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Thomas King: Not Just A Reaction To Colonialism

1136 words - 5 pages

I spent the majority of this course with a very basic and underdeveloped understanding of post-colonial literature. It wasn't until researching and extracting quotations for this essay that my understanding widened and I realized post-colonialism was quite a broad term. Thomas King has become one of my favourite writers since I first read Green Grass, Running Water last year. His
unique style of writing and love of symbolism is what draws me to his work. "A Coyote Columbus Story" is a short story within One Good Story, That One by King that incorporates oral tradition and allegory, which is a very important key to post-colonial writings. The post-colonial allegory in this story deals with ...view middle of the document...

First of all, "A Coyote Columbus Story" is a short story within a larger book, while Godzilla vs. Post-Colonial is an explanatory essay. "A Coyote Columbus Story" is a symbolic narrative with trickster characters and an anonymous narrator. It alludes to real people and places, but it is written in the form of a short creative fiction piece. We could even say that this short story is written as historic fiction, though the historical aspect of it could be challenged by the unrealistic dialect and actions he
gives Christopher Columbus. Godzilla vs. Post-Colonial is created from King's personal opinion, experiences, and beliefs. Much of his work involving tricksters is written the same, and with similar characters. Bill Ashcroft discusses how King is using post-colonial utopianism when he writes in this style by stating, "[t]he past in general and memory in particular become central in post-colonial utopianism through the prevalence of what may be called the Myth of Return which takes on various forms dictated by culture and history. The dominant version in Indian writing, for instance, is the redeployment of Hindu myths in contemporary literature" (9). We see this in King's writing, but rather with First Nations myths and tricksters, bringing past events that affected them into the present.
The use of both language and context are very important parts in the style of post-colonial arguments. Godzilla vs. Post-Colonial is a breakdown in the portrayal of post-colonialism, providing arguments on definitions, theories, and addressing the assumptions about post-colonial literature that he wishes were diminished. He immediately states that post-colonial literature is "formed out of the struggle of the oppressed against the oppressor, the colonized and the colonizer" (King "Godzilla" 186-186). As a very important topic when discussing post-colonial literature, language and how it is written "becomes the medium through which a hierarchical structure of power is perpetuated, and the medium through which conceptions of 'truth', 'order' and 'reality' become established" (Winks 65).
'Godzilla' addresses the idea of how some Native literature is written so that it can be accessed by Non-Natives, but some is limited to outside people. At the beginning of his essay, King states, "I am not a theorist. But […] I can talk about the assumptions that the term post-colonial makes" (King "Godzilla" 185). He describes one of the assumptions, that post-colonial literature...

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