Postcolonial Literature (Persepolis & Things Fall Apart)

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There are many different critical approaches to studying literature. With reference of both texts you have studied, show what you believe the value to be in using a particular critical approach.

‘Things Fall Apart’ by Chinua Achebe and ‘Persepolis’ by Marjane Satrapi follow a postcolonial critical approach. Both books take place in a country considered politically inferior through western perspective and both texts, even though reinforce colonialists’ oppressive ideology, don’t stand completely against the colonialists and fault their own culture. They present the themes of dislocation on how western influences changes, religious, social and economical aspects in the Igbo and the Iranian society. ‘Things fall Apart’ presents an
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This statement is one of the most significant to understand the postcolonial view of the novel, by referencing its title with the imagery of a knife breaking things apart expresses not only the cruel overpowering intentions of the colonialists but also the vulnerability of the Igbo culture. And lastly, as the book ends with Okonkwo’s suicidal tragic death it represents the futility and inefficiency in over fighting colonizing forces and the downfall of the protagonist is the final indication of the Igbo culture falling apart. Similarly, in Persepolis the protagonist Marji, also experiences the frustration of western overpowering influence on her culture. There are innumerous moments in Marjane’s childhood in which she suffers from prejudgments due to the Iranian stereotypes. For example, when she is travelling outside the country for the first time she realizes that “as soon as they learn our nationality, they go through everything, as though we were all terrorists. They treat us as though we have the plague.” This simile comparing being Iranian with having a disease victimizes the Iranian people, as it equates racism to an irrational and condemning repugnance. By sharing a young Iranian naïve girl’s experience, westernized readers are presented with another perception and hopefully are able to overcome their own preconceptions. However Satrapi also condemns her conservative government by revealing the hypocrisy of the teachers as they ask the children to “tear

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