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The Life and Times of Michael K - Essay Example

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Applying the ideas of Frantz Fanon and Chinua Achebe, discuss the themes of starvation and speech in Life and times of Michael K. Strange distinction of societal classes of human beings on the basis of skin and colonial dominance is a good old societal problem leading to revolutions and a mass scale loss of human lives and their immortal sacrifices…
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The Life and Times of Michael K
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Download file to see previous pages Decolonization has transpired but the very attributes of colonialism is manifold in the tension of Black and White within the society. The Blacks in Africa and labor classes in the capitalist world have been tremendously crushed by the Whites and the capitalist classes of the society. Now among excellent writings exhibited by an array of scholars, one of the most crucial things that are to be noted is the way of obtaining freedom or to find an escape route from this state of struggle. The protagonist Michael K has been born with physical deformities and he is Black. He faces tremendous constraint in almost every aspects of living in the society with a dead mother. But facing challenges which are really not wanted in a civilized society, he never lost hope and kept ignited the fire of freedom within himself reflecting a post modern view of self liberation. Starvation has been one of the aspects through which Michael has went through and infused him with the realization of harsh reality in the then society. It can be also regarded as a way of liberation against a life that is amalgamated with furious torment and outright negligence (Coetzee). Two anti colonial scholars Frantz Fanon and the Chinua Achebe are famous for their revolutionary writings on African context associated with colonial exploitation and freedom of the common masses from blood sucking colonial dominance and racial suppression. Their ideas will be discussed in this paper for highlighting the themes of starvation and speeches from the book, Life and times of Michael K. Frantz Fanon was a third world intellectual whose work is dedicated against colonialism with particular impact in Africa and his writings in the period of 1950s and 1960s especially Les Damnes de la terre explores the passion on the historical conditions of the anti colonial struggle. He grew up among the African slaves working in the sugar plantations and participated in the guerilla struggle against the pro Nazi French Vichy government. Fanon’s political vision is guided by the notion of European tradition of Marxist thought reflecting anti colonial dimensions. Fanon thought in lines of Marx that violent anti colonial struggle is necessary as a solution but he differed from Marx in the sense that he focused on the execution of revolution by the peasants and the social outcasts. Marx saw less potential among them. Fanon visualizes that these classes of the society are intensely subjugated by the capitalist class without receiving a minimal distribution of goods for sustaining life (Fanon, 1576). There is a continuous escalation in demand from the colonial power and in this process the common people are dragged into virulent poverty and they die of hope. In this aspect a link can be established where Coetzee metaphorically used the phrase, “It will close up as he grows older” (Coetzee, 3). This is in respect to Michael K’s physical deficiency of the mouth. Midwife stated this to the mother of Michael K giving a hope that it will heal up and deformity in Michael K’s mouth will diminish. But the deformity never diminished and it became a subject of mockery and discrimination in the society. Michael K from his very childhood has been deprived of access to essential goods and services that are necessary for maintaining a sustainable standard of living and has been subjected to mockery from time to time. Hope is not a solution. Revolution is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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They speak to a hidden aspect of our own lives and they have an outsized power to shake us up and make us consider our relationship with our family, with society, and with ourselves. His work is to some extent prefigured by the work of Hawthorne in the Scarlet Letter as will be discussed below, but is in other ways sui generis. The impact of a massive machinery moving against a single person, crushing them without reason, is a hall-mark of the Kafkaesque and can now be found in much contemporary literature, in particular in Coetzee's The Life and Times of Michael K.
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