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In Uncategorized on November 15, 2011 by azybazy

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Introspection that the War forced upon Artists Anoma Wijewardena and Chandragupta Thenuwara

In Thoughts on May 22, 2011 by azybazy Tagged: , , ,

The aim of this post is to highlight the way in which Sri Lankan artists Anoma Wijewardena and Chandragupta Thenuwara responded to the ethnic war through their works of art within the theoretical frameworks of the alternative narrative, memory, nationalism and militarization. In doing so, this research paper shall also analyze two other factors. Firstly, it shall identify whether the response of the artists created an alternative narrative which differed from the ‘state narrative’. Moreover, it shall also attempt to identify the limitations these artists faced in expressing their voice and perspectives in a nation where narratives that do not support the interest of the state are censored. Secondly, this research paper shall highlight the attempts made by these artists in light of a social activist who has a larger social agenda.

The rationale for choosing the artists Anoma Wijewardena and Chandragupta Thenuwara among many in the art circles are due to the following reasons. Firstly, due to the fact that their works of art have gained immense recognition in Sri Lanka and elsewhere for their creativity and style. Whilst Wijewardena has her paintings exhibited in the galleries of London, Brisbane, Singapore Dubai, V&A Museum and the House of Commons (Anoma Wijewardena’s Official Website, 2010), Thenuwara’s works have been included in the collections of the Queensland Arts Gallery, Fukouka Asian Art Museum, John Moore’s University of Art Collection and the Fine Art’s Museum in Udmurtia ( website, 2010). Secondly, they have both addressed the issue of the ethnic war in their pieces of art extensively and effectively. For example Wijewardena dedicated her work that represent her response to war in an exhibition named ‘Quest’ which took place at the National Art Gallery in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, Thenuwara curated the exhibition named ‘Visual Responses During the War’ at the Lionel Wendt Gallery and the Harold Pieris Gallery in 2010.

Finally, and most significantly, I chose Wijewardena and Thenuwara due to the fact that their works of art are different from each other. For example Wijewardena’s work embraces the medium of digital art and video installation which incorporates elements of images, colors, words, sounds and movement. Moreover, her photographs are deconstructed, layered, and manipulated which range from stark reality to the surrealism (Wijewardena’s Official Website, 2010). However, Thenuwara provides alternative art education that functions on an ideological position different from the conventional. For example, his concept of ‘Barrelism’ that is represented through actual barrels is very significant as it incorporates an actual artifact as a work of art. Hence these variations in terms of Wijewardena’s and Thenuwara’s approach in responding to the ethnic war will be an interesting study in order to understand the various ways art allows one to respond to a social issue such as war.

Anoma Wijewardena’s Art

I have selected two of her works of art that was exhibited at ‘Quest’ titled ‘Check point by Hindu temple, Colombo’ and ‘Camplife’ (Wijewardena’s Official Website, 2010) for the purpose of analyzing Wijewardena’s response to the ethnic war. I chose the above pieces from this exhibition as it depicts the struggles of ordinary Sri Lankans in the face of both natural and man-made disasters (Wijewardena’s Official Website, 2010). Furthermore, these works of art are also significant as they have been layered, fused, blurred, and sharpened thereby revealing Wijewardena’s mark as a new media conceptual artist.

‘Check point by Hindu temple, Colombo’ is an interesting piece that is layered with multiple meanings. It is a painting that has a checkpoint on the pavement of the road adjoining the wall of a Hindu Temple. It is only possible to see the top of the Hindu Temple as the wall covers the depiction of the rest of the building. Furthermore, this work of art also shows a motorist travelling on the road passing the check point.

At first glance, this work of art seems to be very colorful as it includes many bright colors. For example the wall is in bright red and white, the temples are in silver and gold and the check point is in bright green. Hence initially the use of color in this painting for me presented a rather sensational and a rather delightful experience. However, if one looks closely it is evident that it is the opposite of my initial sensation that is presented. This is clearly brought out through the representation of gloom and dullness in the sky. The fact that the sky, which traditionally symbolizes hope is in grey. Consequently, a color that is commonly used to depict sadness, uncertainty and anguish. Henceforth, I believe that Wijewardena is stimulating her audience to think deeper about the contradictions that are presented in this work of art through the use of colors.

Moreover, I feel that the artist is making a very political statement through the depiction of the Hindu temple and the checkpoint together. Firstly, it highlights the way in which the state, which is represented through the presence of the checkpoint, is disgracing the religion that has the second largest followers in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, the state’s the primary justification for implementing check points is to prevent terrorists from causing harm to the civilians and those who hold important positions in the state. The fact that this checkpoint is situated right next to the Hindu Temple reveals two interesting factors. Firstly, it clearly shows the way in which the state posits those who belong to this religious group as a threat to the sovereignty of the nation. Secondly, it invariably posits this religion as one that symbolizes terrorism in Sri Lanka. In fact, Anderson (1983) defines a nation as an imagined political community, which is both inherently limited and sovereign and also mentions that the nation, regardless of the actual inequality and exploitation that may prevail, upholds a deep horizontal comradeship. Moreover, Smith (2001) mentions that a nation is an ideological movement for attaining and maintaining autonomy, unity, and identity for a population which some of its members deem to constitute an actual or potential nation. According to the above definitions of a nation, it is clearly evident that the incorporation of a checkpoint adjoining the Hindu temple clearly disrupts the concept of a nation as one ethnicity/religion is posited as harmful.

Henceforth, I believe that Wijewardena is responding to war by highlighting the existence of an ‘Ethnic Nationalism’ as opposed to ‘Civic Nationalism’ in the war trodden context of Sri Lanka. Harris (2009) mentions that ‘Ethnic Nationalism is collectivist, illiberal and contradictory to democratic citizenship because it defines its group as a community that belongs to a particular ethnicity’. I believe that Wijewardena is portraying the existence of ‘Ethnic Nationalism’ as opposed to ‘Civic Nationalism’ which is antithetical in character, inclined towards an inclusive definition of the nation as a community of equal citizens (Harris, 2009). I believe that the artist is promoting the concept of ‘Civic Nationalism’ due to its benign characteristic and its complementary nature to ‘democracy’ through this work of art. Therefore, I feel that Wijewardena is criticizing the form of nationalism that is promoted by the state through the juxtaposition of the Hindu Temple and the checkpoint effectively. Thus, it is evident that Wijewardena’s response to the war is not only emotional, but is also political in nature.

