Postcolonial Literature Essay
Post colonialism is a phenomenon that deals with response to, and analysis of history related to culture of colonialism. It contains a wide range of ideologies such as literature, social, political, religious and cultural studies. The cardinal responsibility of post colonialism is to counter impacts of colonialism on cultural issues (Nayar 101). It is mainly concerned on how countries can go beyond this era respecting each other. It has been observed that issues regarding colonialism are still with us today. Knowing that such things as racism have widespread impacts and bring inequality worldwide can not be assumed. The fact is that, those negative habits that were left behind as result of colonialism must be dealt with accordingly.
Racism is an aftermath of colonialism. This is an act of despising somebody because of his or her looks. It is a vice that has haunted people since time immemorial and should be avoided as much as possible. It can bring rivalry between two people who are friends as seen in the book Senior Picture Day; Terri and the narrator are childhood friends. Terri keeps on referring to the narrator’s nose as that of an Indian. The conversation between Terri and the narrator sheds more light on how racism is still part of our lives. The end result is that the two ends up parting ways and the narrator is not happy with her race. The point here is racism should be absconded and campaigned against by all means (Nayar 113).
Identity is an important part of our lives as it enables one to be recognized. When one tries to change identity and become someone else the end result is an identity crisis. An individual does seem to know where he or she belongs, who they are and where they want to go. They are left without knowing who they really are and may end up with a negative identity. A good case study for such is Terri and partly her friend.
Terri seems to change the narrator to suit in her own way of life. The narrator on the other hand struggles to reach her demands. She is trying to make the narrator betray her identity to take on her tastes and fashions. This process is meant to reshape her for the good of Terri purporting to enlighten her. Her culture and language is being regarded as unable to pass any meaningful information. This trend leads to elimination of the original personality to something different. Due to this there appears a great difference between the experience of an idea and the language to explain it (Nayar 130). The end result is that the two in their struggle to change their identity become enemies and the narrator swears never to meet Terri again. The truth is that they are forcing themselves to be something they are not and it hammers the point home. Never try to corrupt your identity.
There tend to emerge some social classes where one has to struggle and fit. If one fails to do so he or she is regarded as retrogressive and outdated. Many people have been treated as outcasts when they fail to embrace this issue. A good case study is when the narrator is convinced by Terri to get a nickname or a ‘handle’. The two seem not to agree on Cali girl as the perfect one for the narrator. There is another social class of getting boyfriends and this only leads to a controversy when Terri tries to hook Lightning Bolt and ends up insulting her friend. A social class comes with peer influence and that’s why one should be carefully while joining them. Sometimes it demands that one has cash in order to fit in them as the members expect that you move with the latest fashions and designs. Terri and her friend are fond of applying deodorants something one cannot afford without money flowing. The end result is that they lead to negative influence.
The effects brought about by technology are equally negative. A good example is the citizens band radio. The effect is two fold, on the children and the families. It has resulted to family break ups. The back up on this is clear in the book senior picture day. Terri’s father is said to have parted ways with her mother on getting another woman through the band. Terri on her part is always thinking on how to hook boys after school instead of concentrating on her education. There is nothing wrong in appreciating technology but if it goes beyond such extents as breaking up families it would be advisable to let it be.
The adoption of strange literature is another issue altogether. This deals with literary terms from those colonial masters’ countries as well as literature written by authors from those nations. This adoption of language is seen when Terri talks of issues that the narrator does not seem to understand. She talks of ‘handle’ to otherwise mean nickname. The narrator at one time said ‘whaddaya’ to say ‘what do you mean’. This clearly shows how people are quick to adopt other literatures which are sometimes hard to understand. This can lead to one using words which mean something different from what one thinks or knows.
Cultural ties are very vital in our society and assist in identifying one with a particular community. Where an individual has done contrary to the expectations of a given community, one is said to have gone against taboos. The most adopted culture in the third world countries in terms of religion is Christianity. This has surely become part of our lives and new methods of upholding this are still being adopted alongside new religions or commonly known as denominations. Culture can also be the acceptable way of living in a society and anybody doing otherwise is regarded to as an outcast. Using the senior picture day as our case study this can be seen when the narrator is told by Terri that her dad was to build them a swimming pool during summer time something that she doubts. This shows that the narrator was not used to that kind of life where summer was taken seriously and given that she was Terri’s friend there was no such a thing. When a certain culture is eroded the morals of a society are put at stake and people no longer seem to care. They literary do everything and this slowly by slowly kills the well guarded culture.
Finally post colonialism may reject the new forms of economic and cultural discrimination that have taken place of modern colonialism commonly known as “neocolonialism”. This intends to otherwise mean that togetherness and modernization among others are indeed the new forms of cultural and political dominance just like colonialism. The bottom line is that post colonial is the implication of what happened during colonial era. Issues such as racism, cultural identity, social classes and such issues as moving with the latest technology should be looked at critically and addressed. Although nations achieved sovereignty, their cultural phenomenon is irreversible regardless of transition which has been experienced. They have regained power but they have to struggle to look and understand their original identity (Nayar 238).