India (Location Key)


India is seen from a distance in The Town, when Charles Mallison explains that his cousin Gowan Stevens came to Jefferson for several years when his father, a State Department employee, is sent "to China or India or some far place" (3). India is also offstage in "Ad Astra," but one of the main characters in that story is from India, as are the troops serving with the English forces in the story he tells. The story he tells - especially the way the troops compare the "rifles" they are issued to "spears" which are "too short and too heavy" to "slay a swift enemy" (424) - makes "India" seem like a very primitive place. (Over one million Indian troops served in the various theaters of World War I.) The story of her love life that Joan Heppleton tells Horace Benbow in Flags in the Dust actually includes two events set in India. Bombay - known today as Mumbai - is where the British man for whom she left her first husband "deserted" her, and Calcutta - now Kolkata - is where she met and married her second husband, a young American working for the Standard Oil Company (321). All this, however, is described in less than thirty words, so even here India remains basically a far place. (See also the entry for Calcutta in this index.)

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