Mimicry in colonial and postcolonial literature is most commonly seen when members of a colonized society (say, indians or Africans) imitate the language, dress, politics, or cultural attitude of their colonizers (say, the British or the French). Under colonialism and in the context of immigration, mimicry is seen as an opportunistic pattern of behavior: one copies the person in power, because one hopes to have access to that same power oneself. Presumably, while copying the master, one has to intentionally suppress ones own cultural identity, good though in some cases immigrants and colonial subjects are left so confused by their cultural encounter with a dominant foreign culture that there may not be a clear preexisting identity. Mimicry is often seen as something shameful, and a black or brown person engaging in mimicry is usually derided by other members of his or her group for doing. (There are quite a number of colloquial insults that refer to mimicry, such as coconut to describe a brown person who behaves like hes white, or oreo, which is the same but usually applied to a black person. Applied in reverse, a term that is sometimes used is wigger. See more on "reverse mimicry" below.) Though mimicry is a very important concept in thinking about the relationship between colonizing and colonized peoples, and many people have historically been derided as mimics or mimic-men, it is interesting that almost no one ever describes themselves. Mimicry is frequently invoked with reference to the been-to, someone who has traveled to the west, and then returned "home seemingly completely transformed. Frantz fanon mocked the affected pretentiousness of Martinician "been-tos".
But students who look at those essays, or glosses of those essays in books like. Post-Colonial Studies: The key concepts, generally come away only more confused. Though his usage of a term like hybridity is quite original, Bhabhas terminology is closely derived from ideas and terminology from Freud and French thinkers like jacques Derrida, and Jacques Lacan. I do respect the sophistication of Bhabhas thinking - and the following is not meant to be an attack on his work - but I do not think his essays were ever meant to be read as pedagogical reference points. What I propose to do here is define these complex terms, mimicry and hybridity, in plain English, using references from specific cultural contexts, as well as the literature itself. The point is not to tie the ideas up nicely, the way one might restaurant for an Encyclopedia entry, for example. Rather, my hope is to provide a starting point for initiating conversations about these concepts that might lead to a more productive discussion than Bhabha's essays have in my own experiences teaching this material. Mimicry, lets start with mimicry, the easier of the two concepts.
Even complex ideasespecially complex ideasbenefit from a careful effort to condense and to eliminate unnecessary words. By streamlining your writing you help your readers understandand that is the point, after all. This essay is a sequel of sorts to an earlier blog post essay i wrote a few years ago, introducing Edward saids concept of Orientalism for students as well as general readers. I do not know if this post will prove to be as useful, in part because these concepts are considerably more difficult to explain. At any rate, i would appreciate any feedback, further examples, or criticisms. when the terms mimicry and hybridity are invoked in literary criticism, or in classrooms looking at literature from Asia, africa, or the caribbean, as well as their respective diasporas, there is usually a footnote somewhere to two essays. Bhabha, of Mimicry and Man, and Signs taken For Wonders: questions of Ambivalence and Authority Under a tree outside delhi, may 1817.
Belonging, essay - 1560 Words
"To be" is often part of a construction called an expletive, a filler essay expression like "there were "it is or "here are." The problem with expletives, besides their meaninglessness, is that they are wordy and their verbs are lackluster. The subject follows the verb, resulting in an indirect, roundabout expression (also see tip sheet "Active and Passive voice. To avoid expletives, lead with the subject or even choose a different subject and, if possible, substitute a vivid verb to make the sentence more straightforward and easier english to understand: There are problems with the lease. The lease has problems. There are several good reasons to delay making this decision.
We should delay making this decision for several reasons. There is a natural desire among adolescents to experience freedom from authority. Adolescents naturally crave freedom from authority. Expletives often occur with nominalizations. Nominalizations are nouns created by adding an ending to a verb or an adjective: "specificity" from the verb "specify for example, or "validity" from the adjective "valid." Writing that is overloaded with nominalizations (think government publications) is hard to understand, is almost always too wordy. Change the nominalizations back into verbs or adjectives if possible: Using nominalizations: There is a requirement that all students have an evaluation of their transcripts for placement purposes or to meet a prerequisite. Changing nominalizations back into verbs: The college requires that the admissions office evaluate all student transcripts for placement and prerequisites.
