Post-colonial Encounters in the Early 20th Century Essay

Post-colonial Encounters in the Early 20th Century Essay

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Alfred Noyes wrote The Empire Builders at the turn of the twentieth century. Despite the time at which it was written in, there are various post-colonial themes regarding the hierarchy of difference. The tone of the poem is pessimistic which is understandable since Noyes is writing during the Naturalist period of English literature. Noyes is speaking to the middle class of England; those who “fulfill their duties as they come” (Noyes, 45). He uses the first person plural article to create a unification between the readers and the narrator. Noyes, in his poem, addresses two postcolonial themes of Christianity as a vehicle of colonization, and the fallacies of European philosophy. In this essay, I argue that the themes and structure that have been connoted in Alfred Noyes’ The Empire Builders are essential in constructing the notion of the hierarchy of difference. The hierarchy of difference helped create a colonial state and since postcolonial theory primarily analyzes the legacies of the colonial period, it is essential to know the hierarchy of difference. I will divide my essay in three parts: in stage one I discuss the structure of the poem and how it creates a hierarchy of difference. In stage two I discuss the two themes mentioned above and how they establish a fragmented world between the occident and the orient. Finally in stage three I discuss the conception of time that is discussed in the poem and its relationship to postcolonial theory.
The structure of the poem shows the hierarchy of difference in itself. The poem consists of six stanzas, all of which are eight lines each. The poem is divided into two sections: the first three stanzas describe the effects of the empire- builder and the last three stanzas describe th...


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... century. In conclusion, The Empire Builders can be interpreted through a postcolonial perspective since it produces many elements of the hierarchy of difference.



Works Cited
"Can Non-Europeans Think?" - Opinion. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Provincializing Europe. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2008. Print.
Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth: Frantz Fanon. New York: Grove, 2004. Print.
Noyes, Alfred. The Empire Builders. Oxford: The MacMillan Company, 1908. Print.
Reade, Arthur Robert. Main Currents in Modern Literature. Folcroft, PA: Folcroft, 1970. Print.
Ritze, George, and Zeynep Atalay. Readings in Globalization: Key Concepts and Major Debates. Chichester, West Sussex, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Print.
Rodney, Walter, A.M Babu, and Vincent Harding. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Washington, D.C.: Howard UP, 1981. Print.

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