Sample Essay on Impact of colonialism on the Field of Comparative Literature

Comparative literature is an academic discipline that uses literature not less than two diverse linguistic, educational or inhabitants groups. Although it is often practiced by use of scripts of unlike lingos, this form of literature can also be presented on scripts of a same particular lingo, so long as the works are originating from the diverse countries or customs where a particular language is spoken. In addition to the range of inquiry, there are relationships of dissimilar forms of skill, which includes a relationship of a film to literature. Moreover, the typically intercultural and international discipline of this literature involves itself and the relationship that touches literature, generally understood, among other areas of individual activities, that is comprised of the past, political affairs, values, and such skill.

Colonialism is explained as the formation of policies and practices of a power in widening their rule over dependent populace, states, kingdoms, or regions. It entails the ruling from a powerful state on a reliant state, kingdom, or populace. Majorly, it was seen when most Europeans settled, taking political lead of many areas worldwide, which largely included, Americans, Australia, regions of Africa and Asia. In this case, European states had political dominance from sixteenth to seventeenth centuries that was culminated by general liberation movements in the subject states in 1960s.

In many ways, this domination had various results and consequences to various aspects of life to the subject nations and this mainly touched the cultural and traditional aspects of a people. Likewise, it had higher consequences on the education part of life and literature as well. This paper has outlined and discussed the various impacts and effects of colonialism to the comparative literature. In details, we sought to find out how colonialism influenced comparative kind of literature. In this case, we seek to study and investigate both positive and negative impacts of colonialism on comparative literature. Likewise, we give a conclusion on how the affected colonies can either hold up the impacts of colonialism or otherwise drop them and ignore them. Had the impacts been positive to the growth of literature and art, I suggest the impacts are appreciated, and have them incorporated even in the growth of comparative literature.

The impacts of colonialism to comparative literature are outlined to show the important aspects of the exiting field of postcolonial literature and criticism (Dirks, p73). They are characterized by the middle background, and traditional ideas of postcolonial literature and examine a span of sorts and manuscripts that many readers find as they study. In a wider scope, colonialism influenced culture of the subject states and influenced their traditions too. For instance, the sub-Saharan states in Africa embraced their mode of literature derived from such aspects as proverbs, myths, tales, songs, dances, and short stories.

To begin with, colonialism came along with newer styles of writing, and preserving literature, which was not in the comparative literature before. Poetry was not a well-known form of literature in pre-colonial era, and it was introduced by the colonists. There was introduction of new genres of songs that were not well practiced in before colonialism. Hence, the western states introduced such new forms of literature that were not well familiar to various African states and communities. In addition, the new formal education that was brought about by colonialism also introduced new forms of literature to the western colonies.

A basic fact about literature is that it creates a link between the real and the imaginary (Loomba, p63). In various ways, colonialism changed this fact, and there is found no link between the real and imaginary in the current comparative literature. This is opposed to the observed trend of creativity, composed narrations, artwork, and fictions. The postcolonial comparative literature has been overtaken by talent and creativity and there is no any relationship, which can be seen between the real and the imaginary. Literature was meant to reflect dominant ideologies, encoding the tensions, complexities, and nuisances within the colonial cultures (Loomba, p63). The field of comparative literature should provide a ground and a platform where “transculturation” takes place in all its complexity. When comparative literature is written on the two faces of the colonial partition, it should provide a way to absorb, appropriate, and inscribe features of any other civilization. This will create new genres, ideas, identities, and newer views and opinions in the process. This can be well-seen ion the comparative literature in the postcolonial era.

Moreover, colonialism came along with changes to the comparative literature. Literature was meant to be a significant methodology of appropriating, influencing, or examining overriding modes of demonstration of colonial principles. A clear study to show the interactions between comparative literature and colonialism reveals that, the colonized area adopted the culture of the respective colonizing people. These included their languages, mode of dressing, education systems, leadership and governance, civilization, as well as the social life (Apter, p44). Hence, many colonized states literally departed from their forms of literature and embraced the literature from their colonizers.

Use of written literature is another impact from colonialism. The cross-cultural comparative literature in the pre-colonial era was replaced with the use of books, and other written materials. This may be an advantage to this field because it served the communities well in reserving and storing their respective cultures and literature. Many communities embraced the formal education system that resulted from colonialism and thus integrated to reading and writing. This also ensured that the literature materials could be passed from one generation to the other without necessarily losing them. However, in some instances, this was an hard idea especially because the colonies did not know how to read and write.

Artwork and literature has become a commercial means today. This is different from the way it used to be before colonialism. Comparative literature is not any different, because the cross-cultural interactions in this field have motivated any talented person to use their tool of literature for commercial gains. In the earlier days before colonialism, any form of literature was meant for peoples’ heritage, culture, and tradition and served such purposes as educating, entertaining, and informing people of their cultures and social orientation (Nodelman, p52).

Finally, literature fades with time. Rarely will one hear of comparison of literature. Communities and people living in different regions are no longer in comparison and exchange of literature materials. This resulted from the western style of life. People and communities are now independent and may not have any literature to share. In African communities, for instance, only few states have communism way of life. Many communities adopted capitalism and hence preserves and practice their own form of literature that is different from the people of another region

Works Cited

Apter, Emily S. The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2006. Print.

Dirks, Nicholas B. Colonialism and Culture. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992. Print.

Loomba, Ania. Colonialism/postcolonialism. Routledge, 2007.

Nodelman, Perry. “The other: Orientalism, colonialism, and children’s literature.” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 317.1 (1992): 29-35.