Wednesday, November 23, 2011

E-E-305 Post-Colonial Literature

v  Assignment paper:E-C-303 American Literature  
v Topic                     :Critique on "Black Skin, White Masks" 
v Student’s Name   : Gandhi Pooja S.
v Roll No                : 08
v URL                     :
v Semester              : 3
v Batch                   : 2010-11

                    Submitted to,                                 
                          Dr. Dilip Barad                                           
                       Department of English              
                        Bhavnagar University
Ø Critique on “ Black Skin, White Masks”
According to Frantz Fanon,
             What is colonial? Colonial means geographic space organized by British country. What is colonial literature? Colonial literature means the literature produced during this time is called colonial literature. What is postcolonial literature? Postcolonial literature means ‘movement of colonization’. In the text Fanon discussed about postcoloniality is the mentality of person, colonial modernity came to India, whatever he discussed are about colour. Colour is crucial for Fanon. In the text he raises some questions like
What do we mean by psychopathology?
What do we mean by man?
What does a man want?
Why Whiteman is sealed in his whiteness and Blackman is in his blackness?
             Fanon does not talk about history or time but he talks about colour discrimination and socio-economic balance and how Blackman become rich, he talks about all these points. He says if this is an inferiority complex, it is outcome of Blackman’s mind. Blackman’s problem is collective question and not a individual question.
“I shall try to discover the various attitudes that the Negro adopts in contact with white civilization”.
According to Ziauddin Sardar,
              I think it would be good if certain things were said: Fanon and the epidemiology of oppression the opening gambit of Black Skin, White Masks ushers us towards an imminent experience: the explosion will not happen today. But a type of explosion is about to unfold in the text in front of us, in the motivations it seeks, in the different world it envisages and aims to create. But this not simply a historic landscape, although Black Skin, White Masks is a historic text, firmly located in time and place. Fanon’s anger has a strong contemporary echo. It is the silent scream of all those who toil in abject poverty simply to exist in the hinterlands and vast conurbations of Africa.
v I was born in the Antilles:
            Frantz Omar Fanon, born on 20 July 1925 in Fort-de-France, in the French colony of Martinique, was a complex figure, with multiple selves. He was, as he tells us, from Antilles but he ended his life thinking of himself as an Algerian. After the War, Fanon won a scholarship to study medicine and psychiatry in Lyon.
While still a student he met José Dublé, a French woman who shared his convictions against racism and colonialism. The couple married in 1952, had one son, and stayed together for the rest of their lives. He began to define a new black identity; and became actively involved in the anti-colonialist struggle. So when, in 1953, he was offered a job as head of the psychiatric department of Bilda- Joinville Hospital in Algiers he jumped at the opportunity.
v The architecture of this book is rooted in the temporal:
           Fanon wrote Black Skin, White Masks when he was 27. Published in 1952, it was his first and perhaps most enduring book. And it was ignored. Its significance was recognized only after the death of the author, particularly after the publication of the English translation a decade and a half later in 1967. It was a year when anti-war campaigning was at its height. There is urgency to Black Skin, White Masks that bursts from its pages. The text is full of discontinuities, changes in style, merging of genres, dramatic movement from analysis to pronouncements, switches from objective scientific discussion to deep subjectivity, transfers from theory to journalism, complex use of extended metaphors, and, not least, a number of apparent contradictions.
         Frantz fanon describe his opinion in the text by giving many chapters of the text and those are:

v Chapter-1 “The Negro and Language”
           Fanon becomes whiter as he renounces his blackness, his jungle in the French colonial army. The words Paris, Marseille, Sorbonne become the keys to the vault. He leaves for the pier, and the amputation. He added that we are the chosen people look at the colour of our skins. The others are black or yellow: that is because their sins. He also made fun of Bible:
“It is laid down in the Bible that the separation of the white and black races will be continued in heaven as on earth, and those blacks who are admitted into the kingdom of heaven will find themselves separately lodged in certain of those many mentions of our father………”
        At the bottom you are white because you have a command over it.

