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Key Terms of Postcolonial Literature
Prepared by : Komal Shahedapuri
Roll No : 14
Paper – 11 : The Postcolonial Literature
M.A (English) : Sem -3
Enrollment No: 2069108420170027
Batch : 2016-18
Email ID : email@example.com
Submitted to : Smt .S. B Gardi ,
Department of English’
M.K Bhavnagar University
What is the Postcolonial Literature ?
• Postcolonial literature is the literature of
countries that were colonized , mainly by
European countries. Postcolonial literature
often addresses the problems and
consequences of the decolonization of a
country, especially questions relating to the
political and cultural independence of
formerly subjugated people. In postcolonial
theory, voice given to marginal identities or
characters who are on the periphery in the
early narration or in history, but through the
retelling of history from post colonial
perspective, these identities come in the
Key Terms of Postcolonial Literature
• Commonwealth Literature
• Postcolonial Feminism
• “Decolonization is the process of revealing and
dismantling colonist power in all its forms, this
includes dismantling the hidden aspects of
those institution and cultural forces that had
maintained the colonialist power and that
remained even after political independence” .
• It is not only “removal of the domination of non-
Indigenous forces” but also it refers to
“decolonizes of mind “ from colonizer's ideas.
• Examples- Black Skin White Mask by Frantz
• Decolonising the Mind: the Politics of Language
in African Literature by Kenyan novelist and post-
colonial theorist Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o.
What is Commonwealth ?
• Commonwealth means British nation which is a
• The Commonwealth is an Intergovernmental
organizational 54 nations which were formally part of
• The original phrase “the commonwealth” or “the
common weal” comes from the old meaning of
“wealth” which is “well-being”. The term literary meant
“common well being”.
What is the Commonwealth Literature?
Commonwealth is associated with those which were
ruled by British, known as Commonwealth Countries
and the literature get nearer out from these are known
as Commonwealth Literature.
“A body of writing created in the English language
by persons who are themselves white Britons or
Irish or citizens of United states of America”
R. K. Narayan,
Nayantara Sahgal and
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Japanese Nobel Kazuo Ishiguro.
• “If you have acquired real knowledge, than give too no place
in your heart to ‘memsahib’ like behaviour. That is not
becoming in a Bengali house-wife, how an educated woman
can do house-work thoughtfully and systematically in a way
unknown to an ignorant, uneducated woman . And if God had
not appointed us to this place in the home, how a place this
world would be.
• Colonialism operates differently for men and women. It also
known as Double Colonialism
• Ex– Gayatri Spivak’s“Can Subaltern Speak?”
• "The subaltern cannot speak there is no virtue in global
laundry lists with 'woman' as a pious item. Representation has
not withered away the female intellectual has a circumscribed
task which she must not disown with a flourish“.
- Gayatri Spivak
• Racism is prejudice, discrimination, antagonism
directed against someone of a different race
based on the belief that one's own race is
• Examples- ‘The Bluest eyes’ by Toni Morrison
and ‘Things Fall Apart’ (African Trilogy) by
• Movie ‘Queen’ by Vikas Bahl and ‘English
Vinglish’ by Guari Shinde
• Are human beings essentially the same or
• Is difference defined primarily by racial
• Binary opposition of the society also proves that
there are some differences in the human-beings.
• “Orientalism” is a way of seeing that imagines ,
emphasizes , exaggerates and distorts differences of
Arab people and cultures as compared to that of
Europe and U.S it often involves seeing Arab culture
as exotic , backward , uncivilized , and at times ,
• Edward Said’s essay ‘Orientalism’ is a best
example to know about it in which it is said that
• Orientalism offered Middle Eastern studies,
transforming the way practitioners of the discipline
describe and examine the Middle East.
• Hybridity is a creation of new transcultural forms
within the contact zone produced by colonization.
• The term refers to the Cross- breeding of two
separate species by grafting to a form third ,
‘hybrid species’. ’Hybridity’ is journey from
biological to cultural discussions.
• It is the mixture of two cultures, races or religions.
It can be linguistic, cultural, political ,racial, social
and religious. It’s not necessarily peaceful
• Example- Kurta with Jeans and many more like
in food, festivals, marriage etc.