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POST-COLONIAL CRITICISM drawn between the East and West

specifically the Middle East.

Definition of Post-colonial Criticism
Homi Bhabha
Post-colonial criticism is also known as
“New English Literature”. It acts as a critical  In “The Location of Culture” (1994), Homi
lens that analyzes the effects of colonization Bhabha focuses on politics emotions, and
and imperialism on people and nations. values that existed between the colonizer
and the colonized. He uses the word
It is the body of literary writing that “Hybrid” to describe the post-colonial
responds to the intellectual discourse of people and their experiences to focus on the
European colonization in Asia, Africa, effects of colonization on people and their
Middle East, and in the Pacific. culture.

It identifies the problems and consequences Frantz Fanon

of the decolonization of a country and
 In “The Wretched of the Earth” (1961),
nation, especially the political and cultural
Frantz Fanon criticizes the nature of
colonialism and how it is “essential
destructive”. He depicts its societal effects
The post-colonial criticism theory involves
and how it harms the mental health of the
issues of power, economics, politics,
native people who were subjugated into
religion and culture and how they work with
colonies by saying “such dehumanization is
colonial leadership.
achieved with physical and mental
Background of Post-colonial Criticism
Use of detailed descriptions of people,
Key points Of Post-colonial Criticism
places and criticism toward stereotypes
inaccuracies and generalizations  Critical Theory – It has a practical purpose:
a theory is critical to the extent that it seeks
Use of colonizers “tongue” or dialect to human “emancipation from slavery”, acts as
demonstrate the language that was forced a “liberating … influence”, and works “to
upon them, create a world which satisfies the needs and
powers” of human beings.
Use of colonial art forms to incorporate their It is classified into:
style, structure and themes such as poetry. Former Theory

Emphasis on identity as doubled or unstable Used to critique or change the

(identifies with colonizer and colonized) society as whole

Stress on cross cultural interactions Traditional Theory

Used to understand and explain

literature. It promotes majority rule
The Proponents of the Post-colonial Criticism without violating minority rights,
DEVELOPMENT maintaining the willingness to
compromise, and recognizing the
Edward Said worth and dignity of all people.
 He used Post-colonialism in his book
“Orientalism” (1978) that focused on
criticizing stereotypical boundaries that were  Post-colonialism: Broadly a study of the
effects of colonialism on cultures and
societies. It is concerned with both how This book depicts the need of transformation
European nations conquered and controlled of the country from all the influences being adopted
"Third World" cultures and how these after the colonizations from the World Wars I and
groups have since responded to and resisted II. It emphasizes the real meaning of independence
those encroachments. after the victory of the Filipinos against the
colonizers as well how to maintain it on a changing
 abrogation: a refusal to use the language of society in which the past starts to be forgotten by
the colonizer in a correct or standard way. many.

 appropriation: "the process by which the

language is made to 'bear the burden' of
one's own cultural experience."
 orientalism: It is a mirror image of what is
inferior and alien ('Other') to the West.  Studies the text's basic structure
Orientalism is 'a manner of regularized (or  A structure is like a skeleton and genetic
Orientalized) writing, vision, and study, code which brings stability and meaning
dominated by imperatives, perspectives, and of a literary work.
ideological biases ostensibly suited to the  Structuralism is only interested in
Orient.' understanding the basic definitions of
something, not the more complex ideas
and reasons behind it.
Applications in Contemporary Period Literary
Pieces  Gives importance to the underlying structure
of a literary text
Things Fall Apart  It works to uncover the structures that
underlie all the things that humans do,
By Chinua Achebe think, perceive, and feel. The goal is to
It is post-colonial literary work that discover the codes, structures, and
describes what happens to a strong African once processes involved in the production of
colonist settled in the area. Post-Colonial literature meaning.
considers vexed cultural- political questions of  Structuralist see the world as invisible
national and ethnic identity, otherness, race, where there are structures underlying all
imperialism and language, during and after the the phenomena to make understanding
colonial periods of the world.
 Wrong interpretations of signs may lead
Achebe is writing about the arrival of British to misinterpretations of the true meaning
colonialism and accompanying Christian missions of the text
causing chaos in Africa as they come into conflict
with traditional Igbo culture and religion.  Words are not symbols but rather are signs
which are made up of two parts: the signifier
and signified
 Signifier is pattern and a signified
concept whose meaning is defined by
their relationship to each other.
A work of fiction about the people of the
Philippine Islands during the early half of the
twentieth century who experienced various waves Characteristics:
of Western Imperialism, two wars of attempted
secession from western powers, and two world 1. Words have no inherent meaning.
wars. 2. The meaning of words is arbitrary.
3. Looking at patterns of word usage can also
shed light on meaning.
 It assumes that there are common and Examples:
universal patterns of human thought and
behavior that form the basis of every  An example of structuralism is describing an
culture. apple. An apple is crisp, sweet, juicy, round,
 It suggests that language is based upon and hard. A person practicing structuralism
an arbitrary and differential system of can only describe it in terms of their most
signs that is used to convey meaning. basic perceptions. They cannot simply
4. The analysis done by the structuralism describe it as an apple, because structuralism
involves synchronic structure. believes that it is the total sum of the parts
 Synchronic linguistics aims at describing that have been broken down into the
a language at a specific point of time, simplest elements that make up the whole of
usually the present. That means they are something.
not interested in the history of the object,
in its context, and its evolution.