Moreover, De Mel (2007) mentions that a ‘militarized society is one where the military has taken ascendency over civilian institutions and is predominantly and visibly relied upon to police and regulate civilian movement. Furthermore, she also states that “checkpoints inhabit ordinary, daily routines in a manner that naturalizes and masks our own embeddedness within it’. I believe that the above notions resonate with the intention of Wijewardena in depicting a checkpoint in this work of art. I feel that Wijewardena is also highlighting the process of surveillance one goes through even in their daily routines through the inculcation of a checkpoint. Interestingly, Hyndman and de Alwis (2004) mentions that “Nowhere has checkpoint culture become more developed than in Sri Lanka”. Therefore, it is evident that Wijewardena is implicitly criticizing the militarized nature of Sri Lanka because it threatens the right to ‘freedom of movement’.

Significantly, the process of surveillance is so entrenched that it is symbolized through the red and white stripes in the wall that remind us of sarongs, which is the most comfortable garment for a physically disabled person. This technique used by the artist clearly resonates with the situation of civilians, especially ones who belong to the Tamil ethnicity. Even this aspect is brought out clearly through the depiction of the stripes all over the Hindu Temple wall whilst only a very few extending to the road. Additionally, Wijewardena creatively highlights the way in which the persons on the motor bike are not subject to a serious form of disability in comparison to those who belong to the Tamil ethnicity through the blurring effect of their faces. I feel that Wijewardena shows the Tamil community as more deprived than the Sinhalese community because they cannot travel as and when they please due to the strict process of registering that is required only for them. Hence it is evident that the artist is making a very political statement against the practices and approaches of the state in seeking a resolution to the ethnic war through unequal treatment.

Wijewardena’s ‘Camplife’ is also another significant piece to analyze in order to understand her response to the ethnic war. This work of art situates a female child in the midst of a camp that is abundant with household items including a mat, gunny bags, utensils, a basket and other items. Interestingly, everything except for the face of the child is blurred. This work of art is definitely a product of new media as the photograph has been manipulated, sharpened and layered to provide a surreal effect.

Firstly, it is rather interesting that Wijewardena has painted a picture of a child as opposed to a grown man or woman. This attempt made by the artist clearly shows her way of highlighting an alternative narrative about war through the lens of a child. This is a rather interesting move made by the artist as it also highlights her interest in the needs and rights of a child.

I believe in this painting Wijewardena has used her ‘individual memory’ of her childhood to present catastrophic repercussions of war on the life of a child on a war trodden context in Sri Lanka. Jelin (2003) mentions that ‘individual memories are always socially framed. These frameworks bear the general representations of society its needs and values. They also include the worldview and language of a society or a group’. The fact that the child in this painting appears to be sad and blocked by many utensils and objects within the camp clearly shows her entrapped state physically and psychologically. I believe that Wijewardena is using her individual memory of childhood to paint a picture in contrast to that in order to highlight the plight of a child who has been affected by the consequences of war as opposed to a child who has not been affected by war, like her childhood. Moreover, I believe that through this sorrowful depiction of the child, Wijewardena is also presenting the way in which the child is deprived of her right to play as a result of war.

The fact that this child is living in a refugee camp clearly shows the social and economic instability the war creates. Furthermore, the fact that the mat that is depicted in the painting is closed as opposed to being open is also rather interesting. This is because the folded mat indicates that the child is not able to sleep due to fear of possibly either being abducted, raped or being haunted by the memory of traumatic experiences. Henceforth, it is evident that Wijewardena is responding to the war by highlighting the injustices that are faced by children effectively through her works of art. Interestingly, I believe that Jelin’s (2003) following statement is very appropriate in understanding the agenda of Wijewardena in this piece of work. ‘Actors and activists use the past, bringing their understanding and their interpretations about it into the public sphere of debate. Their intention is to establish/convince/transmit their narrative, so that others will accept it’. I feel that this statement is relevant to Wijewardena because she too is transmitting the narrative of this child about the consequences of war to her audience.



Chandragupta Thenuwara’s Art

In order to analyze Thenuwara’s response to the ethnic war, I shall analyze his piece of art titled ‘Barrelism Tourist Map’ at the ‘Visual Responses During the War’ Exhibition that was held at the Lionel Wendt in 2010 and also this exhibition itself as an initiative in highlighting the works of art of contemporary Sri Lankan artists. I chose these particular works due to two reasons. Firstly, ‘Barrelism Tourist Map’ explores the concept of ‘Barrelism’ in a creative and unconventional manner. Secondly, due to the fact that the ‘Barrelism Tourist Map’ and the exhibition are contesting the practices of the state effectively through forms of art.

The website (2010) mentions that the concept of ‘Barrelism’ was coined by Thenuwara in 1997 in a public declaration at an International Artists Camp in Sri Lanka. Moreover, this website mentions that until then he had chosen to draw the human figure but on his return to Sri Lanka he found the capital drawn into war. Thenuwara mentions that barrels have occupied the space around Sri Lanka so much so that he was inspired to draw ´Barrelscapes´ instead of landscapes.

The ‘Barrelism Tourist Map’ is a Sri Lankan map that does not only point out conventional interests of tourists such as archeological sites, historical places, wildlife, places that promote sports, leisure and nature but also places where there are barrels functioning as barricades. Interestingly, in pointing out the places where barrels exist, Thenuwara manages to conform to the requirements of a tourist map as it highlights ‘spaces of culture’. I would like to term the barrels as ‘spaces of culture’ because ‘barrels’ play a key role in highlighting the forms of culture that is promoted in Sri Lanka. Significantly, right below the Sri Lankan map in ‘The Barrelism Tourist Map’ Thenuwara also showcases a range of barrels in different designs and colors. I chose to interpret this aspect as Thenuwara’s attempt to highlight that barrels do not only highlight only one form of culture but many.

However, I believe that his primary motive in representing barrels as a ‘space of culture’ is to highlight the culture of militarization in Sri Lanka. De Mel (2007) mentions that Cynthia Enloe defines militarization as ‘a step-by-step process by which a person or a thing gradually becomes controlled by the military or comes to depend for its well-being on militaristic ideas’. I believe that Thenuwara’s concept of Barrelism strives to highlight the way in which the military is playing an immense role in controlling the lives of citizens and their movement. The fact that this map has barrels drawn all over the island clearly shows their dominance and rooted presence.

