and the ‘Other’ “in whose gaze the subject gains identity” (ibid.). In a postcolonial context, it can be said that the ‘Other’ resembles the imperial centre and the ‘others’ are the colonised subjects “who are marginalized by imperial discourse” (ibid.). These two are produced at the same time, one of them causing the other one. Taking the definition of ‘Othering’ into account, it can be said, that ‘Orientalism’ is closely connected to it. In Alice Perrin’s short story, ‘Othering’ and ‘Orientalism’ are represented several times mostly out of Ram Din’s eyes. At first, Ram Din’s father distinguishes themselves from the sahibs by talking to his son about their way of life “which [is] not the way of the dark people” (Perrin 1906: 330). But by this statement, also Ram Din differentiates between him and the colonisers, calling themselves “dark people”. He uses the words “dark people” on the one hand in order to mimic the coloniser’s words since it is a highly orientalist stereotype but on the other hand to distinguish himself from the sahib. The same applies for the fact that the first-person narrator uses Indian terms like ‘puggaree’ or ‘backsheesh’ as, firstly, an attempt to stress the already existing unique, independent Indian culture and to show his belonging to that culture, which, secondly, distinguishes himself from the coloniser. He also others the English colonialist by calling him a dog, referring to his character as brute and fearless (cf. ibid.: 331). The British himself shows his superiority by using violence against Kullan and by exercis- 2 According to Gramsci, “hegemony is the power of the ruling class to convince other classes that their interests are the interests of all”. This is not done by force but over economy, education and media. (Ashcroft et al. 2013: 134) 46 ing his authority. He does not respect Kullan’s religion, which is shown by kicking the ‘puggaree’ (cf. ibid.: 332). His disrespectful behaviour is present in the relationship to all his servants. It leads to the point that “[t]he servants’ houses were also empty, and none answered to [Ram Din’s] call. They had all fled in fear” (ibid.: 333), which gives him an image of making the most out of his power. Later in the story, there is a form of ‘reverse Orientalism’. As Ram Din’s power increases, especially after the death of Kullan, he sees himself as superior to the sahib: “[...] he was wax in the hands of his slave” (ibid.: 335). A metaphor turns into an idiom here, which means that the engineersahib is weak-willed and does not answer back. This change in the power relations between them is also realised in the repetition of the sentence structure “It was I”: It was I who had charge of the sahib’s keys and kept his money. It was I appointed the other servants, and exacted percentage from their wages. It was I who made payments and gave the orders, and the sahib ever settled my accounts without argument. I had authority in the compound. I grew prosperous, and had a large stomach, and a watch and chain. (ibid.: 335) This anaphora, starting firstly, every sentence with ‘It was I’ and secondly, with the pronoun ‘I’, evokes his superiority, of which he is certainly aware in the end. As delineated, features belonging to ‘Colonial Discourse’, ‘Orientalism’ and ‘Othering’ can be identified in the story. Since the story is a first-person narration it is done mostly out of Ram Din’s eyes. The power relations between the sahib and Ram Din are changed because Ram Din obeys orders and differentiates himself from his master. 3 Analysis from the Point of View of Teaching as a Foreign Language After having examined the postcolonial concepts occurring in the text, in the following special attention is, on the one hand, drawn to the chances of the short story. On the other hand, the challenges are put into focus, followed by a short summary regarding the story’s suitability for the EFL classroom. A first chance of the story is its length. Short stories have the advantage that pupils at best only have to focus on them for a short time and the stories can be read in one session. “The Rise of Ram Din” is six pages long, which will take students a while to read, but is still suit- 47 able for one lesson. Furthermore, it can be read in separated parts with a more efficient exchange about the story’s content, which is suggested in the while-reading activity, described in the following chapter. By reading it during the lesson, relevant prose can be integrated in class facing the reality that students sometimes do not read the assigned passages at home. The while reading activity helps them to structure the text and already bringing them to the meta-level. Another point is that the short story only deals with a few characters, namely Ram Din, his father, the ‘engineer-sahib’ and Kullan, so it is easier for the pupils to follow because only important characters concerning the course of the action occur. The complexity of the plot fits to the story’s length, reducing the possibilities of understanding it in a wrong way. All in all, it “provide[s] a “complete” or satisfying treatment of its characters and subject.” (Hansen 2018) because it is neither too short nor too long, there are neither too many characters, nor too little. Additionally, enough details about the persons are given in order to characterise them. Nünning and Surkamp (2016) write that a text’s topic should arouse the students’ curiosity, have connections to their own environment and trigger their disposition to work with the text (51). Consequently, in order to increase the students’ motivation to learn in the EFL classroom, it is important for narratives to have a certain Lebensweltbezug. On the one hand, this is partly the case for the present short story regarding the topic of relocation but on the other hand not, when having the historical background in mind, as elaborated in the following. The story of Ram Din in parts also tells the story of a young man moving to a foreign city in order to find a job and earn money, which – except for his poor background and his need to earn money to help to feed his family back in his home town – has something in common with the lives of many young people. Moving to another city or even country for a job can also happen nowadays. Ram Din is living with and working for a man from another culture and since this man additionally regards himself as superior and different, he others Ram Din. This clarifies the challenges Ram Din finds himself in as a foreigner in his own country, as a servant and as someone who suddenly finds himself in a culture clash. Due to the refugee crisis that started in 2015 in Germany, schools have become more and more multicultural (cf. Bielicki 2018). Consequently, students might also have experienced ‘Othering’ – either doing it themselves or, if they descend from a foreign culture, it was or is done to them. To deal with 48 ‘Othering’ in the classroom is therefore important as different cultures coming together can lead to the exclusion of groups, but nevertheless, it has to be faced that it becomes more and more prominent in Germany nowadays (cf. Kazim 2018). Furthermore, some students might find themselves in one of the described roles, either of Ram Din or, in the worst case, the engineer sahib. By reading the story with the current multicultural society in mind, pupils get the chance to foster their ICC, for example regarding their respect towards other cultures, their cultural self-awareness or by viewing the world through another person’s eyes. Historically speaking the story is not connected to the present, which is clear due to its publication in 1906 and deals a lot with topics being not prominent today. However, the connection to the present is seen as one important aspect when teaching literature (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2016: 51). Stories set in multicultural Britain or the USA might be easier to understand for students as they have a deeper Lebensweltbezug, since these two are also westernized countries with nearly the same culture. For a good understanding of the story there is a need of background knowledge. The story cannot be understood easily if the students do not have knowledge about the life of Indian servants in colonial times or India in general beforehand. Nobody can really imagine how hard the life of an Indian servant at that time was and as a result, they might not understand Ram Din’s behaviour. To understand a text in its richness, it is necessary to do a wide reading – to understand the culture, mentality and history being connected to the text (cf. Surkamp 2012: 83). As a result, the teacher has to give the students background knowledge of colonial Indian life in order to make the understanding easier, for example in the form of historical texts, timelines or videos. A possibility of overcoming this difficulty is further examined as a pre-reading activity in the next chapter. Most of the Indian literature taught in class deals with multicultural Britain and Indians in the USA rather than with Indians living in India (cf. Wandel 2013: 388). But this text is different. It teaches the students about India’s history out of the perspective of an Indian man in a colonial setting. “The Rise of Ram Din” tells the reader a lot about the hierarchy between the coloniser and the colonised and shows that obeying orders, no matter how odd they were, seemed to be the only way for slaves to survive and earn money in colonial times. But the story also shows the dark side of colonisation, which made people be held inferior in their own country of origin. The story ex- 49 poses with how little respect the rich and armed Europeans met the Indians, which could lead the pupils to critically reflect their own countries’ behaviour towards other cultures and most importantly their own attitudes and actions and to ask themselves if they really want to other foreign cultures in case they are doing this. To deal with Indian culture and short stories support the development of Fremdverstehen and an “intercultural personality” (Wandel 2001: 4). Volkmann (2010) says that India’s background with its colonial history stays an important topic as well as the former colonies’ influences on the colonial power itself (116). The students’ awareness to India’s history has to be increased in order to foster their understanding of India’s position nowadays. Consequently, they have to understand and be aware of certain historical concepts of and in India and “The Rise of Ram Din” gives a start for this. A possible disadvantage of the story is the perspective from which it is written. Although Ram Din being the first-person narrator gives the students the chance to change perspectives and enhance their empathy, his strong foreignness most likely impedes such an identification (cf. Wandel 2001: 6). Taking over perspectives different from the own one is regarded as a precondition or important component of ICC by Ansgar Nünning (cf. 1999: 10). If a change of perspectives cannot be achieved, the development of ICC is interrupted and cannot be completed (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2016: 37). Indians at that time were othered in their own country, their home was more or less taken away from them and some worked as slaves for the British, like Ram Din. This is too far away from the students’ own life and personal reality. This view is also supported by Reinhold Wandel (2001), who says that many parts of daily life in India are unfamiliar and foreign and therefore, the reception of Indian social and societal conventions and structures is hard to cope with (cf. 6). An attempt to overcome this difficulty of the change of perspectives is suggested in the postreading activity presented later. A last challenge could be the vocabulary used by Alice Perrin. There are often Indian terms (for example ‘sahib’ or ‘backsheesh’), which the pupils do not understand, while the rest of the story is easily understandable. This problem can either be solved by giving them annotations to the words or forming vocabulary groups working on, for example, each page and the students themselves have to find out all vocabulary they do not understand, whereby the second approach would be more student-centred. 50 Finally, after having presented the chances and challenges of the short story “The Rise of Ram Din”, its suitability for the EFL classroom can be seen as rather problematic. The challenges of the story are more or less predominant to its chances. The story nearly has no relation to the pupil’s everyday life, except for the fact that also nowadays people have to move to foreign places in order to find a job – but Ram Din has other motives than people have nowadays. Furthermore, because of its problem of being far away from everyday life, one cannot be sure if the students can empathize with Ram Din and also see things from his perspective. Nevertheless, regarding the historical or rather postcolonial point of view, the story has a lot to offer and makes it possible to get to know more about Postcolonialism. All in all, the treatment of the story has to be weighed by the teacher regarding the individual class with activities in mind in order to face the challenges of the story mentioned before. Some activities to overcome the challenges are mentioned in the next chapter. 4 Teaching Activities Teaching activities in the EFL-classroom can be based on the three phases of reading (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2016: 89): the pre-reading, while-reading and post-reading phase. The pre-reading phase is a good way to introduce the students to the text, to build up certain expectations and to activate their previous knowledge according to language, culture and context. The while-reading phase’s purpose is to foster the student’s text understanding and to encourage the students to enter a dialogue with the text and to support this. The last phase, called postreading phase, functions for analytical and creative tasks and to talk about the reader’s text receptions (cf. ibid.). By taking this division of three phases for text work, a deeper text understanding and also the learner’s interaction with the text shall be secured (cf. ibid.: 78). Vygostky once said that learning shall occur through an intermental3 dialogue, coining the term ‘social constructivism’. This three-phase system is constructivist, since a dialogue takes place between the reader and the text (Vygostky 1978, qtd. in Yang & Wilson 2006: 365). In the following, sub chapters, propositions for activities for working on the short story will be given. 3 Intermental means that the dialogue happens between teacher and student, students or text and reader (Wilson 1999: 172, qtd. in Yang & Wilson 2006: 365). 51 Pre-Reading Activity While-Reading Activity Post-Reading Activity (1) Operationalisierte Aufgabenstellung Point out the different jobs of the servants and explain their functions. Afterwards, compare your results with your partner and make a table out of it. Do you think the sentence “I was just obeying orders.” can serve as an excuse? Discuss this statement and justify your own opinion. This task is based on the short story “The Rise of Ram Din”, which we are going to focus on in the next lessons. For each paragraph write down up to three hypotheses about the development of the story. Then compare your ideas with your partner and explain, how you came to this solution. Write a letter or an e-mail out of the perspective of Ram Din to his family about the coincidences in the sahib’s house. (2) Material/Medium Worksheet with text about the roles of the servants in India during the Raj (from Lethbridge, L. (2013). Servants: A Downstairs History of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times (1st ed.). New York: Maybe worksheet or just a board, on which the task is written. The short story in paragraphs on a worksheet. Exercise book 52 W. W. Norton & Company. (3) Sozialform First single work and afterwards partner work. Single work First single work, when finished partner work and afterwards a classroom discussion. Single work (4) Didaktisch- Methodischer Kommentar This text shall give the students the historical background needed for understanding the short story. By writing this argumentative essay, the students shall reflect on this statement, which was said by Ram Din and later they can compare their opinion with the one after reading the story. This task asks the students to be imaginative and to develop ideas on the basis of their background knowledge. Every student has already written a letter/an e-mail, therefore they can use their skills, and this might motivate them further. Additionally, they have to identify and change perspectives, which helps them to develop Fremdverstehen. As one pre-reading activity to be found in the appendix, the pupils are given a text from Lucy Lethbridge’s book Servants: A Downstairs History of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times. This text explains different positions of servants in a British household and also gives descriptions of their tasks. It is very suitable for the classroom as it explains some of the Indian terms needed for the short story, like ‘khansamah’. They get an insight into the daily tasks of the servants, which might help them to put themselves into the servants’ position. By talking about the tasks with their partner after reading the text, their communicative competence is supported, and they are able to ensure each other of understanding the servants’ tasks correctly. They can also share their own 53 opinion, if they think that slavery in these former times is understandable or if they reject it absolutely. The second pre-reading task suggested is an argumentative essay about the statement “I was just obeying orders”. Students are asked to reflect about that statement being an excuse or not. This activity is a hint towards “The Rise of Ram Din”, which the students might notice while reading the story later. This task’s aim is to challenge the students’ attitude towards one topic of the short story to be dealt with before reading it and getting to know Ram Din’s view about it. There is also the possibility of comparing their opinion before reading the story to the one after reading the story, which might be exciting to see, in case some of the opinions have changed after reading the story. For the while-reading phase the text of the short story is presented in form of text passages, which the students get to read one after another. The first part covers the beginning until p. 331, closing with “[...] and went back to his village”. Afterwards they write down hypotheses about what could happen next and then they are asked to exchange their ideas with their partner. When this is done, they go on reading the next text passage and afterwards there is a classroom discussion based on the partner work. This gives the possibility of (dis- )approving with the different hypotheses with the whole class. This scheme goes on for the following text passages: p. 331: “But after he had gone [...] until p. 332 “[...] for I remembered my father’s words.”, p. 332 “Two days later [...]” until p. 333 “I salaamed, and he drove away.”, p. 333 “Then did my heart glow within me, [...]” until p. 334 “and I shall amass wealth.’”