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Postmodern Criticism: Postmodern criticism revolves around t

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Paige H

on 11 June 2015

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Transcript of Postmodern Criticism: Postmodern criticism revolves around t

Postmodern and Postcolonial Criticism
Characteristics of Postmodern Criticism:
1. Reality and truth are inconsistent.
2. All knowledge is subjective because all knowledge is gained through interpretation.
3. Lack of definite truth.
Examples of Postmodern Criticism:
by John Gardner
- The Shaper’s version of history becomes the reality for the people and threatens to overpower what Grendel knows to have truly happened in the past
The ultimate fate of Grendel is left up to philosophical interpretation.

by Mary Shelley
- The creature can’t be truly classified as good or evil.

Postmodern Criticism: Postmodern criticism revolves around the idea that there's no such thing as absolute truth or certain reality.

Postcolonial Criticism: Postcolonial criticism is the study of the effect of colonialism on cultures and societies. Postcolonialism, both as a body of theory and a study of political and cultural change, has gone through and continues to go through three broad stages:
1. An initial awareness or the social psychological, and cultural inferiority enforced by being in a colonized state.
2. The struggle ethnic, cultural, and political autonomy.
3. A growing awareness of cultural overlap and hybridity.
Examples of Postcolonial Criticism:
Gulliver's Travels
by Jonathan Swift

- The Houyhnhnms and Yahoos are two conflicting races in one of the lands that Gulliver travels to. The Houyhnhnms can be seen as representing a sophisticated and educated Europe while the Yahoos represent the colonized nations. From a different perspective the Yahoos could also be seen as the colonizers given their barbarity and similarity to European humans while the Houyhnhnms are the natives that are being enslaved and abused by Europeans

1. European nations vs. 'third world' cultures.
2. History is told by the victor.
3. Reclaiming of space.
4. Asserting cultural integrity.
Characteristics of Postcolonial Criticism:
Postmodern Criticism and
Wuthering Height

Postcolonial Criticism and
Wuthering Heights
Fluid or Changing Reality:
Postmodern Criticism and Wuthering Heights
All Knowledge is Subjective:
European Nations vs. Third World Cultures:
Postcolonial Criticism and Wuthering Heights
History Told by the Victor:
The character foil between Heathcliff and Hareton

“‘Now my bonny lad, you are mine! And we’ll see if one tree won’t grow as crooked as another, with the same wind to twist it!’” (page 165, Heathcliff to Hareton).

1. Edgar and Heathcliff's different perceptions of Catherine's madness.
“It was not the thorn bending to the honeysuckles, but the honeysuckles embracing the thorn.” (page 81) about the Lintons and Cathy when she moves in with them.

2. The frame story makes the reliability of the narrative questionable, which increases the fluidity of the truth and unreliability of reality.

◦“On an afternoon in October, or the beginning of November…” (page 202, show’s unreliability of Ellen’s remembrances)

◦“she got it into her head that I was prejudiced against them. ‘Aha!’ she cried, ‘you take papa’s side, Ellen--you are partial…” (page 195, Cathy to Ellen).

The situation between Heathcliff and Hindley can be viewed as a third world country versus a European nation. Heathcliff is frequently looked down upon because of his origins and his race despite essentially being no different from the other children he’s raised with.

◦“Mrs. Earnshaw was ready to fling it out of doors: she did fly up--asking how he could fashion to bring that gipsy brat into the house” (page 31).

The story is being told by someone on the winning side. Heathcliff is not the one telling the story, and his account of things might be very different. The story is from the point of view of the colonizers and not the colonized, which would be Heathcliff. (Think of his story, he’s overpowered by the stronger, wealthier, white characters and forced into servitude). Heathcliff’s character arch illustrates the postcolonial idea of members of ‘third world’ countries attempting to resist the encroachment and enslavement of European nations. His rebellions against Hindley and the rest could be seen as one of the ‘third world’ countries rebelling against a colonizing power.







Postcolonial Criticism
Reclaiming of Space
Later in life, Heathcliff wants to take revenge on Hindley, Edgar, and all who have wronged him by gaining the land of Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights. He attempts to achieve this through the marrying of Cathy and Linton.
Postcolonial Criticism Example
Heart of Darkness - Marlow comments on the juxtaposition of clean Europeans like the accountant and "savages".
Pygmalion- Eliza is forced to act and talk properly in order to fit in with high-class British ideals.
The imperial idea of taking something that is rightfully yours.
Postcolonial Criticism
Asserting Cultural Integrity
Cathy finally teaches the illiterate Hareton to read after he was neglected and abused by Heathcliff
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