v Chapter-2 “The Woman of Colour and the White Man”
              In this chapter devoted to the relations between the woman of colour and the European, it is our problem to ascertain to what extent authentic love will remain unattainable before one has purged oneself of that feeling of inferiority or that Adlerian exaltation, that overcompensation, which seem to be the indices of the black weltanschauung. A woman named Mayotte capecia, her wish to marry Whiteman. She submits everything for him. She says about him “All I know is that he had blue eyes, blond hair, and light skin and that I loved him”. Hate is not inborn; it has to be constantly cultivated to be brought in to being, in conflict with more or less recognized guilt complexes. Hate demands existence and he who hates has to show his hate in appropriate actions and behavior; in a sense, he has to become hate.
              When Mullato proposed to the white lady, he crossed the boundary of white people. At the moment when the Mullato woman marries to white man, the society says how do you know it’s true? But which was common to the entire Mullato woman. Fanon says that when Mullato woman marries Whiteman or the Whiteman marries to Mullato woman what boundaries they face? This is the major question in this text.

v Chapter-3 “The Man of Colour and the White Woman”

Louis T. Achille said in his report to the interracial conferences of 1949:
“Some men or some women, in effect by choose partners of another race”.
               The neurotic feels relation to family, feeling of responsibility. The Negro wants to be powerful on the Whiteman that means they want to be powerful instead of Whiteman. If you have the value of yourself that means if you believes in yourself then and then you can empower the Whiteman, but the Blackman has lack of self esteem so he suffers from neurotic aggressive. It is not a tonic that you can drink but it is within you.

v Chapter-4 “The so-called dependency complex of colonized peoples”

             Mannoni, a French psychoanalyst paints:
Most natives are content to put whites above them and be dependent on them because it fulfills a deep need in their hearts, one that was there long before whites showed up. Mannoni calls this a dependency complex.
A few natives are unhappy because they suffer from an inferiority complex, which makes them want to be the equal of whites.
Not all peoples can be colonized: only those who experience the need.
European civilization and its agents of the highest calibre are not responsible for colonial racism. It comes from lower-level whites who blame their unhappy lives on the natives.
When black men with guns appear in children’s dreams at night it is not because of the terror of French rule: no, the guns stand for penises.

             Although Fanon has devoted 225 pages of the text, he says that Mannoni cannot understand postcolonial studies well. The central idea in Mannoni’s book id that the confrontation of ‘civilized’ and ‘primitive’ men creates a special situation the colonial situation and brings about the emergence of a mass of illusion and misunderstanding that only a psychological analysis can place and define.

v Chapter-5 “The fact of Blackness”

            Frantz Fanon wants to be a man. But in the white world in which he lives his skin colour becomes everything, more important than even his education and achievements. He is seen not as Dr Fanon but as a black man who is a doctor. Everyone is watching and waiting for him to make a mistake.
“I was walled in: neither my refined manners nor my literary knowledge nor my understanding of the quantum theory could find favor.”
Instead of being a person, a man, an individual, he is a black man, a Negro, an object, a thing that has value only in relation to whites, always a Negro, never a man. Look how handsome that Negro is.
The handsome Negro says, “Fuck you”, Madame.
Even though the Catholic Church and science admit that black people are every bit as human as white people – their hearts are on the same side! – And even though white people themselves admit that racism goes against all reason, they still do not want you to marry their daughter.

v Chapter-6 “The Blackman and Psychopathology”
              A study should be divided into two parts:
1.     A psychoanalytic interpretation of the life experience of the Blackman
2.     A psychoanalytic interpretation of the Negro myth
But reality, which is our only recourse, prevents such procedures. The facts are much more complicated what are they?
              Good-evil, beauty-ugliness, white-black: such are the characteristic pairings of the phenomenon of making use of an expression of ‘Manichaeism delirium’. Black-white is racial structure it also belongs to power. Fanon added that the problem ends when people restructure it.

v Chapter-7 “The Negro and Recognition”

               The Negro is comparison. There is the first truth. He is comparison: that is he is constantly preoccupied with self-evaluation and with the ego-ideal.
                Man is human only to the extent to which he tries to impose his existence on another man in order to be recognized by him….. It is on that other being, on recognition by that other being, that his own human worth and reality depend.
“Blackness is not black or whiteness is not white but blackness is created by white and whiteness is created by black. It is not thing.” – Fanon

v Chapter-8 “By way of Conclusion”

                The social revolution cannot draw its poetry from the past, but only from future. It cannot begin with itself before it has stripped itself of all its superstitions concerning the past. Earlier revolutions relied on memories out of world history in order to drug themselves against their own content.  



1 comment:

  1. Hi! pooja,
    you prepared the assignment very well that creates a good impression and one can go through it if he wants to read whole text in brief than it is quite easy for him to understand the whole text by reading your your assignment one can easily come to know that the text is about 'internalised racism'.