. This task asks the students to use their imagination and to think further. Additionally, they have to try to empathize with Ram Din and the engineer-sahib in order to find good and realistic – at least for the story’s time and setting – hypotheses. Referring to Nünning and Surkamp (2016), they have to reflect on the impressions they have already gained and articulate their own reactions (cf. 81). Then the last part of the story follows, which the postreading activity resumes. The suggested post-reading task invites the students to think of highly creative solutions: they are asked to write a letter or an e-mail out of the perspective of Ram Din to his family about the coincidences in the sahib’s house. Every student has already written a letter or an e-mail in her or his life and they might already have the skills in doing so. Consequently, this has Lebensweltbezug for the students. Being able to use and show their skills here and transfer them onto school rele- 54 vant topics, provides the opportunity of higher interest in the presented material as well as a growth in self-worth. It is a good possibility to connect their free time activities with school, which can provide motivation for the lesson.4 The students are also asked to change perspectives in order to identify with their role, which can be quite challenging for some of the pupils. Nevertheless, the change of perspective offers the realisation of creative tasks, where an intellectual analysis of one’s own and somebody else’s experiential world can individually manifest (Kazaki & Wagner 2011: 7). To identify and change perspectives are also steps of the concept of Fremdverstehen, which is an important goal of intercultural learning. 5 Conclusion The aim of this term paper was to analyse the short story “The Rise of Ram Din” by Alice Perrin with regard to its suitability for the EFL classroom. In doing so, firstly, selected postcolonial key concepts were examined and analysed with regard to their representation within it. ‘Colonial Discourse’ was one of them, describing colonial experience from the coloniser’s perspective. It was found out that Alice Perrin does so, by writing the short story, but by using a first-person narrator who is an Indian servant, the focus lies more on his experiences and the short story more or less challenges ‘Colonial Discourse’. This holds also true for ‘Orientalism’ and ‘Othering’. They both occur in the short story but also through the eyes of Ram Din. Therefore, the colonised others the coloniser and not vice versa. The second part was the analysis of the short story’s suitability for the EFL classroom. It can be stated that the suitability of “The Rise of Ram Din” is questionable because the chances, namely the characteristics of a short story, the possibility of changing perspectives supporting the development of ICC, and the partial Lebensweltbezug regarding the job situation are mostly outweighed by its challenges, consisting of a mostly missing Lebensweltbezug as time and role differ from student's reality, the Indian vocabulary used, the hard change of perspectives and the (probably) missing knowledge about the historical background. By giving possible assignments for students dealing with the short story, some suggestions are done for teaching “The Rise of Ram Din”. 4 To make it even more interesting for the students, they could be asked to write a chat on WhatsApp in a partner work. 55 Divided into pre-, while- and post-reading activities, these activities help to develop the understanding of the story and to foster ICC and Fremdverstehen. The story still offers more ways to approach it with other tasks, for example writing interior monologues during the sahib’s absence, which underlines that there are suitable tasks for the students when deciding to treat this short story in class. One example for dealing with an Indian short story within the unit of India in the ‘Sekundarstufe 1’ was given in this term paper. In order to get a diversified insight into the vast number of possibilities dealing with India in the EFL classroom, other short stories can be analysed. But not only short stories have to be taken into account. There are many other literary works that can be discussed in class. One example for a novel would be Adiga’s The White Tiger and also poems could further be considered. Bibliography Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (2013). Postcolonial studies: The key concepts (3rd ed.). Routledge Key Guides. New York: Routledge. Bhabha, H. K. (1994). The Location of Culture. New York: Routledge. Bielicki, J. (2018). Drei Jahre „Wir schaffen das“ – eine Bestandsaufnahme. Retrieved from drei-jahre-wir-schaffen-das-eine-bestandsaufnahme-1.41 10671 (accessed: 29.12.2018). British Library. (n.d.). English in India. Retrieved from https:/ / (accessed: 06.01.2019). Chandler, D., & Munday, R. (2016). Postcolonialism. In D. Chandler & R. Munday (Eds.), A Dictionary of Media and Communication (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://www.oxford 80191800986-e-2089?rskey=sBD5li&result=1 (accessed: 06.01.2019). Hansen, A. J. (2018). Short story. In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from 0454.7 (accessed: 06.01.2019). Innes, C. L. (2007). Postcolonial Literatures in English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kazaki, V., & Wagner, S. (2011). Indien: Land der Gegensätze zwischen Tradition und Moderne. Praxis Englisch: India – between tradition and modernity, 5 (1), 6-7. 56 Kazim, H. (2018). Rassismus in Deutschland. Hört uns endlich zu. Retrieved from (accessed: 30.12.2018). Lethbridge, L. (2013). Servants: A Downstairs History of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. Linder, O. (2008). Introduction. In O. Lindner (Ed.), Teaching India (pp. 7- 16). Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter. Macfie, A. L. (Ed.). (2000). Introduction – Orientalism in Crisis. In A. Lyon Macfie (Ed.), Orientalism: A reader (pp. 3-24). New York: New York University Press. Müller-Hartmann, A., & Schocker-von Ditfurth, M. (2014). Introduction to English Language Teaching. Stuttgart: Klett Lerntraining. Nunning, A., & Surkamp, C. (2016). Englische Literatur unterrichten. Seelze-Velber: Klett/Kallmeyer. Nünning, A. (1999). “But man […] is a story-telling animal”. Perspektivenwechsel und Perspektivenvielfalt bei der Behandlung von Short Stories. Der fremdsprachliche Unterricht Englisch, 33 (39), 4-12. Occident. (n.d.). In Cambridge Dictionary. Retrieved from https:/ / (accessed: 06.01.2019) Perrin, A. (1906). The Rise of Ram Din. In E. Boehmer (Ed.). Empire Writing. An Anthology of Colonial Literature 1870 – 1918 (pp. 329- 335). (1998). Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press. Porter, D. (1983). Orientalism and its Problems. In P. Williams & L. Chrisman (Eds.), Colonial Discourse and postcolonial theory: a reader (pp. 150-161). (1994). New York: Columbia University Press. Said, E. W. (2003). Orientalism. London: Penguin Books. Surkamp, C. (2012). Literarische Texte im kompetenzorientierten Fremdsprachenunterricht. In W. Hallet & U. Krämer (Eds.), Kompetenzaufgaben im Englischunterricht: Grundlagen und Unterrichtsbeispiele (pp.77-90). Seelze: Kallmeyer/Klett. Victorian Secrets. (n.d.). Alice Perrin (1867-1934). Retrieved from (accessed: 06.01.2019). Volkmann, L. (2010). Fachdidaktik Englisch: Kultur und Sprache. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto Verlag GmbH + Co. KG. Vygostky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 57 Wandel, R. (2001). Vom 'Raj' zum 'Roy' - Indien im Englischunterricht. Der fremdsprachliche Unterricht Englisch, 35 (50), 4-7. ---. (2013). Teaching India in the German EFL Classroom – Issues and Problems. In J. Gorisch & E. Grünkemeier (Eds.), Postcolonial Studies Across the Disciplines (pp. 387-398). Leiden: Rodopi. Williams, P., & Chrisman, L. (1994). Colonial Discourse and post-colonial theory: A reader. Cambridge: University Press. Wilson, K. (1999). Note-taking in the academic writing process of nonnative speaker students: Is it important as a process or a product? Journal of College Reading and Learning, 29 (2), 166-179. Wisker, G. (2007). Key concepts in postcolonial literature. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Yang, L., & Wilson, K. (2006). Second Language Classroom Reading: A Social Constructivist Approach. The Reading Matrix, 6 (3), 364-372. 58 Teaching Stories of Partition– Saadat Hasan Manto’s “The Return“ Michelle Skruth 1 Introduction The federal states’ curricula for the German Oberstufe have recently focused more on literature of “ethnic minority groups or postcolonial authors” (Volkmann 2013: 171) and some have explicitly included India as a possible matter in the English classroom (cf. Wandel 2013: 387). Today, India exhibits the “largest number of English speakers outside the UK and the USA” (Lindner 2010: 60) and therefore is worth paying special attention to in the EFL classroom. Besides, our globalised world and the “diversity of global Englishes” (Eisenmann 2015: 217) make teachers in charge of teaching other Anglophone cultures besides the UK and the USA in order to foster students’ transcultural awareness (cf. ibid.). Moreover, the current interest in “exotic” themes (Dengel-Janic 2007: 134), India’s diversity and not least, the economic and demographic presence of India make it a country worth concentrating on in more detail (cf. Linder 2010: 59). Since cultural learning is one important facet when introducing a foreign culture to learners, the history of countries (especially in cases when it is linked to the British past) can be a useful starting point. When teaching India in the EFL classroom, there must be time to talk about Partition. This “collective traumatic experience” (Yusin 2011: 25) was such an important and dramatic historical incident of this country that it cannot be ignored. August 15, 1947 did not only mark the date of India’s independence but also the division of India into two separate states, namely India as a Hindu state and Pakistan as a 1 EFL: English as a foreign language. 59 Muslim state (cf. Dengel-Janic 2007: 135). The decision to create two different nation states was the starting point of mass migration of Hindus to India and Muslims to Pakistan (cf. Narasimhan-Madhavan 2006: 396). Finally, Partition caused the murder of about one million people and the displacement of more than twelve million Hindus and Muslims (cf. Kabir 2005: 178). The wounds caused by this event understandably still “persist in collective memory” (Yusin 2011: 24) and therefore, this traumatic event should be handled with special attention. Hence, India’s cultural diversity and its moving history make it a beneficial topic in the EFL classroom. When teaching Partition through literature, undoubtedly, a text by Saadat Hasan Manto should be read because the author is best known for his Partition stories (cf. Mann 1998: 128). Manto experienced the horrors and violence of Partition himself (cf. Alter 1994: 91) and is one of its most important witnesses (cf. Saint 2012: 53). The authenticity of his texts and his unveiling way of writing about crude facts has always been the most conspicuous feature of his writing style and has been very controversial (cf. Alter 1994: 91 f.). Therefore, the author’s Partition short story “The Return”, at first, seems to fit perfectly into a sequence about India in the EFL classroom. The aim of this term paper is at first, to show which postcolonial key concepts can be found in Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story “The Return” and secondly, to evaluate whether this text is recommendable in the EFL classroom of a German Oberstufe. To come to a wellfounded conclusion, this term paper starts with an analysis of the postcolonial key concepts which can be found in the short story. Then, the text will be analysed from a TEFL point of view. In this part, possible chances and challenges, which might occur when discussing Manto’s text in the classroom, followed by some possible teaching activities, will be presented. In the end, it will be concluded whether it is recommendable to teach Manto’s “The Return” within a teaching sequence about India in the EFL classroom. 2 Postcolonial Key Concepts in Saadat Hasan Manto’s “The Return” The following chapter aims at presenting three postcolonial key concepts which can be found in Manto’s short story “The Return” in 2 TEFL: Teaching English as a Foreign Language 60 more detail. It is important to underline that more than these three concepts can be found but due to limitation of this paper, not all concepts can be discussed. Each key concept will be defined in brief manner and afterwards explained by means of the text. 2.1 Abrogation The concept of ‘Abrogation’ refers to the rejection of postcolonial writers to use Standard English or English in general for their writings (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2000: 3-4). ‘Abrogation’ is closely connected to the postcolonial concept of ‘Appropriation’ which, on the contrary, describes “the ways in which post-colonial societies take over those aspects of the imperial culture” (ibid.: 19). The concept of ‘Abrogation’ implies the approach of equality of all varieties of English and languages in general. ‘Abrogation’ can but does not have to be a political statement by which authors reject to submit to the coloniser’s propagandised superiority (cf. ibid.: 3-4) and, therefore, wrest themselves free from the colonialist power. Authors who refuse to use Standard English for their writings comprehend the use of the coloniser’s language as a restriction in terms of authentic presentation because language always includes worldviews (cf. ibid.). Manto’s short story “The Return” was published in 1950 (cf. Mann 1998: 127) and was originally written in Urdu. The original title was “Khol Do”, which translates to “open up” (cf. ibid.). The simple fact that Manto chose to write his short story in Urdu instead of English, hints at the concept of ‘Abrogation’. With this decision, Manto risked reaching a limited audience. If he had written the text in English, it would have been available for a much wider readership. Given that authors usually want to reach as many readers as possible, this decision appears to be inauspicious at first. Manto’s decision gets much more comprehensible, if one links it to the concept of ‘Decolonisation’. The concept, which briefly means to “reveal[] and dismantl[e] the hidden aspects of […] cultural forces that […] maintained the colonialist power […]” (Ashcroft et al. 2000: 63) and which also includes the use of the coloniser’s language, namely English in this case, can be found in the text as well. Thus, in order to disengage oneself from the coloniser’s influence and power and to truly find oneself, it is necessary to decolonise the mind , which certainly includes the use of lan- 3 For further reading: The term ‘Decolonization of the Mind’ was established by Ngugi Wa Thiong’O in his homonymous book (1986). 61 guage as one major cultural aspect. One cannot break free from the power of the coloniser and at the same time maintain their cultural habits. The use of the indigenous language in contrast to the hegemonic English language is an important step towards decolonisation, autonomy and national pride. Because the concept of ‘Abrogation’ is more obvious in this text and is used as a tool to achieve decolonisation, the latter is not the focus of this paper. In the case of Manto’s short story “The Return”, the intention to reject English conventions can be criticised as not being very successful because Manto stuck to the typical features of English/American short stories. “The Return” covers all of Werlich’s collection of seven typical features of short stories (cf. Thaler 2008: 91). With Sirajuddin, Sakina and the group of nameless men, the story contains only a limited number of characters. The plot is simple and covers a short period of time, in fact, only within a few days. Furthermore, the plot is limited to a single setting (a refugee camp) and only describes one incident, namely the desperate search of a father for his lost daughter. Finally, the whole story builds up suspense until the end, when Sirajuddin’s daughter is found and every word is charged with meaning, especially in the final lines. Moreover, the short story has an open beginning and an open ending (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 207 f.), which is a typical characteristic of this genre. Especially the open ending occurs often in Manto’s writings – no matter what genre. One can hardly find texts of Manto which are completely brought to an end (cf. Alter 1994: 96). The overwhelming amount of his texts do not give any resolution to the outlined conflict (cf. ibid.), so it is the reader who has to think about possible solutions to the problems described in his stories. Saint (2012) characterises Manto’s writings as “suggestive rather than explicit” (58) and Alter (1994) suitably describes this characteristic of Manto’s texts as “a disturbing sense of uncertainty” (96) which is definitely the case in this example. The shocking realisation that Sakina gets gang raped can only be identified when reading between the lines and interpreting her behaviour in the hospital. In the end, the text does not explicitly tell what had happened to Sakina and her recovery is uncertain (cf. Saint 2012: 58). Because Manto undeniably adopts characteristics of the genre and the writing style of the coloniser, the attribution to the concept of ‘Abrogation’ can be questioned. However, the concept of ‘Appropriation’ can to some extent be identified here as well. But it seems to be the case that Manto willingly decides to write in Urdu instead of Eng- 62 lish (which is linked to the concept of ‘Abrogation’) and only unknowingly stuck to the coloniser’s characteristics of short stories (which, then again, is linked to the concept of ‘Appropriation’). So, this paper presents Manto’s conscious rejection of English and his unconscious adaption of the characteristics of the genre. In addition to the limited length of this paper, this is why, the concept of ‘Abrogation’ instead of appropriation is put into focus here – at the same time knowing that nonetheless an analysis of the text with regard to the concept of ‘Appropriation’ would be appropriate and interesting and, in case of a complete and more extensive analysis, would definitely be necessary. Summing up, Manto’s decision to write the short story in Urdu instead of English definitely reflects the concept of ‘Abrogation’. However, the implementation in this case is not consistently consequent when it comes to generic aspects. 2.2 Displacement The concept of ‘Displacement’ indicates a movement from one area to another within national borders because of dispossession, conflict, natural disaster or some kind of (modernisation) projects (Ashcroft et al. 2000: 87-89). Displaced people are forced to flee from their homes and have to carry the burden of losing community and family bonds as well as their property (cf. ibid.). The process of removal and relocation entails more disadvantages than most people might recognise in the first place. ‘Displacement’ affects various aspects such as “violation of rights, self-determination, participation in decision-making, and laws and policies” (ibid.: 89). In addition to the mentioned dramatic psychological consequences, ‘Displacement’ can also lead to existence-threatening circumstances such as the loss of property and therefore, the loss of financial security, the loss of a home as well the loss of a job to only name the most obvious examples (cf. ibid.). Given that “The Return” depicts the time of Partition, which forced people to leave their homes and to migrate either from India to Pakistan or vice versa, the story presents an example for the concept of ‘Displacement’. The fact that Sirajuddin and his family are on their way from Amritsar to Lahore indicates that they are a Muslim family who, because of the establishment of the Muslim state Pakistan, decides to leave their home in India. Again, the information that Sirajuddin and his family are Muslims is not explicitly mentioned in the text. Only readers who have certain background knowledge about the history of India and Pakistan can detect this fact. With this knowledge, 63 one can recognise that this journey from Amritsar to Lahore is an escape and that the decision to leave India is not voluntary but forced and necessary to avoid violent assaults. The only detail which might cause basis for discussion is the fact that ‘Displacement’ originally refers to movement within national borders. One could argue that by the end of August 15, 1947, the borders of Pakistan were in force and hence people from both sides crossed borders. However, the movement of millions of people cannot take place within one single day. Because the mass migration of people was undoubtedly caused by the separation of the country and took place immediately afterwards, this situation can be legitimately be linked to the postcolonial concept of ‘Displacement’ and still, the question of national identity is not entirely clear. 