Ceaseless Slaughter In The Trenches Critical Analysis

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The ceaseless slaughter, which occurred on the Western Front during World War I, raised uncertainty among the colonies regarding Europe’s suitability to rule. Due to the unnecessary and extensive death of youth in Europe, the famous image of Europeans being superior and civilized beings slowly diminished. As a result, some of the top thinkers and political leaders among the colonized individuals of Africa and Asia openly criticized the Europeans and expressed their overall disillusionment with the West. In the excerpts on page 658 titled, “Lessons for the Colonized from the Slaughter in the Trenches,” the writers from these civilizations champion various aspects of their own culture, both explicitly and implicitly, as alternatives to the West; …show more content…

For instance, Mohandas Gandhi stated that, “India’s destiny lies not along the bloody way of the West, but along the bloodless way of peace that comes from a simple and godly life” (658). This implicitly suggests that the Indians are better than the Europeans due to their religious beliefs, and thus, if they separate themselves from Europe, they can attain peace. He is also ridiculing how Europeans achieve peace through bloodshed, making a point that Indians can do so in a humble and modest way—simply by accepting faith. Gandhi goes so far to say that “Europeans themselves will have to remodel their outlooks if they are not to perish under the weight of the comforts to which they are becoming slaves” (658). This statement is stereotypical of Europeans because it is grouping all of them as materialistic and selfish beings. In addition, Leopold Sedar Senghor, a Senegalese poet and political leader, champions people from his own civilization by criticizing the white people. In what seems to be a message addressing God, Senghor reflects on “white hands that fired the shots which brought the empires crumbling” (658). He goes on to say that “hands that flogged the slaves… Chalk-white hands that buffeted You [Jesus Christ], powered painted hands that buffeted me” (658). While he champions his civilizations lack of activity in slavery and praises their continued loyalty to Jesus Christ, his statements are stereotypical for obvious reasons. Senghor’s remarks typecast Europeans as vicious people altogether; he is essentially saying that all white people are evil, while all the people from his civilization are humble and good. This is a rash and baseless suggestion that not only stereotypes the Europeans, but those from his civilization as well. Furthermore, West Indian poet Aime Cesaire highlights his own civilization by making an

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