Yes, it still exists: ergo tourism.
I found myself extremely irritated by the second novella, " The Elephant God." Alice as a character proves herself to be an unlikeable individual: pessimistic, disagreeable, anti-social. I found her to be one of those types of people we've discussed, people who view themselves as intellectually and spiritually above Western society and who want to obtain a form of purity and spiritual guidance through their travels. Alice seems to find everything about The United States worthless, and does not even bother keeping in touch with her family during her trip. She makes superficial, half-hearted opinions about finding her spiritual side in India, and instead of finding her connection with the elephant to be touching and wholesome, I was just further irritated because of her attitude towards Indian people. Alice likes the idea of being able to say that she went to an ashram and was spiritually cleansed,but is constantly putting down Indian people and looking for faults in each different sector of the society that she encounters. Her job as an English instructor just emphasizes the sense of superiority: she is not teaching these people English because she feels a compassionate desire to better the lives of these people and empower them. She wants to feel like they need her for a skill, and is shocked when this turns on her and she corrupts their former authenticity. One thing that especially annoyed me about Alice was when she would speak to the Indians in broken English, almost mocking them. Since she was so insecure about herself in almost every aspect of her life, she tried to create a superiority through her skills with language. I am not sure what I think about Alice's rape, and the way that she kills off Amitabh. She considers herself damaged and injured, but at the same time refuses to let him win. Tables turn and she is the victim: not only in the sense that she was assaulted, but through the chauvinism she encounters after she presses charges. I felt that this just further antagonized India from Alice's point of view. Like the first novella,( however, that one did not bother me quite so much) the Elephant God shows India to be gruesome and wild, unpredictable and playing tricks on the Westerners who think they have conquered it. Just when they think that they have established a rule over the natives of this exotic land, there is always a force lurking in the shadows- whether a looming sense of malaise or the realization that the savvy American is completely and utterly alone.