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Culture & Imperialism

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Samia Farooq

on 18 March 2014

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Transcript of Culture & Imperialism

Culture & Imperialism
Shakespeare vs
Imtiaz Ali
Beginning: 19th and early 20th C.
Imperialists: England, France & US
Colonized: Subcontinent, Nigeria, Jamaica...
Colonialism: the control or governing influence of a nation over a dependent country, territory, or people.
Control/government is done by a colonizer on the colonized Profound influence upon the culture.
Edward Said
shows how the justification for empire-building was inescapably embedded in the Western cultural imagination during the Age of Empire, and how even today the imperial legacy colors relations between the West and
the formerly colonized world at every level of political,
ideological, and social practice.
What's with the title?
In Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet", Shakespeare uses imagery to create atmosphere, intensify drama and illuminate central themes. By using a variety of metaphors, dramatic irony, use of figurative language and his explanation of poetic forms he conveys meaning and character excellently.
Shakespeare starts the play with a prologue. This was very popular in Shakespeare's time and he uses a sonnet to imply love because it was established as a poetic form for love and devotional poetry. It's used to set the scene and describes what is going to happen. It describes Romeo and Juliet as "Star crossed lovers"; this shows the audience the play is going to be about romance but also despair and feuds and not being in control of one's own destiny. The sonnet shows Shakespeare's ability to distil the essence of language and draw the audience into the action.
Main Characters
Said also traces the development of an "oppositional strain" in the works of native writers who participated in the perilous process of cultural decolonization.
Working mainly in the languages of their colonial masters, these writers - including William Butler Yeats and Chinua Achebe - identified and exposed mechanisms of control and repression.
But his vision reveals a hopeful truth: if the West and its former subject peoples are to achieve a meaningful, harmonious coexistence, it will depend upon the development of a humanistic historical understanding that all cultures are interdependent, that they inevitably borrow from one another.
Said gives his material a rough chronological arrangement, covering the last two hundred years, but in fact he emphasizes space over time.
He wishes Culture to have a global reach equal to that of the European empires of the nineteenth century, but he also has to stress space instead of time.
Said wants to contrast the views of Western and Third World writers, but the historians and novelists of the Third World whom he stresses wrote mostly in the late or postcolonial period and so were not contemporary with Conrad and the writers of the high imperial years.
As Said says in his interview, one cannot read Gide's Immoralist against a contemporary Algerian novel because Algeria had no novels then.
Culture and Imperialism
Probing some of the great masterpieces of the Western tradition Said brilliantly illuminates how culture and politics cooperated, knowingly and unknowingly, to produce a system of domination that involved more than soldiers - a sovereignty that extended over forms, images, and the very imaginations of both the dominators and the dominated.
The result was a "consolidated vision" that affirmed not merely the Europeans' right to rule but their obligation, and made alternative arrangements unthinkable- & it did not go unchallenged.
Said offers a powerful investigation of the relationship between culture and the imperialism of the West.
Probing masterpieces of the Western tradition:
Austen's Mansfield Park,
Conrad's Heart of Darkness,
Verdi's Aida, and
Camus's The Stranger
Said illuminates how the justification for empire-building was inescapably embedded in the cultural imagination of the West.
His book points the way beyond divisive nationalisms toward an awareness that the true human community is global.

Culture: the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular society.
The policy of forcefully extending a nation's authority by territorial gain or by the establishment of economic and political dominance over other nations.
I Thank You All!!!
He defines imperialism as "thinking about, settling on, controlling land that you do not possess, that is distant, that is lived on and owned by others".
He thus can argue that imperialism has survived the disappearance of the colonial empires and devotes the last section of Culture to its workings in the United States since World War II.
Introduction to Culture & Imperialism
Said called for an “adjustment in perspective and understanding” of the Western culture.
Said focuses on three major metropolitan cultures British, French and American to show how even their current identities are the product of power. Imerialistits memory, sustaining ideology and political practices persist. Thus, linking culture and empire offers an important “point of entry” into the interpretation not only of so-called Third World countries but also into the study of “the formation and meaning of Western cultural practices themselves.”

The result was a way of thinking that affirmed not merely the Europeans' right but also their obligation to rule--and touched nearly every facet of life in both the colonies and the imperial capitals.
Said reveals as well how writers such as W. B. Yeats and Chinua Achebe have challenged this imperial vision to reclaim for their peoples the right of self-determination in history and literature.
Imperialist assumptions, Said argues, continue to influence our politics and our arts--from the media's coverage to debates about what literature is worth teaching in our schools.
Said argues for an awareness that all cultures are interdependent and that the true human community is global.

Romeo and Juliet is a very poetic play--beautiful, fragile, and touching, as a tragedy about young lovers should be.
Romeo uses metaphor in calling Juliet's hand a holy shrine and then personification in referring to his lips as blushing pilgrims.
Juliet saying, "Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds." It's an example of apostrophe, and it would still be one if she said, "Hurry up and set, sun," but the image of horses pulling a chariot is both a metaphor and an allusion to the Greek mythological concept of the sun as a flaming chariot driven by Apollo.
Lady Capulet speaks with great rhythm and seeks purpose. She has many lines throughout the whole work, so her tone of rhythm can be easily identified.
Nurse says, “Peace, I have done. God mark thee to his grace! Thou wast the prettiest babe that e’er
I nursed. And I might live to see thee married once, I have my wish(1,3,59-62).”
Rhythm in The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet helps to maintain and balance consistently varying feeling and moo
d in the
Writing Styles of the two dramatists
Taj is known as the "Shakespeare of Subcontinent"
In writing the love story of Anarkali, a political allegory of the times, the author's intention, according to the critic Balwant Gargi, was "to represent tyrannical forms of patriarchal authority through the relationship between Crown Prince Saleem and his father Akbar the Great, which Taj portrays as domineering, and a 'complex father-son relationship' marked by 'filial love interlaced with hate'.

Edward said

Said Explores the long-overlooked connections between the Western imperialism and the culture that both reflected and reinforced it.
Full transcript