An Analysis of Derek Walcott's Poem "A Far Cry from Africa" Essay

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An analysis of Derek Walcott's poem "A Far Cry from Africa" on the influence of colonialism in his language


The so called post colonial literature is actually a body of writings that aim to express response to colonization. Most topics and themes of post colonial literary pieces revolve around the issues demanding freedom of the people from political and cultural colonial rule. Post-colonial literature also attacks literary works insinuating racism or colonial hints. Recently, post-colonial literature proponents began to criticize modern post colonial discussions. Some post colonial critics are trying to re-examine traditional literature. These critics focus their reaction on social discourses of traditional
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The victims because of their black color brought them to fight against their aggressors. According to King (1980, p 118-139), the word Walcott used for the Mau fighters was “savages” meaning wild and derogatory in the English language. The author intends to show the British colonialist concept of the Mau people. Lines 11 to 14 shift the ongoing expose on colonialism to Africa’s wildlife which reminds the “ibises”, long-billed wading birds, and other beautiful wild animals rule African ahead of European civilization. Walcott describes on these lines the centuries old hunting custom of natives walking through the grasses in straight line to catch the prey. The same form of killing happens to Africa’s wild life when native Africans and European started their dwelling on African soil (Brown, 1991, p, 120). Following lines 15 – 21, the image of the author being pro nature and anti-culture came out. The author describes animals kill prey that they may have food to eat but human beings not only hunt for food but use force to exert power and control, prove superiority over other people, acts like god who can decide who lives and who dies. People make war to prove that opposition is crushed and cannot fight anymore. From line 22 up to line 25, some difficulties arise in interpreting the words of Walcott on this poem. My first impression focuses on the justification of the Mau uprising and condemning outsiders for their colonial