Colonial Literature And Postcolonial Literature

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Any analysis regarding postcolonial literature first requires an understanding of the period of colonization and the subsequent decolonization of the established colonies. Essentially, colonization was the setting up of colonies by the Europeans among widespread nations, with the aim of spreading the three C’s- Commerce, Christianity and Civilization. The impact thus caused was evident not only in the form of nature’s exploitation but also in the minds of the colonized.

Due to colorization, a lot of nations suffered a brutal history with racial undertones and excessive exploitation. This then not only affected their land, but also their minds; as they began to be governed and controlled by the European invaders. The period of post colonialism
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The works were written in native as well as foreign languages such as English, French and Portuguese; this then caused the works to spread over a larger population even outside the physical boundaries of the Dark Continent. It is through authors like Chinua Achebe (1930-2013), Bessie Head (1937-1986), Mariama Bâ (1929-1981) and others that the readers across the world learned of an Africa that contrasted the description in Eurocentric literature. The African literature of 1960’s was full of stories about the European invasion and its impact thereupon the lives of the natives. These works were driven by a sense of personal feelings and thus, left a major impression on the minds of the readers. Among its prominent aspects, African postcolonial literature discussed the traditional rituals and cultures, community life, religious beliefs of the people and the destruction of all of this with the coming of the colonizers. What is rather striking in the literature from across Africa is the status and treatment of women. As literature is often highly representative of the society, women representations in African works raise a lot of questions. This paper then aims to highlight the lives of women in such fictitious works, as well as in the African reality. The treatment and representation of women in African narratives has always posed a large number of debatable questions. With apparent male domination, the women are often marginalized and depicted as mere objects. According to Charles C. Fonchingong’s essay, ‘Unbending Gender Narratives in African Literature’, Chukukere (1995) affirms that ‘the ideal female character created by male writers often acts within the framework of her traditional roles as wife and mother. So strong are social values that the respect and love which a woman earns is relative to the degree of

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