Ecocentric vision in the works of J.M. Coetzee and AND Amitav Ghosh: A comparative study of life and times of MICHAEL K AND THE GLASS PALACE
Environmental destruction has been a burning issue from the last few decades. The ego-centric attitude and rational thinking of man has led to the imbalance of the entire environment and its surroundings. The novels selected for this study, highlight the environmental concerns and expose human actions, technological advancement and industrial development responsible for the degradation of environment. Besides environmental degradation being a major issue of the The Glass Palace, the novel also deals with themes such as war, migration, exile, history, and colonial exploitation. Focusing on British invasion in Burma, Ghosh raises the question about nature's exploitation by the colonisers and local people in the form of teak and rubber trade and depicts the conflict between humans and the environment. He also portrays animal exploitation and killing of birds by humans for their personal needs. Likewise, Coetzee in his novel Life and Times of Michael K deals with the impact of war on human life, suffering of animals, loss of basic rights of humans and animals, oppression and degradation of environment. Ghosh primarily focuses on the exploitation of natural resources in Burma for trade, whereas, Coetzee describes the environmental destruction, loss of animal rights, and man's relation with nature during the civil war in South Africa. Both these writers try to delineate the oppression of man by man, environment by man, and reject the cruelty of man over animals for their greed. They are conscious for the non-human "other" and speak for their equal rights and protection as human beings themselves possess.