Secondly, I feel that Thenuwara highlights barrels as a ‘space of culture’ as it attempts to highlight the fact that anyone who does not conform to the political agenda of the state are not tolerated. I believe that Thenuwara is attempting to present these barrels as metaphorical presence of ‘barriers’ for those who believe in alternative strategies in resolving the conflict rather than ‘fighting to gain peace’. For example journalists such as Richard De Soyza, Lasantha Wickramatunge and others who were against the ideologies promoted by the state were assassinated due to the immense amount of ‘barrels’ that represent ‘barriers’. This is because they did not conform to the interests of the state. Henceforth, I believe that the barrels highlighted in this tourist map is very significant as they highlight the closed and militaristic culture the state is promoting in Sri Lanka along with the tourist attractions.

It is also interesting to note that Thenuwara highlights this concept of Barrelism in a tourist map due to the following reasons. Firstly, it highlights the way in which Thenuwara camouflages it in a map that is very colorful and vibrant in nature, due to the various colors that are used to categorize tourist attractions. Therefore, by placing colorful barrels in a colorful map he does not draw very special attention to the form of social protests he is making through this work of art. Consequently, this may have been done purposely in order to certainly highlight his alternative perspective of militarization without getting his work concealed in a nation where everything that does not conform to the political agenda of the state is censored. Secondly, it highlights the way in which Thenuwara is drawing attention to the form of culture that is being promoted in Sri Lanka to the international community. I believe that Thenuwara made a conscious effort to place barrels on a tourist map in order to draw the attention of the west which supports freedom of expression, free press and a civil society.

I consider the exhibition ‘Visual Responses During the War’ curated by Thenuwara as a work of art because he brings together works of art by other artists. He brings in the works of experts such as Anoma Wijewardena, Jagath Weerasinghe and Kingsly Gunatileka along with Anura Krishantha, Kusal Gunasekera and Chammika Jayewardene who are establishing their careers as artists in Sri Lanka. The conduction of this exhibition is rather interesting to analyze on many levels because it also highlights Thenuwara’s response to the ethnic war effectively. Firstly, it shows that Thenuwara does not only respond to the ethnic war through his art alone but also through the works of other artists. Consequently, this shows Thenuwara’s attempt in bringing together like minded artists in order to voice out the concerns of artists in a collective manner for purposes of effectivity. The fact that he is highlighting alternative voices to the consequences of war clearly shows that he does not merely want to present his thoughts and perceptions. However, he also wants to create a social and political change in Sri Lanka by stimulating the Sri Lankan public to critically think about the ideologies and practices of the state. In that sense, I feel that Thenuwara is making a very strong case by presenting the existence of alternative voices to the Sri Lankan public.

Nonetheless, it is also interesting to note that although Thenuwara is making a very strong political, it is not presented in a way to attract the masses in Sri Lanka. I believe that it does not attempt to publicize it to the masses due to the following reasons. Firstly, this exhibition was publicized only in English newspapers such as the Sunday Times, Sunday Observer, The Sunday Leader and the Daily Mirror. Advertising an event in English newspapers can only create awareness to a comparatively smaller audience due to the popularity of these newspapers amongst the English speaking community. Secondly, the fact that this exhibition was chosen to take place at Lionel Wendt and the Harold Peiris Gallery clearly denotes a sense of elitism and exclusivity. Therefore, it is evident that the reach of the alternative voice created through these works of art would not have been far.

I believe that Thenuwara had no choice but to present his work in a space of elitism in Colombo 7 and mediums that reach an exclusive audience. This is because if an individuals attempts to challenge the ideologies of the state, his work and his life is at risk in an ‘almost’ autocratic political situation in Sri Lanka,. Consequently, this not only highlights the pathetic situation of the inability of an individual’s right to freedom of expression, but also measures taken by artists to balance out their response to the war and ensuring the probability of getting their work censored.


Wijewardena and Thenuwara’s Roles as Social Activists

Therefore, one can come to the conclusion that Thenuwara is a social activist as much as he is an artist. This is because like a social activist, he too creates awareness about the existence of an alternative voice with regards the political situation in Sri Lanka. As pointed out before, Thenuwara highlights the existence of a culture of militarization and censorship against any form of opinion that does not conform to the agenda of the state through the concept of Barrelism. Moreover, the fact that he brings this out through a Sri Lankan tourist map clearly indicates his motive of gaining the attention of the international community possibly for purposes of intervention. Therefore, we can come to the conclusion that Thenuwara can be considered a social activist not only due to his attempts in challenging social practices, but also in engaging with those who are ‘like minded’ in changing the mindset of people through exhibitions.

Jelin (2003) mentions that  each and every decision to build a  monument, to set up spaces for memory in places where serious affronts to human dignity were committed, to construct museums and install commemorations is the result of the initiative and the commitment of social advocacy groups. According to this definition, it is evident that Wijewardena too is not only an artist but also a social activist. Her role as a social activist can be argued due to her criticism against ‘Ethnic Nationalism’ that is promoted in Sri Lanka instead of ‘Civic Nationalism’. I believe that Wijewardena can also be called a social activist because she not only condemns practices of state in her works of art, but she also attempts to create awareness about the social and political situation of Sri Lanka abroad through her exhibitions. The fact that she showcases her working with regards to peace and reconciliation will clearly attract the attention of the international community regarding the injustices that take place in Sri Lanka. Therefore, her exhibitions that take place abroad can be considered as a platform where Wijewardena presents the case of Sri Lanka in order to motivate the international community to intervene and pressurize the government into implementing free press, freedom of expression and child rights.

Therefore, it evident that the response of Wijewardena and Thenuwara to the ethnic war is not only emotional and personal, but is also very political. Therefore, we can come to the conclusion that the process of introspection that the war brought to these artists is immense. I believe that the process of introspection was so effective that it transformed their roles from being artists to a social activist due to the form of political change that they present. Moreover, the success of these artists in Sri Lanka is not only due to the way in which they manipulate their art through unconventional forms and postmodern approaches, but also due to their ability to contest practices of the state in a manner that does not qualify as a work that needs to be censored due its controversial nature. I feel this stance taken by both artists is very strategic as it does pave way for the controversial message to be transmitted to the public. Weiss and Camnitzer (1928) mentions that a precise definition of an artist is not important, but the impact that his artistic production presents is what defines a true artist. Therefore, I believe that Wijewardena and Thenuwara are exemplary artists as there works do not only create a great impact to their audience, but also makes them question ideologies and conventions one is imposed with in a critical fashion.


