PROXIMITY AND INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIP: EFFECTS ON THE PSYCHE OF THE CHARACTERS AS PORTRAYED IN JHABWALA’S NOVEL HEAT AND DUST
The present study interrogates the proximal and interpersonal relationships and their effects on the psyche of the people belonging to different cultures in Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Jhabvala was an Indo-American writer who usually wrote about Eastern culture as she lived most of her life in India. Heat and Dust is about Indian culture where two English women developed intimacy and interpersonal relationship with Indian men. The present study explores Anglo-Indian relations through the power of romance in two distinct areas and eras, colonial India of the nineteen twenties, during the time of Raj and the independent India of the 1970s. Both the major female characters, Olivia and Anne, are the narrator and have almost lead the same life. Heat and Dust offers a double vision in terms of image of the country that it portrays. The first half of the novel (Olivia’s story) is located in the days of British Raj, the other half is based on the peregrinations and experiences of Olivia Junior in post-independent India. Heat and Dust is a very engaging story with enough romance, political intrigue, historic drama, scandal etc. to satisfy its readers. In order to interrogate the issue, the research has focused on the proximal relations, specifically between Asians and British people. The research mainly relies and is based on the theory Proximity presented by Theodor Newcomb. This theory of proximity highlights that how people interact and come closer to each other, mostly with those who live nearby and meets on daily basis. In social psychology, the principle of proximity suggests that people living closer together in a physical environment are more likely to form a relationship than those farther away. The daily basis interaction develops intimacy and interpersonal relationship among the characters.