2.3 Othering ‘Othering’ as a postcolonial concept refers to the marginalisation and exclusion of whole groups of people (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2000: 188) and is closely connected to the key concepts of ‘Alterity’, basically meaning “the state of being other or different” (ibid.: 11) and ‘Marginality’ referring to [b]eing on the margin” (ibid.: 135) as “a consequence of the binaristic structure of various kinds of dominant discourses” (ibid.). Because ‘Othering’ can be defined as the superordinate concept in this zone of mutual power relations, this postcolonial key concept was chosen for further analysis with regard to the text. Originally, this concept refers to the ‘Othering’ of colonised by the coloniser in order to distinguish oneself from the inferior other. In this short story, there is no differentiation like this. The plot does not oppose coloniser and colonised in the traditional sense. Nonetheless, there are two different levels of ‘Othering’: First, the discourse of the story, namely the situation of Partition, implies a conflict involving two opposing groups (Hindus and Muslims) and therefore, represents a kind of ‘Othering’ – and this ‘Othering’ happened in reality, even though it is not explicitly mentioned in the story. Manto rejects to other and blame the opponent side and there is no evidence that Manto himself or the characters in the story distance themselves from the Hindu community (cf. Alter 1994: 93). Nonetheless, even if the story 4 For further reading see: Edward Wadie Said’s book Orientalism (1978), Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s essay The Rani of Simur (1985) and for the special case of the ‘Othering’ of women see Simone de Beauvoir’s book The Second Sex (1949). 64 itself does not contain aspects of ‘Othering’ in this regard, the discourse still does to a certain degree. What is more, the structure of Indian and Pakistani society others women as inferior members. Especially this level is clearly connected to the postcolonial key concepts of ‘Alterity’ and ‘Marginality’ because these patriarchal structures clearly bundle the centre of power on men (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2000: 135), while at the same time pushing women “on the margin” (ibid.) of society. Men are graded as predominant and superior members and, therefore, defining themselves as different and other than women. Ashcroft et al. (ibid.) even explicitly name the case of patriarchy as one concrete example of ‘Marginality’. Although Manto does not explicitly write about this societal ‘Othering’ in his short story, the core of the text, namely the violence and abuse against women has its origin in the process of marginalising women and consequently, results from processes of ‘Othering’. Thus, it can be argued that there is a form of hidden ‘Othering’ in the story. Manto certainly wants to point at the tabooed and repressed sufferings of women in his society and especially, their awful and violent experiences during the time of Partition. There is a striking discrepancy between Sirajuddin’s reaction and Sakina’s disturbing condition (cf. Saint 2012: 58) in the end. The father probably represents the majority of men who simply ignore the sufferings of raped women in those days and his reaction might be a typical one. It becomes doubtable whether he understands what happened to Sakina. Whether his reaction can be interpreted as ignorant or just na- ïve and that he is distracted by the return of his daughter, is uncertain. Moreover, the story does not tell the reader if Sirajuddin later recognises what happened to his daughter and how both of them handle the burden of this situation. Maybe he does not understand that his daughter got gang raped or he knows of it but does not want to accept this fact because the abuse of women is linked to the loss of honour of the whole family. With “The Return”, Manto surely does not just want to focus on the devastating aftermaths of Partition for women. He additionally wants to criticise men’s ignorance towards this burden for women. Unfortunately, Manto, again, is not very consequent with his criticism because he decided to write the story with focus on a male protagonist instead of the female victim. In his short story “The Return”, Manto describes the “ethical catastrophe of Partition” (Saint 2012: 60) by using rape as a metaphor of the nation as a despoiled woman (cf. Mann 65 1998: 127 f.). But the abuse addressed in the story is not meant to shed light on the women’s suffering. (cf. ibid.: 128). Instead, Manto fosters androcentric views and therefore, strengthens these patriarchal structures by choosing Sirajuddin as the protagonist. By concentrating on his suffering while looking for his daughter instead of her traumatic experience and the obvious aftermaths (cf. ibid.: 128-131), there is no attempt to generate sympathy for the victim (cf. ibid.: 131). Moreover, the reader does not learn much about Sakina’s personality and she does not say a single word in the whole text. The only impression the reader gets is a description of how she might look like when Sirajuddin describes her to the eight men. Her characterisation is limited to the commentary by others (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 204), she is reduced to her appearance, and her feelings do not matter. The male protagonist Sirajuddin, on the other hand, is implicitly characterised by the third person narrator (cf. ibid.) as a loving father, who is desperately looking for his daughter and has no time to grieve for the dramatic and sudden loss of his wife – therefore, sympathy is generated for him but not for his abused daughter. So while the reader only gets information about Sakina’s appearance and no information about her personality, it is the exact other way around in the case of the male protagonist Sirajuddin. As Narasimhan-Madhavan (cf. 2006: 400) explains, the bodies of women became a metaphor for the honour of the opposite community and violence against women was exploited as tool against men. So, women were not respected as equal humans and their sorrow and pain was of no importance – they were solely recognised as a tool to humiliate enemies. In those days, inhumane treatment of women and rape became a common instrument against the opposite community. In India, patriarchal family and community structures as well as the belief in the inferiority of women made them being the most vulnerable members on both sides (cf. Narasimhan-Madhavan 2006: 414) and sexual violence became a widespread experience among women during this period (cf. Yusin 2011: 24). Though, women were not only exclusively abused by members of the opponent community but also by men from their own side during the prevalent chaos and confusion (cf. Narasimhan-Madhavan 2006: 401). Saint (cf. 2012: 58) determines a sense of irony in many of Manto’s texts. In this case, the macabre irony can be identified in the fact that it is not a group of the opposite community who rape Sakina but obviously a group from the Muslim community. 66 Although the concept of ‘Othering’ does not seem to be obvious in the text at first, the context of the whole story includes this postcolonial concept by shockingly depicting the profound inequality of women and men within the Indian society. 3 Analysis from the Point of View of Teaching English as a Foreign Language In this chapter, the chances and possible challenges of using Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story “The Return” will be analysed and explained in detail in order to answer the question whether this text is suitable for English classes in the German Oberstufe. 3.1 Chances The listed advantages below argue for a discussion of Manto’s short story “The Return” in the EFL classroom and depict several aspects why especially this story is worth considering when planning a teaching unit about India/Partition. First of all, Manto’s short story covers important topics about India such as the patriarchal society or the religious tensions in India and Pakistan, which leading theorists like Volkmann (cf. 2010: 115 f.) explicitly suggest. One of the most convincing arguments to discuss Manto’s short story in the EFL classroom is the authentic language of the text – Manto himself experienced and witnessed the events of Partition (cf. Alter 1994: 91). In addition, his text was not written for teaching purposes. Still, the simple language of the story as well as its short sentences are suitable from a TEFL point of view. Only a few explanatory notes concerning possibly unknown vocabulary would be necessary to make students able to read the text. The text consists of fairly simple sentence structures and covers the main stock of vocabulary but there are some exceptions. For example, students cannot know the terms for traditional Indian clothing like dupatta or shalwar , which would need further explanation. By the way, only a limited range of Manto’s writings were translated into English and can be considered for the EFL classroom. Since Saadat Hasan Manto is one of the most famous South Asian writers of short stories, one can hardly argue against discussing a text of Manto and his valuable reports in class. 5 Dupatta: traditional Indian clothes; kind of long scarf used as veil. 6 Shalwar: traditional Indian clothes; like a loose trouser. 67 In addition, Wandel (2013) criticises the limited range of teaching materials that often just recur than broaden: There are mostly the same texts in different collections and teaching materials (cf.: 391). He also questions popular authors such as Meera Syal, Bali Rai, Monica Ali, Jumpa Lahiri or Bharati Mukherjee for presenting multicultural Western societies and diasporic experiences rather than the “real” India (cf. ibid.: 388-389). In contrast, “The Return” is located in India/Pakistan itself and is not part of the common teaching materials. Furthermore, the story contains the typical characteristics of a short story, for example only having one setting, a limited number of characters as well as an open beginning and ending. Therefore, the story structurally represents a typical example of the genre and is therefore beneficial for fostering students’ Textsortenkompetenz (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 202). The fact that there is a short film freely available on YouTube and that there is a new movie about Manto himself , provides further support for the text. The possibility to switch between different forms of media shows great promise for Methodenvielfalt and in this way, would probably motivate students more than exclusively working with the text. According to Eisenmann (cf. 2015: 224), it is always helpful when a text is about a young person with whom students might be able to identify. Because Manto’s story provides this point of connection through Sakina and at the same time depicts the dangerous circumstances of young women during Partition, students do not solely come to know the chaotic, horrible and violent atmosphere during those days but also learn something about the cultural standing of women in Indian and Pakistani society. Besides, the male hegemony in Indian and Pakistani society could be a point of connection to the student’s own culture. Circumstances for German women are no doubt comparable to those of Indian women, but gender inequality is definitely still a global issue and discussing this in school might sensitise students for the problem. Especially through this concrete example of Sakina and Sirajuddin, the suffering of those people who were affected by Partition becomes more comprehensible. This event and the collective traumatic experi- 7 See: 8 Unfortunately, there is not yet an English trailer. See 68 ence can be part of Landeskunde in the EFL classroom. Moreover, teachers have to foster students’ awareness of diversity and have to help them to become tolerant and empathetic members of society, who treat each other with respect. Through experiencing Sirajuddin and Sakina’s story, the students might understand the results of the belief in women’s inferiority and the sufferings caused by intolerance against diversity, which led to Partition, by having a specific example. As all literary texts, Manto’s “The Return” can teach the reader many more aspects than only the story of Sakina and her father. The fact that the plot takes place during Partition illustrates the chaos and violence during this period. As Bredella (cf. 2012: 15) argues, when something extraordinary happens in a story, i.e. something that completely challenges valid norms, the story encourages the reader to think about the reported events critically and empathise with the involved characters. To fully grasp the essence of a story, students have to make use of their ability to judge and empathise by changing their perspective (cf. ibid.: 12). Because of their brevity and the experienced “sensation of totality” (Adam 2013: 154) for the reader, short stories, in general, can be very motivating for learners. Thaler (2008) claims that this narrative genre can serve as “a bridge between simpler coursebook texts and full-length literature” (91). Because of the briefness, reading and analysing the text would probably not take too much time and in contrast to non-fictional texts, literary texts often only foreshadow certain aspects and do not explicitly name them, what leads to the necessity of independently coming up with own ideas. This provokes students to actively work with the text and to critically think about the described incidents and the message behind them (cf. Surkamp 2012: 80). In this special case and as already mentioned before, Manto does not explicitly write what had happened to Sakina and therefore, students are forced to reflect on their own in order to give meaning to her behaviour and the reaction of the doctor (cf. Alter 1994: 96). Dealing with postcolonial texts in particular reveals the importance of different perspectives and fosters students’ Fremdverstehen. A huge advantage is the fact that postcolonial texts and texts of minority authors in general often reveal societal widespread mechanisms of ‘Othering’ and exclusion in a very dramatic manner (cf. Eisenmann 2015: 217), which can then be transferred to the own culture. Moreover, the story might sensitise students to the dangers and traumatising circumstances of migration, which is also a very up-to- 69 date issue in schools. Hence, literature can be a useful tool to support not only linguistic and cultural but also moral and emotional education (cf. Grimm et al. 2015: 176). 3.2 Challenges Although Manto’s short story “The Return” provides many advantages for the EFL classroom as demonstrated in the previous subchapter, the following analysis will point out some possible challenges of the text. As Volkmann (cf. 2010: 114) argues, the European attitude towards India is stamped with clichés and the by far most striking problem of Manto’s short story for TEFL purposes is the fact that the story discusses the probably most persistent stereotype of India that Western cultures have internalised: the unjust treatment of women. The stereotype of India as a country of widespread violence against women is fortified in the general public through recurring articles about sexual abuse and rape. As Freitag and Gymnich (cf. 2007: 263) correctly emphasise, teachers really have to think carefully about which image of a country they present. Literary texts are expected to reduce these stereotypes and not to foster them (cf. Volkmann 2010: 114), but that is exactly the major danger of “The Return” in the EFL classroom. Therefore, this text is not an option for young learners and a certain age and level of proficiency in text interpretation is definitely required. To reduce these stereotypes, they have to be revealed and rebutted actively. In this case, it would be important to uncover the metaphor of rape as a stylistic device. Additionally, the author’s aim to criticise the societal inequality and especially the progress since the 1950s has to be mentioned in class. The teacher has to make sure that every student understands that the text depicts an outdated image of India. Furthermore, the story does not involve typical topics of literature for young people such as the search for one’s own identity, first love, peer pressure, or conflicts based on generational gaps. These factors make it hard for students to identify with the situation. Additionally, Kabir (2005) correctly claims that a full understanding of the consequences of Partition “remains beyond the capacities of narrative […] and that is even more difficult to negotiate with temporal distance from the event” (190). In case the group of learners is empathetic and might be able to change perspectives and show interest in foreign cultures, this disadvantage might not preclude the reading process. Be- 70 sides, Manto sticks to an androcentric view when choosing Sirajuddin instead of Sakina as the protagonist of his story. The story is doubtlessly shocking and encourages the reader to think, but maybe there are too many gaps to relate to as young readers. The fact that both Sakina’s horrible experience and the criticism of societal structures are implicitly expressed by Manto, this textual complexity might overburden EFL learners. It might be suitable to present texts which need to be interpreted with regard to one aspect, but a foreshadowed plot and a hidden message might be too much to expect from young learners. Therefore, it might be recommendable to only focus on one aspect. Either Manto’s text is part of a teaching sequence about Partition, so that the focus is clearly on the traumatic experience of this historical event and the short story is used as a demonstrative report of the horrible and traumatic atmosphere in those days, or “The Return” is used as part of a teaching sequence about gender roles in the Indian/Pakistani society to demonstrate the low status of women, their vulnerability in contrast to men and the development of gender roles in those cultures. But even though women in India and Pakistan still do not have the same rights as men, the text does not represent the recent situation in the country but that of more than seventy years ago. Wandel (cf. 2013: 389-390) understandably questions the suitability of older texts and demands for more up-to-date ones. Examples might be Akash Kapur’s India Becoming or Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger. Especially when trying to rebut the above-mentioned persisting prejudices, it is essential to focus on what has positively changed during the last seventy years with regard to gender inequality and that the circumstances depicted in the story are far from being up-to-date. This problem could be solved by presenting statistics on the ongoing struggle for women’s rights in India and its successes so far. Wandel (cf. ibid.: 390) also calls the practice of overwhelmingly choosing texts of predominantly successful and well-known authors into question and encourages teachers to look after texts from less famous writers. Another significant argument against Manto’s short story is the expected amount of time that would be necessary to discuss the text in an appropriate way in contrast to the limited time that can realistically be given. Much background knowledge is necessary to fully understand the text. Furthermore, a lot of time would be needed to discuss the mentioned issues in the text to reach the full educational potential of the story. All in all, the time which would be necessary to prepare 71 students for the text and the time necessary to discuss the text afterwards might exceed the time of actual text-based work by far (cf. ibid.). In addition, it is questionable whether students can recognise on their own that Sakina was gang raped. It would probably be the teacher who would have to lead the students to this interpretation. 