A Comparative Postcolonial Analysis: The Conscript (1950) and The Glass Palace (2000)
The present comparative postcolonial analysis aims at drawing thematic parallels between two postcolonial novels: The Conscript (1950) by Ghebresus Hailu (Eritrea, Horn of Africa) and The Glass Palace (2000) by Amitav Ghosh, India. Though the novels are productions of two different geographical space, cultural and colonial experience, they have stark similarities. In The Conscript Hailu paints a picture of his colonized country men under Italian masters similarly, Ghosh in The Glass Palace attempts to delineate the life of Indo-Burmese people under the British Empire. Although a lot of research has been carried out on Anglophone and Francophone colonial literature, there hardly exists any analysis of Italian colonial literature. In this regard comparative analysis of The Conscript (a novel written in Tigrigna, a language spoken in Eritrea, East Africa and translated into English by Ghirmay Negash, a professor in Ohio University) and The Glass Palace, I believe will provide additional knowledge concerning Italian colonial experience visà-vis wide existing Anglophone and Francophone literature. The thematic commonalities drawn between The Conscript and The Glass Palace in this paper are native role and complicity, racism and interiorization, dislocation, colonial order, traumatic effects of colonialism in the colonized, decolonization strategies, and anticolonial consciousness. I will explore and analyze the relations of the two novels based on afore mentioned aspects. Then following the discussion I will conclude by revisiting some general points concerning the texts. This paper mainly frames its arguments on theoretical frameworks of Rene Wellek, Robert Young, Edward Said, and Franz Fanon about notions of comparative literature, resistance, and representation, exploitation, and interiorization.
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