ASTROPHIL AND STELLA 2: NOT AT FIRST At length to love’s decrees I, forced, agreed,
Yet with repining at so partial lot.
By Sir Philip Sidney Now even that footstep of lost liberty
Not at first sight, nor with a dribbed shot, Is gone, and now like slave-born Muscovite
Love gave the wound which while I breathe will I call it praise to suffer tyranny;
And now employ the remnant of my wit
But known worth did in mine of time proceed,
To make myself believe that all is well,
Till by degrees it had full conquest got.
While with a feeling skill I paint my hell.
I saw, and liked; I liked, but loved not;
I loved, but straight did not what love decreed:
 We can expect that all sonnets have fourteen sentimental tone for love sonnet. Words
lines and gives rhythmic effect which such as love, bleed, suffer and wound are
pleases the reader. In addition sonnets are some of the examples that are found within
expected to have certain repeating rhyme the sonnet.
scheme which we understand contributes to
the beauty of the overall sonnets. This
sonnet has a-b-b-a-a-b-b-a-c-d-c-e-f-f.
Structure does bring familiarity and make
readers have adequate knowledge, capacity Post-Structuralism
and understanding in a literary work (literary  Means to go beyond
competence). Framework of sonnets then
becomes a guideline to help readers grasp  Offers a way of studying how knowledge is
the meanings within sonnets. Therefore it is produced and critiques structuralist
evident that structures within sonnets help premises.
convey meaning to their readers. Next, the  To understand an object, it is necessary
sonnet from a structuralist point of view to study both the object itself and the
have love as their underlying theme. systems of knowledge that produced the
Emotional words can be found throughout object.
the sonnet which then contribute to the
Characteristics: dangerous,
but also willing to fight anyone who comes along.
1. Has a more historical view.
2. Using diachronic analysis/method. And I,
 Using diachronic analyses, it is I am an old ship at the bottom of the sea,
reasserting the importance of history, lost, abandoned, but full of memories.
and doing so, they are developing new
theoretical understandings of the subject.
 This poem uses metaphors to compare
Also, by studying how cultural concepts
family members to things near the ocean.
have changed over time, post-
Metaphors compare two
structuralists seek to understand how
objects without using the words "like" or
those same concepts are understood by
readers in the present.
 This is an example of a free verse poems.
3. Has something to do with the reader's
Free verse poems do not follow any specific
response theory and deconstructive theory.
 It is more likely the understanding of the
 This poem has a strong sense of structure,
reader to the text.
which helps it flow. Each stanza follows this
 Reader’s culture and society plays just as
much as a role in interpretation as the
mention of the family
member, object compared to the family
 The only way to properly understand
member, and description of how the family
these meanings is to deconstruct the
member is like that object.
assumptions and knowledge systems that
produce multiplicity, the illusion of
singular meaning. Deconstruction

