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Faculty of Letters English Department
University of Pamulang
Post-colonialism (or Postcolonialism) is the outlook and studies
as responses to colonial subjugation of European or Western to
Third and Fourth-world that emerged in 70’s.
However, it’s not only talking about Western colonial
subjugation but also various reality of injustice, culture and
gender domination, sexual orientation issues, social class,
subaltern people experiences, etc.
Thus in literature, it is an interaction and reaction in colonial
societies and the effects of colonial practices on literary
POST-COLONIAL MAIN CONCEPTS
“The copying of the colonizing culture, behavior, manners and values by the colonized
contains both mockery and a certain ‘menace’, ‘so that mimicry is at once resemblance and
From the theory of Homi K. Bhabha, mimicry is a concept of
imitating coloniser’s behaviors intended to mock which can
appear as a parody in literature. It’s a sort of anti-colonial
movement in literature that producing social-political works.
Mimicry is a severe criticism as an implement to resist
colonization. The most radical anti-colonial writers often
called the “mimic men”.
The fusion of two traditions to which create new trans-cultural
elements and produce a double identity that contradicted, as a
colonizer and colonized at the same time.
In literature, it causes ambivalency and confusing whether it is
oppossing or supporting colonialism. Because for whatever,
post-colonial texts suppose to uncontaminated by the
In this perspective, texts which are anti-colonial, which reject the premises of colonialists intervention
( the civilizing mission, the rejuvenation of stagnant cultures ) might be regarded as post – colonial
insofar as they have ‘got beyond’ colonialism and its ideologies, broken free of its lures to a point from
which to mount a critique or counter – attack.
( Childs & Williams 1997 : p. 4 )
“...It is, rather than expresses, a certain will or intention to understand, in some cases to
control, manipulate, even incorporate, what is a manifestly different world”
(Said 1978: 12).
In Edward Said’s book “Orientalism” it is clear that orientalism
is the project of European/Western for having authority over
the orient and reconstruct in European thinking. In another
word, it’s the concept for dominating, manipulating, exploiting
the orient. An interestedness in Orient world recorded in so
many Western texts.
UNIVERSALISM / UNIVERSALITY
• Universalism is Eurocentric view that claims their
civilizations in experiences and values are the standard for
• In literature, we are often told that what makes Shakespeare
‘great’ is his ability to reveal something of ‘the universal
human condition’. Universalism gives assumption that
‘European’ equals ‘universal’. It’s the way of European to
elevate their status. That is why universalism rejected by
• Universalism is a strategy of imperialism and colonialism by
saying the ‘universal’ features of humanity are the
characteristics of those who occupy positions of political
dominance in this case, European/Western.
Post-colonial is synonym with “post-independence” or the
era after the independence when the colonialists had left the
country. However, their concepts still remain and their
practices are still used up to now.
The concept of ruling class is significant in colonialism. As
we see today in our community, for it is a fact that concept
still exists. There are gaps between the Rich and Poor, the
Superior and Inferior, the Lord and Servant, the Aristocrat
and Commoner, or the hegemony and subaltern. They are
two contradict aspects to play the roles as the “colonizer”
and “colonized” just like in colonial era. These are the
reasons that gave birth to post-colonial literary productions
in purpose to reject that concept and meant to be the theme
of many post-colonial literary works.
METHODS OF ANALYSIS
In analysis of post-colonial literature is examined:
Trace the history of colonialism and subjugation during the colonial
period. In this case, there’s always the subject and the object of
Physical and psychological aspect
Oppression and intimidation, are the ways to make colonized feel weak,
frightened, devaluate pride, submissive, and obedient to the colonizer.
In whose perspective it is narrated , colonizer or colonized?
man as colonizer, woman as colonized.
Domination of a certain culture, including ethnicity, race and religion.
POST-COLONIAL LITERARY ANALYSIS
NINETEEN HUNDRED AND NINETEEN
William Butler Yeats
All teeth were drawn, all ancient tricks unlearned,
And a great army but a showy thing;
What matter that no cannon had been turned
Into a ploughshare? Parliament and king
Thought that unless a little powder burned
The trumpeters might burst with trumpeting
And yet it lack all glory; and perchance
The guardsmen’s drowsy chargers would not prance.
Now days are dragon-ridden, the nightmare
Rides upon sleep: a drunken soldiery
Can leave the mother, murdered at her door,
To crawl in her own blood, and go scot-free;
The night can sweat with terror as before
We pieced our thoughts into philosophy,
And planned to bring the world under a rule,
Who are but weasels ﬁghting in a hole.
William Butler Yeats is Ireland’s most famous poet, dramatist, critic,
Senator and post-colonial writer. Yeats’s position as postcolonial writer
is a polemic because of his double identity. For his post-colonial works
"Meditation in Time of Civil War" and "Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen",
Yeats's position is to live in an in between status. Two key elements in
post-colonialism describing his identities as the colonized and colonizer,
it called the concepts of ambivalence and hybridity.
Note: Post-colonial critics, Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin in “The Empire Writes Back”
exclude Ireland from the list of postcolonial nations. On the other hand, Edward Said, in ”Culture and
Imperialism”, argues that Ireland is a postcolonial nation.
The title of this poem, “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen” is the year in
which the Anglo-Irish war began. This political poem explores the human
condition where the things most precious are lost in violence. Many of
the Irish patriots were connected intimately with Yeats, had hoped that
the time would freeing their country from the English subjugation.
Post-colonialism realized that even though the colonial era has
finished yet, but the practices have not come to an end and now
has turned it face into neo-colonialism.
In post-colonial perspective, literary works emerged to unveil
subjugation, injustice, violence, discrimination, inequality, to sound
the marginal and subaltern people, so that from post-colonial
productions yielded social and political products.
Post-colonial literature is a kind of literary work which describes
realistic experience of what really happens around us and to remind
don’t just shut our eyes. It is believe that one voice could lead into a
betterment for our future and society.
-----Barry, Peter (2009) Beginning Theory: An Introduction to
Literary and Cultural Theory, Manchester: Manchester
-----Endraswara, Suwardi (2013) Metodologi Penelitian Sastra,
-----Ashcroft, Bill, et al. (2007) Post-Colonial Studies: The Key
Concepts, London and New York: Routledge.
-----Ashcroft, Bill, et al. (2003) The Post-Colonial Studies
Reader, London and New York: Routledge.