Altered Self-Image According to Thiong'o, Orwell, and Kincaid

1197 Words5 Pages
The writer of the essay "Decolonising the Mind," Ngugi wa Thiong'o, expresses his views that Kenyans had been stripped of their native languages and lost an important way to express themselves. In the essay "Shooting an Elephant," George Orwell presents imperialism metaphorically through the use of animals to illustrate the power and instability of imperialism. Jamaica Kincaid focuses her essay, "On Seeing England for the First Time," on how her view of England ultimately changes when she visits England for the first time. All three writers make a clear point on how alienation affects an individual's life. The writers say that alienation affects an individual's self-image due to the views that were forced by the colonizers upon the colonized. Although all three writes use different style of writing to make their point, they all have a clear connection. In the essay "Decolonising the Mind," Thiong'o begins by examining his childhood in Kenya. Thiong'o writes about how he and his family used to speak Gĩkữyữ during their daily activities. His describes that one of his family's favorite activity was to tell stories about animals and humans. Gĩkữyữ language was lyrical and beautiful, which created descriptive storytelling and helped shape the world around Thiong'o. In 1952, however, Kenya's language began to shift towards English due to the colonization by Britain, whose ultimate goal was to control wealth. Thiong'o explains that when Britain forced Kenyans to learn English, this force gave Britain the power and ability to control the life of the individuals. Britain, which became the colonizer, controlled Kenya with physical violence at first, making Kenyans inferior. In 1952, the state of emer... ... middle of paper ... ...e. Even though the British empire was seen as resilient from the outside, the empire was collapsing within. The essay written by Ngugi wa Thiong'o, "Decolonising the Mind," illustrates how the writer's self-image had been affected by the colonization by the British in Kenya. In the essay by George Orwell, "Shooting an Elephant," the writer presents imperialism metaphorically through the use of animals to illustrate the power and instability of imperialism. By doing so, Orwell makes a connection with Thiong'o. The writer Jamaica Kincaid presents her essay, in the beginning, "On Seeing England for the First Time," through the eyes of a child who had been forced to live a certain life. In her essay, she explains how her view of England has changed when she finally visited England. With this, she makes a clear connection with Thiong'o story, "Decolonising the Mind."

    More about Altered Self-Image According to Thiong'o, Orwell, and Kincaid

      Open Document