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Postcolonial Studies and its function in a critical introspection of Derek Walcott as the image of divided heritage and art, as exemplified through an analysis of his family life, history and the reading of his works inclusive of Another Life, W

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Postcolonial Studies and its function in a critical introspection of Derek Walcott as the image of divided heritage and art, as exemplified through an analysis of his family life, history and the reading of his works inclusive of Another Life, What
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  Gervanna Stephens Instructor  –   Mrs. Lucinda Peart ENGL437  –   Major Author 12 May 2014 Postcolonial Studies and its function in a critical introspection of Derek Walcott as the image of divided heritage and art, as exemplified through an analysis of his family life, history and the reading of his works inclusive of Another Life  , What the Twilight Says  , and The Muse of History. The concept of Post- colonialism according to Sawant in ―Postcolonial Theory: Meaning and Significance,‖ deals with the effects of colonization on cultures and societies. The term as srcinally used by historians after the Second World War such as ‗post - colonial state‘, where ‗post - colonial‘ had a clearly chronological meaning, designating the post independence period. However, from the late 1970s the term has been used by literary critics to discuss the various cultural effects of colonization. Although the study of the controlling power of representation in the colonized societies had begun in the late 1970s with the text such as Said‘s Orientalism , and led to the development of what came to be called ‗Colonialist Discourse Theory‘ in the work of critics such as Spivak and Bhabha, the actual term ‗post - colonial‘ was not employed in these early studies of the power of colonialist discourse to shape the form and opinion and policies in the colony and metropolis (Sawant 120).  Stephens 1 Postcolonialism can be defined as an approach to literary analysis that particularly concerns itself with literature written in English in formerly colonized countries. Postcolonial literature and its theorists investigate what happens when two cultures clash and, more specifically, what happens when one of them, with its accessory ideology, empowers and deems itself superior to the other (Bressler 199  –   200). The development of Postcolonialism is entrenched in concepts of colonial power,  prejudice and thousands of years of strained relations between colonies in Africa, Asia and the Western world. During the nineteenth century, Great Britain emerged as the largest colonizer and imperial power. Beliefs, that the British people were biologically superior to any other race affected the ways in which colonizers treated the colonized. Westerners subscribed to the colonialist ideologies that all races other than the white were inferior or subhuman. These subhumans or ―savages‖ quickly became the inferior and equally ―evil‖ Others (Bressler 200). Postcolonialism concerns itself not only with the Other, but includes too according to Bressler, ―universality, difference, nationalism, postmodernism, representation and resistance, ethnicity, feminism, language, education, history, place and production, for all highlight the struggle that occurs when one culture is dominated by another‖ (201). Postcolonial criticism thus lends itself to comprehension of its historical growth, the assumptions posited through the theory and the components of its methodology. In addition, the application of the Postcolonial criticism in understanding Walcott‘s history and heritage in tandem with some of works such as ―Mass Man,‖ ―The Castaway,‖ Another Life  , What the Twilight Says  , and The Muse of History thus exploring the practices of the theory in critical analysis to allow for a better understanding of the literary pieces.  Stephens 2 A study of Postcolonial criticism its development, the assumptions of the theory and the methodologies of applying the theory are essential to garner a sound understanding of the theory of Postcolonialism. In defining the theory and outlining its development, one has to understand the conceptual framework behind its deployment. Postcolonialism deploys a set of terms as part of its lexicon and conceptual framework: colonialism-imperialism, postcolonial-postcoloniality, postcolonialism, neocolonialism, decolonization and postcolonial theory. Colonialism is the process of settlement by Europeans in Asian, African, South American, Canadian and Australian spaces. Colonization was a violent appropriation and sustained exploitation of native races and spaces by European cultures. The European nation established itself primarily as a military-administrative power in the ‗colony‘. Colonialism was never just as an exploitative political or economic process, it was also a cultural conquest of the native whereby the native‘s forms of knowledge, art, cultural practices and religious beliefs were studied, classified, policed, judged and altered by the European (Nayar 1-2). Colonial discourse is the construction of the native, usually in stereotypical ways, in European narratives, images and representations in a variety of modes and genres such as the arts, literature, the law, science writing and administrative reports. The native is constructed as  primitive, depraved, pagan, criminal, immoral, vulnerable and effeminate in colonial discourse. Such a discourse then constructs a reality where future European administrators would not only see the native through the lens of this discourse, but also enact policies or initiate political-administrative measures because they believe in the truth-claims of the discourse. Discourse  becomes, in other words, the mode of perceiving, judging and acting upon the non-European (Nayar 2).  Stephens 3 Imperialism refers generally to a system of economic domination and exploitation, though political and military domination often accompanies the economic one. Imperialism is the ideology that recommends, furthers and justifies colonial rule. Imperialism situates the Asian or African region on the periphery, with the control resting with the European centre. Imperialism is the theory and colonialism is the practice, where both are based on racial difference (Nayar 2).  Neocolonialism is the continuing economic exploitation of Asian and African nation-states by the former colonials  –   Europeans  –   and American powers. In most cases, neocolonialism is achieved not merely through state control by Euro-American powers but by a nexus between the economic (embodied in the banking and financial systems of the Euro- American ‗First World‘), the nation -state (embodied in the politician and governments) and the  business house (embodied in multinational corporations), often accompanied by insidious threats of trade sanctions and military action. Neocolonialism, therefore, may be the more insidious and dangerous form of colonialism (Nayar 2-3). Postcoloniality refers to the historical and material conditions of formerly colonized and increasingly emphasizes the impact of global geopolitics, globalization and economic shifts upon material conditions. Decolonization is the process whereby non-white nations and ethnic groups strive to secure freedom (economic, political, and intellectual) from their European masters. Decolonization seeks freedom from colonial forms of thinking, to revive native, local and vernacular forms of knowledge by questioning and overturning European categories and epistemologies (Nayar 3). Postcolonialism, the theoretical and intellectual arm of the postcolonial condition, refers to a mode of reading, political analysis and cultural resistance that negotiates with the native‘s  Stephens 4 colonial history and neocolonial present (Nayar 4). Leela Gandhi defines postcolonialism as a ― theoretical resistance to the mystifying amnesia of the colonial aftermath. It is a disciplinary  project devoted to the academic task of revisiting, remembering and, crucially, interrogating the colonial past ,‖  (4). The understanding of these terms thus makes the definition of the Postcolonial theory much easier to absolve. It allows for the exploration of the effects of history upon formerly colonized peoples. This form of criticism considers too as stated by Lynn in his Texts and Contexts,   ―the role that literature has played as an agent of oppression  and resistance, distortion and understanding,‖ ( 162). The historical development of Postcolonial discourse was the result of the work of several writers such as Aime Cesaire, Frantz Fanon, Ngugi wa Thiango, Edward Said, Ashcroft et. al, Gayatri Spivak, Homi Bhabha, Aizaz Ahmad. In general their work explores the ways of representations, and modes of perception that are used as fundamental weapons of colonial  power to keep colonized people subservient to colonial rule (Sawant 122). Critical to the theory also, in addition to its varying definitions, sub features and developmental schemes are the assumptions that form the base of Postcolonial criticism. The Postcolonial literary theory of criticism assumes that it matters when and where something was written and by whom; that facts about the life and status of the author, the larger history surrounding the author and the work and the intellectual paradigms available to the author and readers and though literature can influence reality and vice-versa, a distinction between each is necessary.
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