White Skins/Black Masks: Representation and Colonialism

By Gail Ching-Liang Low | Go to book overview

2

THE DOMINION OF SONS

In The Burden of Time, Hannah Arendt makes an intriguing connection between boyhood and the imperialist character (Arendt, 1951). Arendt observes that 'only those who had never been able to outgrow their boyhood ideals' make ideal candidates for enlistment in the colonial services; 'imperialism to them was nothing but an accidental opportunity to escape a society in which a man had to forget his youth if he wanted to grow up'. Arendt prefaces the small section she devotes to the imperialist character with the startling observation that imperialism guaranteed a 'certain conservation, or perhaps petrification, of boyhood noblesse which preserved and infantilised Western moral standards'. The infantilism of imperialism is a subject I would like to explore in this opening chapter on the writer Henry Rider Haggard and his contributions to the culture of masculinity in the late Victorian period. Because Arendt's analysis is essentially an attack on the totalitarian politics in Europe in the run-up to the Second World War, and because her argument is motivated by the desire to see the moral idealism of youth develop and mature into the good society (which, she argues, in the milieu of Empire they singularly failed to do), her deconstruction of imperialist ideology is framed against the 'plain insanity' of imperialism which turned moral idealism into the fraudulent conviction of inherent superiority. What is missing from her summation, although her own analysis shows a sensitivity to the complex workings of ideology and interpellation, is a sensitivity to the question of the fantasy and myth in the political unconscious. The issue is not one of knowledge (the fraudulent conviction of superiority) but one of desire-what is the cultural investment in the ideological figure of the 'boy' at the turn of the century? Why is the boy's story such a powerful myth? What kind of grammar and

-36-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
White Skins/Black Masks: Representation and Colonialism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Note on Spellings xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I 11
  • 1 - Body/Border Lines 13
  • 2 - The Dominion of Sons 36
  • 3 - Mimesis of Savagery 66
  • Transitions 104
  • Part II 111
  • 4 - The Colonial Uncanny 113
  • 5 - The City of Dreadful Night 156
  • 6 - The Colonial Mirror 191
  • 7 - Loafers and Story-Tellers 238
  • Conclusion 264
  • Notes 269
  • Bibliography 277
  • Index 291
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 300

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.