Post-Colonial Literature

Read and make a summary of the most important characteristics.

Can you account for this with examples from “A Passage to India”?

A Horse and Two Goats

Read this story 

Although the story is short there are frequent references to Indian mythology and a strong presence of irony.

Analyse the story in 3 sections:

1.The Statue and the Village

2.The transaction

3.The outcome

DO NOW:  Write a brief summary of events in each section. 

EXTENSION:  What does each section represent? Eg statue and village are symbolic of what? Transaction is symbolic? Outcome is tragi-comic, why?

Examine the state of the statue and the village in which it is situated (1st paragraph of the story).

Comment on the way the village and the statue are presented by the writer.

The village, “apex of the world” , on the other hand a “tiny dot on even the most detailed map”.

The statue was magnificent because of its bright colours, its texture is little more than “blobs of mud”, being ravaged by the sun and rain.  Where do readers learn that there are many statues like this?

Overall – descriptions present former grandeur, India is no longer what it used to be.

The Outcome

What leads Muni to think that the American wants to buy his goats?

What makes the American so sure that he has bought the statue?

How does the narrator make use of comic irony to describe the situation?


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2 Responses to Post-Colonial Literature

  1. Damasia Maffi, Micaela Cardalda, Serena Griffin says:

    1) The americans stroked the goats, and muni knows that they are worth buying as they are in good conditions.
    2) As they saw muni sitting so close to the statue they assumed it was Muni’s statue. The american gives Muni Money, so believes that as a transaction has taken place he is now in possession of the statue.
    3) Irony is used when the protagonists dont know what the other is talking about: The American does not know that he now owns the goats and not the statue, while Muni does not realize that he now has money but still has his goats. It is funny because Muni does not talk in english, he just says “yes” or “no”

  2. Damasia Maffi, Micaela Cardalda, Serena Griffin says:

    Post colonial literature
    1) One of the main topics was the claiming and exploiting foreign lands, resources and people.
    2) It attempts to restore pride in traditions that were degraded and their colonialism so it tried to assert cultural integrity
    3) Another topic is revising history, with the aim of contribute the colonized perspective.
    – Detail description of people and places
    – Postcolonial writers choose to write in the colonizer’s language.
    – They reshape imported colonial art-forms to incorporate the style, structure and themes of the indigenous modes of creating expression
    A horse and 2 goats’ summary
    The story is set in a poor village. The main character, Muni, is introduced. He is an old uneducated indian, from a very low class. The statue of the horse is big and imponent, however no one the village seems to truly admire the value of the statue, on the contrary, the villagers don’t even look at it, ignoring its greatness. Muni is standing aside the horse statue and suddenly a foreigner’s car stopped. It was an American trying to speak in English to Muni; however Muni doesn’t understand English; so neither of them could understand each other. The American thought that the statue next to Muni was his, so he wanted to buy it. As Muni didn’t understand anything the American was saying, Muni understood that the American was trying to buy his 2 goats that he was holding. After all, the American gave Muni a couple of Rupees for the statue, Muni got them and left.

    1. The Statue and the Village: the village is presented as tiny poor primitive one and as if nobody remembers it; as it was left behind, it was a little dot in a huge map. The horse statue did not differ from it, because is a statue made of clay, so it was not a pretty statue that would catch everybody’s eye. The village represents India as a whole, after the English left, meaning that their living conditions were awful. Along with time, the statue has been forgotten and in a way, so has the village. The horse statue represents the colonizer, Muni’s “enemy”; so when he sold it, he was selling his past, his history.
    2. The transaction: the story is around this event. When the American bought the horse statue to Muni, although he did not realize he was selling it because they couldn’t understand each other. Muni thought he was receiving the money for the sale of his goats, but the American intended to buy the statue just because it’s exotic and nobody would have it. For the American, the statue is nothing but significant decoration and he did not care about the money as Muni does, because he needs it in order to feed his family and himself. The statue of the horse isn’t a decorative object for Muni, he values it for the spiritual and personal importance of it. This again shows how materialistic are the Americans.
    3. The outcome: at the end of the story, Muni was abandoned by his wife, which is extremely odd for a wife in India to leave your husband, because it goes against tradition and against their culture. The outcome is tragi-comic. In one hand, it is sad because you feel sorry for poor muni, but on the other hand, it is funny for all the irony involved in the situation, the misinterpretations and poor comunication between the protagonists.

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