Academic journal article Studies in Literature and Language

A Study of Fenimore Cooper's the Last of the Mohicans as American Decolonization: Dialectic Encounter between Europe and Wilderness (America)

Academic journal article Studies in Literature and Language

A Study of Fenimore Cooper's the Last of the Mohicans as American Decolonization: Dialectic Encounter between Europe and Wilderness (America)

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study tries to show decolonization in Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans. As a social process, decolonization serves emancipation of colonized nations to get their cultural independence. In literature as a basic component of culture, this process is operated through some strategic techniques as appropriation which is capturing the language of Imperialism (English), transforming it into english to bear the burden of ones own cultural experience and abrogation which is undermining the axiomatically superiority of Imperial culture. Through exceedingly detailed scrutinizing the above mentioned novel based on this approach, the research shows that how Cooper masterly undermines and abrogates European superiority by introducing American independent hero as open minded character or symbol of melting pot as a cultural elements and shortcoming of European; thus, he inaugurates American agency.

Key words: Abrogation; Agency; Appropriation; Decolonization

INTRODUCTION

The study s t a r t s with a b r i e f introduction to decolonization, its strategies, and the analysis of Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans by tracing the above mentioned elements as decolonization in it.

1 . DECOLON I ZAT ION A N D I TS STRATEGIES IN LITERATURE

As the very practical advantage of post-colonial discourse, decolonization is the only process of removing the heavy exploitation of empire colonization which is the invasion of the colonized countries both culturally and naturally. But to comprehend decolonization as the central concern of the article, at first it is reasonable to discuss the notion of decolonization itself. Then, various kinds of decolonization including Early, Present, in Settlers and Invaded colonies as well as strategies, and colonies will be delivered. Consequently, decolonization in the settler colonies will be followed by analysis of Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans as the embodiment of this process.

1.1 A Glance on Decolonization

Decolonization, in general, is a revolt, weather implicit or explicit, against imperial axiomatically legitimized domination. In other words, it is a kind of awareness against oppression and inferiority like what was done in Marxist movement against master class by slaves (working class) or by Feminist against patriarchal societies. Being different in various involvement and engagement stages, like them, decolonization is divided into two waves: the early phase, as will be referred to in the next parts, which was put forward by African decolonizers derived from the works of political theorists like Frantz Fanon (1959, 1961) and Albert Memmi (1965) who located its principal characteristic in the notion of the imperial-colonial (colonizer-colonized) dialectic itself. In this respect, The early involvement and engagement of decolonization as Ashcroftand et al. puts, is 'a profound complicity with the imperial powers from which they sought to emerge as free agents' (2007, p.56), that is, freedom and emancipation as free subject. Fanon, writing in the 1950s during the Algerian struggle for independence from French colonial rule, through psychoanalysis of colonial subject produced the ways in which the colonial subject's identity is constructed by the colonist. In his famous and influential essay (Fanon, 1986, pp.109-40), Fanon shows the effects of racism on the construction of the subject and the production of identity. In this essay which is an interior monologue, Fanon uses the constructed identity of the oppressed narrator by the racist oppressors as:' "Dirty nigger!", "Negro!"' and eventually he puts this construction as the construction of an object among the other objects not a subject:

I came into the world imbued with the will to find a meaning in things, my spirit filled with the desire to attain to the source of the world, and then I found I was an object in the midst of other objects. Sealed into this crushing objecthood, I turned beseechingly to others. …

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