Literary Analysis Of Aime Césaire's Discourse On Colonialism

1881 Words 8 Pages
How people understand colonialism is largely dependent on the cultural and societal context in which they inhabit. While the colonized peoples are forced to experience the true effects of colonialism firsthand, the people of the colonizing nation only experience colonialism from the periphery and only experience its positive effects. Therefore, their understanding of colonialism is shaped by the narrative created by those in power, those who reap the most benefits from the colonization of African and Asian countries, which masks the true financial and economic motivations for colonialism as a practice which is undergone in order to advance the whole of humanity. Aimé Césaire , a French poet and politician, seeks to dismantle this racist narrative. Colonialism is not a way to civilize supposedly savage civilizations, but a system …show more content…
In his essay, “Discourse on Colonialism,” Césaire seeks to answer the question, “What, fundamentally, is colonialism?’ through the refutation of the racist claim that the intent of colonization is to bring “civilization” to the …show more content…
While digestion is an unconscious and natural process, the activation of a machine is conscious and constructed. The forgetting machine, which Césaire depicts as going “Shhhhh! Keep your lips buttoned!” is somehow both sinister and condescending, like the machine is telling a child to keep quiet. And “silence falls” after the machine’s shushing, the silence being described as being “as deep as a safe” as if the knowledge of the great pre-colonial civilizations is being kept locked away, never to see the light of day again. “Fortunately, there are still the Negroes” the forgetting machine goes, eager to remind the bourgeois of the savage “Negroes” who have supposedly never created civilization and never will, “Let’s talk about the

Related Documents