Complicating the Idea of Race

In Political Essays on May 17, 2011 by azybazy

The aim of this post is to highlight the way in which Morrison complicates the ideas of race in A Mercy. In doing so, this post will put forward Morrison’s primary way of complicating the idea of race through the representation of class based segregation and animosity rather that segregation based on race in the novel. This shall be explored through the discussion of the ‘people’s war’, Lina’s perception of the colonizer and the animosity Jacob has towards D’Ortego. Furthermore, the discussion of the racial backgrounds of the slaves in Jacob’s household and the representation of race as a social construct shall also be highlighted to show the way in which Morrison complicates the idea of race in A Mercy.

This paper puts forward the argument that Morrison primarily complicates the idea of race through her focus on the depiction of class based conflicts. She highlights class based animosities on different circumstances in the novel to effectively highlight the fact that the institution of slavery was not racial in the context in which the novel is placed. This paper shall extensively discuss these different circumstances of class based animosity in order to unravel the emergence of the concept of race as a result of financial motives.

Firstly, Morrison complicates the idea of race through the depiction of a ‘people’s war’ (pg.8). In context with the American history, this rebellion she highlights is the Bacon’s Rebellion that took place in 1676. The fact that she mentions ‘half a dozen years ago an army of blacks, natives and whites, mullatoes-freedmen, slaves and indentured-had waged war against local gentry led by members of that very class’ clearly shows that she introduces the institution of slavery with relation to a class as opposed to a race. Possibly, Morrison’s intention in including these lines is to depict a sense of racial harmony and unity that existed during this period. Moreover, it is evident through the following lines that she blames the gentry for the separation they created between this racially united class and for the creation of the concept of race. The lines ‘‘by eliminating manumissions, gatherings, travels and bearing arms for black people only; by granting license to any white to kill any black for any reason; by compensating owners for a slave’s maiming or death, they separated all whites from all others forever. Any social ease … crumbled beneath a hammer wielded in the interests of the gentry’s profits’. Through these lines Morrison effectively complicates the concept of race by highlighting it’s emergence as a result of the gentry’s agenda for seeking financial gain. Hine (2003) mentions that the uprising of the Bacon’s Rebellion convinced the colony’s elite that continuing to rely on white agricultural laborers, who could become free and get guns, was dangerous’. Therefore, the gentry disadvantaged the blacks with the privileges as highlighted above by Morrison in order to separate the whites from the blacks of the poor class. Hence Morrison through the excerpt about the Bacon’s rebellion and its effects on the black community successfully highlights the fact that racial segregation emerged as a result of financial motives of the ruling gentry of that period. This invariably complicates the idea of race it presents this concept as an effect of the contempt the gentry had towards the racial unity among the poor class.

Secondly, Morrison complicates the idea of race by portraying the perception of Lina about the colonizers. The fact that Lina mentions ‘impoverished gentry, that is, since they owned nothing, certainly not the land they slept on, preferring to live as entitled paupers’ about her early childhood and her experiences is significant. This is because a close reading of the above statement suggests that the blame is assigned to the’ gentry’, which is a group identified by their financial income. Secondly, the mission of this ‘gentry’ was to acquire land, which is again a motive related to a financial gain rather than cultural domination. Thirdly, the fact that Lina terms them as ‘entitled paupers’ also clearly denote the fact that the individual who experiences these atrocities perceive the colonizers as ‘paupers’ rather than with their skin color or any of their other distinct characteristic. This is certainly interesting as it clearly shows that the element of race did not play a role in the hardships she faced due to the fact that she does not mention anything in relation to it. As a result, the description of Lina’s early childhood experience also complicates the idea of race which furthermore highlights its insignificant nature in this context.

Thirdly, the immense focus on Jacob Vaark’s class based animosity against D’Ortega through out the novel also contributes to the complication about the idea of race as it emphasizes the division between the whites. Jacob’s lines ‘Why such a show on a sleepy afternoon for a single guest well below their station? Intentional he decided; a stage performance to humiliate him into a groveling acceptance of D’Ortega’s wishes’ clearly show the animosity Jacob has towards the gentry. His hatred towards this class is also shown when Florens’s mother states ‘When the tall man with yellow hair came to dine, I saw he hated the food and I saw things in his eyes that he did not trust Senhor, Senhora or their sons’. The analysis of this statement also proves the fact that Morrison not only uses the statement of Jacob to validate his class based animosity, but also the statement of another character in order to firmly state her case of making the reader aware about the existence  of a class based animosity than a racial one.

Interestingly, Jacob’s statement ‘Thus tamping envy as taught in the poorhouse, Jacob entertained himself by conjuring up flaws in the couple’s marriage’ is very significant. This is because it shows that class based prejudices were evoked rather than racial prejudices in the ‘poor house’. Consequently, this is yet another clear indication to the existence of class based hostility. Moreover, the lines ‘‘For the first time he had not tricked, not flattered, not manipulated, but gone head to head with rich gentry’ clearly shows the division that exists between these two men as a result of their class.

Significantly, it is also evident that these two men posses different values and codes of conduct. The fact that Jacob says ‘Flesh is not my commodity’ explicitly shows his contempt towards the institution of slavery. Therefore, Morrison through this novel educates the reader that it is not possible to make an assumption or generalize about the characteristics of the whites who existed in the early seventeenth century as they did not share same values and perception. Furthermore, the lines ‘‘One day –soon, maybe-to everyone’s relief the Stuarts would lose the throne, and a Protestant rule. Then he thought, a case against D’Ortega would succeed and he would not be forced to settle for a child as a percentage of what was due to him’ shows the discrimination that took place on the basis of class. The fact that Morrison highlights the way in which the institution of law provides privileges to the gentry dramatically shows the class based division that existed during this period further. Hence it could be perceived that Jacob ‘ disembarked, found a village and negotiated native trails, on horseback, mindful of their fields and maze, careful through their hunting grounds, politely asking permission to enter a small village’ due to his understanding of the immense preparation a farmer goes through in order to maintain his crops. Furthermore, the fact that he asks permission before entering the village also maybe due to the fact that he is more inclined to respect the Native Americans as their share similar social stations. As a result these instances and possible interpretations highlighted above complicates the idea of race as the novel focuses on the class based prejudices and highlights this as the core injustice that take place during this period.

