Violence As A Cleansing Force Essay

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The third aspect of the function of violence in decolonization is "violence as a cleansing force." For Fanon, in the process of decolonization, violence liberates the consciousness of the oppressed people by erasing their inferiority complex: At the level of individuals, violence is a cleansing force. It frees the native from his inferiority complex and from his despair and inaction; it makes him fearless and restores his self-respect. [. . .] When the people have taken violent part in the national liberation they will allow no one to set themselves up as "liberators." (The Wretched of the Earth 94) In other words, Fanon emphasizes violence as a cathartic element through which colonized man can create a sounder self-identity. We can find some famous examples of violence as a cleansing force in American literature. In Richard Wright 's Native Son, Bigger Thomas, the protagonist, feels a sense of freedom for the first time in his life after he kills Mary Dalton, the white girl, because the violence of murder is the only practice of rebellion for him to commit throughout his whole life against the structural violence rampant in a racist society. Max, Bigger 's lawyer, explains how Bigger felt after he has killed Mary Dalton as follows: He murdered Mary Dalton accidentally, without thinking, without plan, without conscious motive. But, after he murdered, he accepted the crime. And that 's the important thing. It was the first full act of his life; it was the most
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