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shortessay3 - Western natives’ narrative is virtually...

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Deana Croog Comp lit 121H Short paper #3 Throughout Culture and Imperialism ’s introduction , Edward Said discusses the noxious effects of imperialist-dominated literature. By placing literature in a historical context, Said reveals that imperialist nations’ long-term hegemony over weaker, smaller countries can explain certain parallels in imperialist novels which place imperialism in dominating, complacent lights. Said emphasizes that this problem is perpetual; it is only in recent years that the repressed, native peoples have reclaimed their voices. Culture, as Said states, is dependent on literature, which is “immensely important in the formation of imperial attitudes, references, and experiences” (Said, xii). The narrative in literature shapes a people’s “identity” (Said, xii). Thus, since the majority of narrative is produced by and written from a zealous, pro-imperialist perspective, the non-
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Unformatted text preview: Western natives’ narrative is virtually lost, and thus, their history is lost. Furthermore, he compares the vying cultures to narration on stage. This stage can be metaphorically acted out on the stage of literature. It is this never-ending battle (in which the dominating culture always wins) recorded in literature, read by many generations, that perpetuates the sense of overwhelming “self-congratulation” and “unconcealed triumphalism” felt by Western powers (Said, xvii). Thus, Said implies that literature is both crucial and influential because it is a testimony to the customs and trials of a nation. The one-sided perspective in literature unfortunately has the power to shape how future generations view a nation’s culture, and can too often misrepresent the native people’s narrative....
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