Postcolonial theory is a literary theory or critical approach that deals with literature produced in countries that were once, or are now, colonies of other countries. It may also deals with literature written in or by citizens of colonizing countries that takes colonies or their peoples as its subject matter. The theory is based around concepts of otherness and resistance. It concentrates particularly on the way in which literature by the colonizing culture fabricate the experience and realities, and imprint the inferiority. As a matter of fact colonized people attempts to articulate their identity and reclaim their past in the face of that past's inevitable otherness.
In a post World War II era of decolonization, the effects of colonization on colonized people came to light and raised questions as to the lasting effects of colonialism. Postcolonial historians aim to focus the historical perspective on the colonized people, to understand the lingering influence of colonialism, and begin to reject the colonial narrative written by European actors. The shift to postcolonial perspectives started in the years following decolonization across much of the world, influencing the question of experiences and interpretations of imperialism. The shift to postcolonial history is vital to the field at large because, like Marx, it brings a perspective from those who have been silenced by the colonial elite. The European narrative that dominated the documents, political archives, and literature on the scientific reasoning for colonialism created the historical paradigms written by those in charge.
It was first used by historians after World War II as “post-colonial state” referring to post-independence period. That’s to say in its original usage, the prefix “post” in post-colonial indicated its chronological meaning. Yet, from the late 1970s its scope has been broadened and moving beyond the limited discursive meaning of postcolonialism, referring to the chronological period of post-independence, literary critics used it to problematize the social, cultural, political and economic consequences of colonization on colonized countries. For instance, Ania Loomba defines postcolonialism as a theory about “… the complex forms in which subjectivities are experienced and collectivities mobilized; … and about the ethnographic translation of cultures” (Loomba et al., 13-14). In Postcolonialism- An Historical Introduction (2001), Robert Young proposes that “postcolonial theory is always concerned with the positive and the negative effects of the mixing of peoples and cultures” (Young 69).
Postcolonial literature has been popular for its larger part of the theorist (“Postcolonialism” 225). “ Racial discrimination is a theme that runs throughout postcolonial discourse, as white Europeans consistently emphasized their superiority over darker skinned people,” (“Postcolonialism” 231). Race, language and identity is a main part of Postcolonial. The Postcolonialism was after the countries gained its independence from Great Britain (“Postcolonialism” 225). Cultural difference were one of the main reasons of postcolonial, the separation between two or more ethnic groups.
Literally, postcolonialism refers to the period following the decline of colonialism, e.g., the end or lessening of domination by European empires. Although the term postcolonialism generally refers to the period after colonialism, the distinction is not always made. Postcolonialism does not simply seek to tell the story of what happened after decolonization, but seeks a critical perspective on its ongoing, problematic legacy: as Young writes, “Postcolonial critique focuses on forces of oppression and coercive domination that operate in the contemporary world: the politics of anti-colonialism and neo-colonialism, race, gender, nationalism, class and ethnicities define its terrain” (Young, Robert ,2001: 11). A key theme here is that there is
Colonialism has been part of our sacred history since the beginning of the century and has stretched over the globe ever since. Most of the underdeveloped countries we see today has been somehow colonized by a European country, making them oppressed in a way that innocent lives are taken away forcefully. Comparatively, colonialism is a form of oppression. Ashley Crossman (2017) in “What Sociology Can Teach Us about Oppression” states that “Social Oppression is a concept that describes a relationship of dominance and subordination between categories of people in which one benefits from the systematic abuse, exploitation, and injustice directed toward the others” (Para 1). Colonization is a source that only causes more harm than good in the world by the idea of stripping, lower nations of their precious
Postcolonial theories Postcolonial studies focus on the effects of the colonizer over the colonized people. Postcolonial term comes from the fact that this academic study studies what responses people had on a system of a government that controlled them and their land. To simplify this, while on the one hand post colonialism examines the social and political power that the colonizer uses over the colonized and the post implications of this colonial system on people. On the other hand, postcolonial studies have premises of the effects of the colonial rule on literature and feminism also. The colonists want to control the natives.
Morrell and Stewart’s seemingly glib definition of postcolonialism as “the period after colonialism” (91: 2004) does not seem particularly helpful. As Ashcroft et al note the term itself “was a state of disciplinary and interpretative contestation almost from the beginning” but for the purpose of this essay the most satisfactory, and concise, definition would be that used by “literary critics to discuss the various cultural effects of colonisation” (186: 1998). In considering postcolonialism, a definition of colonialism is essential and here Morrell and Stewart examine the concept effectively in noting that it “…refers to the political ideologies that legitimated the modern occupation and exploitation of already settled lands by external powers. For the indigenous populations, it meant that suppression of