 Is an approach in understanding the

Example: relationship between text and meaning.
 Derrida's approach consisted of
AN OCEAN OF MEMORIES conducting readings of texts looking for
things that run counter to the intended
By Kimberly L. Briones meaning or structural unity of a
My family is the ocean around us. particular text. The purpose of
deconstruction is to show that the usage
My father is the hurricane, of language in a given text, and language
knocking anything and everybody out of his path. as a whole, are irreducibly complex,
unstable, or impossible. Throughout his
My mother is the sunshine after the storm (my readings, Derrida hoped to show
father), deconstruction at work.
clearing and calming everything else.  Against the metaphysics of
presence, deconstruction brings a (non)
My oldest brother is the sand, concept called differance. Derrida uses the
kicked and blown away by my dad,
term “difference” to describe the origin of
but warmed with care by my mom.
presence and absence. Thus, difference may
My oldest sister is the breeze in the wind, refer not only to the state or quality of being
cool, quiet, and there when you need her. deferred, but to the state or quality of
being different.
My other two brothers are the stingrays,
Examples: what system or structure makes message
"I know that the sunlight can be made to lie too, yet
one felt that no manipulation of light and pose could 2. Ferdinand de Saussure
have conveyed the delicate shade of truthfulness  Developed a branch of linguistics called
upon those features." "Structural Linguistics."
 Considered as the "father
 Deconstructing the idea that light of Structuralism".
represents truth  Of equal importance for grasping the
 Normally is good, honesty. distinctiveness of Saussure's theory is
 here is often the opposite the principle that language is a system of
 can mean deceit, evil doings signs and that each sign is composed of
 Europeans brought light to civilize; two parts: a signifier which is the word,
actually caused more harm than good or sound-pattern and a signified which is
and destroyed a culture the concept. For example, the signifier is
 Can make things seem brighter than color blue and the signified is blue is
actually are or make you see things that often associated with loyalty, strength,
aren't actually there. wisdom and trust. It is usually has a
calming effect. Blue is the color of the
sky and the sea and is often used to
In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the common represent these images.
motif of light used to represent truth and goodness
as a whole is inverted and instead representative of 3. Jacques Derrida
darkness and deceit. Applying a deconstruction  Was an Algerian-born French-Jewish
critical model to Heart of Darkness will show that philosopher best known for developing a
the novel contains plentiful amounts of form of semiotic analysis known as
contradictions and binary oppositions in order to deconstruction.
reverse and then expose as a new meaning, as that is  He discussed in numerous texts, and
what deconstruction aims to accomplish. developed in the context of
phenomenology - the science of
phenomena as distinct from that of the
nature of being. An approach that
The People behind the Development of the concentrates on the study of
Theory consciousness and the objects of direct
1. Roland Barthes
 Was a literary critic and wrote about the
‘Death of the Author’. He argued the Application
author could not claim to know what
his/her book was about any more than  Films convey meaning through the use
the reader. of codes and conventions not dissimilar to
 The idea that there was a hidden reality the way languages are used to construct
(hidden to the reader but known to the meaning in communication. Understanding
author) was challenged. how the simple combination of shots can
 Believes that it’s the ”anterior language” create an additional idea: the blank
which aids the understanding of expression on a person's face, an appetizing
communication and literature and his meal, and then back to the person's face.
concern is not with the message but with While nothing in this sequence literally
expresses hunger—or desire—the  NEW HISTORICISM
juxtaposition of the images convey that
But then first, let us learn more about who
meaning to the audience. Unraveling this
additional meaning can become quite discovered this theory, Stephen GreenBlatt.
complex. Lighting, angle, shot duration, This theory is influenced by the philosophy of
juxtaposition, cultural context, and a wide
Michel Foucault.
array of other elements can actively
reinforce or undermine a sequence's POST COLONIALISM
This is all about the author’s life. How the culture
affect the author’s life or how the surrounding
Marvel affects the author to write such thing.

 All superhero movies follow a certain Is simply a lens through which we study literature
structure, patterns that are seen in almost all that is set in colonized countries or deals with post-
of these movies. This can also include both colonial issues. These issues include, but are not
myths (social concepts and attitudes limited to, issues of identity, culture, politics, and
determined by history) and binary economics.
oppositions, (arguments between two
oppositions against each other). CULTURAL STUDIES

This often talks about the relation between the

Superhero movies wouldn’t be complete
culture and the text. Like on how the culture has
without some type of conflict, whether by a
person, a situation, or an environmental been written in form of a text.
factor. In most cases the binary opposition A form of Cultural Criticism
for these types of movies includes a hero vs.
a villain, almost like good vs. evil. This is an innovative interdisciplinary field of research
structure is evident in almost all superhero and teaching that investigates the ways in which
movies otherwise it wouldn’t have a strong “culture” creates and transforms individual
enough plot without the addition of a villain. experiences, everyday life, social relations and


HISTORICISM CRITICISM The relation of Author and the text.

