A Town Like Alice Themes

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Prejudice

A Town Like Alice deals with two world empires in collision, each with its own self-image and view of others as culturally and in some cases racially inferior. Women are, of course, given the era, inferior. The colonials, in turn, have a set view of their masters. All of this is examined. Protagonist Jean Paget, a middle class Briton who expects to work her entire life and is prejudiced against marriage unless the ideal man comes along, is able to deal with Malays, whose language she speaks, and the enemy Japanese. The Malays, subjugated by the English for centuries and now invaded by the Japanese, are the most open, reacting with no more than astonishment when the white women go native in dress and work in the rice paddies, so contrary to stereotype.

The Japanese invaders demand polite treatment in terms of their own culture, which means the...

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This section contains 1,024 words
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Buy the A Town Like Alice Study Guide
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