The Colonial Practice Of British Colonialism In King Solomon's Mines

Decent Essays

A romantic adventure novel, H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines was written at the height of British imperialism. The author wrote the novel mainly as a representation of relationships between British colonizers and the colonized Africans, but in doing so, he depicts and reinforces British expectations, beliefs, and most importantly, fears held during this time. Colonist ideology states that the world and its occupants are either the colonizers or the colonized. From this perspective, it is evident that everything is either black or white, with ideally no room for any gray areas. One example of this division is the colonial practice of “othering.” In Using Critical Theory, Lois Tyson explains that “one of the clearest symptoms of colonist ideology is the practice of othering: judging those who are different as inferior” (248). Here, the European colonizers become the “self” and the colonized natives become the “other.” The other is seen as “unintelligent,” “savage,” and “primitive,” or everything the civilized colonists are not (Tyson 248). As a result, colonial subjects are placed on the bottom rung of social hierarchy and regarded as such. Visibly, the act of othering is a binary structure, where the colonizer and the colonized, are organized “into the Manichean categories of good and evil,” as explained in Post-Colonial Studies (Ashcroft et al. 134). Once again, it is important to note that there is no middle ground between good and evil; colonists are the embodiment

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