Last updated: May 11, 2019
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Post-Colonialism: Trying To Regain Ethnic Individuality Essay, Research Paper

Indeed, the alien has unusual imposts. The white adult male held the paper like a sacred thing. His custodies shook, and we mistrusted him & # 8230 ; For how many Moons will the alien be among us? ( Vera 43 )

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The alien still lives among the people of Zimbabwe, though the colonial political authorization has left. Yet I wonder if the town senior speech production in the above transition from Yvonne Vera & # 8217 ; s Nehanda would acknowledge current Zimbabwean governments as aliens or countrymen. Could he associate to today & # 8217 ; s authorities functionaries and understand the linguistic communications which they speak? Would he experience at place in an African state with boundary lines defined by European imperial powers without respect to the assorted cultural states involved? Post-colonial theory efforts to explicate jobs such as these, yet it does so about entirely in the linguistic communications of the European colonial powers. Europeans even created the word Africa. “ To call the universe is to & # 8216 ; understand & # 8217 ; it, to cognize it and to hold control over it ” ( Ashcroft 283 ) . Because cognition is power, and words, whether written or spoken, are the medium of exchange, utilizing words incurs duty.

One must utilize particular attention with loosely defined words and footings, such as post-colonial. Post-colonial literature describes a broad array of experiences set in the contexts of heterogenous societies which themselves represent many different cultural groups. Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin define post-colonial theory as treatment of “ migration, bondage, suppression, opposition, representation, difference, race, gender, topographic point, and responses to the influential maestro discourses of imperial Europe & # 8230 ; and the cardinal experiences of speech production and authorship by which all these come into being ” ( Ashcroft 2 ) . The wide-ranging nature of the term post-colonial threatens to weaken its utility by “ diffusion & # 8230 ; so utmost

that it is used to mention to non merely immensely different but even opposed activities ” ( Ashcroft 2 ) . Post-colonialism encompasses many of the issues encountered in the work we have discussed therefore far in the semester. Yet because vague and generalised theories have bounds and tend to oversimplify, overcasting over existent jobs, one must manage the term with attention.

Ashcroft, Griffiths, and Tiffin suggest that we should curtail the term post-colonial to mean after colonialism. “ All post-colonial societies are still capable in one manner or another to overt or subtle signifiers of neo-colonial domination, and independency has non solved the job ” ( Ashcroft 2 ) . After colonialism, new elites, frequently in the signifier of dictators, often rose and still lift to power in post-colonial states. In Chinua Achebe & # 8217 ; s Anthills of the Savannah, Ikem complains about countrymen worse than stealers, “ leaders who openly looted our exchequer, whose presumption soiled our national psyche ” ( Achebe 39 ) . Ikem refers non to the white aliens but instead to Africans who have ruled with policies similar to those of colonial subjugation. With the British imperium gone, African societies must look inward to happen leftovers of colonialism which continue to harm their states, and possibly, find those which are advantageous in the new universe they have been thrust into. Ikem & # 8217 ; s address directed to all Nigerians instead than to any peculiar category pleads, “ you must develop the wont of incredulity, non get down every piece of superstitious notion you are told by enchantress physicians and professors & # 8230 ; When you rid yourself of these things your potency for helping and directing this state will be quadrupled ” ( Achebe 148 ) . Part of the danger of the term post-colonial stems from people & # 8217 ; s neglect of their duty for their state of affairs. As Ikem notes in his address, people prefer to fault other groups, possibly even post-colonialism, for their jobs and seldom grok that merely they can assist themselves.

Yet for people to move responsibly, they must foremost hold a certain degree of apprehension of the state of affairs which faces them. However, because colonialism and exposure to Western civilization caused so many alterations in African societies, people were thrust into new experiences which they could non grok with the counsel of the old traditions. In Ken Saro-Wiwa & # 8217 ; s Forest of Flowers, when a immature adult male becomes dumbfounded after conveying place a adult male who he thought was a adult female, people explain cross-dressers in the undermentioned mode. “ One adult male said it was spirit, another said faery and another shade ” ( Saro-Wiwa 73 ) . Fall backing to old superstitious accounts of events makes it really hard to understand existent life state of affairss and from thence, act responsibly in them.

Excessively much has changed to merely return to the old ways of life. New jobs exist and will go on to make so unless one can larn to cover them in the modern context. Blaming post-colonial syndrome for the ailments of developing states sentences those states to go on in their province of adversity. Rewinding the clock to forestall colonialism from happening is impossible, so we must look at each issue now, in the modern context, as a separate job which we must assail.

These jobs affect non merely African states after colonialism, but besides strike deep into the individuality of the modern Mexican. The inquiry of individuality exemplifies one so personal and varied between persons, that we must be careful non to merely compose off these issues as common effects of post-colonialism.

The modern Mexican wishes neither to be Indian nor Spaniard and renounces his descent from both of them. He thinks of himself non as a mixture but as

an abstraction. “ He becomes the boy of void. His beginnings are in his ain ego. ” Mexican society is racked by a deep cleavage between the privileged and members of the on the job category who are portion of a “ civilization of poorness ” disposing them to violence, dictatorship, fatalism, and machismo. In this melting pot of offseting messages instruction is called upon to accomplish integrity and a consistent sense of nationality ( Epstein 72 ) .

