When Things Fall Apart: Looking through Said's and Spivak's Postcolonial Perspectives
Broadly defined, postcolonial criticism is the examination of the effects of colonialism on societies. Its purpose is to analyze the ways through which “powerful” cultures dominated the third World nations. On the other hand, these nations have certain reactions to the attempts mentioned. As an area of study which embodies cultural awareness, postcolonial theory attempts to make the related parties realize the construction of an inferiority felt by the colonized and lead a struggle for gaining cultural, social and political voice, which necessitates an understanding of the existing cultural hybridity. Edward Said and Gayatri Chakraworty Spivak are two of the critics whose ideas on post colonialism should be referred to in this respect. This paper aims to shed light on the colonial features in Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, presenting a postcolonial approach to the novel by drawing on the two critics’ ideas. Said holds an opposition to marginalization of literary theory, asserting that such a practice expands the differentiation between literature and the world and it becomes harder for critics to examine the literature of the ”other”. Meanwhile, Spivak defends that not only U.S. and European literatures but also literatures of the Southern cultures should be taken into consideration for analysis. She pinpoints the linguistic distinctions of minority cultures and states that contemporary criticism misses the variances in them. Achebe’s prominence as a writer due to the postcolonial themes he introduced and his literary devices serving for his nation’s recognition result in the fact that his novel comes forth as a significant example of the common point Said and Spivak argue for; cultural varieties are to be kept and protected.
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Spivak, Gayatri C. (2003). Crossing borders. In D. Damrosch, N. Melas, and M. Buthelezi (Eds.), (2009).The Princeton sourcebook in comparative literature (380-398). Princeton: Princeton University Press.
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