4 Teaching Activities This chapter provides some possible activities which might be helpful when discussing Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story “The Return” as part of a teaching unit about India in the EFL classroom. As explained above, the text is rather demanding and time-consuming, so the following proposals are applicable for an English Leistungskurs in the Oberstufe. Based on the current predominant learning theory of constructivism , the following possible teaching activities are structured according to the PWP-model . Corresponding to this approach, textbased lessons are divided into three phases, namely a pre-, while- and post-reading phase. This approach was chosen because of the current popularity of the model and its clear-cut structure. Furthermore, the following activities are all created in terms of process-orientated literary classes. In previous lessons, students have learned about the history of India and its independence in 1947 as well as the circumstances of Partition. It is assumed that learners are familiar with India’s diverse society, the problems during Partition and the ongoing religious tensions. Moreover, the societal structure with special focus on women and gender inequality has been discussed before. Additionally, the course has already dealt with the genre of short stories and its characteristics several times. Although rational text analysis seems to be less popular these days and there has been a shift to more creative learner-oriented approaches with focus on the reader’s individual understanding of the text, there are two sets of teaching activities in this paper which are going to cover both: the analytical as well as the creative approach. The rea- 9 For further reading on constructivism, see: Grimm et al. 2015: 51 ff. 10 PWP: pre-, while- and post-reading. For further reading, see: Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 71-80. 11 For further reading on the process-oriented approach, see: Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 63f. and 71f. 12 Learners should at least know of Werlich’s seven typical features of short fiction (cf. Thaler 2008: 91). 72 son for that has its origin in the text itself. Manto’s short story “The Return” doubtlessly deals with very sensitive topics such as escape, migration and rape. An unflecting discussion about such topics can cause many problems in class. Therefore, the teacher has to know the students very well to make sure nobody gets offended or nobody is reminded of traumatic experiences when discussing a text like this in a course. Besides, creative tasks often aim at touching the learner’s emotions and ask for a shift of perspectives which, in this case, might be unbearable for students. Generally, the suggestion is to mainly do analytical tasks in case the text might cover too sensitive topics. However, due to the current importance of the personal-response method , the following possible teaching activities will give an example of each, an analytical as well as a creative task for each phase. In the following subchapters, the first proposal will always be part of the first and more creative set of worksheets, while the second suggestion will be part of the second and more analytical set. 4.1 Pre-Reading Activities The pre-reading phase should prepare students for the text and aims at arousing interest (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 71). Furthermore, in this phase, prior knowledge ought to be activated and first expectations concerning the upcoming text are to be revealed (cf. ibid.: 72). Moreover, pre-reading activities target the emotional and linguistic preparation for the future content (cf. ibid.) and the support of the students in getting access to a text (cf. ibid.: 72 f.). The pre-reading activity of the first set should be distributed to the learners before passing out the text. The task wants to motivate students to come up with possible ideas on what the following short story could be about (cf. ibid.: 73; cf. Haß 2017: 202). With this creative task, the learners’ imagination is encouraged. Students of that proficiency should be familiar with the word return and given that they have already talked about the history of India and Partition, they are supposed to come up with some realistic ideas. With association tasks like this, weaker students are also encouraged to share their ideas and to take part in class discussions. Because the short story is completely unknown to the group at this point, there is no correct or wrong answer. Scaffolding is provided by the help box at the bottom of the 13 For further reading on the personal-response approach, see: Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 64. 73 worksheet, which might support students, who have difficulties to come up with own ideas. After the learners have collected and written down their thoughts, some students are asked to present their ideas in class. Then, the above mentioned short clip on YouTube is shown in class and afterwards, students have to compare their previous ideas with the presented clip. With this visual medium, students should be able to further immerge into the atmosphere and topic of the text (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 72) and to connect those glimpses with their speculations. They can compare their notes and impressions with a partner and think about whether their imaginations match the presented plot in the video or not. The second pre-reading activity aims at revising previously learned characteristics of the genre. Learners have to remember typical features of a short story and have to fill in the given mind map. Again, this worksheet should be handed out and filled in before the learners receive the text. In terms of fostering students’ Textsortenkompetenz, it is essential that they are able to name and identify typical characteristics of each genre (cf. ibid.: 199). This worksheet is especially manageable for learners who have dealt with typical characteristics of the genre several times before. After they had time to work on this task on their own, they can work with a partner in a second step. To make sure that each student has a complete list of the typical features on his or her worksheet at the end of the lesson, the teacher should copy the mind map on the board while the learners are trying to find all characteristics. The course has to collect all features together on the board afterwards, so everybody can complement his or her worksheet. 4.2 While-Reading Activities This phase of text work based on the PWP-model aims at supporting the reader’s text comprehension (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 74). Through purposive reading, the reader is provoked to reflect on the ongoing individual impressions (cf. ibid.). Moreover, having a particular task in mind while reading a text can facilitate active reading and therefore, foster the individual text and reading competence of each learner. Both activities ask the learners to filter the most important information of the text represented in two different ways. Both tasks use visualisations the key aspects of the short story. In addition, the pro- 14 74 cess of searching for key aspects of a text provides the chance to repeat the different reading strategies learners should know and able to apply (cf. Thaler 2014: 191 f.). The first presented while-reading activity uses the ‘herringbone technique’ to provide an easy and figurative model with which learners are asked to fill in the most important aspects of the text. Nünning and Surkamp (cf. 2006: 206) emphasise the simple self-explanatory structure of the diagram, which is easy to remember. Thereby, even complex and confusing plots can be structured in a simplified manner and all of the important aspects are clearly represented (cf. ibid.). This model is definitely worth introducing because it can be helpful for every kind of text. Later, the results should be discussed in class. It is important to note that some sections such as Why? or What? might vary and students might come up with different opinions concerning, for example, what the story really is about or why Sirajuddin, his wife and Sakina are really inside the train. These differences offer many chances to discuss the students’ understanding of the text and challenge them to prove their opinion with regard to concrete text passages. Besides, the diagram serves as preparation for the post-reading task and students must use their results in order to work on the following worksheet. The other while-reading task (of set 2) challenges the learners to structure the short story into single passages and to sum up these single steps of the plot (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 75 f.). Again, the results might vary and probably to a greater extent in this task than in the previously presented while-reading task of set 1. Therefore, some students should present their results and these suggestions should be discussed and compared to the disposition of other students. 4.3 Post-Reading Activities This third and last phase wants to evaluate the individual reading experience (cf. ibid.: 77) and enough time should be given to repeat the central questions and aspects of the text (cf. Haß 2017: 202). The text production tasks should also repeat and utilise the previous considerations and findings (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2006: 78), so that those results do not get lost. 15 Based on Barbara Walker. For further reading see: Diagnostic Teaching of Reading: Techniques for Instruction and Assessment (1996). 75 Task number one on the post-reading worksheet of set 1 asks for a summary of Manto’s short story. The learners are only allowed to write three sentences and are challenged to include all important key aspects into this limited extent of text. Their previous worksheet with the herringbone technique might help them to remember the key aspects. The results probably give further opportunity to discuss and compare the different summaries with regard to different priority of what is most important and what can be left out. The basis of the second task should be the expectations and ideas of the pre-reading task. Now, the students have to write their own short story named “The Return”. The stories should take place during the time of Partition but the students should come up with a different plot. Afterwards, the learners can present their summaries as well as their own short stories by the use of a gallery walk and the learners can vote for the best summary and the best short story. The second suggestion, again, is part of the more analytical set and demands to work out why Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story “The Return” can be characterised as a typical short story with regard to typical features of the genre. The learners have to write an explanation, in which they point out these typical characteristics of short fiction by means of the text. Again, the results of the previous phases, especially the worksheet of the pre-reading phase, might help them to complete this task. Later, the teacher should discuss which features were adopted in “The Return” and where and how in the text these characteristics can be identified. 4.4 Summary Teaching Activities Pre-Reading Activity While-Reading Activity Post-Reading Activity Operationalisierte Aufgabenstellung (1) Before you read the story, think about the title. What do you expect to happen in the story? Take notes. (2) Complete the mind map. (1) Fill in the diagram while reading Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story “The Return” and complement the main idea at the bottom. (2) Divide the short story into stages. Transfer these events (1) 1. Summarise the short story in three sentences and include the most important aspects like Who? Where? When? (Your diagram of our while-reading activity might help you.) 76 into the single pieces of the plot chain. 2. Write your own story but use the same title. Maintain time and setting of the story but think about a different plot. (Your predictions of the story from our pre-reading activity might help you.) (2) Point out which typical features of a short story can be found in “The Return” and evaluate why the story is a typical representative of the genre. (2) Material/ Medium worksheet + trailer worksheet + text worksheet(s) + text (3) Sozialform (1) EA + PA (video clip) (2) EA + PA EA EA (4)Didaktisch- Methodischer Kommentar (1) worksheet before passing out the written text; some students are asked to present their ideas in class; afterwards: clip on YouTube; students have to compare their previous ideas with the trailer (PA); medium video clip: further immerge into the atmosphere filter the most important information; searching for key aspects of a text → repeat reading strategies; results of some sections might vary; diagrams serve as preparation for the post-reading tasks; some students should present their results → discussion in class (1) comparison of some summaries with regard to different priority of what is most important and what can be left out (2) present own short stories → gallery walk; learners vote for the best short story; teacher should discuss in class which features were adopt- 77 and topic of the text (2) worksheet should be passed out and filled in before the learners receive the text; recap; PA in a second step; In the end: complete mind map on the blackboard + students have to prove their suggestions ed in “The Return” and where and how in the text these characteristics can be identified 5 Conclusion Summing up, students can benefit a lot when teaching India in class. A teaching unit about the country should definitely involve a teaching unit about Partition. But further research is needed to broaden the teaching materials about postcolonial topics and to provide teachers with manifold texts, corresponding worksheets and ideas to create activating and motivating English classes. This paper analysed one possible text for future English teaching units about India and questioned which postcolonial key concepts can be found in Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story “The Return” and whether this short story is recommendable for TEFL purposes. The story “The Return” contains at least three important postcolonial key concepts namely ‘Abrogation’, ‘Displacement’ and ‘Othering’. But each of these included key concepts are not present in thoroughly unchallengeable manner. Therefore, the text does not provide a complete and prototypical implementation of each of these postcolonial key concepts. It can be argued that the concept of ‘Abrogation’ was not exerted very consequently because Manto did not originally write his short story in English but adopted typical English characteristics of the genre. Whether the text contains the concept of ‘Displacement’ can be questioned because one central criterion for this concept, namely the movement within national borders, can be challenged because the border was de facto established when Sirajuddin and Sakina moved from Amritsar to Lahore and therefore they, in the strict sense, crossed a national border – even though a very new one. Plus, the concept of ‘Othering’ is represented in an implicit manner, namely through the choice of the main characters and the description of the protagonists. The context includes more ‘Othering’ 78 than the plot itself. All in all, the text contains postcolonial key concepts, but none of them are completely exemplary and prototypical. Therefore, the text is only suitable to analyse postcolonial key concepts for advanced learners who have already dealt with these concepts. The short story is not practical to introduce those postcolonial key concepts. The following arguments sum up the usefulness of Manto’s text from the TEFL point of view. On the one hand, from the structural point of view, the story represents a good example of the genre because it contains all important features and the length of sentences as well as the language are suitable for the Oberstufe. In addition, authentic texts are always a valuable extension to coursebook texts because they introduce authentic language to the EFL learners and they provide lots of information about the foreign culture. Moreover, the text examines a global issue, which is definitely worth addressing in class, and which challenges students to use the foreign language for discussion. Lastly, the ambiguity of the text can provoke students to critically think on their own and can give a lot of freedom for different interpretations. On the other hand, the possibility of confirming already existing clichés and fostering stereotypes is very acute. Furthermore, the story does not provide topics which make it easy for young students to identify with. In addition, Manto’s ambiguous writing style might overburden young EFL learners and the desirable effect of students autonomously interpreting the text might not work without extensive guidance of the teacher. What is more, the important topic of violence against women and gender inequality is not criticized explicitly enough and because students might puzzle about what had happened to Sakina in the first place, the historical circumstances about Partition might get lost. Therefore, it is recommendable to focus on only one aspect: either gender inequality or the awful circumstances and consequences of Partition. The above mentioned arguments make it difficult to come to a conclusion, but the imperfectness of the postcolonial key concepts processed in the text, the sensitive topics of migration and rape and the necessity of an extensive amount of time to prepare and to further discuss the contents do not allow to give an overall recommendation to discuss Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story “The Return” in the EFL classroom. This does not mean that the short story cannot be a valuable extension, in case the group of students is ready to face this difficult text. This course would not have to be extraordinary proficient 79 regarding linguistic or literary competences but needs a certain level of know-how and proficiency with regard to postcolonial key concepts. Given the situation that the course is experienced in the matter of postcolonial key concepts and the teacher knows the students very well and can be sure that a text about abuse, rape and traumatic migration would not offend some students and that they are empathetic and aware of the issue of common clichés, this text could be very interesting for further discussion. But it has to be concluded that for the average EFL Oberstufe course, this text contains too many serious dangers and economic obstacles to recommend it universally. Bibliography Adam, M. M. A. (2013). Enhancing EFL Learners’ Competence through Short Stories: A Study in Four Colleges. