Travels of Dean Mahomet Essay

Words: 1854
Pages: 8


The Travels of Dean Mahomet is essentially a two part book, with the first part written by Dean Mahomet himself, and provides an autobiographical journal of his travels through India in the eighteenth century. This period was a time during which Europeans were colonizing India and Mahomet’s letters provided a unique account of Indian people and their customs during the initial expansion of the British Empire into India. The story of Dean Mahomet’s travels is told using numerous letters he wrote to a “friend” of his. His account is unique in that it provides a description from the point of view of an Indian working for the English’s colonial regime. Mr. Mahomet’s letters, dating
…show more content…
Arriving at Cork late in 1784 twenty-five-year old Dean Mahomet created a new life for himself. Through his patron, Godfery Evan Baker, he gained access to Anglo-Irish Protestant elite but he stood separate from them in origin, color, and culture. Nor did he fit among the colonized Catholic Irish peasantry. A few other Indians passed through or lived in Cork; Indian sailors, servants, wives, and mistresses, their Anglo-Indian Children, and even the occasional Indian dignitary. Whatever relationship Dean Mahomet may have had with these other Indians, his situations remained quite different from any of theirs.

This paragraph, taken from page 135 of “Travels of Dean Mahomet,” illustrates how Mr. Mahomet didn’t quite fit anywhere. Dean Mahomet had been to so many different places, had seen so many different cultures, and absorbed many customs that he essentially became a “ man between cultures”, having adopted a little of each of the cultures with which he came into contact but not fitting exactly into either. While Dean Mahomet’s ability to adapt served him well in both environments, it also prevented him from fully belonging in either place. For example, while working for his “master” in the East India Company he seemed more British to the native population, and sometimes to himself. And then later, when living in England and Ireland, he never was fully integrated into either the British World or the Indian