Of mimicry and man

1676 WordsDec 8, 20137 Pages
A Critical Commentary of Homi Bhabha’s ‘Of Mimicry and Man: The ambivalence of Colonial discourse’ Homi Bhabha explains the weaknesses of colonial discourse by suggesting that the techniques which ‘broadcast the dominance and impenetrability’ (Kumar-Das 1992:362) of the subject causes its weaknesses to arise. Bhabha makes a psychoanalytic analysis based on the work of Jacques Lacan and Frantz Fanon, among several authors. His definition of colonial mimicry takes the form of discussing the issues within colonial discourse whilst reflecting on his own personal views of the matter. In this way, he discloses the contradictions within colonial discourse which show the colonizers ambivalence from his position through the colonized…show more content…
‘He told them about this new God’ (Achebe, 2010, p. 136) in the novel, the community are subjected to the religion of Christianity through the rule of the colonizers. Bhabha compares his own work with that of other theorists such as Lacan, which acts as a good source of evaluation for his work. This gives Bhabha’s argument historical validity. Also, he suggests how his work is similar to others such as that of Fanon and supports his theory by using quotes from them. Furthermore, the work of Cesaire is mentioned for analysis and to support his argument. However, Bhabha does not fully answer the argument discussed in his work for example, what does the tool of mimicry used by this power achieve? He does not identify this question. One of the obvious issues with his work is the analysis of colonial identity, which emerges from the difficult relationship between the colonizer and the colonized. This relationship forms an aggressive and neurotic condition that takes place completely outside of the civilizing aspirations of colonial rule, Christian missionaries and philanthropic societies. Particularly, he studies the identity between the two subjects and concentrates on the ambivalence created which he mentions persistently throughout his work. His critical work comes from the theory of psychoanalysis (Sigmund Freud 1899), who used the term of ambivalence to
Open Document