Mongo Beti's Narrative in 'The Poor Christ of Bomba' is the Nativity of Postcolonialism

Topics: Colonialism, Africa, French colonial empire Pages: 12 (4280 words) Published: June 6, 2007
Postcolonialism is a term that ranges from artistic actions, political theories, cultural theories, and social ideologies which have created a new genre of African writers in the mid to late twentieth century that theorize this term. The fallout, drawbacks, and social emergences that have come out of colonialism appear to have taken the definition of postcolonialism up to a certain point because according to some theorists of postcolonialism, the definition still remains subjective. At this point, what remains is still the level of understanding toward the colonized and remaining questions as to the motives of the colonizers to colonize. Postcolonialism relegates the colonizers intent to just personal financial gains over the colonized, whereas the colonized and its following generations still are dealing with the results of such humiliations and dominations impacted by colonialism. Perhaps to understand some of the effects of postcolonialism a reader should have a textual analysis of colonialism itself. In the book, The Poor Christ of Bomba, the author, Mongo Beti uses narration to tell a story that takes the reader inside the mind of a fourteen year old who finds himself in a situation beyond his control. The characterization of the narrate personify an age that draws the line between innocence and awareness. The condition as it were in the book takes a satirical approach on how the circumstances under colonialism rule may have been. Betis clever play on words, situations, and storylines open up the mind of the reader to take in some of the implications attribute to colonialism that make the term postcolonialism so arbitrary (Chrisman 8-11).

Postcolonialism is referred to what actually happens after colonialism, its predecessor. The area controlled by is territorial occupier gains its independence and appropriates its own establishment. Politically it may appear that this area is now completely independent; however, the question remains if postcolonialism is completely underway. That issue in trying to define postcolonialism for theorists is answering that particular question. They claim colonialism occupies not just a geographical area but a geographical unconsciousness of the mind of the colonized. Even though the area is now free of its colonizers, is it really free of its conscious self? When language, culture, religion, and education has been altered to evoke a new one for years upon new generations of people, can those people find their way to their ancestral state? So, if postcolonialism represents a medium of after colonialization, then it must also include the affects of displacement has occurred and perhaps this is why postcolonialism is so inflexible to define to one particular presumption because there are varied implications such as social, economic, political, and religious cultural aspects have to be taken into account before a linear definition is implemented into postcolonialism (305-311).

Post-colonialism also refers to a set of theories in philosophy and literature which tackle with the inherited 19th century British and French colonial rule. As a literary theory, postcolonialism consists with literature created in countries that were once colonies of other countries and in fact, for some, this may still be the case. This faction has produced many theorists that have upstaged the term and its meaning to other nonsingular forms according to Aijaz Ahmad, who by feels a grand perplexity of the definition in literature and feels that the point of what is postcolonialism is being subverted. He feels that as long as the word does not remain as is and that if independent states the use political strategies of colonizers, there will also be inequalities among people and governments which will be referred to as non-white. This globalization sphere of postcolonialism will historical harness the fundamental effect of constructing this globalized transhistorcity of colonialism is to evacuate the very meaning...

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Ahmad, Aijaz. Postcolonialism: Whats in a Name? Late Imperial Cultural. Eds. RomanLa Coupa. E. Ann Kaplan, Michael Sprinkler. New York: Verso. 1995.
Beti, Mongo. The Poor Christ of Bomba. Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc. Reissued 2005.
Chrisman, Laura and Patrick Williams Editors. Colonial Discourse and Post-ColonialTheory: A Reader. New York: Columbia University Press. 1994.
Gikandi, Simon. Reading the African Novel: Studies in African Literature. NewHampshire: Heinemann Publishing. 1987.
Krieger, Milton and Joseph Takougang. African State and Society in the 1990s:Cameroon 's Political Crossroads. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. 1998.
Memmi, Albert. The Colonizer and the Colonized. Boston: Beacon Press. ExpandedEdition 1991.
Wolfreys, Julian. Critical Keywords in Literary and Cultural Theory. New York:Palgrave. 2004Young, Robert. Postcolonialsim: A Very Short Introduction. New York: OxfordUniversity Press. 2003
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