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Margaret Atwoods Survival and Sally Morgans My Place - Essay Example

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This paper analyses the presence and use of the journey motif in Margaret Atwood’s Survival and Sally Morgan’s My Place. The writings exhibit similarities through the physical and emotional journeys of the protagonists and through pre-occupations with colonial and post-colonial anxieties…
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Margaret Atwoods Survival and Sally Morgans My Place
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Download file to see previous pages It is evidently clear from the discussion that the occupation and long-term administration of large areas of the world by colonizing powers have had far-reaching effects on the people who live in these territories. These are political and economic but also deeply cultural and highly visible in the creative output of the people thus affected - during the period of colonization and in the aftermath. Thus, across a broad range of media and genres, aural, visual and written materials bear witness to the struggle of asserting distinctiveness from and coming to terms with the relationships with the ‘cosmopolitan center’, from the early poetry of natives to modern artistic expressions. The theories that are attempting to make sense of the distinctiveness of post-colonial writings can be broadly grouped into four major approaches, one of these being a local or regional view, identifying with literature that is less comparative between or across facets of different societies and more introspective. More global perspectives are considering ‘race’ across literature from diverse nations and also ‘compare’ between different former ‘colonies’. Thus language becomes part of the quest for a reinterpretation of ‘legitimacy’ and ‘identity’, in an attempt to deal with the ‘crisis of cultural authority’ brought about by the fragile identities left behind by the departed colonial powers. This often manifests itself in a preoccupation with ‘place and displacement’, which Maxwell defines as an important feature of post-coloniality. Ashcroft et al go one step further by claiming that ‘place and displacement’ is always an element of post-colonial communities, regardless of the reason for the initial colonization, and that this inevitably translates into a preoccupation with ‘the myths of identity and authenticity in literature in English’. In corroboration, Boehmer refers to ‘the meta-narrative of journeying and return’ - acts of ‘coming to consciousness that symbolize the search for ‘ways of living in’ new lands. But she questions where these new certainties might come from, this badly needed ‘defiant pride and spiky self-awareness’. Margaret Atwood argued that it would come if Canada made ‘itself known to itself’ and would develop a concept of the ‘here’, echoed by Northcott Frye, who believed that salvation would come from the ‘here’ of the ‘vast natural world’.8 Journeying and return and making ‘yourself known to yourself’ also underlie Atwood’s Surfacing and Morgan’s My Place, although content and form diverge. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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