The Detrimental Impacts of Poppy Monoculture on Indigenous Subjects, Plants and Animals in Amitav Ghosh's Sea of Poppies

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Foreign Languages, Kharazmi Universiity, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of English Language and Literature, North Tehran Branch,Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Critically reading Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies, the present paper attempts to explore the impacts of colonization on indigenous subjects, plants and animals. To trace the detrimental effects of colonialism on both environment and people in Sea of Poppies, this study foregrounds the reflection of the obligatory cultivation of poppy under the rule of British colonizers in India. Sea of Poppies is indeed a portrayal of the catastrophic policies enforced in India by British colonizers in the nineteenth century. In his seminal novel Ghosh deals with the changes brought about by the lucrative cultivation of poppy in the exacerbation of the financial status of indigenous subjects. Environmental devastation and the changes in the normal behavior of animals are also dealt with. Focusing on the theoretical frameworks proposed by Graham Huggan and Helen Tiffin, this paper explores the convergence of postcolonialism and ecocriticism in Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies to indicate that not only were native people impoverished during colonialism in India, but also the ecosystem was severely damaged.

Keywords