Ruth Prawer Jhabvala Writing Styles in Heat and Dust

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Point of View

The narrator's parts of this novel are told in the first person. She relates Olivia's parts sometimes in the first person but usually in the third. The points of view are those of women. Their voices are separate in time by about 50 years. The events forever changing Olivia's life occurred in 1923. The precise year that the narrator's life changed is never stated.

Setting

India: the towns and roads between Bombay, Satipur, Khatm and X. Khatm is about 15 miles from Satipur and X is somewhere on the steep foothills of the Himalayas.

Language and Meaning

The novel is written in English, which is occasionally compared to other languages: poems written in Urdu come out flat in English; Douglas delivers "deadly insults" to the rich men of Satipur in Hindustani (since English would be unsuitable for doing so); the Nawab uses extremely polite English to express contempt. Some...

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This section contains 489 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Heat and Dust Study Guide
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