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 4 (1), 154-160. Alter, S. (1994). Madness and Partition: The Short Stories of Saadat Hasan Manto. Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, 14, 91-100. Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (2000). Post-Colonial Studies. The Key Concepts. Oxford: Routledge. Bredella, L. (2012). 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Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto Verlag GmbH + Co. KG. ---. (2013). Intercultural Learning and Postcolonial Studies: “Never the Twain Shall Meet”?. In M. Eisenmann & T. Summer (Eds.), Basic Issues in EFL Teaching and Learning (2nd ed.) (pp. 169-180). Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter GmbH. Wandel, R. (2013). Teaching India in the German EFL Classroom – Issues and Problems. In J. Gohrisch & E. Grünkemeier (Eds.), Postcolonial 81 Studies Across the Disciplines (pp. 387-398). Amsterdam: Rodopi Verlag. Yusin, J. (2011). Beyond nationalism: The border, trauma and Partition fiction. SAGE Publications, Thesis Eleven, 105 (1), 23-34. 82 Reading and Teaching Post-Independence India in Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things Kevin Kuypers 1. Introduction [...] the quality of Ms. Roy’s narration is so extraordinary – at once so morally strenuous and so imaginatively supple – that the reader remains enthralled all the way through to its agonizing finish. (Truax 1997: 1) Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things is a postcolonial1 novel which was first released in 1997. In the book, Roy employs her unique writing style to write about a family that faces many challenges and tragedies: She tells the story of the twins Estha and Rahel (and their family) who live in Ayemenem, India between the late 60s and early 90s. As the quote above points out, the narration is extraordinary – both in style and structure. At the same time, the tragic fates of some characters are rough to read and although ending on a rather positive note, the vivid and metaphoric text makes the readers feel and sympathize with the characters. Still, The God of Small Things is a remarkable novel, which contains a great variety of typical features of post-independence Indian literature – specifically the Indo-English writing style. In the German Kernlehrplan für Gymnasien: Sekundarstufe II, teachers find themselves confronted with a mixture of competences they are obliged to convey to their students. The essential ‘Intercultural Com- 1 Some scholars make a distinction between the hyphenated and non-hyphenated spelling of ‘postcolonial’, thus referring to the differences between a historical/political understanding in contrast to a more regional/thematic one. In this term paper, the non-hyphenated version will be used plainly for reasons of simplification. 83 petence’ being among the most important ones can be fostered with many different topics and texts. At the end of the Qualifikationsphase im Grundkurs, students are expected to have sufficient sociocultural knowledge about one further anglophone postcolonial country (cf. Kernlehrplan 2014: 31). Here, India is often chosen as a topic to explain the political, social and cultural realities of the postcolonial nation. (Un-)fortunately, the Kernlehrplan phrases its goals and required competences rather broadly. Therefore, teachers are free to choose the specific topics, texts and materials for their students. This term paper aims at examining Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things and analyzing its suitability for English learners in the Sekundarstufe II. Accordingly, the books’ postcolonial key concepts will be analyzed. Subsequently, it will be necessary to take a look at the novel from the perspective of TEFL2: What are the specific chances and challenges of Roy’s novel? After having analyzed the novel’s suitability for the EFL classroom, suggestions for teaching activities are presented. As mentioned in the opening quote, there seems to be a tension between the stylistic brilliance and authentic content of the novel and the harsh themes Roy chose to address in her book. It will be interesting to see if The God of Small Things is a suitable novel for the Sekundarstufe II. 2 Postcolonial Key Concepts in “The Good of Small Things” In today’s postcolonial studies, there is a great variety of different key concepts that can be found – The God of Small Things is no exception in this regard. For this paper, two famous key concepts will be analyzed in the context of the novel. Furthermore, Roy has a very specific writing style. This will also be of interest, considering the suitability of the novel for younger learners. 2.1 ‘Hybridity’ The Oxford Dictionary defines the term as “[t]he offspring of two plants or animals of different species or varieties...” (Oxford Dictionary: Website). It is a term taken from biology to refer to the mixture of two separate species that create a new, hybrid one. Wolfreys, Robbins and Womack offer a broader definition that can be applied to other 2 In this term paper, the field of Teaching of English as a Foreign Language is referred to as TEFL. 84 fields of inquiry as well: ‘Hybridity’ refers to “something or someone of mixed ancestry or derived from heterogeneous (i.e., of diverse, different origins) sources” (Wolfreys et al. 2002: 43). Over the decades, the term has been lent to other contexts: It is now used for linguistic, cultural, political or racial phenomena, among others (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013: 136). ‘Hybridity’ can be used to explain a variety of aspects of the postcolonial Indian society: India was colonized by the English for a long time, only gaining its independence in 1947. This period of time has led to a mixture of different cultural facets of both countries and peoples. The special relationship between the colonizer and the colonized results in an extraordinary interdependence. This creates an “inbetween-space”, or as Homi Bhabha calls it: “The Third Space” (Bhabha 1994: 37). This “third space” is where the two formerly independent cultures blend and fuse together in order to develop a new culture (or language, habit, religion etc.). Furthermore, in his own words: “It is in the emergence of the interstices – the overlap and displacement of domains of difference – that the intersubjective and collective experiences of nationness, community interest, or cultural value are negotiated” (Bhabha 1994: 2). ‘Hybridity’ can, therefore, also challenge one’s own relation to one’s cultural background. The concept of ‘Hybridity’ has been confronted with a fair amount of criticism: Due to the fact that it is closely connected to colonization, the relationship between the colonizer and the colonized has often been hierarchical: While the latter has mostly been the one in a position of power, the colonized Indian people have been oppressed and forced to assimilate to the English culture. Historically speaking, the English have been viewed “as the privileged, ‘enlightened’, ‘civilized’, ‘rational’ and ‘advanced’ colonizer and the subaltern [Indian people as] ‘barbaric’, ‘superstitious’, ‘backward’” (Tickell 2007: 137 f.). There is a famous example of this from the English historian Thomas Babington Macauly, who wrote in a minute concerning the introduction of an education system in India: He wanted to create “a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect” (Macauly 1835: 115). This is evident racism and ‘Hybridity’ has been criticized for ignoring the hierarchical and political aspect of colonization (cf. Ashcroft, Griffiths & Tiffin 2013: 136). The God of Small Things, however, gives a lot of examples for a more modern and optimistic view of the concept. The novel introduces many different characters who have their own views of the world and the history of India’s colonization. These 85 views are mostly dependent on their age, because their age defines to which generation of the family they belong: Chacko, for example, who is Eshta’s and Rahel’s maternal uncle, belongs to the generation that views the process of hybridization critically. He calls his family a “family of Anglophiles” (Roy 2009: 52) which is “[p]ointed in the wrong directions, trapped outside their own history, and unable to retrace their steps because their footprints had been swept away.” (ibid.). He is a perfect example for the critical Indian who still tries to revolt against the forceful English influence. The twins, on the other hand, belong to the younger generation who have (unconsciously) adopted different aspects of the English culture. They play a lot with language3 and the boundaries of both the English and Hindi language system. Moreover, they have grown up with the Western culture as they have with the Malayalam: They know the Jungle Book or Julius Caesar as well as traditional dances or the Indian epic of the Mahabharata. In this context, Tickell writes that in his opinion, hybrid behaviour4, when unconsciously practised, is not “inherently seditious” (Tickell 2007: 139). While the twins, for example, do not challenge the established system consciously or intentionally, they still show that an independent use of aspects of both cultures can be fun and fruitful. In that respect, Tickell seems to disregard the fact that by showing a different way of dealing with colonial history people can feel as if their own way of life is being attacked: Estha and Rahel establish a whole new framework by fusing aspects of both cultures together as they like. Their new hybrid culture with roots in both Indian and English background is as independent and free in thinking as it can get and therefore, ‘Hybridity’ will always challenge the dominant establishment. One could go even further and suggest that the more unconscious ‘Hybridity’ is, the more seditious it is at the same time. 3 This will be further discussed in the next chapter. 4 In this context, one has to differentiate between the terms ‘Hybridiy’ and ‘Liminality’. Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin (2013) describe ‘Liminality’ as an “‘inbetween’ space in which cultural change may occur: the transcultural space in which strategies for personal or communal self-hood may be elaborated, a region in which there is a continual process of movement and interchange between different states” (117). Therefore, ‘Liminality’ and ‘Hybridity’ accompany each other, as the “interstitial passage between fixed identifications opens up the possibility of a cultural hybridity that entertains difference without an assumed or imposed hierarchy” (Bhabha 1994: 4). 86 It was stated that the twins play with language a lot and in the next chapter this will be analysed in-depth because their use of language is a good example for the linguistic adoption of ‘Hybridity’. Arundhati Roy not only uses her characters to fuse together different cultures to highlight the role of ‘Hybridity’ in modern India, but she also uses language in a similar fashion. Firstly, the novel often seems like an amalgam of prose and fusion (despite obviously being a novel first and foremost) (comment: a generic appropriation). The way Roy arranges her text, the typography she uses, and the enormous wealth of stylistic devices are clear hints for this: Edges, Borders, Boundaries, Brinks and Limits have appeared like a team of trolls on their separate horizons. Short creatures with long shadows, patrolling the Blurry End. Gentle half-moons have gathered under their eyes and they are as old as Ammu was when she died. Thirty-one. Not old. Not young. But a viable die-able age. (Roy 2009: 3) This extract is arranged like a poem, the reader is confronted with metaphors and similes, personifications and unusual capitalization and in the end even a rhyme (cf. Tickell 2007: 135). This style appears throughout the whole book and shows a form of ‘Hybridity’ on the most abstract level. Roy even employs many Hindi terms in her otherwise English-written book. Furthermore, the text’s structure is borrowed from traditional Indian stories. While Western stories tend to be written chronologically, Indian ones tend to have a cyclical structure: This stems from the Hindu religion and cosmology where the whole view of the universe is cyclical. Following this concept, Roy jumps from one point in the story to a future (or past) one. One of the most outstanding features of the book is how the twins Estha and Rahel play with language in the novel. As Tickell writes, they often break the connection between the signified and the signifier (cf. Tickell 2007: 136), following the theory of Ferdinand de Saussure. They seem to cherish the sounds of words, play with it and 87 they completely ignore the fixed regulations of a language system: Rahel, for example, likes the word “boot”, but thinks that “sturdy” is a terrible word, “[l]ike a dwarf’s name.” (Roy 2009: 46). There is no obvious connection between the word “sturdy” and a “dwarf”, but in the child’s own perception which is formed, shaped and constructed by two different cultures, there is. Another example is their favourite game when playing with words: Speaking and reading backwards. Stop signs become “POTS”-signs, the slogan “Be Indian, Buy Indian” becomes “NAIDNI YUB, NAIDNI EB” (Roy 2009: 58) and the earliermentioned “Satan in their eyes” becomes “nataS in their seye” (ibid. 60). This playfulness is contrasted by their grand-father Pappachi. He is an imperial entomologist who has discovered a new species of moth – which was then not named after him and lead to his greatest disappointment in his life. There is a deeper meaning to the process of naming something: Pappachi belongs to the older and therefore imperial and patriarchal generation of characters and in this context naming something “is an act of fixing, containing and thus controlling the meaning and form of language...” (Tickell 2007: 133). From a postcolonial point of view, whoever has the power over language generally has power. During the processes of colonization, control over language is one of most essential features to establish domination, hierarchy and rule (cf. Ashcroft et al. 1989: 4). Pappachi feels powerless because he cannot name his discovery. From this perspective, the twins are actually powerful characters because they use English, Hindi and a mixture of both (and even a fantasy language) as they like. Estha and Rahel as children are examples for an optimistic and functioning form of ‘Hybridity’, celebrating aspects of both languages and cultures and fusing them together just as they like. The next chapter will take a look at one more key concept, the ‘Double colonization’ of women. 2.2 Double Colonization The concept of ‘Double colonization’ stems from the mid-1980s and was first introduced in postcolonial discourse by Holst-Petersen and Rutherford (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013: 89). It belongs to feminist theory as it observes that women during processes of colonization seemed (or seem) to suffer not only from imperial but from patriarchal oppression as well. In India, for example, the whole population was taken over and oppressed by the English – in addition to that, women were subjected to the patriarchal system. Women are marginalized in 88 two different ways at the same time as both systems affect them similarly. This can continue even after colonization has ended: The effects of colonization do not stop immediately when independence is declared, therefore women in countries like India are often still exposed to both forms of oppression. In The God of Small Things, the effects of the former colonization are still present in many ways: The older the people of the family are, the more the reader feels them. Pappachi is an example for that: His language use (i.e. naming and classifying) is similar to his general approach in life: He is used to authoritarian subjugation and clear rules. This leads to horrible effects for his wife, Mammachi (the twins’ grand-mother): She gets beaten regularly by him and is forcefully stopped to play the violin (cf. Roy 2009: 48 f.) – a clear sign of trying to stifle her creativity (cf. Tickell 2007: 133). The situation is similar (maybe even worse) for their daughter Ammu: The twins’ mother suffers from abuse by her father and husband. When she divorces him, she is shamed by the community of Ayemenem. After having an affair with Velutha, an Untouchable, her sad life ultimately ends with early death. These are obvious indicators of women being colonized in two different ways at the same time. ‘Double colonization’ is certainly a sad truth in India – and the fates of Mammachi and Ammu are terrible to read and belong to the rougher parts of the novel. After having examined the writing style and some key concepts from postcolonialism, the next chapter will take a look at the chances and challenges of the novel from the perspective of TEFL. 3 Analysis from the Point of View of Teaching English as a Foreign Language Evaluating the suitability of The God of Small Things in schools requires weighing up the chances and challenges of the novel. In addition to the key concepts above, some other factors will also be added in order to gain an overview of the advantages and disadvantages. 3.1 Chances As mentioned in the introduction to this paper, postcolonial countries and cultures have found their way into the curriculum of German schools. A major focus here is the fostering of ICC (→ Intercultural Communicative Competence) and Fremdverstehen. From this perspective, the novel offers a variety of chances. The God of Small Things has a 89 great variety of characters that the reader accompanies throughout the book: The main ones all belong to one big family, include different generations, social classes and genders. This variety of fictional voices also leads to a wide range of different opinions, experiences, language use etc. Roy uses the technique of ‘dialogism’, where many different voices are set against another in a dialogic tension (cf. Bakhtin 1981: 314), which enables the reader to gain a great overview of the cultural diversity of India. It leads to a direct examination of foreign cultural habits. Additionally, the fact that ‘Hybridity’ is used in so many different ways and contexts in the book makes students explore and question the Indian as well as their own culture even more. This will foster and advance the students’ ability of intercultural discourse and understanding tremendously – which is one of the main goals in developing ICC in an EFL classroom (cf. Freitag & Gymnich 2007: 259). The writing style of Arundhati Roy is another factor that should be positively mentioned. Creating her own mix of prose with a lot of features from poetry will enable students to contrast both literary forms. The wealth of stylistic devices makes the novel vivid and stimulates imagination while reading. The unusual telling structure of the book might also be interesting for students because they are probably more used to traditional chronological stories. The dialogism of language in the book also plays a huge role: The fusion of different languages, the neologisms, the play with words and finally the contrast of poetic language and everyday-language raise the attention span of readers (cf. Volkmann 2015: 246). Conclusively, the main advantage of using literature and especially The God of Small Things in classrooms is the immense potential of fostering ICC and Fremdverstehen: The book’s countless different topics, the diversity of voices and opinions and the authenticity of the story and characters can lead to a critical reflection of the Indian and German culture (cf. Freitag & Gymnich 2007: 261). 