Moreover, Morrison complicates the idea of race by highlighting slaves from different racial background within the household of Jacob Vaarks. Lina is a Native American, Florens is a black, William and Scully are ‘both Europes’ and since Sorrow has ‘red hair’, she is possibly a European. The shared identity of these slaves is their class and their social circumstance which clearly denote that the institution of slavery at that time was not racial.

Furthermore, the blacksmith’s lines in relation to the conversation he has with Florens right after she accidently harms the boy in house is noteworthy. The fact that he says Florens became a slave ‘because her head is empty’ and that she is ‘a slave by choice’ clearly shows Morrison’s attempt to highlight the concept of race as a social construct. Through these lines she complicates the idea of race by highlighting it as a concept that was created and it is only the internalization of that concept that makes individuals perceive themselves as different to others of different racial backgrounds. Although Morrison does not state in the novel that this concept was initiated by the gentry, it is evident through the consequences of the Bacon’s Rebellion that it was. Hence through the enlightenment of this fact Morrison clearly makes her argument about the fact that race is a concept that was socially constructed by the gentry in order to effectively gain their financial aims.

In conclusion, it is apparent that Morrison complicates ideas of race in A Mercy effectively by presenting the notion of race emerging as a result of the selfish motive of the colony’s intention to increase their financial gain. Therefore, this research paper outlines the discussion of the Bacon’s Rebellion, Lina’s perception of the colonizers, Jacob Vaark’s attitude towards the non-whites and the blacksmith’s perception of race in order to complicate the idea of race from the general notion of it being related to the institution of slavery. In that sense this novel plays a significant role in explicitly highlighting the ideas of race as a social construct created for purposes of selfish motives. Hence Morrison presents race as a concept that did not play a significant role in the 1680’s of American history in comparison to class.


Movie Review on Spielberg’s The Color Purple

In Movie Reviews on May 16, 2011 by azybazy

The aim of this review is to focus on the politics in the adaptation of the novel The Color Purple by Alice Walker to the film The Color Purple directed by Steven Spielberg in 1985. In doing so, this review shall firstly discuss the significance of the period in which the film was made. Secondly, it shall highlight the politics behind the movie being a Hollywood production directed by Steven Spielberg. Thirdly, this review shall discuss the manner in which the novel has been interpreted in the movie primarily through the absence of the theme of nationalism. Furthermore, the portrayal of the character of Mister and Shugs in the movie shall also be discussed in relation to the novel in order to identify the significance of these editorial decisions. Finally, this review shall discuss the images of the two sisters clapping together in contributing greatly to the visual effect of the film.

Significantly, the movie The Color Purple was released in a time period where there was an outburst of various forms of entertainment that showcased the talent of African American artists and the life style of affluent African Americans on American Television channels. The popular sitcom The Cosby Show starring Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashād was firstly aired in 1984. This program was one of the first sitcoms that dealt with themes such as the Civil Rights Movement, African-American culture and African culture. These themes were represented by artists and musicians such as Jacob Lawrence, Miles Davis, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Lena Horne, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Miriam Makeba. Furthermore, during the period of 1985 two other significant sit coms consisting primarily of an African American cast were also firstly aired which focused on the lifestyle of African Americans. The entertainment program 227 was high-rated show set in a predominately Black neighborhood. Secondly, the television show Amen was also set in and around a Philadelphia-based black church. Interestingly, it was during this period that the first syndicated talk show hosted by an African American, Oprah Winfrey, was aired. Moreover, the song ‘We are the world’ was recorded by the Super group of USA for Africa in 1985. This song is also included as a part of showcasing African American talent due to two distinct reasons. Firstly, it was written by African American artists Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie while it was produced by Quincy Jones, who also produces the Music for the movie The Color Purple. Secondly, the proceeds collected from the sales of this record were utilized to assist those who were affected by the earthquake in Haiti. Hence I felt that this is rather interesting as it is an attempt made predominantly by the African Americans to give back to the nation of their ancestors. In that sense, the period in which the movie was released is rather significant as it seems to be a period in which many African American artists were showcasing their talents. Therefore, I believe that Steven Spielberg succumbed to this trend of showcasing African American talent and their lifestyles by producing a movie that involves an African American cast that engages with the toils average African Americans faced during the 1930’s.

The Hollywood production of The Color Purple is rather interesting to analyze as it does not depict every character and every relationship that is mentioned in the novel as Alice Walker intended it to be. For example Alice Walker clearly suggests that Celie and Shug share a sexual relationship that is very intimate and passionate through lines such as ‘she say, I love you, Miss Celie. And then she haul off and kiss me on the mouth…I kiss her back…us kiss and kiss till us hardly kiss no more. Then us touch each other’ (pg.103). However, in the movie this relationship is not depicted as sexually intense as in the novel. In fact even the song Shug dedicates to Celie repeats the word ‘sister’ so much so that it undervalues the sexual relationship they share. I believe that Spielberg has not depicted this relationship shared by Celie and Shug as not very sexual as presented by Walker although there is one scene in the movie where Celie and Shug kiss each other in the lip cheek and forehead.I believe that this is primarily due to the fact that homosexuality was seen as very subversive and controversial to the audience of Hollywood production that mostly conform to mainstream culture. However, one can interpret this scene in the movie where Celie and Shug kiss as one of ‘connotative homosexuality’. Benshoff and Griffin state that connotative homosexuality means implying or suggesting homosexuality in a very subtle way rather than stating it out right. They further mention that connotative homosexuality became the usual way in which classical Hollywood cinema depicts gays and lesbians as Hollywood movies were expected to conform to the norms of society. According to the website Film Reference, Gay and lesbian concerns and characters often found varied representations outside the Hollywood industry, in foreign, experimental, and documentary filmmaking
Thus it is evident that Spielberg has also used this technique in order to imply that Celie and Shug shared a lesbian relationship. Consequently, this is done in order refrain from making an obvious statement on their tendencies of homosexuality which may result is the censorship of the movie due its subversiveness. Therefore, I believe that the homosexual relationship has been underscored greatly in the movie as opposed to the novel due to the nature of the movie being a Hollywood production.

