Imperialism, Gender, and Modernity
In the book “Season of Migration to the North”, the misogynistic character of Mustafa shows gender chauvinism in his mistreatment of females despite an urge to fulfill a void emotional gap in his life. Reflectively, this chauvinistic nature is influenced by an urge to undermine the colonial power which psychologically arrested his country with imperialism. The sarcastic repulsion and attraction of Jean make her display a superiority complex behavior.
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Thus, “like her countrymen, she wants to dominate the ‘other’ whom she believes inferior” (Salih 61) as Mustafa claims. On the other hand, the book, “Sea of Poppies” discusses the cultural shock of neocolonialism in the extensive opium farms by natives in honoring the ‘girmit’ of offshore labor provision in sugarcane plantations. The author displays peasantry disempowerment, caste disparities, discrimination on skin color, and fragmented kin society. Gosh asserts that “the only people for whom we can even begin to imagine properly human… are the people who had the power to inscribe themselves physically upon a time” (Amitav 67). Here neocolonialism and the need for modernization have necessitated the need to acquire literacy.
The books “Orientalism” and “Modernity at Large” are based on the same themes discussed above. The book “Modernity at Large” discusses cultural transactions through warfare, traveling, and religious conversion in the transition into modernity. The author asserts that “if a global cultural system is emerging, it is full of ironies and resistances” (Appadurai 36). On the other hand, the book “Orientalism” discusses exotic civilization.
The orient and occident form the civilized and uncivilized respectively. Imperialism has reinforced an artificial line between the two as modernity progresses. For instance, the brilliance of Richard Burton is showed “as being overshadowed by a mentality of Western domination of the east” (Said 197).
Reflectively, these books share the same theme on neo-colonialism as inferiority and superiority complexes interact in societies. I opine that the authors’ have the same views on the interaction between the superiors and inferiors/ the colonialists and the natives in their interactions. Specifically, the interaction between these parties is characterized by gender disparity, exploitation, and discrimination as the inferior party is made to feel bitter.
The authors are influenced by Karl Marx’s theory of the bourgeoisie and proletariat interaction as demand and labor supply lies in the hands of the colonialist minds. The controllers of labor are often a powerful minority.
Amitav, Ghosh. Sea of Poppies. Gujarati: Penguin Books India, 2009. Print.
Appadurai, Arjun. Modernity At Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 1996. Print.
Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books, 1979. Print.
Salih, Tayeb. Seasons of Migration to the North. New York: New York Reviews of Books, 2009. Print.