3.2 Challenges The God of Small Things is certainly a novel of outstanding quality and its popularity and fame has been and is well-deserved. Unfortunately, there are certain challenges that could arise when using it as a text material in class with English learners. The first and most obvious one is its length: The book has 339 pages. In the curriculum, the topic of another anglophone nation with a postcolonial background is only one among many – therefore, picking a novel with over 300 pages is a bold 90 choice. Additionally, especially for younger students it is definitely not an easy read. Roy employs many Indian words in her text, her style of writing is very poetic (covering many stylistic devices such as metaphors and word plays) and the general language level is quite high: Depending on which character is currently presented, there can be complex sentence structures, difficult and unknown words and even technical terms (ranging from politics to biology etc.). This means that demanding the students to read the book over a holiday, for example, could be demotivating as they will probably take a long time. Surely, teachers can always decide to just read excerpts of the text. This ties closely to the next problem, though: the complex narrative structure. As mentioned before, the story is not told chronologically, but rather cyclical with regular time-jumps. Choosing certain passages would always require teachers to give a lot of context and even then, it is questionable how fruitful that is. The novel depends on its dense atmosphere, the authenticity of the family’s tragedies and its fascinating writing style. Cutting the text into pieces would ruin the flow of the novel and is at least debatable. Another obstacle is the lacking Lebensweltbezug of the novel. As Freitag & Gymnich (2007) point out, (postcolonial) literature should (among other things) enable students to empathize with the new cultural point of view in order to improve their Fremdverstehen-skills (259). Accordingly, teachers should choose texts with characters and a plot that offers a certain potential of identification for the learners (cf. ibid. 261). This could be achieved by picking texts that deal with topics of adolescence for example. The God of Small Things does not fall into that category. Most of the plot is set in the 60s, some of it in 90s – for today’s learners, this is too long ago for their imagination. Moreover, the problems of the book’s characters are not really relatable for German students. This leads directly to the next challenge: The topics of the novel. Not only are they not really relatable for younger learners, but a lot of them seem too harsh, too. They lack the necessary background to decode the text from top-down. They range from children’s death (Sophie Mol drowns), a lot of violence (mainly against children and women → ‘Double colonization’), injustice (due to the caste system: Ammu and Velutha are punished with death for their forbidden love affair), sexual abuse (Estha and the “Orangedrink Lemondrink Man”), humiliation, political oppression and so on. As a result of the horrible things that happen, one of the main characters, Estha, even becomes mute. While on the one hand, all of the events create an authentic and 91 impenetrable atmosphere, its suitability for young learners is arguable on the other hand due to the sensitive subjects addressed in the novel. When dealing with the novel, an analytical approach is recommendable for students so that they do not become too emotionally troubled. The God of Small Things, however, presents the reader with so many difficult, emotionally disturbing events that it could easily overtax some students. There are rarely positive or optimistic things happening and even if there are, they are quickly overshadowed by something sad. Here, the effort of preparing and editing the text so that it is usable does not match the possible gain at the end. There are also some smaller hurdles that could be dealt with but are surely time-consuming. First off, the plot requires some background knowledge – about the postcolonial past, the political circumstances at the time (→ communism) and the caste system, for example. Additionally, the text has to be edited by the teacher because a lot of foreign words must be translated. Arundhati Roy is also known for the irony she employs at some parts that might be difficult to understand for learners. A great example is the part where the Australian missionary sees Satan in the eyes of the twins. In the next sentence, the twins spell it backwards: “nataS in their seye” which is a typical feature of satanic occurrences. In the last two sentences of the paragraph and chapter, Roy reports that the missionary, Miss Mitten, was killed by a milk van and that to the twins there was hidden justice that she was killed by a truck that was reversing (cf. Roy 2009: 60). This is sharp irony, maybe even cynical due to the fact that she reports it incidentally at the end of the paragraph and might be difficult for younger pupils to understand. In the next step, the chances and challenges will be weighed up against each other to make a final decision on the suitability of The God of Small Things in an EFL-classroom. 3.3 Suitability According to Wandel, when it comes to choosing literature for postcolonial classrooms, the concept of Kulturkunde with a focus on literary achievement has achieved a comeback (cf. Wandel 2013: 389). Surely, there can be many merits: Students get to know works of the literary canon, in the case of The God of Small Things there are many postcolonial concepts that could be examined, and the writing style and narrative structure are exquisite. In general, one could say: There is a lot to work on and to work with. 92 On the other hand, one has to weigh up these advantages against the obstacles. In the case of Roy’s novel, the challenges unfortunately predominate. The sheer length and complexity of the novel would require too much editing; the topics are not suitable for younger learners; the time it would take to establish sufficient background knowledge is too much; and the lacking Lebensweltbezug probably will turn out to be demotivating for the students. With enough time, maybe a Leistungskurs could work with the novel – the question is if there are other possibilities that enable the students to achieve and foster the required competences more easily. If one would want to stick with the serious approach to postcolonial literature, there is a great variety of short stories to work with. They also, partly, belong to the great literary canon and are not as time-consuming. There are also many examples for movies. One could also choose lighter fiction, as Wandel suggests. He criticizes German educators and publishers for focussing too much on texts with a “world-wide-acceptance” produced by authors who have ‘made it’” (ibid.: 390). He suggests that there is a lot of material such as cartoons, magazines or ‘light’ fiction teachers could choose to enhance Fremdverstehen and ICC – Lebensweltbezug is overall one of the most decisive factors when it comes to motivation and motivation is crucial for the expansion of knowledge and competence. In conclusion, this paper suggests that Arundhati Roy’s novel The God of Small Things is not suitable for EFL-learners. Therefore, the next chapter will briefly propose a possible approach for students at university level. 4 Teaching Activities The following proposal is meant for high-level students (at university level for example). It is provided that possibly needed background knowledge is available and the book has been read. In order to convey two of the most striking characteristics of the novel, one could choose two passages. The course is split up into two groups: One for the first passage, one for the second. The first group receives an extract from the beginning of the book, which has been introduced earlier to work on the rich stylistic devices and the fusion of prose and poetry (Roy 2009: 3). The second group could focus on the concept of ‘Hybridity’ embodied by the twins and their play of language and fixed systems (ibid: 46 & 58). 93 Pre-Reading- Activity While-Reading-Activity Post-Reading- Activity Operationalisierte Aufgabenstellung 1) In groups of two, do a brief brainstorm on stylistic devices. Which ones do you remember and what is their function? 2) In groups of two, do a brief brainstorm on ‘Hybridity’. What features do you remember? 1) Read the following extract: “Edges, Borders, Boundaries, Brinks and Limits have appeared like a team of trolls on their separate horizons. Short creatures with long shadows, patrolling the Blurry End. Gentle half-moons have gathered under their eyes and they are as old as Ammu was when she died. Thirty-one. Not old. Not young. But a viable die-able age.” (Roy 2009: 3) Underline the stylistic devices you find in this passage. Try to connect your results to genres such as prose and poetry. Write your results on the poster and be ready to present them. 2) Read the following extracts: “Rahel thought that boot was a lovely word. A much better word, at any rate, than sturdy. Sturdy was a terrible word. Like a dwarf’s name.” (Roy, 2009: 46) “The red sign on the red and white arm said STOP in white. After the presentation of your results, answer the following question in class: “In how far does Arundhati Roy's special writing style foster or hinder the conveying of ‘Hybridity’ and the clash of cultures within the family?” → Hint: You can show this by contrasting the twins with Pappachi! 94 ‘POTS’, Rahel said. A yellow hoarding said BE INDIAN, BUY INDIAN in red. ‘NAIDNI YUB, NAIDNI EB’, Estha said.” (Roy 2009: 58) Explain what the twins are doing with language here. Try to connect your results to the concept of ‘Hybridity’. Write your results on the poster and be ready to present them. Material/Medium AB Poster Sozialform Partnerarbeit Einzelarbeit/Gruppenarbeit Unterrichtsgespräch Following the constructivist approach of pre-, while- and postreading activities, in a first step it is important to reactivate the required background knowledge. Group one is asked to create a list of stylistic devices they already know, group two collects features of ‘Hybridity’. This pre-reading-task is very brief and only serves to recall the necessary information and put the students into the right mindset. The following while-reading-task then demands from each group to do a close-reading of the passages with the task given on the work sheet. Their results shall be put down on a poster (for later purposes of presentation and Sicherung). The post-reading-task then dissolves the groups: After having presented and listened to the results of both groups, the students analyse in how far the special writing style of Arundhati Roy fosters or hinders the conveying of ‘Hybridity’ and the clash of cultures within the family. The example of this can be the contrast between the twins and their grand-father Pappachi. 5 Conclusion This paper aimed to evaluate on the suitability of Arundhati Roy’s novel The God of Small Things for EFL-classrooms. It is surely a book of outstanding quality and its fame and popularity is well-deserved. Roy grants insight into the challenging world of postcolonial families 95 and creates a dense atmosphere. Many concepts of postcolonial studies can be found, and her unique narrative style has a lot of value to it. The problem with the novel is that with regards to teaching, the fates of the characters are too rough, the content and themes too unrelatable for students and the background knowledge required is too much for the novel to be a fruitful material: There are definitely easier texts to improve pupil’s Fremdverstehen and ICC. The use of the novel in EFL-classrooms is, therefore, not recommended. That is why the methodological outline was rather brief. There is, however, a solution to the problem: After having finished a Unterrichtsreihe for the topic of India, teachers could always offer to do a little workshop for interested students. Especially in advanced courses, there are usually more lessons and time for this. If the students are still interested, a teacher could spare a lesson to give a brief overview over the theoretical field of postcolonial studies. Key concepts could be briefly presented and selected works from the great literary cannon introduced. If this would be done in a relaxing classroom atmosphere with short movie trailers, for example, and the use of digital media, it could be a very fruitful way of sparking the interest in learners. It would also follow the concept of Wissenschaftspropädeutik: It might not be the most important concept for English classes but giving pupils an outlook on and overview of what the subject is capable of is definitely beneficial. Having come to the conclusion that The God of Small Things is not suitable for being taught in the EFL classroom although it is a highly complex and impressive work of postcolonial literature which can be considered worth reading, an interesting starting point for additional research could be in how far one could establish further synergies between Literaturdidaktik in higher education and Fremdsprachendidaktik at school. Especially in the field of postcolonial literature, there are a lot of texts that are to be considered in that respect Bibliography Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin H. (2013). Postcolonial Studies The Key Concepts. London & New York: Routledge. Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin H. (1989). The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures in English. London: Taylor and Francis. Bhabha, H. (1994). The Location of Culture. London: Routledge. 96 Bakhtin M. (1981). The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. In M.. Holquist (Ed.), translated by C. Emerson & M. Holquist. Austin (Texas): University of Texas Press. Freitag, B., & Gymnich, M. (2007). New English and Postcolonial Literatures im Fremdsprachenunterricht. In W. Hallet & A. Nünning (Eds.), Neue Ansätze und Konzepte der Literatur- und Kulturdidaktik (WVT Handbücher zur Literatur- und Kulturdidaktik) (pp. 259-276). Trier: WVT. Macauly, T. B. (1835). Minute dated 2nd February 1835. In H. Woodrow (Ed.). (1862). Macaulay’s Minutes on Education in India. Calcutta: The Baptist Mission Press. English Oxford Living Dictionaries. (2018). Web. Oxford University Press. (Last accessed: 29.05.2018). Roy, A. (2009). The God of Small Things. London: Fourth Estate. Tickell, A. (2007). Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. Abingdon: Tylor & Francis. Truax, A. (1997). A Silver Thimble in Her Fist. New York Times. Web. iews/970525.25truaxt.html (Last accessed: 29.05.2018). Volkmann, L. 2015: Opportunities and Challenges for Transcultural Learning and Global Education via Literature. In W. Delanoy, M. Eisenmann & F. Matz (Eds.), Learning with Literature in the EFL Classroom (pp. 237 – 262). Frankfurt am Main: Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften. Wandel, R. (2013). Teaching India in the German EFL Flassroom – Issues and Problems. In J. Gohrisch & E. Grünkemeier (Eds.), Postcolonial Studies across the Disciplines (pp. 387 – 398). Leiden: Bill Rodopi. Wolfreys, J., Robbins, R., & Womack, K. (2002). The Key Concepts in Literary Theory. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 97 India as a Global Player: Akash Kapur's India Becoming in the EFL Classroom Marc Nöthen 1 Introduction The following term paper is concerned with Akash Kapur’s India Becoming from 2012. His book received renown from both the American as well as the Indian media for Kapur’s “authentic and unbiased” (Ward 2012) insight account of the cultural, economic, global and social situation in today’s Indian society. Yet, the book has, to the knowledge of the author of this paper, not been the object of any literary analysis of postcolonial theory so far. Therefore, this paper aims at examining the book’s promising potential as a representative of contemporary Indian postcolonial writing. With regards to that, the first chapter deals with the analysis of the postcolonial concepts represented in Kapur’s India Becoming. This examination is based on the theoretical approaches of the well-known postcolonial theorists Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, Achebe, Bhabha, Edwards, Gunew and Rath. The selected concepts include ‘Appropriation’, ‘Diaspora’, ‘Hybridity’, ‘Liminality’, ‘Local’ versus ‘Global’ and ‘Palimpsest’ (all cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013). In addition to these concepts, the influencing factor of globalisation on contemporary postcolonial literature is taken into account as well (cf. Edwards 2008: 160–170). Moreover, the following paper is intended to contribute to German educational theory regarding the potential of India Becoming for intercultural learning in the EFL-classroom as far as the subject of postcolonial India is concerned. According to that, most scholars of the German Fachdidaktik agree that India offers a great potential for the EFL-Classroom despite it being underrepresented in the current 98 school curriculum (cf. Lindner 2010, Volkmann 2015, Wandel 2010 & Teske 2008). Lindner even goes as far as calling it a “jewel in the classroom” (Lindner 2010: 59). As a result, chapter three is focused on a fachdidaktische Analyse of the book’s chances and challenges for foreign language learning on account of the official curriculum of North Rhine-Westphalia on the one hand as well as fachdidaktische concepts and theories about literary learning, language learning, intercultural learning and Kompetenzorientierung on the other hand. In addition, an exemplary set of ideas for potential tasks/activities for a fictional group of students of the gymnasiale Oberstufe to deal with extracts of Kapur’s book are being introduced in the final chapter. These socalled learner activities are divided into pre-reading, while-reading and postreading activities. They are designed to guide and assist the students in their reading process as well as to develop and further their knowledge and skills regarding literature learning and foreign language learning in general and their intercultural communicative competence in particular. Having said that, it is now time to start with the analysis of postcolonial concepts in Akash Kapur’s book India Becoming. 