Post Colonialism Theory To understand the post colonialism theory, I believe that we must first take a brief look at how we got here. In order to reach the post era, we first must walk through the challenges and lessons of those before us. How else would the history that we have to teach us today be there, how else would we have the literature to educate us? Colonialism was all about the newer, bigger, better lands and though these lands had natives already, they were Just another obstacle. They would befriend the natives and get them to teach them the ways of the land in order to live and survive off the land.
Once they were self-sufficient, they would begin to try to conform the natives to their way of life as the proper way of life. They would teach them that they were living wrong and evil lives and would eventually turn against the natives when they did not conform to their way of life. Therefore switching roles from the colonized to the colonizers. In switching the roles of power and showing their true colors and purpose for being there, they showed their true nature for possession and power, for fear and hate.
Throughout the texts that we have been studying, we see this over ND over again in the way that these characters move in and take over. As we look at the way Galoshes was possessive of his people and his land, we see the way he did as he pleased. He was known to be two thirds god and “a tyrant. ” (Manson 15) As in those who are the colonizers, he was feared and not necessarily respected. He imposed his wishes and commands on his people and rather than living for them he forced them into submission, such as claiming his birthright, “the privilege of sleeping with their brides before the husbands were permitted. (Manson 15) as you see even now throughout the history books. It is a constant hunger for the power and desire of what is not ours that drives some. He lived this way for some time thinking that he is content until the farmer’s son brings him news of Unkind who is living in the forest with the animals as one. This is something new and undiscovered to him, but still not enough to get him totally worked up. Something untouched, something that he does not control or possess, so he sends the prostitute to see if he can disrupt it.
It is in the continued thirst for power and possession that drives him to colonize in a way even Enkindles life in the ores. Galoshes is so bored, cold or immune to what he is doing that he forgot (Mason 17) that he has even done this and continues on with his life as he has done every day before that with no regard as to what impact he may have had on this man’s life or history. The Tempest we see Prospers exiled on an island and living as the kingpin so to speak, but as we read on, it was not always that way.
He was yet another example of the colonized becoming the colonizer. He came to the island as a humble exile, fleeing with his daughter Miranda after his brother Antonio had beaten him and moved his titles, lands and wealth to teach him a lesson. He befriended an island imp named Clinical who teaches them how to live on the island and in turn Miranda teaches him to speak. Prospers magically binds Clinical as a slave after he turns on him and holds his release over his head as a continual show of power.
Where once he was liked well enough, he is now referred to as “a villain” by Miranda (Shakespeare act 1, scene 2), it is funny how the role are reversed when your usefulness has worn off and you no long hold the upper hand. The same ways Prospers holds Ariel, but he does not mind since he freed him from a much more evil master. Colonized and colonizers are switching roles and taking on roles of the others in this story. Everyone wants the power, yet no one knows how to share it because each feels that the other is less superior.
As we look at the idea that both of these men Just wanted the possession of what they were after in the story, was that truly what they were after? Are we sure they were not after something else? An author by the name of Edward Said argued that “a literary text seldom conveys only one message” (Baldwin/Quinn 10). Could it be that they were after friendship, after love, after revenge, after hatred, after immortality (whether it was to be remembered in name or to live on as a god), or was it Just to die where they came from?
So let’s explore these options a little bit more. If we look to Galoshes, in changing the steps of Enkindles life with the prostitute, Unkind comes into his own and discovers who he is as a man and not Just animal by opening his eyes to his sexual nature and not Just his annalistic primal nature. Unkind comes to the city and challenges Galoshes to a man to man battle, which shows the release of anger and hate within them. The anger and hate was battled out for so long that upon the end of the battle it says they were exhausted.
It states that when they stood, “He turned to Unkind who leaned against his shoulder and looked into his eyes and saw himself in the other, Just as Unkind saw himself in Galoshes” (Manson 24). If we look deeper into this quote from the book we see several things, we see love, we see friendship, and we could even see immortality of an everlasting soul mate. We see this love and friendship grow throughout the remainder of the story and most would say this is the main theme.
They learn together, fight together, they even defy the gods together and therefore Galoshes is forced to pay the ultimate price for his part in that with the life of his friend and soul mate. Galoshes refuses to let go of his friend and the love the shared by bringing him back and puts himself through untold pain and toil to try to find a way to do so. He says, “l have been through grief! “, “Even if there will be more of pain, and heat and cold, I will go on! ” (Mason 57, 58). It is only when the serpent steals the plant and slithers away that he realizes he too must go back to whence he came.
His search for immortality is lost. But is it? Is immortality everlasting life? Is it being known by name and story and being told over and over? Was his immortality the city that he had built and left behind as a legacy as we see him looking over in the beginning and the ending of his tale? I think that is up to our interpretation. If we take the same look at the Tempest as we did with the story of Galoshes, what would we see? We would see the love that Prospers had for his daughter Miranda and his desire to protect her from harm as he did on the island every day in is teaching and daily lessons.
We see the love that he shows to Ariel although he is under his power he is gentle toward him, where with Clinical, he is rough and hateful. Prospers is very smart and calculated about how he gets his revenge. He does well not to kill or harm anyone to achieve it and wants to have those who have wronged him apologize. He even ensures the plan by involving his naive daughter and the love that she bears or will bear for Prince Ferdinand by having them married by the sacred beings. Once Prospers proved the treachery of Alonso, Antonio and
Sebastian that had been done to him those 12 years ago and the revenge had been played out, love won over. All he wanted was to have them to hear them apologize and to be restored. This was not a tale of immortality, but again, not of one singular theme either. I suppose the argument that I could make here is that no matter how you look at these two amazing pieces of literature, there are so many different stories all wrapped up into one. It is much like our history, not matter what angle you are looking at it from, there is always someone that has another view on it or how it really appended, or something missed.
I think, like postcolonial literature, there is much to be left to the imagination in how we interpret it. I believe that what the authors had in mind when they wrote these stories was to let the stories wander and to evolve to fit what would speak to the reader and not to be one track minded. The point of having an imagination is to use it and set it free, to be able to read these stories and to re-read them and find a different angle every time is the best part about it. I don’t believe that we were meant to stick to one specific theme, but to explore them all.
Maybe you are not the type to explore them all at once, but next time you are thumbing through the pages, try looking at these stories from the prospective of more than one. It broadens the story and opens the plot to even more beauty and wonder of possibilities.
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