It is also interesting to note that a Jewish white male has taken the initiative to direct a movie that is based on a novel written by an African American feminist who deals with their bitter experiences. I personally feel that the way in which Spielberg presented the character of Shug in the movie did not do justice to the feminist author’s portrayal of this ‘wild woman’. As a result I agree with Featherstone’s (1985) comment that Hollywood is notoriously insensitive to the concerns of women and people of color. This is because in the novel Shug is presented as a very headstrong, independent and a ‘wild woman’ who is agentive. The fact that she decides to sing and dance to the public which was considered a daring venture for a lady clearly depicts her independent nature. However, in the movie she is depicted as one who constantly attempts to seek forgiveness from her farther for disappointing him with her conduct. The fact that she says ‘see daddy, sinners have souls too’ in the scene where she leads her audience to the church clearly indicates her loss of  pride and value for her rebellious conduct. Dix (1985) also mentions that ‘To have this woman come back to the church and into the embrace of her father, the preacher who had done sermons about her lifestyle as sin incarnate, definitely undercuts the rebel image of Shug and undercuts the movie´s overall strong stand against patriarchy.” Therefore, I feel that Spielberg through the portrayal of Shrug as vulnerable is being patriarchal by depicting Shrug as susceptible to men. Hence the weaker portrayal of Shug in the movie can be interpreted as the subtle way in which the male director of the movie undermines the feminist agenda that was placed in Walker’s novel.

Significantly, Spielberg’s movie does not discuss the themes of nationalism that was raised in Waker’s novel. The author in the novel attempts to highlight the way in which the African Americans did not feel a part of the nation through two significant instances. Firstly, it is brought out effectively through the lines ‘White people busy celebrating they independence from England July 4th, say Harpo, so most black folks don’t have to work. Us spend day celebrating each other’ (pg.261). Secondly, its brought out through the lines ‘The way you know who discover America, Nettie say, is think bout cucumbers’. I believe Walker through these instances effectively show the way in which the African Americans do not feel a part of America due to the way in which they were exploited as a result of the institution of slavery by Americans. The fact that this theme is absent in Spielberg’s Hollywood production can be interpreted in two ways. Firstly, it shows that the director does not want to create a form of unease for the American audience by provoking them to feel guilty for their ancestor’s treatment towards the African Americans. Secondly, it also shows the way in which the director himself is not willing to take responsibility as a white American for creating this form of unpatriotic nature within the African Americans. Therefore, I believe that Spielberg’s attempt in eliminating this unpatriotic nature within the characters in the movie clearly shows that he does not want to address this issue which may result in a form of controversy.

Furthermore, the fact that this movie does not depict the gradual development of Mister’s character is rather significant. In the novel Mister is portrayed positively towards the end although he is represented disapprovingly through his treatment towards Celie at the beginning. The lines ‘After all the evil he done I know why I don’t hate him…Plus look like he appreciate some of the things God was playful enough to make. I mean when you talk to him now he really listen…it feel like a new experience’ (pg.236). These lines clearly indicate that towards the end Mister did transform to a sensible and approachable person even to Celie to whom he was the most vindictive and vengeful to. Therefore, it can be concluded that Walker did not degrade African American men entirely for their inconsiderate nature towards their women through her transformation of the her male protagonist. However, the fact that Spielberg does not highlight this transformation on the character of Mister can be due to his intention of presenting the male characters as wicked and unsophisticated. I personally feel that Spielberg made a conscious choice to not highlight the transformation in Mister’s character in order to place blame on the African American male. This I believe is done in order to make sure that the audience identifies the African American male as the oppressor rather than the white man who instigated the institution of slavery. Furthermore, the fact that the director eliminates the instance where Sophia rebukes the Anglo Americans by saying ‘Some colored people so scared of whitefolks they claim to love the cotton gin’ (pg.240) clearly shows that the director is placing the African American male as the cause for the deterioration of the lives of these women.

The image of Celie and Nettie clapping hands to the song ‘You and me us never part’ at the beginning and in the middle of the movie adds greatly to the visual effect of the film. This is because this image firstly, portrayed right at the beginning. This clearly enlightens the audience about the vey close relationship the sisters’ share. The fact that they engage in this activity even when Nettie is forced to leave the house it saddens the audience greatly as it effectively highlights the pain and trauma that the sisters go through due to their partition. Furthermore, I believe that this image functions for a strategic purpose of exposing the conclusion of the movie by indicating that ‘aint no ocean ain’t no sea’ can part them from each other. These words have a literal meaning due to that fact that Nettie and Celie managed to get together although they were in different countries at a certain point in time. Moreover, the image of the two sisters clapping their hands to the song plays a significant role in highlighting the emphasis placed on the relationship of sisterhood. Although Spielberg does not emphasize the sexual and intimate relationship shared between Shug and Celie due to its controversial nature within mainstream Hollywood culture, he does not underscore the relationship of the sisters as this relationship is accepted within the societal norms of society. Therefore, I believe that Spielberg places emphasis to this image also because he promotes relationships that are accepted within social conventions. In that sense, this image plays a significant role on many levels as highlighted above.

In conclusion, it is evident that Spielberg’s Hollywood production The Color Purple does not entirely conform to the depictions of characters and relationships as Walker intended them to be. In that sense it is very interesting to analyze this movie due to two reasons. Firstly, because it provides an opportunity to the audience to evaluate the way in which a narrative from the perspective of a race that was previously enslaved is affected when it is represented through a medium such as Hollywood. Secondly, because it provides an opportunity to evaluate the way in which a white male director presents the feminist agenda of an African American female. This was clearly brought out in the review through the discussion of the character portrayal of Mister, Shug and the relationship shared between Celie and Shug. Hence I believe that Spielberg’s rendition of ‘The Color Purple’ is very significant as it clearly depicts the way in he promotes societal norms that are pertinent to the American society.


Assertion of Power through Language

In Political Essays on May 16, 2011 by azybazy

The aim of this post is to highlight the role language plays in representing the dynamics of power in Pinter’s Mountain Language (1988). This research paper shall explore the following aspects in order to stress the use of language by military personnel and those who do not belong to the hegemonic power structure. Firstly, this post shall discuss the way in which the military institution assumes a position of power by forbidding the use of the ‘mountain language’. Secondly, the assertion of power shall be brought out through the form and repetition of language. Thirdly, this post shall also show the role obscene language and terms of address play in representing the power dynamics within the play. Finally, absurd and nonsensical language shall also be explored in order to present the vestige of power within this form of language used in Pinter’s Mountain Language.

