Effect of Colonialism and Modernization on Old and Traditional Culture

1583 Words7 Pages
What effect does colonialism and modernization have on an old and traditional culture? Throughout history the result of new cultures or traditions always created problems for old ones. Sadly, this results in the destruction of the old one. Barbara Kingsolver’s, The Poisonwood Bible, as well as Cormac McCarthy’s, All The Pretty Horses, deals with this issue through its plethora of themes and symbols. The underlying theme of The Poisonwood Bible throughout the novel is the idea that arrogance makes westerners indifferent to how third-world countries are affected by colonialism. The title of the book is, in itself, a demonstration of how the prominently western religion of Christianity and the western culture can cause destruction and pain when imposed upon the Congolese by American Baptists. Similarly, in All The Pretty Horses, western culture is causing the endangerment of cowboys. The idea of western arrogance gives way to secondary themes and symbols that all revolve around the effect Nathan and the United States have on the individuals inhabiting the Congo before and after its independence or the United States have on the individuals following the ways of a cowboy. Barbara Kingsolver depicts Adah as a person who fights with the idea of absolute justice during the course of her stay in Congo. Unlike Nathan’s belief that he can correct every wrong with a right of his own, Adah has learned from her experience with the village people, that justice for all is impossible to achieve. Just like how Jimmy Blevins learned that he needs to leave and join John Grady. Adah’s most prominent understanding of this concept comes with the swarming ants, “They pass through forest and valley in columns a hundred meters across and many miles long... ... middle of paper ... .... Through arrogance, the American government, like Nathan, imposes its policies and principles on the Congo. In effect, the nation is placed in political and social turmoil. This in turn is called colonialism which was put to use in Congo, but alas it tortured people by forcing them to be different. Modernization, similar to Colonialism, is put to use in America. Cars, trains, and other advanced means of transport is being used, and horses are being forgotten, which is not appreciated by John Grady Cole. For that reason he goes to whole new country looking for ways to save his sense of security. All of the protagonists in both the books are fleeing to save themselves from the invasion of the western culture and advancements. Works Cited Cormac McCarthy. All The Pretty Horses. New York: 1992 miramesahigh.enschool.org/.../AP%20Novel%20Review%20Book%20Titles_2_.doc

More about Effect of Colonialism and Modernization on Old and Traditional Culture

Open Document