2 Postcolonial Key Concepts in India Becoming In this chapter, the postcolonial concepts that can be found in Kapur’s book are examined. First, a definition of the term postcolonial literatures will be given in order to clarify the theoretical background of each concept before they are applied to the text. With regards to that, a selection of text extracts will be analysed systematically and representatively for the whole book. The selected concepts include ‘Appropriation’, ‘Diaspora’, ‘Hybridity’, ‘Liminality’, ‘Local’ versus ‘Global’ and ‘Palimpsest’ as well as globalisation. Even though the latter is not a postcolonial concept itself, Edwards has proven its significance for contemporary postcolonial writing (cf. Edwards 2008: 160–170). First of all, it is necessary to set the theoretical background, meaning the postcolonial theory behind these various concepts. First, it should be stated that this whole analysis is based on West-Pavlov’s approach that both, reader and author, are in constant dialogue during the reading process (cf. West-Pavlov 2005: 27, 32) and that, therefore, the reader is involved in decoding of meaning in the text by his own re-writing of the text and, with that, his re-writing of the “symbolic of social and political life” (ibid.: 27). As a result, according to West- Pavlov, a cultural outsider can best achieve cultural learning when encountering a dialogue between two natives of a particular culture, for 99 only then the dialogue fully represents the target culture (cf. ibid.: 32). Achebe and Edwards agree with this assertion. According to them, each postcolonial culture is different and unique on account of their dialogue or literatures contain a specific cultural code only a member could fully grasp and comprehend (cf. Achebe 1990: 74, 88; Ewards 2008: 12). With regards to that, Bhabha understands language as the key transmitter of cultural code (cf. Bhabha 2002: 297–298, 315–317). Moreover, one should not speak of postcolonial literature but rather postcolonial literatures in the plural (cf. Edwards 2008: 12). In reference to that, it is also necessary to define the term ‘postcolonial literatures’ before starting with the analysis of the concepts in Kapur’s book. Contrary to a common public opinion, the term ‘postcolonial’ is not synonymous to ‘after-independence’ (cf. ibid.: 9–11, 30; Ashcroft et al. 2005: 1). Rather, the term covers literature from the moment of colonisation up to the present day (cf. Ashcroft et al.: ibid.). Although, as pointed out above, each postcolonial culture is unique, all of them still share their common experience of colonisation, domination, being forced upon a different culture and resisting it up to the present by various means, including their own cultural language vernaculars as well as their literatures (cf. Edwards 2008: 12). This approach of postcolonial literatures ‘writing back’ to the colonial centre (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2005: 1, 3–4) is based upon the remaining influence or ‘hold’ of the English language and literature on postcolonial cultures and the need of these cultures to show their own literary presence and write about themselves in order not to be written over by others (cf. ibid.: 4). As a result, the term postcolonial reaches far beyond the usual bounds of a literary genre due to its being often used as a political and ideological tool as well (cf. Edwards 2008: 16). Analysing cultural concepts is becoming increasingly difficult these days, for as Gunew points out, the world has changed into a global and multicultural one in which cultural bounds become more and more illusive (cf. Gunew 2002: 103–104). Furthermore, such a process is complicated by Bhabha’s approach to the term ‘nation’ as being an artificial construct based on a shared language and a collection of norms and values the particular group of people has agreed upon (cf. Bhabha 2002: 291–292, 315–317). Nevertheless, this paper shows that it is still possible to find elements of cultural codes in the shape of, for instance, postcolonial concepts in literary works like Kapur’s book India Becoming. One of the most dominant features or con- 100 cepts to be found in the book is the concept of ‘Diaspora’5. With Akash Kapur himself being the main character of his book, the ‘narrating I’ as well as the ‘experiencing I’, the whole book turns out to be the story of one big diaspora. Born as the son of an Indian father and an American mother, Kapur leaves India by the age of sixteen to study in the United States before returning to India in 2003 (cf. Kapur 2012a: 1, 3, 6–7). So, his diaspora is an ethnoscape one for Kapur moves between nations (cf. Edwards 2008: 158–159). Also, his diaspora is affected by all of Rath’s three principles of diasporic identity (cf. Rath 2000). Kapur identifies with India as a country, his place of birth, but he also feels lost in time due to the way India has changed geographically, economically, socially and culturally during his absence (cf. Kapur 2012a: e.g. 45–50, 76, 173, 176–177, 263–264). As a result, he is constantly negotiating his own cultural identity (cf. ibid.: e.g. 4–5, 45– 50, 77–81, 306–309). In his book, Kapur describes many other diasporas in addition to his own. In fact, almost every character of his book has a diasporic story to tell. In a tea shop, a local farmer tells Kapur about various ‘Dislocations’ (cf. Ashcroft et al.: 45–47) of villagers due to the policy of the Indian government (cf. Kapur 2012a: 3). Hari, a young, high spirited man has lived through a ‘Financescape’ diaspora by moving from his home village to a city for his ambitious career as a businessman (cf. ibid.: 51-57; Edwards 2008: 158–159). Later, his company sends him to Great Britain (cf. Kapur 2012a: 154–163, 264–271). Likewise, Sathy’s wife Banu moved from the countryside to a city to earn more money and she even took the children with her for better school education (cf. ibid. 89: 294). Considering the motives behind some of these diasporas, two more postcolonial concepts become apparent, namely ‘Hybridity’ (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013: 135–139; Edwards 2008: 139–150; Rath 2000) and ‘Liminality’ (cf. Ashcroft 2013: 145– 146). With one meaning the creation of a third, transcultural form as the result of two different cultures meeting in a so-called ‘third space’ and the other describing just such a transcultural “in-between space”, a “threshold area” (both ibid.: 145) for two cultures to meet, both terms are closely linked since the latter can provide the ‘space’ required by the first. 5 For a detailed definition of the term, see Ashcroft et al. 2013: 81–83; Edwards 2008: 150–159. In addition, Rath offers an interesting perspective on the concept through his categorisation of three elements of diasporic identity, namely home as place, home as time and virtual home (cf. Rath 2000). 101 Kapur is a cultural hybrid by his very birth, for he grew up between the Indian and the American culture and he unites both of them inside him. In addition, his new transcultural identity is influenced by both the time he lived in India and the decade in the United States that followed. Since hybridity is a constant, never-ending process of negotiating one’s own cultural identity (cf. ibid.: 135–139), Kapur’s cultural identity continues to be altered by and during his time back in India. His cultural hybridity is the very reason that made him return to India in the first place. He is looking for a place he can call home. He left for the United States for better education, but the memory of India never faded away. So, when life in the United States lost its charms for him, Kapur was eager for an ‘adventure’ in India, which turned out to be a wilder place than he had bargained for (cf. Kapur 2012a: 6, 263–264). Back in India, he felt excited about and intrigued by the country’s economic presence as well as the people’s spirit, both of which reminding him of his time in the United States (cf. ibid.). Soon, however, he realised the negative impacts of globalisation in India and, throughout his entire storytelling, he feels alienated or unable to identify with certain facets of this new India he barely recognises on various occasions (cf. ibid.: 9–10, 12, 72–75). There are times when he feels lonely on the countryside, yearning for some action and ambition in the cities (cf. ibid.: 45–50). At other times, he cannot identify with the urban Indian lifestyle any more and wants to go back to the villages where he thinks life is more honest (cf. ibid.: 294–296). He finally makes peace with his life in India deciding to focus on the bright sides rather than the hardships of life. The moment he does so, he feels home again and is enthusiastic about being there to witness the way India is going as a nation in a global world and to be a part of it (cf. ibid.: 306–309). The other characters of his book, like Hari or Veena, a young and independent businesswoman, on the other hand, were no cultural hybrids by birth but became them due to the cultural gaps between rural and urban India as well as the gap between their generation of ambitious young workers representing the Americanised spirit of modern India and the conservative generation of their parents who cannot identify with this new spirit of independent women, sexual tolerance, disregard for the caste system, self-made businessmen and India as a new global player in a more multicultural, global economy (cf. ibid.: e.g. 121–131, 132–142, 173, 264–271). In Kapur’s interviews, both characters point out that they are constantly negotiating their own cul- 102 tural identity with both their friends in town and their families in their home villages (cf. ibid.). Both, the cultural conflict between city and countryside as well as the one between two generations of Indian society are displayed in the postcolonial concept of ‘Local’ versus ‘Global’ (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013: 146–147) that is concerned with the “engagement of local communities with global culture […], [under] the underlying pressure of the global economy” (ibid.: 147). While people in the cities have overcome the boundaries of the caste system and abandoned the patriarchal order in favour of independent, self-made businessmen and -women, people from the countryside still cling to it. Sathy, for example, welcomes the economic changes in India for all the wealth it brings to some people. He is happy that his children go to a good school and that his wife has a job that pays well. But he cannot bring himself to abandon his home village. Even though the younger generation does not show him the respect he is due as a member of a high caste and, although farming is not paying off anymore, he is desperately clinging to his old life dwelling on the past (all cf. Kapur 2012a: 16–34, 36–50, 89–95, 237– 261, 294). Sathy’s feeling of disorientation in India’s latest economic and social development on the one hand and in the cultural changes on the other hand also represents the concept of ‘Palimpsest’ (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013: 190–191). Kapur describes an Indian nation striving to become a global player on the world market with the US as their idol. Yet, their cultural past still leaves its traces in modern Indian society. On the one hand, people are proud of their economy and even feel superior to Western economies (cf. Kapur 2012a: 51–54). At the same time, the traditional family ties, the role of women, the consumption of meat and people’s roots to the countryside still have a cultural effect on characters like Hari (cf. ibid.: 264–272), the cow broker Ramadas (cf. ibid.: 92–118, 299–303), the tough and independent businesswoman Veena (cf. ibid.: 173, 276, 290–294) and Selvie who is still under the influence of her family (cf. ibid.: 60, 164–172, 174–177). These ties to the past set India apart from other global players. The US may have been an idol but India with its people and its economy is something else, something unique in and of itself. This leads directly to the concept of ‘Appropriation’ (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2013: 19–20). Like Bhabha (2002) suggests, language is one of the most defining features of a nation (cf. 297–298, 315–317). Moreover, according to Achebe as well as Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, the use of the English language in postcolonial literatures is a marker of resistance, of ‘writing back’, but 103 also a pragmatic tool to reach as many potential readers in the world as possible (cf. Achebe 1990: 74, 90; Ashcroft et al. 2005: 4). Now, with Kapur, the motives behind publishing in English remain, to a certain degree, speculation. He might have used the English language to reach as many readers as possible, given the importance of the English language within modern Indian society (cf. Kapur 2012a: 61–62, 154–163) on the one hand and the cultural influence from his life in the United States on the other hand. Nevertheless, it is also possible that Kapur, as the son of an Indian father and an American mother, has used the English language for mere convenience. Whatever reasons Kapur had, he makes it plain in his book that both his American past and his present life in a modern, global India have shaped his individual culture (cf. ibid.: 6, 181–183, 263–264, 306–309). Therefore, it seems reasonable to assume that the reason for his writing in English is that the language forms a crucial part of Kapur’s own, individual cultural identity. The discussed postcolonial concepts used in India Becoming have in common that they are, with regards to the story, influenced by globalisation. Kapur’s book is proof of Edward’s theory that contemporary postcolonial writing often deals with or is affected by the issues of modernisation destroying indigenous tradition and globalisation creating a system of multiculturalism with open borders (cf. Edwards 2008: 160–161, 165–166). Indeed, the diasporas of Hari, Banu, Selvi and Veena are all caused by a shared cultural desire to make money and be part of India’s flourishing economy (cf. Kapur 2012a: 51–57, 60, 121– 131, 132–142). Likewise, the conflicts between local and global, that is between rural and urban India, and the palimpsest represented by Sathy, for example, are based on or at least affected by India becoming a global player (cf. ibid.: 18–34, 83–87, 89, 91–95, 151–153, 209– 224, 229–233, 236, 294). To sum it up, Akash Kapur’s India Becoming is a suitable example for contemporary postcolonial literatures because of several postcolonial concepts like ‘Diaspora’, ‘Hybridity’, ‘Liminality’, ‘Local’ versus ‘Global’, ‘Palimpsest’ and ‘Appropriation’. Furthermore, all of these concepts are affected by contemporary global issues in accordance with Edward’s approach. Having verified the worth of India Becoming for contemporary postcolonial literary theory, it is now time to examine the book’s potential for the German EFL-classroom. 104 3 Analysis from the point of view of Teaching English as a Foreign Language This chapter is designed to discuss the potential of Kapur’s India Becoming for the German EFL-classroom with regards to Kompetenzförderung, literature learning, language learning and, most of all, the students’ intercultural communicative competence. Therefore, both the book’s chances and challenges are to be considered. As a piece of literature produced by a native speaker of English, Kapur’s book has the potential to further what the curriculum6 calls text- or literary competence, involving the skills of, for example, text analysis as well as reflection and interpretation (cf. Ministerium für Schule und Weiterbildung NRW 2014: 32–34). Likewise, the book can offer the students the chance to practise their language skills and increase their vocabulary knowledge. The book’s true value for the German EFLclassroom, with regards to the curriculum, however, lies within its potential to further the so-called intercultural communicative competence (cf. ibid.: 31)7. Nearly all the different topics listed in the curriculum regarding the students’ knowledge for socio-cultural orientation are referred to in India Becoming. Moreover, the impact of the media, globalisation and the American Dream on Kapur’s characters are described in the story. As a result, the book tackles subjects students can identify with in their own lives. Thus, India Becoming offers what German educational theorists call Lebensweltbezug, the very aspect which, according to Wandel, is often being ignored when dealing with postcolonial India in the EFL-classroom (cf. Wandel 2010: 388–390). Wandel states that most publishing houses were sticking to geographical tourist information as well as a literary canon of outdated Indian works that, although being integral part of the country’s cultural heritage, is by its very nature ignorant of India’s present-day situation and thus far away from contemporary language learners’ ‘realities’. In contrast, India Becoming includes several of the topics that, following Lindner and Wandel, make India such a “jewel in the classroom” (Lindner 2010: 59). Such topics are, for example, Indian diaspora on the Asian sub-continent, India between tradition and moder- 6 Every time the word ‘curriculum’ is used in this paper, it is referring to the curriculum for EFL-teaching in the gymnasialen Oberstufe of the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. 7 For a detailed account on the importance of intercultural learning in the EFLclassroom, see Delanoy 2013: 157–165. 