Thiong’o (1986) mentions that economic and political control can never be complete or effective without mental control. This proves to be appropriate in the case of Mountain Language as it is evident that the military is not satisfied with the act of capturing those who do not belong to the hegemonic power alone. They strive to oppress the ‘mountain people’ psychologically and culturally by continuously stating ‘you are not allowed to speak your language here’. The officer’s lines such as ‘You hear me? Your language is dead’, ‘You cannot speak your language to your men’, ‘No one is allowed to speak your language’ and ‘Your language no longer exists’ is continuously repeated with fury and anger. This clearly denotes the amount of effort the military is asserting in order to mentally destroy the social identity and distinctive characteristics of the ‘mountain people’ through repetition. As Thiong’o correctly points out, ‘to control a people’s culture is to control their tools of self-definition in relationship to others. For colonialism this involved two aspects of the same process: the destruction or the deliberate undervaluing of a people’s culture, […] and the conscious elevation of the language of the colonizer.

Furthermore, as Fannon (1952) points out “To speak . . . means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization”. It is evident that Pinter does believe in the above ideologies through the portrayal of the character of the Elderly Woman and the Prisoner at the end of the play as a result of repetition. A model of cultural erasure and identity is highlighted when the Elderly Woman does not respond to the son even in her own language when the he states ‘Mother, I’m speaking to you. You see? We can speak. You can speak to me in our own language’. The fact that she remains silent even after the perusal of her son shows the way in which repetitious language mentally disheartens and destroys her sense of self. Significantly, the fact that the military personnel’s language involved the proclamation of the death of her language would have resulted in her breakdown. Furthermore, the breakdown of the Elderly Woman resulted in the weakening of the Prisoner as he could not bear to see his mother, a member of his community, lose her social significance within the premises of this institution. The stage directions ‘The Prisoner’s trembling grows. He falls from the chair on to his knees, begins to gasp and shake violently’ clearly shows the dramatic result of a silenced language on an individual. It can be argued that the reason for the breakdown of the Prisoner is also due to his silenced language because he falls apart after witnessing his mother’s sense of loss due the the absence of her language within this context. Therefore, it is evident that Pinter dramatically shows the role language plays in highlighting the assertion of power of the military to those who do not belong to the hegemonic power structure through the elimination of their language and repetitious language that denote death and decay.

Interestingly, the language used by the military personnel also highlights the way in which the military personnel themselves have lost their individual and cultural identity to a certain extent. This is because the form of language used by the personnel conforms to their professional field. The most frequently used words by these personnel include ‘Name’, ‘Any complaints’. ‘Your language is forbidden’ and ‘until further notice’. These words suggest that these personnel are mere puppets of the military institution. Consequently, this highlights the way in which the military institution assumes power over the cultural and social identity of their personnel through language that reflects their attitudes and social significance. Therefore, it is evident that Pinter subscribes to the concept of ‘mouthpiece’ put forward by Derrida (1974) in which he explains that the alphabetic signifier, like the letter, is the mouthpiece and that it is not inspired or animated by any particular language. He mentions that ‘It signifies nothing. It hardly lives’ and that it only ‘lends another’s voice.’ Hence it is apparent that Pinter merely lends the voice of the military institution to its personnel and eliminates the language that promotes the individual’s identity and characteristics. This clearly shows the way in which language plays a key role in the play not only to assert power to those who do not belong to the hegemonic power, but also to those who belong to it.


Another interesting phenomenon about the language used by the military personnel is their form. The form of speech they use to denote the subjugation of the cultural heritage and distinct characteristics of the ‘mountain people’ are proclaimed in the passive voice. Lines such as ‘It is not permitted to speak your mountain language, it is out lawed’, ‘your language is forbidden’ clearly represents the fact that the military institution does not want to take responsibility for the actions that they implement. This is rather significant as it implicitly highlights the fact that the military institution is powerful enough to say what they please in any manner they wish. Moreover, the Officer’s lines ‘He doesn’t come from the mountains. He’s in the wrong batch’ clearly show that they do posses the power to ignore inefficiencies made on their part although they do not tolerate the mistakes of the oppressed. These instances clearly show that language is a medium through which power can be transplanted. Consequently, this feature within language makes it able to vestige power within words which create an aura of authority to those who use it along with his/her actions and body language. Thus language plays a significant role in not only asserting power, but also in building up an atmosphere of fear in order to intimidate the oppressed.

Language used by the military personnel also plays the role of inflicting torture within the oppressed in the play along with physical torture. This is clearly highlighted when the officer uses words that denote bloodshed, violence and horror. For instance when he says ‘You hear, your language is dead’ it clearly shows the way in which he brutalizes the language of the oppressed. Furthermore, the fact that he says ‘You will be badly punished if you attempt to speak your mountain language in this place’ clearly inflicts mental torture as the words posses the ability to disorient the self definition of the person. Additionally, the utterance of the Officer ‘This is a military decree. It is the law’ highlights the inseparability of this linguistic force from the suppressive brutality it can command. This instance furthermore, shows that torture can be committed not only through physical means but also mentally through the means of language.

Military manipulation erodes the language and the dignity of these people who do not belong to the hegemonic power structure. The fact that the Officer and the Sergeant talk with the voice of the military establishment clearly states the fact that their words establish definitions and authority. Therefore, they attempt to terrify the women and make them feel insecure through a language that they are not comfortable with. Interestingly, Ford (1988) mentions that ‘the Sergeant has a stick which he does not have to use because he uses the words instead’. Hence it is evident that language is a very credible means to assert power as it not only affect the psyche of the individual it is being inflicted upon, but it also serves the function of creating an atmosphere of fear and authority which oppresses the individuals outside the hegemonic power structure.

Use of obscene language plays a significant role in highlighting the assertion of power in Pinter’s Mountain Language. This research paper shall discuss the use of obscene language in relation to four different instances and how each instance highlights the assertion of power or authority of the speaker.

Firstly, this paper shall highlight the way in which the sergeant uses obscene language in order to assert power through language. His lines in scene one ‘your husbands, your sons, your fathers, these men you have been waiting to see, are shithouses…they are shit houses’ are significant. This is because the use of these obscene words in this particular statement highlights two different factors about the military personnel. Firstly, it shows the power the military personnel in this play poses to be comfortable enough to use such offensive language in a formal and professional context. Secondly, it highlights the way the military institution assaults a society. The fact that the sergeant not only uses obscene words to a particular individual but to a family and a community denotes his motive of destroying a whole group of people through obscene language. Using an obscene word to dehumanize and destroy the importance of a community is an effective strategy on the part of Pinter as he produces another distinct way in which he shows the different ways language can assert power.

