Colonisation Essay

744 Words Apr 1st, 2016 3 Pages
“The Gorilla wrestles with the superman” (Walcott)
Compare and contrast your three chosen writers’ presentation of the effects of colonisation.

“The Gorilla wrestles with the Superman,” taken from Derek Walcott’s ‘A Far Cry from Africa,’ effectively connotes the struggle between people of different nationalities and cultures due to colonialism. Imperialism connects Walcotts poems, Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ and Friel’s ‘Translations’. All three texts contain binary opposites connoting culture, which is exactly what Walcott’s “The Gorilla wrestles with the superman” represents. The ‘gorilla’ represents the black native man; strong, natural and powerful which ‘wrestles’ with the superman, in this case British colonists. The image of
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The delusive ‘superman’ image that connotes the white imperialist links to Kurtz’s behaviour - his soul lacks ‘faith, fear and restraint’ to a point which is unimaginable by Marlow. Furthermore the absence of restraint, faith and fear paints an image of Kurtz being a beast, similar to the xenophobic views people would’ve had towards the natives; ‘gorillas'. The repetition of the pronoun ‘it’ creates a sense of ambiguity to the situation, Marlow struggles to explain himself which Conrad highlights by the pause in-between ‘I saw it’ and ‘I heard it’, creating a build up of tension. Kurtz’s insatiable hunger to be viewed as the most powerful drives him to behave inhumanely towards the natives. Kurtz has fallen a complete victim to the power of the jungle, as Marlow explains, ‘powers of darkness have claimed him for their own’. Once again a reference to the supernatural, ‘powers’ connoting the superman image of the colonists. The verb ‘claimed’ suggests that the stress and trauma of being in the jungle has finally taken control of Kurtz, dehumanising him. There is an irony about Kurtz being viewed as weak due to the exact reason which made him all-powerful, the colonisation of the natives created a lack of faith which inevitably

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