As a theoretical approach, postcolonialism asks readers to consider the way colonialist and anti-colonialist messages are presented postcklonial literary texts. It argues that Western culture is Eurocentric, meaning it presents European values as natural and universal, while Eastern ideas are, for example, inferior, immoral, or "savage.
How did Britain justify its colonialist project by imaging http://freey8.com/500-word-essay/polarity-homework-worksheet.html East as "savage" or uncivilized?
What idea does the text create of "proper" British behavior? Tentative answers to these questions can be discovered by examining the novel's representation of foreign women, especially Bertha Mason, and posfcolonial colonialist doctrines of Jane and of St. John Rivers. One of the postcolonisl goals of this novel is to create a prototype of the proper English woman, someone like Jane who is frank, sincere, and lacking in personal vanity.
This ideal is created by Jane's attempt to contrast postdolonial with the foreign women in the text. Jane's comments imply that the English, unlike their French neighbors, are deep rather than superficial, spiritual rather than materialistic. But Jane's position is criticixm conflicted than Postcolonial criticism essay As a woman she is also a member of a colonized group, but postcolonial criticism essay a specifically British woman, she is a colonizer.
When she claims Rochester gives her a smile such as a sultan would "bestow on a slave his gold and gems had enriched," she emphasizes the colonized status of all women. Insisting that postcolonial criticism essay prefers his "one little English girl" to the "Grand Turk's whole postcolonial criticism essay Rochester points to Jane's powerlessness, her reduction to sex slave.
Rather than becoming slave, Jane insists she will become a missionary, preaching liberty to women thesis statement shakespeare in harems. Her comments show the dual position of European women: both colonized and colonizers. Postcolonial criticism essay Rochester reduces her to a colonized "doll" or "performing ape," her comments show her Eurocentric understanding of Postcolonial criticism essay culture: She implies that she'll be the enlightened Crificism coming to the rescue of poor, abused Turkish women.
All women are enslaved by male despotism, but the British woman claims a moral and spiritual superiority over her Eastern sisters. This difference becomes intense in Jane's representation of Bertha Mason. Bertha's vampiric appearance suggests she is sucking the lifeblood away from the innocent Rochester, who tells Jane he was as innocent as she is until he turned twenty-one and was married to Bertha: His goodness was taken by this savage woman.
An insane Creole woman, Bertha represents British fears of both foreigners and women. The "blood-red" moon, a symbol of women's menstrual cycles, is reflected in her eyes, suggesting her feminine, sexual potency.
Unlike Jane, Bertha refuses to be controlled; a woman whose stature almost equals her husband's, she fights with him, displaying postcolonial criticism essay "virile" force that almost masters Rochester. Post-colonial critics argue that Bertha, the foreign woman, is sacrificed so that British Jane can achieve self-identity. Their arguments suggest Rochester isn't as innocent postcolonial criticism essay esay postcolonial criticism essay as a colonialist, he was in the West Indies to make money and to overpower colonized men and women.
Notice how both Jane and Rochester emphasize his ability to control Bertha's brother, Richard. Much of Rochester's critique of Bertha hinges on her sexuality and exotic excess. Essxy he first met her, Rochester's senses were aroused by her dazzle, splendor, and lusciousness. But he later found her debauchery to postcolonial criticism essay his "Indian Messalina's attribute.
The representation of Bertha presents native peoples in the colonies as coarse, lascivious, and ignorant, thus justifying St. John's missionary role: Bertha is a foreign postcolonial criticism essay in need of British guidance and enlightenment. Just as Jane retrains the minds of her lower-class students in England, St. John will reform the values of the pagans in India. Both characters perpetuate a belief in British, Christian-based moral and spiritual superiority.
But St. John's inability to "renounce his wide field of mission warfare" shows that his colonialist impulse isn't based on compassion or mutual understanding, but on violence — violating the minds of native peoples, if not their bodies. For twenty-first-century readers, St. John's missionary zeal is morally suspect, because it shows his participation in the colonialist project, which resulted in violence against and violation of native peoples. John's coldheartedness suggests the brutality and self-serving link of colonialism.
Jane postcolonial criticism essay St. John "forgets, pitilessly, the feelings and claims of little people, in pursing his postcolonial criticism essay large views"; imagine the damage he will inflict on any native people who resist him. Like Jane, they will be repressed by his merciless egotism. Dissertation home environment spends the rest of his life laboring for "his race" in India.
A great warrior, St. John sternly clears the "painful way to improvement" for the natives, slaying their prejudices of "creed and postcolonial criticism essay though obviously not his own. In his zealous Christianity, he sees the Indians as an inferior race and postcolonial criticism essay to implant British values in their supposedly deficient minds.
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