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By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Yusuf Lenfest. We had become what the world outside had made us; we had to live in the world as it existed. Naipaul The struggle to define identity and place recurs throughout Amitav Ghosh's novel The Shadow Lines first published in as both a casualty of, and an achievement indebted to, colonialism. Specifically, the unnamed narrator is the embodiment of a fragmented identity, an epicentre in which the imagination resonates to and with other characters so powerfully that the narrator comes to symbolize postcolonial India.

His attempt to bridge the lines between history and memory, between truth and imagination, deconstructs the boundaries imposed by Partition—an event which, while it divided India as a country, also fractured Indians from one another along religious lines. However, just as a shattered mirror that has been meticulously placed back together will reflect only a modicum of its original image, so the narrator represents a reconstructed unity: a multiple of perspectives and a polyphony of voices, all converging within him and through him so that he becomes a kaleidoscope of postcolonialist identity.

Unable to free themselves from the cave of their illusions, they live in a shadow world rather than one in which enlightenment prevails. In that process, he becomes a confluence of forces, moving fluidly between time and place, becoming an agglomeration of perspectives. As he adopts the partial truths of each prisoner, he slowly creates for himself a unique conception of people, of India, of reality, and thus frees himself from the limitations of the cave. Subsequently, as the narrator embraces this view and attempts to pass it along to others, he embarks on his voyage of imaginative reconstruction, where reality emerges from the interaction between otherness, identity, memory and history.

Negotiating from the Shadows: Roger Norman

Thus, of the prisoners compelled by history and personal circumstance to look at the shadows on the wall of the cave—the reality created for them: each person with his or her own unique conception of freedom—it is the narrator who most desires to break free. In wanting to escape from history entirely, therefore, Ila loses her freedom of movement over place and time, over history and reality.

Thus, although Ila lives outside the lines—the borders of India—she cannot escape them because, to be sure, India is not simply a place enclosed by lines drawn on a map. You cannot be free of me because I am within you…just as you are within me. As she gets older, her memory grows more distorted, for she begins to believe the stories she created: accounts of friendships in far-off International Schools, narratives of photographs of which she herself was absent, and finally the tale of the fictitious Magda. She tells a compelling story to the narrator about her friend Magda who was persecuted for her perfection.

Clearly, the story of Magda is the one story she could never live because Magda was Western and white. Ila rejects the coalesced, unhappy history that manifests itself as contemporary racism by associating herself with the white Other.

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And so it is that Ila remains a prisoner in the cave, a devotee of the shadows—influenced by a puppeteer she will never come to know. So when Ila turns to me and buries her face in my shoulder, it is that other eight-year-old Ila—and I, my own other—both of us sitting under that table in Raibajar. Analogously, it is impossible to explain India in an understandable way, or to rationalize the events of colonization and Partition unique to India, without delving into the intricacies of the histories that have so complexly shaped present-day India.

For if stories are the way we make sense of our lives, the narrator—as a citizen of India in the postmodern world—creates for himself a melting-pot of perspectives so as to reinsert himself into the diachronic flow of history and attempt to define his multiplicity. What would it change? How can anyone divide a memory? Whereas Ila strives to escape—even if it is through a false pretext—he dwells within the constructed lines of the past.

Persona 5 Negotiation Guide

But to Robi freedom is an unattainable feat, it is an accomplishment that inevitably ends in defeat. However, the grandmother, too, falls into the illusion of shadow lines. Once that happens, people forget they were born this or that, Muslim or Hindu, Bengali or Punjabi: they become a family born of the same pool of blood.

His grandmother embraces the example of the colonizing states because—unlike Ila with her impossible story of Magda, or Robi with his historiography of India—the grandmother abandons her own story, successful though some of it appears, because its origin in poverty and its conclusion with social marginalization are too painful. It seemed a better place to us then and we wished we could escape into it too.

For it was the imperial power which first broke the mirror, so powerfully and deviously that an originary identity can never be restored. It was a foreign power, the colonial puppeteers, who created the shadows in the cave, the people who changed the world. The shattered mirror, like the people of India, can never fully be restored or repaired because a postcolonial nation is always inescapably related to its former subjugation by not only a colonial power, but colonial definitions.

