The Sense of an Closing the Book on Colonialism

Specifications: 4-5 pages, double-spaced, 12pt font, MLA style formatting and citations (see Purdue Owl MLA).

Final Draft (upload to appropriate dropbox folder). Submission should include photos of a separate rough draft, with marks and other proofs of significant revision.
If possible, I request that you please include any rough drafts or layouts you create for this paper, prior to editing it into your final draft. It can also be in the final word document if that’s easiest for you. I have paid for a couple extra pages for this extra effort on your part (that’s why the order says 7 pages, but the actual final draft only needs to be 4-5 pages). Let me know if you have any questions about this request.

As we discussed in our reading from early in the semester, there are generally understood to be two varieties of colonization: internal and “classic.” Classic colonization involves a distant power seeking to take over territory for its resources (human and material), which usually means that colonized subjects are largely able to maintain their local cultural practices and identities but with some changes. Internal colonization, meanwhile, is typically understood to be a result of a country pushing its borders into new territory and erasing the cultural institutions of any conquered peoples along the way. But the two kinds of colonization can happen simultaneously or at least overlap in some important ways, particularly in terms of culture and cultural ties. Note: I’ve included an article (as well as notes) we discussed at the beginning of this class that covers things like culture and colonization. This is a class about Literatures and Cultures in Contact and Conflict so the professor likes when a lot of key terms in reference to culture and colonization are in the writings. You don’t need to use this as a source, but I included it just in case you find it helpful. (This is in the “Tanno” folder).

Each of the passages which follow offer important concluding remarks for their respective novel. Choosing one of the following passages, write a 4-5 page analysis of the novel’s concerns through a close reading of the passage and its broader associations, discussing its implications for the ending of the novel, as well as the final commentary it is making concerning the relationship between culture and colonialism in the text.

  1. “Robinson had had occasion to note in the past that the only artifacts which impressed primitive peoples were things coming within their scope, such as knives, clothes, small boats. Beyond this they were unmoved, as though a mansion or rigged ship were a work of nature, no more to be marveled at than a cavern or an iceberg. It was not so with Friday, and Robinson at first assumed that the Araucanian’s ready understanding of everything he saw was due to his own influence. But as he watched him run up the shrouds and stand laughing on the crosstrees, fifty feet above deck, he thought of Friday’s airy contrivances—the arrows, the kite, and the harp—and realized that for him this sailing ship, so graceful and handsomely rigged, represented a supreme conquest of the air. The thought saddened him, the more so since he was conscious of his own growing revulsion for this world, into which he was being dragged, it seemed to him, against his will” (Friday 222-223).
  2. “Mother knew a lot of things and I had regard for her knowledge. Be careful, she had said, and I thought about Nyasha and Chido and Nhamo, who had all succumbed, and of my own creeping feelings of doom. Was I being careful enough? I wondered. For I was beginning to have a suspicion, no more than the seed of a suspicion, that I had been too eager to leave the homestead and embrace the ‘Englishness’ of Sacred Heart. The suspicion remained for a few days, during which time it transformed itself into guilt, and then I had nightmares about Nhamo and Chido and Nyasha two nights in a row. That should tell you how much my mother’s words disturbed me: I had not had a nightmare since the first time I went to the mission. But term-time was fast approaching and the thought of returning to Sacred Heart filled me with pleasure. The books, the games, the films, the debates—all these things were things that I wanted. I told myself I was a much more sensible person than Nyasha, because I knew what could or couldn’t be done. In this way, I banished the suspicion, buried it in the depths of my subconscious, and happily went back to Sacred Heart” (Nervous Conditions 297-298).

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