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Basic Tenets of Post-colonial theory Assumptions: 1.

Colonialism is a powerful, usually destructive historical force that shapes not only the political futures of the countries involved but also the identities of colonized and colonizing people. 2. Successful colonialism depends on a process of othering the people colonized. That is, the colonized people are seen as dramatically different from and less than the colonizers. 3. Because of this, literature written in colonizing cultures often distorts the experiences and realities of colonized people. Literature written by colonized people often includes attempts to articulate more empowered identities and reclaim cultures in the face of colonization. Strategies: 1. Search the text for references to colonization or to currently and formerly colonized people. In these references, how are they colonized people portrayed? How is the process of colonization portrayed? 2. Consider what images of others or processes of othering are present in the text. How are these others portrayed? 3. Analyze how the text deals with cultural conflicts between the colonizing culture and the colonized or traditional culture. Another definition of postcolonial theory: Postcolonial literary theory attempts to isolate perspectives in literature that grow out of colonial rule and the mindset it creates. On one hand, it can examine the ways in which a colonizing society imposes its worldview on the peoples it subjugates, making them objectives of observation and denying them the power to define themselves. The colonizers are the subjects, those who take action and create realities out of the beliefs they hold to be important. On the other hand, it can focus on the experiences of colonized peoples and the disconnection they feel from their own identities. Post colonialism also focuses on attempts of formerly colonized societies to reassert the identities they wish to claim for themselves, including national identities and cultural identities. When this lens is used to examine the products of colonization, it focused on reclamation of self-identity. The aim of postcolonial study, then is to restore the history, the dignity, validity, cultural contributions, and global significance of those whose experiences have been represented within a worldview that provided no way to include the other except through direct contrast with itself. This type of direct contrastus/other, western/non-western, civilized/uncivilized, necessarily reduces everything and everyone it encounters. It diminishes not only the complexity of the colonized world, but its legitimacy as well.