Secondly, the lines ‘She looks like a fucking intellectual to me’ and ‘intellectual arses wobble the best’ clearly show that obscene words are used to marginalize and oppress an agentive woman. She is claimed to be agentive and courageous due to the fact that she does not get intimidated by the statements of the military personnel but urges them to let her see her husband as it is her ‘right’. Therefore, it is evident that Pinter highlights the use of obscene words by chauvinistic males to suppress the determination of females who are forward. Consequently, this shows that obscene words contributes to the affirmation of power within language to males in this particular instance to repress an individual who is a female and assertive.

Thirdly, the lines ‘who’s that fucking woman? What’s that fucking woman doing here? Who let that fucking woman through that door?’ furthermore highlights the Sergeant’s level of comfort in using obscene language due to his social position in the military institution. However, the significant aspect of the use of obscene words in this particular context is that they are used as adjectives. Interestingly, Sara Johnson uses the obscene word ‘fucking’ as a verb. Her lines ‘Can I fuck him? If I fuck him will everything be alright?’ denotes two distinct characteristics. Firstly, it highlights the fact that Sara is not agitated or depressed as a result of the illegitimate conduct of the military personnel. On the contrary, she is adapting to the requirements of the military personnel so much so that she uses the obscene word ‘fucking’ as a verb unlike the sergeant to assert her power (in the form of courage) through obscene language. This is an interesting technique used by Pinter as he not only uses obscene words to highlight the sexual exploitation of women verbally but also to highlight their sense of will and courage through their use of obscene language. This is a rather significant point as it shows that language has the potential of asserting power not only to those who belong to the hegemonic power structure, but also to those who are oppressed by that very same power structure. In that sense, language plays a crucial role in this play in distributing power not only to those who belong to the military institution but to those who are outside this power structure as mentioned before. Therefore, as Silverstein (1993) states there is a certain level of abstraction in the way Pinter’s plays conceptualize power, a level at which power no longer remains bound within particular institutions or apparatuses, but is hypostatized as a kind of anonymous, transcendent force.

The use of particular terms of address is also fascinating as they highlight the assertion of power of certain individuals who hold significant social positions over those who do not have the privilege of holding those very positions. The use of the term ‘Lady Duck Muck’ with reference to Sara and ‘joker’ by the guard with reference to the Prisoner in scene two is rather remarkable. The use of these terms clearly shows that the guard and the Sergeant are able to use this derogative term on the Prisoner due to their attachment to the military institution. However, the interesting aspect about the term ‘joker’ is due to the event that precede this act of name calling. It could be argued that the guard was motivated to call the Prisoner a ‘joker’ due to his attempt to share a common aspect about the members in their families. The fact that the Prisoner says ‘I’ve got a wife and three kids’ right after the Guard says ‘…I’l tell you another thing, I’ve got a wife and three kids. And you’re all a piece of shit’ rages the Guard as he does not want to share any characteristic with those who belong to the powerless structures in society.

Silverstein(1993) mentions that through this instance Pinter raises the possibility that ‘those who are allowed to identify with the subject positions through which power articulates itself can never completely escape a certain instability, the threatening suggestion that when the despotic gaze of power’s ‘ mouthpiece’ looks into the eyes of the other it sees reflected version of itself’. This clearly suggests that those who assume positions of power posses the need to differentiate themselves from the powerless in order to dismantle their shared identity. Therefore, the Guard calls the Prisoner a ‘joker’ in order to preserve asymmetries of power and privilege which comes merely with the language he is allowed to use as a result of his attachment to the military institution. Hence this instance highlights the role of language in two distinct ways. Firstly, it highlights the role language plays in attempting to assume a position of power through a shared identity. Secondly, it highlights the way in which language alone provides a sense of social significance and power to certain individuals.

Finally, this paper shall discuss the way in language that makes no sense play a role in highlighting the insertion of power within language. This point shall be made in relation to the following excerpt that is stated by the Officer to the women in the play in scene one. The lines are ‘Every dog has a name! They answer to their name…Before they bite they state their name. It is a formal procedure…if you tell me one of our dogs bit this woman without giving his name I will have that dog shot’. This excerpt highlights two distinct ways that highlight the assertion of power through language. Firstly, the use of nonsensical language clearly shows the way in which the officer dehumanizes and humiliates the women in a ridiculous manner. Secondly, it highlights the Officer’s audacity to privilege the dog with a name but not the women. Consequently, this highlights the way in which the Officer is indirectly placing the dog on a higher social hierarchy than the women who do not belong to the hegemonic power structure. Therefore, it is evident that language plays a significant role in this excerpt as it attempts to not only dehumanize the women, but also to humiliate and ridicule them in a crude manner.

In conclusion, it is apparent that Pinter’s Mountain Language is a significant play in terms of its ability in highlighting the use of language to assert power. This research paper extensively discusses the way in which language asserts power in numerous ways. Firstly, it discusses the way in which language provides a platform to societies to create an identity and culture of there own. Thereby, the elimination of a language has the potential to destroy the very same community it built. Therefore, individual or social institutions have the potential to assert their power over another community through the elimination of the language of that particular community. Secondly, the role language plays in inflicting torture is discussed clearly. Thirdly, the use of the passive voice for certain statements and the impact of repetitious words have on the Elderly Woman is discussed. Moreover, this paper discusses the way in which obscene words contribute to the affirmation of power within language to males in order to repress an individual who is female and assertive. Additionally, the use of obscene language by a female can also be interpreted as her way of asserting authority / power in a context. Hence this paper plays a significant role in highlighting the way in which language plays a crucial role in distributing power not only to those who belong to the military institution but to those are outside this power structure as well. Moreover, this paper shows the role language plays in attempting to assume a position of power through a shared identity. Therefore, it is evident that to certain individuals language alone provides a sense of social significance and power. Finally, language plays a significant role in attempting to dehumanize women through nonsensical language, which is rather interesting. Therefore, the analysis of this research paper suggests that language in Pinter’s Mountain Language needs to be looked at in a critical manner in order to understand the ways in which the hegemonic power structure and the individuals who are marginalized assert power in their own way.



In Poetry on May 15, 2011 by azybazy

She has no comparison,

Cause she knows not fear.

Challenges are meaningless as

Envisioning is dear.

You have it in you too,

If you believe;

that it is a thought

that creates you.


Opening Doors and Windows

In Poetry on May 15, 2011 by azybazy

so they say;

life is full of complications,

little knowing, it is then that they open doors and windows,

for an array of tribulations.