It is important that we practice post-colonialist analysis using the technical terms introduced in this week’s lecture. After all, you may wish to use this form of analysis in your final paper. So for practice, I am going to give you a short text below and your job is to write 4-5 sentences (or more) in which you use at least two of the terms below as part of your analysis of it:
“hegemony” or “hegemonic.”
“Exoticism” or “naturalization.”
Keep in mind the key post-colonialist questions in as you do this. And keep in mind the following additional question as well, which you might use to help you focus your analysis:
“Assuming that the passage below is typical of the language and point of view of the entire story, should such a story continue to be part of the Western Literary Canon? Yes or no and why?”
Sample Text to Analyze
The following is a short excerpt from Joseph Conrad’s novella The Heart of Darkness, which is a central text in the Western Literary canon and which continues to be taught in many High Schools and in many college courses in English Literature throughout the country, including at Harvard and Yale. In this scene, the narratoran English sailortalks about his experiences traveling to an unnamed African country in the late 19th century. In this particular scene, he is coming ashore and discussing a group of natives that he is encountering for the first time.
“A slight clinking behind me made me turn my head. Six black men advanced in a file, toiling up the path. They walked erect and slow, balancing small baskets full of earth on their heads, and the clink kept time with their footsteps. Black rags were wound round their loins, and the short ends behind waggled to and fro like tails. I could see every rib, the joints of their limbs were like knots in a rope; each had an iron collar on his neck, and all were connected together with a chain whose bights swung between them, rhythmically clinking. Another report from the cliff made me think suddenly of that ship of war I had seen firing into a continent. It was the same kind of ominous voice; but these men could by no stretch of imagination be called enemies. They were called criminals, and the outraged law, like the bursting shells, had come to them, an insoluble mystery from the sea. All their meagre breasts panted together, the violently dilated nostrils quivered, the eyes stared stonily uphill. They passed me within six inches, without a glance, with that complete, deathlike indifference of unhappy savages. Behind this raw matter one of the reclaimed, the product of the new forces at work, strolled despondently, carrying a rifle by its middle. He had a uniform jacket with one button off, and seeing a white man on the path, hoisted his weapon to his shoulder with alacrity. This was simple prudence, white men being so much alike at a distance that he could not tell who I might be. He was speedily reassured, and with a large, white, rascally grin, and a glance at his charge, seemed to take me into partnership in his exalted trust. After all, I also was a part of the great cause of these high and just proceedings.”