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CPolidori - Literature test
[author: Chiara Polidori - postdate: 2007-11-29]

What does postcolonial literature mainly focus on?

Postcolonial literature focuses on race relations and the effects of racism. It assumes the following features:

  1. cultural relativism
  2. the absurdity of colonial language and discourse
  3. ambivalence toward authority
  4. colonial alienation

What does the quotation below mean?

"The need, in nations, or groups which have been victims of imperialism to achieve an identity uncontaminated by universalist of Eurocentric concept or images".

This is an important quotation which explains the condition of some countries in  the Middle East. The author of this statement noted that such regions will be always different from other regions because they were labelled in this way. So they need to achieve an identity because they want to leave a testimonianl of their own land.


Explain the following statement: "the term Postcolonialism is used both as a literal description of formerly colonial societies and as a description of global conditions after a period of colonialism."(Bahri)

The statement  by Bahri.

He explains that Postcolonialism is hard to define because it includes a variety of meanings: it is a period of time after colonialism, it also refers to the status of a land that is no longer colonized and it shows a kind of literature which was produced in colonial societies.


Why is "Orientalism" by E.W.Said considered a seminal text?

Orientalism by E.W.Said is considered a seminal text because it analyses the means by which "the West" produces knowledge about "the East".

He underlines the relations between colonies and colonists.


Why are power, resistance and identity considered key words in postcolonial studies?

Because they explain the need of colonies to obtain their identity. In fact the countries live the colonial past's effects (foreign's power) and so it is difficult to create a new history inside their own land.

The words underline that power was exercised, resistance was mounted and identity was constructed therein.


In which way/s can Foe be considered a postcolonial novel?

 Foe can be considered a postcolonial novel. First of all it was produced in a country that once was colony of other countries. Then it shows the theme of racism, that is typical of this period and it underlines the absurdity of colonial language. Moreover it is important to underline that J.M.Coetzee explains the concept of marginalization that can be considered a key word of postcolonial literature.