In Phebe Gibbes Hartly House, Calcutta we encounter the repetition of great English writers that influence the transition of the English language in their own time; they are presented by Sophia who is herself presented at a transition point in her life; entering adulthood at age 16. While at the same time explores far outside the horizon of her English cultural world. She sets foot in a forbidden world, being a part of a family that owned the East India company; she was able to travel outside of England. Letter XXVI, Sophia begins to complain to Arabella about religion “ashamed of the manners of modern Christianity… I am become a convert to the Gentoo faith” (190-1). This seems all in attempt to persuade Arabella that she is in fact learning something about the Indian people, such as their religion and how they seem to be more humble than those that are in the Christian believe. Although she is somewhat of a hypocrite, and ignorantly uses the word Gentoo, which is somewhat of a slang at this time period. But does a sudden shift in a talk about going to a theater and expressing the fact that she wished to be back in England.
English is a powerful tool, in one instance it seems that Sophia attacks the Christian faith but as soon as politics kick in (which was seem to be influenced by the theater as talked about in lecture) she reverted back to her state of national pride which proofs to be stronger than her religious beliefs “politics again!…in a country where so large a number of its inhabitants dare to deny her soul… o how I at this moment wish my self in England!” (195). Because it seems that the Indian people don’t seem to appreciate the or enjoy the theater the way she does.
In letter XXVII, Sofia continues to express how privileged she is to be attending the theater and vainly say’s it “will be honoured with [her] presence” (195). She holds herself in a high pedalstone This alone is She continues to add that the theater and how the whole event will be present with European culture, exhausting the English culture after the admiration parade she threw for the Indian religious beliefs.
Sophia is blinded by the England culture of the English language, that just like she holds herself high, she holds the English language at a high standard vaguely references John Milton’s Paradise Lost “Not of themselves the gay beauties can please/ We only can taste, when the heart is at ease” (196). It is ironic that Sophia uses the works of John Milton who was an elitist and promoting the English language to be sacred, not only to knowledge but to religion. Sophia is blinded by her arrogance to be right on both sides of the cultural spectrums baffles the reader but also makes her comical yet in a paradoxical way, sophisticated as she proofs to have knowledge of the greats writer John Milton, who made his own contribution to the English language. In this letter she is showing her true colors. Although she wants to show sympathy for the people of India and their culture, she is taken a bite out of the apple of sin.