Yet even today, in many African states, schools teach in English in all categories beyond the primary degrees. This is non desirable, but, possibly English, excessively, could function as a tool for national integrity in Africa. Which one of over one hundred autochthonal linguistic communications spoken in certain states could replace English in instruction? A few African linguistic communications could equal the widespread usage of English in Africa but merely in certain parts. However, these linguistic communications, notably Swahili and Arabic, neither provide the same economic benefits as English to their talkers nor are they themselves autochthonal. Furthermore, the handiness of schoolroom text editions and educational resources written in English far surpasses that of similar books written in autochthonal linguistic communications. The authoritiess of most African states merely lack the support for instruction to do acquisition in native linguas possible.

Possibly a mixture of both English and autochthonal linguistic communications could be used in the hereafter. After all, “ Progres, ” the pride of Dukana, is the name of the coach going to Dukana and its local school in Saro-Wiwa & # 8217 ; s A Forest of Flowers ( Saro-Wiwa 1 ) . “ Progres ” symbolizes the nexus between the modern and the traditional utilizing a word adapted from English to suit in the scene of a more traditional African town. Clearly, colonialism caused alterations, but upon the terminal of the imperium, Africans should alter antecedently imposed norms and vocabulary like “ advancement ” to suit the demands of their ain geographics and heritage. English can besides alter to include new words, like & # 8216 ; tomahawk & # 8217 ; and literary manners can germinate in efforts to animate unwritten tradition ( New 303-4 ) . The narrative manner in Nehanda does this efficaciously. The linguistic communication used is an altered signifier English which efficaciously relays the old storytelling tradition by agencies of a new international medium. Wole Soyinka, on the other manus, prefers to first write prose in a traditional mode and so interpret it into English.

Ile O,

ile O

Ile O, ile O

Baba ( Iya )

rhenium & # 8217 ; le re

Ile lo lo tarara

Baba rhenium & # 8217 ; le re

Ile lo lo, ko s & # 8217 ; ine

Home, Home

The senior has gone place

The senior has gone place

Directly he is

Home edge, he will non lose his manner. ( Soyinka 87 )

George Lamming remarks that the native author, “ hungrinesss for nutriment from a dirt which he ( as an ordinary citizen ) could non at present endure ” ( Scating 17 ) . Many writers of post-colonial literature, nevertheless, may non be able to, like Soyinka, write in languages other than English. Most post-colonial discourse is written in English and by the “ been-to ” authors educated in the Western tradition. Tom Crick, Graham Swift & # 8217 ; s history instructor in Waterland relays the importance of stating any history so that it relates to the societal scene as it existed. How, so, can authors lacerate between European and autochthonal societies efficaciously relay in English an old tradition in which they did non turn up? They should non hold to. For better or for worse, autochthonal and Western societies have been for good changed by colonialism and interaction with other cultural ideals.

Decolonization is a procedure, non arrival & # 8230 ; it has been the undertaking of post-colonial authorship to interrogate European discourses and dianoetic schemes from a privileged place within ( and between ) two universes ( Tiffin 95 ) .

New doors have been opened with post-colonial literature, exposing a universe antecedently ignorant of African traditions including storytelling. Post-colonial theory, like a theatre, is utile as a phase for antecedently unhired histrions to show their varied functions. Yet the functions are surely wide-ranging whether the histrions be from different ethnicities or merely of the opposite gender. Categorizing a broad scope of literature as merely & # 8216 ; post-colonial & # 8217 ; is every bit unsafe as complete assimilation into the Western universe. If each histrion on this phase were seen as holding the same portion, how insightful would the production be? Post-colonialism is merely the theatre, it itself can non specify the cause and effects of every act on phase.


Achebe, Chinua. ( 1987 ) Anthills of the Savannah, New York: Doubleday.

Ashcroft, Bill ; Griffiths, Gareth and Tiffin, Helen ( eds. ) . ( 1995 ) The Post Colonial Studies Reader, London: Routledge.

Epstein, Erwin. ( 1985 ) “ National Consciousness and Education in Mexico ” in Brock et Al. ( explosive detection systems. ) Education in Latin America, London: Croom Helm.

Lamming, George. ( 1960 ) “ The Occasion for Speaking ” , in Ashcroft.

New, W. H. ( 1978 ) “ New Language, New World ” , in Ashcroft.

Saro-Wiwa, Ken. ( 1995 ) A Forest of Flowers: Short Stories, Essex, England: Longman.

Soyinka, wole. ( 1989 ) Ake: The Old ages of Childhood, New York: Vintage Books.

Swift, Graham. ( 1992 ) Waterland, New York: Vintage Books.

Tiffin, Helen. ( 1987 ) “ Post-colonial Literatures and Counter-discourse ” , in Ashcroft.

Vera, Yvonne. ( 1994 ) Nehanda, Toronto: TSAR Publications.