Can The Subaltern Speak Analysis

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By engaging with the historical knowledge of such disempowered women, Spivak expands the original definition of the subaltern given by Guha and others to include the struggles and experiences of women also. According to her, “Both as object of colonialist historiography and as subject of insurgency, the ideological construction of gender keeps the male dominant. If in the context of colonial production, the subaltern has no history and cannot speak, the subaltern as female is even more deeply in shadow”(287). She argued that the subaltern women are condemned to silence because there are no subject positions within the colonial and patriarchal discourses that would allow them to articulate themselves.
If “there is no space from which the sexed
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In this essay, she argues that the gendered subalterns disappear because no attempt is made to recover the subaltern experience. Only with a focus on subaltern experience based on authenticity, the problem of representing the subaltern can be solveded. Spivak wants the subaltern to emerge as the maker of her own history and the architect of her own …show more content…
Along with activism, representation and re-presentation are important means through which the marginalised sections can resist hegemony. Spivak, in “A Literary Representation of the Subaltern,” suggests that literary texts can be alternative rhetorical sites for articulating the histories of subaltern women (364).One major problem with representation is that particular representation may be misread as representation of an entire culture. The representation of the average ‘Third World’ woman as ignorant, poor, uneducated, tradition bound, domesticated, family oriented, victimised, facilitates and privileges the self representation of western women as educated, modern, as having control over their own bodies and ‘sexualities’ and the ‘freedom’ to make their own decisions. (Mohanty

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