For example, contrast the two sentences below, the first written by a scientist using scientific jargon, the second revised into plain English: The biota exhibited a one hundred percent mortality response. All the fish died. Choosing precise nouns makes it unnecessary to add layers of descriptive adjectives that lengthen sentences and comprehension time. (Your adjectives, anyway, will have greater impact if they are not overused.) Compare the following generic nouns on the left with the more connotative suggestions on the right: youth juvenile, teenager, child, adolescent woman lady, mistress, matron, femme fatale house cabin, mansion, cottage, villa group. Strong verbs do more than almost anything else to improve prose. Compare the following: Lit up ignited, leave behind abandon, go back return.
Get the audience involved involve the audience got to see that realized Got better improved Got there arrived Put in installed, deposited Put off postpone, delay put into action activate put in place arrange, place concise language After college, when a job recruiter reads your. A wordy resume may be tossed. And a future supervisor will want to be able to comprehend your summary report rapidly and painlessly. Writing that is concise packs maximum meaning into the fewest possible wordsthink of how you would pack your suitcase for an extended tour of Europe. If you use precise language, you will probably find you are already using fewer words. However, if you examine how you use "to be" verbsam, is, are, were, was, beenyou may find even more that you can condense. As much as possible, replace the verb "to be" with a stronger verb.
You ve come to the
This expanded cultural study would foster understanding of the modern global community. In addition to examination of Western enlightenment, a pupil ought to remain to apply one's mind to Oriental, African, or choice cultures. Such an enlarged edifying trance would guest of empathy of latter-day universal public. Never sacrifice meaning to belonging. That is, avoid jargon, or words and expressions needed known only to people with specialized knowledge or interests. Even if readers know the jargon, it is more difficult to read than plain English and slows down comprehension. Check your writing once expressly to locate jargon, and cut out as much as you can. If technical words or expressions are unavoidable (and they sometimes are define them the first time you use them and try sometimes to substitute a plainer word. The trick is to cut the verbiage without sacrificing meaning.
search for a synonym just to dress up an idea, and never use an unfamiliar word from the thesaurus to replace a perfectly good familiar word. Thesaurus words may be similar or related, yet not be identical or even equivalent in meaning. Unfamiliar words may carry the wrong connotation or be simply unsuitable for your audience. Learn a word's meaning and usage before using. For example, the second sentence below is not identical in meaning with the first (or indeed even comprehensible! although the word substitutions come from a standard thesaurus: In addition to studying Western culture, students should be required to study Asian, African, or other cultures.
It teaches you to streamline writing world by using the following: Precise language: a vocabulary of precise nouns and vivid verbs helps you create strong mental pictures and avoid wordiness. Concise language: Using the fewest possible words without sacrificing meaning makes your writing more understandable. Especially avoid unnecessary use of the verb "to be" when it contributes to nominalizations and expletives. Precise language, never sacrifice clarity to novelty. This sometimes occurs when student writers work with a thesaurus in one hand, choosing substitutes from a list of approximately similar, though unfamiliar, words. "Visage" replaces "face "endeavors" replaces "tries "cogitation" replaces "thought "subsequent to" replaces "after." Or, as a result of late-night brainstorming (or having read too many bad financial aid packets, perhaps? "at the present time" replaces "now "in the event of" replaces "if and "in the majority of instances" replaces "usually.". For example, a speech writer for President Franklin.
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Tip sheet, how to write clearly: using precise and concise language. A writer's job is to create meaning for readers. Expository writers in particular are responsible for clearly spelling out the relationships between ideas and for leading readers convincingly to a desired conclusion. In the business world that most students will enter, this reader-oriented, presentational writing will be in high demand. Even in college, when an hippie instructor asks you to write 2,000 words, he means 2,000 good words. You must cut out wordiness and use precise language. This tip sheet offers two ways to move beyond simple grammatical correctness.