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Compare And Contrast Essay

2088 words - 9 pages

Shivamurthie PAGE 1
Aberame ShivamurthieMr. WardENG 4U126 May 2008ISU: Compare & Contrast EssayBoth The In-Between World of Vikram Lall, by M.G. Vassanji, and Cinnamon Gardens, by Shyam Selvadurai, are novels that indirectly discuss British colonialism. The In-Between World of Vikram Lall follows the life of Vikram Lall, an Indian born and raised in Kenya, while indirectly dealing with colonial and early post-colonial issues. In Cinnamon Gardens, life during colonialism in Ceylon, which is presently known as Sri Lanka, and the issues that arose during this period are viewed by a handful of characters that are part of the upper society. Although both novels are written during the same ...view middle of the document...

Instead, they remained neutral and watched the atrocities that happened to the rest of the society, especially the Africans. Although the Africans where the inhabitants of the land, they were at the bottom of the chain which is similar to Shakespeare's "Chain of Being". They were servants for the British and the Indians. The Africans should have had the most status and power because it was their land. Instead they were treated poorly by everyone. The British stole their land and power. This resulted in the growth of dislike towards the British. This can also be seen in the Tempest, by Shakespeare, when Prospero takes over Caliban's island and treats him as a slave. Caliban, like the Africans, obeys because of his fear of punishment and consequences. However he does not like Prospero and ends up resisting him. The British are despised due to the differentiation in society they created.Moreover, since the British, especially the law enforcement, treated the Africans badly, the Africans' hate toward the British grew. They beat anyone who was African in order to try to get them to confess that they are part of the Mau Mau. According to the Africans, the Mau Mau were considered to be freedom fighters against the colonial rule of the British. During a raid for the Mau Mau, young Vikram described the scene by saying "In a frenzy of angry, impatient activity, the suspect - for all black men were suspect - were pushed and jostled, slapped for replying, kicked in the behind for tardiness." (32) This shows that the British officers considered all the Africans to be suspects without proof and treated them violently as if they were guilty. This was because the British did not care for their well-being. In many cases, the police officers ended up torturing suspects to death. The Africans hated the British because they abused their power and used it in a vulgar manner or without reason most of the time. This is similar to the Europeans from Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, who like the British, in Vassanji's novel, lacked external checks. In both Heart of Darkness and The In-Between World of Vikram Lall, they used their power as they pleased without considering the pain they were causing the Africans. Even though they were not allowed to, the British acted cruelly because they felt superior to the Africans and believed they were more important than any other race. The Africans that were part of the law enforcement also acted cruelly. This was because they had some power and wanted to keep the power. In order to do that, they would have to act in a way similar to their superior officers. This also caused more hatred against the British because now the British turned their own people against them. In brief, the malicious treatment and abuse of power by the British encouraged the hate by the Africans toward them.The hate for the British was expressed through rebellions. Many Africans and some Indians rebelled. The main resistance group was the Mau Mau freedom...

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