Topic: Key Term of Post – Colonialism
Paper Name: Post – Colonial literature
Name: JasaniNidhi R.
Roll No.: 16
Class: M.A. Sem.3
P.G. Enrolment No: 14101018
Submitted to: M.K. Bhavnagar University, Department of English
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What is post- colonialism? Before we understand post- colonialism, we must know about what is colonialism? And what is colonial literature? Colonialism is all about relationship of control and influence over its margins or colonies. These relations are extended to social, pedagogical, economic, political relation between colonies and colonizer. Colonialism is all about study of marginalia. European educated, elite class forming layers between the European nation and the various indigenous people who were controlled. System carried within it inherent notions of racial inferiority and exotic otherness.
Post colonialism is come after colonialism. It is the main study of effect of colonialism on cultures and society. It’s deal with the how European nations controls the “Third world country” and it’s culture. Post-colonial, as both body and of theory and study of political and cultural change has gone and continues to go through three broad stages:
1) An initial awareness of the social, psychological, and cultural inferiority enforced by being in a colonized state.
2) The struggle for ethnic, culture, and political autonomy.
3) A growing awareness of culture overlap and hybridity.
Post-colonial literature is typical characterized by its opposition to the colonial. Some critic have argued that any literature gives or shows an opposite to colonialism, may be defined as postcolonial. Simon During argues for more inclusive definition, calling it “The need, in nations or groups which have been victim of imperialism to achieve an identity uncontaminated by Universalist or Eurocentric concepts or images
The term anti-colonialism is an act of political struggle of colonized people against the specific ideology and practice of colonialism. Anti-colonialist movements often expressed themselves in the appropriation and subversion of forms borrowed from the institution of the colonizer and turned back on them. We found discourse of anti- colonial nationalism was focused and demand for an independent postcolonial nation or state. Anti-colonialism associated with an ideology of racial liberation. In the second half of the 20th century anti-colonialism was often articulated in terms of radical, Marxist discourse of liberation, and inconstraction that sought to reconcile the internationalist and anti- elitist demands of Marxism with the nationalist sentiments of the period, in the work and theory or early national liberationist thinkers such as C.J.R. James, Amilcar Cabral and Frantz Fanon. Anti-colonial frequently perceived resistance to be the product of a fixed and definitive relationship in which colonizer and colonized were in absolute and implacable opposition. Anti-colonialism is related with Marxist.
· Magical realism
In post-colonial literature we generally found that many writer uses this term in their writing. In this method of literature in describing the imaginary life of indigenous cultures that experience the mythical, magical, and supernatural in decidedly different fashion from western one. In book of Rushdie he uses this magic realism, in his book ‘Midnight’s Children’ he uses this term. It connected with the wonderful, where these two worlds undergo a “closeness or near merging.”
It is new transcultural form that arises from cross cultural exchange. It can be social, political, religious, etc. It is not always a peaceful mixture, for it can be contentious and descriptive in its experience. It is cross between two races or two different cultures. There are two definitions as under,
Catalysis: The experience of several ethnic groups interacting and mixing with each other often in a contentious environment that gives way to new forms of identity and experience.
Creolization: Societies that arise from a mixture of ethnic and racial mixing to form a new material, psychological and spiritual self-definition
(Key terms in post-colonial Theory)
So, after all we can say it is remix, it means two different things are mixed with each other. For example now a days we are wearing ‘kurta with jeans’ so it is one type of hybridity. We can see it everywhere in fast food, clothes, festivals, marriages, etc.
The process by which “the orient” was constructed as an exotic other by European studies and culture. Orientalism is not so much a true study of other cultures as it is broad Western generalization about oriental, Islamic, and/or Asian cultures that tends to erode and ignore their substantial differences.
It refers to the Orient or East, in contrast to the Occident or West, and often, as seen by the West, often as a form of radical realism. Orient came into English from Middle French orient. Since the 18th century, Orientalist has been the traditional term for a scholar of Oriental studies. In 1978, Edward Said (Palastinian – American) published his influential and controversial book, Orientalism, which “would forever redefine” the word.
The division and classification of human beings by physical and biological characteristics. Race often used by various groups to either maintain power or to stress solidarity. If we can say in simple words so that race is the division, in gujarati we can say ‘Vada’. In our country India we can see different castes for example Brahmin, Kshudra, Vaishy, etc. While in some countries we can find class division and or difference between colors of human beings. For example in animals also we can differentiate that the black cow and white cow. So as same in human beings also color of skin is different. So we can say that difference in human beings are everywhere whether in India, America, Africa, etc. But difference is everywhere. So now let’s know some other term as under,
The voluntary enforce or enforced migration of people from their native homelands. Diaspora literature concern with questions of maintaining or altering identity, language, and culture, while in another culture or country.
The term is derived from Greek word and it means “scattering”. There are many writers who wrote diaspora literature like Salman Rushdie, Sujata Bhatt, JumpaLaheri, etc. These all writers are in home sickness and so they write about their homeland and what they are feeling there. So in this type of literature writer wrote about their country and remembering those days and write poems or any other form of literature about it.
For example in the movie ‘Swadesh’ we can see that Shahrukh Khan also feel like that and remember his own country. And one song related with it like,
‘Ejodesh he teraswadesh he teratuje he pukara…,
Ejobandhan he jokabhi tut nahisakata, Ejodesh …’
So in this song also we can feel the feelings of their own country, so it is also like Diaspora literature. And there is another example in movie like ‘Yejavani he Diwani’. In this movie also we can see that the character of Kabir who is also is in this condition. And he is also suffering from homesickness. There is one song related with it as under,
‘He fakira man ja, re kabiramanaja…
Tuti char paivahi, mittikisunaivahi
So in this song we can understand that how he remembered his country and he feel home sickness.
· Commonwealth Literature
Commonwealth literature does not exist by Salman Rushdie but he is one of the key representatives of contemporary commonwealth literature. As a Indian-British novelist, he is world famous for his novel Midnight’s Children (1981) which won the booker prize. Most of his books are set in India and have a particular emphasis on history.
What is commonwealth? The original phrase “the commonwealth” or “the common weal” comes from the old meaning of “wealth” which is “well-being”. The term literary mean “common well-being”. Commonwealth means British nation and political community founder for the common good. It deals with public welfare. Commonwealth literature has been generally used to refer to the literatures of colonies, former colonies and dependencies of Britain excluding the literature of England, commonly it shows the nationality.
So, after all we can say that commonwealth literature means master slave relationship. It means inferior nations are in under the powerful nation.
So, after all I want to say that if we understand these all terms so we can easily understand the post-colonial literature. And these all terms are opened our new ideas regarding the literature. And we can find or applying these all terms in literature with its appropriateness. These all terms are like windows in the home through which we get fresh air as same in literature these all terms are like windows through which we can understand literature through new look. So we must have to know these all terms as a student of literature. Otherwise we can’t understand any literature without it.
So, it’s wonderful experience for me to get understanding about these all terms.
Key terms in post-colonial Theory. n.d.
Young, Robert J c. Postcolonialism (A very short introduction). New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
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