Not losing one’s sense of identification/culture with the colonizer’s culture Language itself engages in the creation of an ‘other’ with inferior connotations/associations; terms like “vernacular” or “native”. Travel histories/writing creates notions and myths about other cultures and civilization. History and a sense of civilization comes in only with the influence of the colonizers. Justification of the empire brought forth as a civilizing mission – a creation of the sense of duty, moral ideals and , at the same time, ideas of racial and cultural superiority. It creates a generation of young civilized English men driven by ‘duty’. The colonizers had control over the written language and recording written material. In Africa, the dominant oral cultures were dismissed. The control of means of communication gave the colonizers greater power. Post-Colonial writing puts all these theories together within one framework, assisting a rethinking of socio-political histories for ‘oppressed cultures’. Colonial literature in the colonies produced the large scale dislocation of non-European cultures and Post-Colonial lit addresses these issues. It also tries to redefine socio-political history by linking it to cultural identity.
Achebe views colonialism as a changing and evolving process. He tries to break out of the binaries of black and white, sophisticated and uncultured. In his portrayal, there is no net division between the colonized and the colonisers. The agents – missionaries, court messengers, police force – highlight that there are no neat divisions. Achebe also shows that within the colonial power, there are differences (Mr Smith and Mr Brown). Achebe raises a lot of questions about the whole colonizing process and the colonisers’ claims to know the natives (the White Man’s Burden, their superiority complex). The claims are highly suspect. The colonizer does not truly know the natives – working through interpreters and...
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