105 nity, the country’s social contradictions, India’s patriarchal society, the cities’ tolerance with regards to marriage and the caste system versus the violence on the countryside, the social gap between rich and poor, the everyday-lives of the country’s younger generation as well as the role of the English language in Indian society (cf. Kapur 2012a; Lindner 2010: 60; Wandel 2010: 394–396). Moreover, Kapur’s book is no artificially created teaching material but offers authentic perspectives on cultural realities in contemporary India. With regards to that, globalisation, the new ‘Indian Dream’ and the nation’s success in the ITsector on the one hand as well as the loss of tradition, the increase of poverty and violence, the pollution of the environment and the agricultural crisis on the other hand are big issues in Indian public and the country’s media (cf. Silicon India 2012; Kapur 2012b; Ward 2012; The New York Times 2004; Ved 2015). Accordingly, Kapur’s focus on economic India even provides a chance for an interdisciplinary approach in the EFL-classroom. For instance, a class project concerning a comparison of two global players like India and China could be initiated in corporation with the school’s geography department (cf. Teske 2008: 183–184). In addition, India Becoming, as a piece of contemporary Indian literature, gives German foreign language learners an impression of India’s literary culture as well (cf. Ashcroft 2013: 30, 46). Apart from that, Nünning, Surkamp and Volkmann agree that literature has a great potential for intercultural learning for it offers an inside perspective into the target culture, second only to real personal trans- or intercultural encounters (cf. Nünning 2001: 6). As a result, experiencing postcolonial literatures like Kapur’s India Becoming furthers the students’ abilities to change perspectives, to create empathy, tolerance and openness to another culture. At the same time, learners have to critically reflect on the content since the ideas expressed in a literary text are based on a fictional cultural perspective and not on true fact (cf. ibid: 5-8; Volkmann 2015: 237, 241–243). This, of course, requires an active reader who can apply the world of the text to his own experiences and vice versa, an ability which lies at the very core of intercultural literary competence (cf. Surkamp 2014: 77–80). With Kapur, however, the characters’ names may be fictional, but their stories are claimed to be real (cf. Kapur 2012a: prologue and acknowledgements), which increases the value of the book with regards to intercultural learning. Beside these aspects of educational theory, the potential of India Becoming for postcolonial studies pointed out in chapter two of this 106 paper amplifies the value of the book for the EFL-classroom as well. Since postcolonial literatures deal with their situation or history (cf. Ashcroft 2013: 30, 46; Achebe 1990: 75, 88) while also being often published in English as a means to ‘write back’ and influence the global market, (cf. Ashcroft et al. 2005: 3-4; Achebe 1990: 72-74, 90) and since cultural exchange, as Achebe highlights, “enriches the world” (Achebe 1990: 89), students should know about some postcolonial concept like ‘Diaspora’, ‘Appropriation’, ‘Hybridity’ or ‘Palimpsest’ in order to understand alternative world views or cultural concepts better and, as a result, to broaden their horizons within their own multicultural lives. While Kapur’s book offers many chances for the EFL-classroom, it also poses certain challenges. The language used in the book is directed to native speakers. Thus, the book is beyond the language level of any German EFL-student but those of the Oberstufe. With regards to that, the length of the book makes it impractical to read the whole book, given the limited time the school year provides. As a result, students would have to work with extracts only. Moreover, even though Kapur occasionally offers geographical as well as cultural background explanations regarding, for example, the caste system or Indian English vocabulary (cf. Kapur 2012a: 1, 6–7, 16, 36, glossary), students require a certain amount of cultural background knowledge before being capable of comprehending the text in full, including knowledge about arranged marriage, India’s colonial past, the economic government policies of the 1990s, the caste system, the importance of the English language for Indian society as well as India’s global economy. Likewise, students need to have discussed topics like the American Dream and globalisation in class already due to their relevance for the Indian society Kapur describes. Finally, learners might encounter difficulties regarding the book’s mixture of literary genres. Apart form elements of narrative texts, which at least students of the Oberstufe are familiar with, Kapur’s book also contains elements of biography and autobiography both of which being genres students have little experience with. As a consequence of that, the learners might easily take Kapur’s perspective/account for factual truth8. So, additional genrespecific background knowledge would be required as well. However, students should already be familiar with the narrator’s views and ac- 8 For a detailed account on the genre-specific characteristics, chances and challenges of autobiography and memoir, see Smith & Watson 2010. 107 counts being fictional or at least not factual truth form their experience with narrative texts. Accordingly, this lack of experience with the genre of autobiography could be compensated for without greater difficulty. In a nutshell, there are chances and challenges involved when considering the potential of India Becoming for the German EFLclassroom. But once the students are provided with the needed cultural, historical, political and technical/genre-specific background- and contextual knowledge, Kapur’s book has a lot to offer to foreign language learners regarding their literature learning, language learning and, especially, their intercultural communicative competence. To further elaborate on the point, some concrete suggestions on how to use extracts from Kapur’s book in a Grundkurs of the gymnasiale Oberstufe will be introduced and discussed in the following chapter. 4 Teaching Activities In this chapter, a methodological approach on how to use India Becoming in the German EFL-classroom to further literature learning, language learning and, especially, the intercultural communicative competence is being discussed on the basis of the chances and challenges analysed in the previous chapter. Accordingly, the three tasks suggested in the following were set for a Grundkurs of the gymnasiale Oberstufe so that the language level used in the book is not beyond the students’ potential abilities to cope with. Moreover, the fictional class is already familiar with the concepts of globalisation and the American Dream as well as competent, to a certain degree, with elements of India’s past, its economic potential and several cultural elements like, for instance, the caste system or the concept of arranged marriage from previous lessons. In addition, the students are aware of the country’s linguistic plurality and, as a result, they know about the special, unifying role of Indian English as a language in contemporary Indian society. As Nünning and Surkamp have pointed out, students need to understand the reading of literature as a process (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2016: 78). Therefore, they require scaffolding for every step of this process. What is more, texts in a foreign language pose a greater challenge to the learner than texts in their native tongue (cf. ibid.). To match these requirements, the tasks suggested are divided into prereading, while-reading and post-reading activities. The first task is a pre-reading activity designed to introduce the lesson’s topic and content to the student, to make them curious and to provide them with 108 the background knowledge required to deal with the text and the other two activities (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2016: 78–80, 88–89). The book cover already conveys a message regarding Kapur’s perspective in his book. India is in the midst of a modernisation process, becoming a global player with its own, unique cultural identity while, at the same time, being influenced by the American Dream and economy. In order to identify those features, students need to remember America’s dominant role in the global economy. In order to ensure that the students grasp the implications, the American Corporate Flag, which they are familiar with from earlier lessons, is added below the task as a means of scaffolding. With regards to Surkamp’s approach of the so-called fremdsprachliche literarische Kompetenz (cf. Surkamp 2014: 82–85) the mentioned pre-reading task activates the learner’s motivational facet of this competence as well as the facet of ästhetisches Verstehen, preparing the reader for the text and showing him the text’s relevance for their own cultural reality as well as activating the reader’s contextual knowledge required for both close- and wide reading (cf. ibid.: 84). This fremdsprachliche literarische Kompetenz, according to Surkamp, is necessary for the student to be capable of reading and reflecting upon foreign language literature by themselves and to cope with the fictional worlds of the texts (cf. ibid.: 88–89). In addition to their natural ‘gift’ of imagination, learners need to be provided with a feeling for “differentiation, flexibility and a text-oriented precision” (ibid.: 86). The second task, a while-reading activity, is designed to ensure the learner’s understanding of the text in general as well as his constant reflection upon his reading process on the one hand (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2016: 81–83, 88–89) and, on the other hand, to compensate the student’s lack of experience with autobiographical texts in particular (cf. Smith & Watson 2010). While focussing on the content level during the reading process, students have to be aware of the narrative strategies used by the narrator to create a certain opinion or emotion with the reader. Else the learner risks being manipulated into forgetting that the narrative is not factual truth but the narrator’s fictional, subjective thoughts, perspective, opinion or point of view (cf. Nünning 2001: 5–7). As far as the fremdsprachliche literarische Kompetenz is concerned, the learner is affected on several levels by this particular while-reading activity. Affectively, a personal relationship with the text as well as feelings of openness and empathy are created automatically and subconsciously during the reading itself (cf. Surkamp 2014: 84). The same holds true for the cognitive facet of Leseverstehen (cf. ibid.). 109 Likewise, in preparation for textual decoding, students have to reactivate their so-called sprachlich-diskursives Wissen (cf. ibid.). This knowledge is also required for the second cognitive process involved, namely that of ästhetisches Verstehen, which is actively furthered by the while-reading activity (cf. ibid.). Additionally, the scaffolding in the task encourages students to look up new words and thus to enlarge their vocabulary. In task three, the post-reading activity, the learner is guided through the last step of his reading process. This task aims at the student’s ability to reflect upon his reading process by applying reading experience to his real-life experience or, in other words, by comparing the perspectives, cultural realities and different world views they have encountered through literature to their own, individual cultural reality (cf. Nünning & Surkamp 2016: 84–89; Nünning 2001: 6–8). According to Nünning (2001), this is what intercultural learning through literature is all about, the encounter, reflection and tolerance of alternative cultures, perspectives and world views in order to broaden one’s own social and cultural horizon (cf. 7–8). To achieve this goal, students need to learn to change perspectives by the combined use of two methods; the rational-analytisches Verfahren and the produktions- und handlungsorientierte Textarbeit (cf. ibid.: 8–9). The first activity is concerned with textual analysis, the second is based on creative writing (cf. ibid.). The first two activities are representatives of the analytical method, while the post-reading activity is based on the second method. As said in the task, the students have to use their newly acquired perspectives as well as their background knowledge from previous lessons in addition to their own cultural views and experiences to change their perspective to that of a fictional American businessman or that of an Indian worker in a set cultural frame, namely that of contemporary India. At the same time, the learners have to take a stand, to choose sides regarding a partly social, partly cultural and partly economic or global issue that is linked to their own Lebensweltbezug. Accordingly, they have to debate or rather negotiate their own cultural identity during the activity. Thereby, they have to consider the issue from different viewpoints, including both the positive and the negative consequences of globalisation on the one hand, as well as the American Dream’s potential impact on India in their reasoning on the other hand (cf. Volkmann 2015: 240–241). As a result, this postreading activity covers the affective, reflexive, productive and the sprachlich-diskursive level of Surkamp’s fremdsprachliche literarische Kompetenz. 110 Based on their skills regarding language and discourse, the student has to produce a literary text of their own in which they can communicate their own subjective opinion of the book while also reflecting upon and judging the perspectives and opinions expressed in India Becoming (cf. Surkamp 2014: 84). To sum up, the three tasks show a way of dealing with Kapur’s book in the EFL-classroom that guides the students through their reading process helping them to develop and further their intercultural learning in particular, especially regarding their fremdsprachliche literarische Kompetenz as well as their literary and language learning in general. 5 Conclusion All in all, this paper shows the great potential of Akash Kapur’s book India Becoming both for postcolonial literary theory as well as German educational theory regarding the EFL-classroom. Kapur’s book is a representative of contemporary postcolonial Indian literature covering many postcolonial concepts. The book describes the dislocation of local farmers due to the government policy as well as various diasporas of the characters. Moreover, Kapur also addresses the social conflicts and cultural gaps between the local countryside with its agricultural crises, violence, pollution of the environment, clash of cultural tradition with the modern Indian spirit of economic enthusiasm on the one hand, and the modernised, global cities on the other hand. This is also part of the postcolonial concept of ‘Palimpsest’. Many of Kapur’s characters have partly adapted to this new ‘Indian Dream’, yet they are still influenced by their past cultural traditions to some degree. The most prominent hybrid character going through permanent negotiation of his own cultural identity, is Kapur himself who returns to India finding himself in a constant struggle of identifying with his new Indian life due the many cultural changes the country has gone through during his absence. As for the concept of ‘Appropriation’, it cannot be said for sure whether the English language was chosen by the author to ‘write back’ or to reach as many people as possible or merely for personal convenience due to Kapur’s personal cultural identity. As far as the use of India Becoming in the German EFL-classroom is concerned, the paper has discussed various chances and challenges. Also, methodological suggestions in form of pre-, while- and postreading activities were provided to show one way to further intercultural learning via postcolonial literatures regarding both the students’ 111 intercultural communicative competence as well as their fremdsprachliche literarische Kompetenz. At the same time, it has been illustrated how the students are guided through their reading processes along the way in order to further their literature- and language learning. Of the challenges discussed above, there is none that could not be overcome. The length of the text can easily be reduced in the form of extracts and, with the right technical and cultural context- or background knowledge provided in previous lessons, the students will be fully capable of dealing with all the cultural references made in the text as well as linking the subject of postcolonial India with those of globalisation and the American Dream. Likewise, potential language barriers could be counteracted by vocabulary scaffolding. Therefore, the chances of India Becoming for the EFL-classroom prevail the challenges. Language learners can encounter a fictional experience of the target culture from an authentic piece of postcolonial literature and, as a result, further develop their intercultural learning as well as their language- and literature learning. With regards to that, the students practise analytical and interpretation skills by decoding the text on the content level as well as on a deeper, an aesthetical level. At the same time, they also learn empathy towards others as well as openness to other cultures and worldviews by practising their changing of perspectives. As a consequence of that, and by comparing their cultural encounters through literature with their own cultural views and experiences, students are made aware of their own process of constant self-reflection and negotiation of their own cultural identity. So, Kapur’s India Becoming definitely has the potential to be what Lindner would call a “jewel in the classroom” (cf. Lindner 2010: 59). Bibliography Literature Achebe, C. (1990). Hopes and Impediments. Selected Essays. New York: Anchor. Ashcroft, B. (2013). Re-writing India. In K. Sen & R. Roy (Eds.), Writing India Anew. Indian English Fiction 2000 – 2010 (pp. 29–46), Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Ashcroft, B. et al. (2013). Postcolonial Studies. The Key Concepts (3rd ed.). London/New York: Routledge. Ashcroft, B. et al. (2005). The Empire Writes Back. 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(Eds.), Teaching the New English Cultures & Literatures (pp. 59–72), Heidelberg: Winter. Nünning, A. (2001). Fremdverstehen durch literarische Texte. Von der Theorie zur Praxis. Der fremdsprachliche Unterricht, 35 (53), 4–9. Smith, S. & Watson, J. (2010). Reading Autobiography. A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives (2nd ed.). Minneapolis/New York: University of Minnesota Press. Surkamp, C. (2014). Literarische Texte im kompetenzorientierten Fremdsprachenunterricht. In W. Hallet & U. Krämer (Eds.), Kompetenzaufgaben im Englischunterricht. Grundlagen und Unterrichtsbeispiele (2nd adjusted ed.) (pp. 77–90), Seelze: Klett/Kallmeyer. Surkamp, C. & Nünning, A. (2016). Englische Literatur unterrichten. Grundlagen und Methoden (4th adjusted ed.). Seelze: Klett. Teske, D. (2008). Moloch, media city, melting pot and global player. Bombay/Mumbai as topic and theme in integrated subject teaching. In O. Lindner (Ed.), Teaching India (pp. 183–199), Heidelberg: Winter. Volkmann, L. (2015). Opportunities and challenges for transcultural learning and global education via literature. In W. Delanoy et al. (Eds.), Learning with Literature in the EFL-Classroom (pp. 237–259), Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Wandel, R. (2010). Teaching India in the German EFL-Classroom. Issues and problems. In M. Eisenmann et al. (Eds.), Teaching the New English Cultures & Literatures (pp. 387–397), Heidelberg: Winter. West-Pavlov, R. (2005). Transcultural Graffiti. Diasporic Writing and the Teaching of Literary Studies. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi. 113 Online sources Kapur, A. (2012b). How India became America. The New York Times Online. Sunday Review. Opinion, 9th March, retrieved from https:/ / (accessed: 06.09.2018). Ministerium für Schule und Weiterbildung des Landes Nordrhein- Westfalen (2014). Kernlehrplan für die Sekundarstufe II Gymnasium/Gesamtschule in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Retrieved from https:/ / GOSt_Englisch.pdf (accessed: 06.09.2018). Rath, S. P. (2000). Home(s) Abroad. Diasporic Identities in Third Space. Jouvert. A Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 4 (3), retrieved from https:/ / (accessed: 06.09.2018). Silicon India (2012). How India became America. A review of Kapur’s ‘India Becoming’. Silicon India News – US Edition, 19th March, retrieved from -America-nid-109568-cid-1.html (accessed: 06.09.2018). The New York Times Online (2004). Questions for Thomas L. Friedman. The New York Times Online, 11th June, retrieved from (accessed: 06.09.2018). Ved, M. (2015). An American dream in India. New Strait Times (Malaysia) Online, 31st January, retrieved from /hottopics/lnacademic/?verb=sr&csi=151977&sr=HEADLINE(An+ American+dream+in+India)%2BAND%2BDATE%2BIS%2B2015 (accessed: 06.09.2018). Ward, G. C. (2012). State of paradox. ‘India Becoming’ by Akash Kapur. The New York Times Online. Sunday Book Review, 25th May, retrieved from (accessed: 06.09.2018).

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The 21st century has seen a growing importance of India in foreign language education. Not only has globalisation led to a reshaping of life in India itself, but, on a global scale, the enlarging Indian diaspora has resulted in a spreading and reflection of Indian (diasporic) experiences in economy, literature and (pop)culture. This anthology provides perspectives of how to read and teach these ‘faces’ of postcolonial India. Thereby, it focusses on a variety of literary texts worth implementing in teaching units. The articles take the perspective of literary and cultural studies as base and aim at interconnecting it to major concepts and theories of teaching literature and culture. Finally, it is the aim of this anthology to provide ideas of how to actively teach the different ‘faces’ of postcolonial India in the (advanced) intercultural EFL classroom.