Each thought, each identity is refracted in the shattered mirror where the lines between reality, imagination, memory—the lines between politics and partition—dissolve: he is left with a plethora of views in which, amidst shadow lines which are both recognized as shadows and seen to have real effects in the world, the narrator achieves a pluralist identity. Thus, in the recurring retrospection through which the narrator negotiates his past, ultimately transfusing his memory onto an historical plane of time and place, he establishes a nascent multiplicity in which no identity is abdicated.

Yet no identity can be fully embraced by the unnamed narrator, who comes to accept his Heisenberg-esque reality, recognizing the vicissitudes of his Self and his Other. Remembering his younger self, he recalls how he was silent, trapped with the shadows of the cave, submitting to the unknown imperial puppeteers who controlled the shadows on the wall: But of course, in a sense, there was nothing to forgive. I was a child and like all the children around me, I grew up believing in the truth of the precepts that were available to me: I believed in the reality of space; I believed that distance separates, that it is a corporeal substance; I believed in the reality of nations and borders; I believed that across the border there existed another reality.

The only relationship my vocabulary permitted between those separate realities was war or friendship. So, which one works best? Although majority rule may work well in a cooperative group, it is less likely to work as well in a mixed motive group. It can be manipulated by one group to obtain a strategic advantage on another issue. Majority rule fails to take into account the preferences of all the parties, as each will attach different importance on different issues. It can also result in alliances, whereby one party makes a side deal with another.


If you scratch my back on this issue, I will scratch your back on that issue. It is suggested that unanimous decisions will in fact,augment the development of arriving at agreements that are more creative. This forces the group members to understand the issues, interests, and preferences of each party in detail. By exploring better ways to mix solutions, within the overall framework and by expanding your options, will better resolve the interests of all the representative groups. The general practice in how we approach our negotiation issues is usually accomplished through an agenda.

We establish the order in how the issues will be discussed. Agendas are useful for either a competitive or a cooperative group. An agenda allows us to cover the material efficiently and effectively, in an orderly manner. However, an agenda works less efficiently in a mixed group of both cooperative and competitive elements, as they are less likely to arrive at creative solutions that address the needs of all the representative groups. Addressing many issues simultaneously, allows us to find solutions that are more effective. Once we can readily identify the priorities and interests of all the representative groups, we can develop a more complete and digestible solution package.

When you have more than two representative parties at the negotiations table, it is not unusual for two or more of the parties, to pool their collective resources or positions, to form a coalition. Coalitions have the potential to undermine the overall negotiations,by forming a power block to promote their own self-serving interests, to the disadvantage of the other parties.

This scenario may result in the majority rule theme discussed earlier, and we have already seen the drawbacks that can occur in this situation. Coalitions do not tend to use allocated resources wisely, in that they do not consider the needs and the objectives of the other members or the organisation as a whole. This is another reason why unanimous consent, can be a more effective form of decision-making, as it negates the power of any coalitions that might wish to usurp the group as a whole.

Most groups who are represented at a negotiation, will generally consist of both cooperative and competitive elements, depending on the issues. Majority rule is less productive than unanimous consent. An agenda can be effective for a group that is either cooperative or competitive, but is less effective in a mixed group. Coalitions can be counterproductive but can be nullified, if unanimous consent is required.

The complexities that group negotiations presents requires that your negotiation team be trained to successfully navigate their way to achieving your goals. Your email address will not be published. Click to Email. Group Negotiations. Summary Advice on how to tackle the issues and get an agreement with a business group negotiations. Resource allocation amongst groups Be careful about making assumptions about the groups with whom you are negotiating.

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Making negotiation rules and determining agendas There are several things that a group must determine if they are to make successful decisions. Does the group expand its focus to include all viable negotiable issues in the discussions? Does the group discuss priorities and preferences among issues? Does the group focus its efforts on problem solving? Will the group consider unique and innovative solutions?

Is the group willing to trade-off issues of high priority interest? Dealing with agendas The general practice in how we approach our negotiation issues is usually accomplished through an agenda. Coalitions When you have more than two representative parties at the negotiations table, it is not unusual for two or more of the parties, to pool their collective resources or positions, to form a coalition. Conclusion Most groups who are represented at a negotiation, will generally consist of both cooperative and competitive elements, depending on the issues.

Max H. Bazerman, Margaret A. Lewicki, A.

“Excluded Workers” Move from Shadows to Negotiating Table

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