New historicism is a kind of replacement for new Based on the view that literature should be studied,
criticism and is followed by cultural criticism. designed and understand within the discourse of
both chronicle of the author and the history of the
Literary criticism applies when one understand the critic.
work not only in its historical context but also the
historical factors that influenced the writer and This gives more emphasizes of the history of the
ideas of the piece. text by relating it to the configurations of power,
society, or ideology in given time.
To know more about this theory, there are three
factors that we should learn. Focus in history as a whole entity. Historicists
generally focus on government and culture, and
 POST COLONIALISM mainly analyse upper class people and institutions.
The New Historicism theory does not believe that
we as readers can look at history objectively, but
rather that we interpret events as products of our Formalism Theory Criticism
time and culture. Objectives:

• This report will educate

NEW HISTORICIST the learners on what is
Those who studies the new historicism. formalism theory in
literary criticism, its brief
(read first definition except the last) history, the proponents
and application.
A New Historicist looks in a wider historical
context, examining both how the writer's times
affected the work or text and how that certain work What is Formalism?
reflects the writer's times, in turn recognizing that  Formalism seeks out meaning from
current cultural contexts colour that critic's a word by giving attention to the form or
conclusions. structure of a work and literary devices
operating in it.The underlying concept of
Traditional historians often asks, 'What happened?' Formalism (in literary context) is that
and 'What does the event tell us about the history?’ content of literary work is not more
while people in new historicism asks, 'How has the important but the form.In examining a
event been interpreted?' and 'What do the text through Formalism, the social,
interpretations tell us about the interpreters?'" historical, cultural and political realities
inside the text is neglected.
TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD History: Formalism is an early twentieth
century mode of criticism that has its roots in
It is a novel of historical fiction written by Harper
Russian Formalism or the work of linguists
Lee, an American writer. This novel portrays life in such as Roman Osipovich Jakobson, and a
a particular time, period or centering on a particular group of linguists and critics who formed the
event in history. society Opuyaz or the Society for the Study of
Poetical Language in 1915.
This novel talks about when African Americans
were treated unfairly in the court of law. It was set Two schools of formalist literary criticism
in a small Alabama Town in 1930s and it that time, developed, Russian formalism, and soon after
Anglo-American New Criticism.
unfair treatment was considered acceptable, based
on the fact that African- American were naturally Proponents:
less moral.
Viktor Shklovsky -was a Russian and soviet
Readers of this historical fiction should consider critic, writer and pamphleteer, he founded
how the culture at that time affected the actions and OPOYAZ.
attitudes of the characters in the story when they are Boris Eichenbaum -was a Russian literary
criticizing it. scholar and a representative of the Russian
formalism, he provided definition and
--Not like in today’s world, people are treated interpretation for the group and helped outline
equally and given the right to a fair trial, instead their approach to literature.
everyone is judged based upon their sex and race.
Roman Jakobson-was a Russian linguist and
literary theorist, he was among the most
influential linguist of the century. Psychoanalytic Theory

Keypoints: Definition
 Psychoanalytic theory is the theory of
In literary theory, formalism refers to critical
personality organization and the dynamics
approaches that analyze, interpret, or evaluate the
of personality development that guides
inherent features of a text. These features include not
psychoanalysis, a clinical method for
only grammar and syntax but also literary devices such
treating psychopathology.
as meter and tropes.
 A theory of personality which is developed
through different stages in life.

 A set of philosophical of human nature.
 Psychoanalysis is both an approach to
Two types of Formalism: therapy and a theory of personality.
 Emphasizes unconscious motivation-the
i. Russian Formalism- basically talks
main cause of behavior lie in unconscious
about the form and the structure
of the text it only talks about the
 Psychoanalytic theory has undergone many
‘look’ of the text rather than what
 refinements since his work
is inside the text or what the text
says. It applies analyzing the text
literarily or technically.
ii. Anglo-American New Criticism-
just the same as the Russian  MAY 6, 1856 - Sigmund Freud was born in
formalism but now it also Freyberg Town, Crech Republic
includes the inside or the  1881- He graduated from Medical Faculty,
characteristics of the text or the University of Vienna
content of the text.  1896-Sigmund Freud was officially
Application: recognized
Example:  1900 - He released "Interpretation of
I am as constant as a Dreams"
 SEPTEMBER 23, 1939 -Freud passed away in
northern star, of whose Hampstead House
fix’d and resting quality

. There is no fellow in the KEY POINTS OR RELEVANT POINTS

firmament. 1. DETERMINISTIC- life is about gaining
pleasure and avoiding pain.
– Julius Caesar

In formalism view we would criticise this text as: 2. HUMAN AS ENERGY SYSTEM- Freud
believes that human are motivated by the
 It contains three lines, it has a metaphor, and it unconscious, where the Id is found along with the
has no rhythmic scheme aggression and sex instincts