Rabbit Proof Fence Rewrite- Final

(commentary separate post)

The new rules and ideas that the white man brought with them when they arrived had changed the way people looked at each other. They went throughout Australia and told us how we could fix our lives, fix the way we talk, fix the way we farm and essentially fix the way that we lived. Generations before mine didn’t know what needed to be fixed so they carried on with how they always have they had come so far doing what they had so why change it now they were doing just fine. The white man didn’t appreciate this and so we were forgotten about, written off and told we were simply not good enough for their new country. Forced into small parts of the country that once was all of ours, people that were once so proud began to hang their heads in shame- we were losing everything. Voiceless within a language we didn’t understand, people turned their noses down at the aboriginal people. Uneducated. Unimportant. Insignificant in the progress of this new nation they were becoming so proud of. This was until their white men began relationships with aboriginal women, the inevitable happened and children of mixed races were born. They thought this would be the end of the racial tension, how could you force a child who was both old and new Australia choose an identity that they equally belonged too. Turns out this new generation of children never got the chance to be the remedy instead they were marked as different, not different like the aboriginal people were, not like the white people entirely but still different. They were too good to be with the brown people, not quite good enough to be with the white people so were classed within themselves and if anything had potential to make good domestic helpers. We weren’t just considered a burden on the country, the native men as the settlers called them had their uses. After all the years they had spent working and learning their own land they were of some use to these new comers, but that was the extent of the relationship. We were used, we had a purpose to fulfil for their own selfish needs, and we weren’t seen as souls within human bodies we were seen as mere people. People who no matter how much the white people would bend, would not break.

It wasn’t always like this. We used to be able to enjoy the warm air of the night-time, sitting around and watching the sun set and listening to better tales of our older families generations, times before the white people graced our shores and lived throughout our land and country. It was calm and peaceful, no hushed conversations in the corners, no worried faces. I was happy to be in the red glow of the fire, everybody looked the same in this light, the glow of the fire didn’t allow you to see the colour of somebody’s skin, it was the perfect place to hide and fit in. The fire would snap and crack in front of my heavy eyes, each night when they came to be too heavy to hold open the words of my family singing would echo in my ears “Womraka moses yenyen wala. Wala yepun yepudge. Mara burra ferra yamini yala…”

I have been told all my life that I am the same as my brothers and sisters in Jigalong, we are cut from the same cloth and the light shade that is my skin is no different from those who are blessed with the night complexion. Just because I was told this, didn’t mean I had to believe it. I was born and like any birth my family rejoiced. The rejoicing was not felt widespread, I was considered a wandi, a muda-muda wandi- a half-caste child. Protected from evil spirits in the darkness that the oldest people in Jigalong believed in I thought I would be safe yet, I could not escape from the hurting words of the other children. Ever since the arrival of the white men in the nearby town children were born of mixed colour and we were not always accepted. From the whispered conversations between the elders at night time out by the trees, with their voices carrying across the sandy ground, we always knew something was being kept from us, the way adults looked at us as if they knew something about our own future that we couldn’t possibly understand. As I sat at the feet of my crying parents I was about to know what they have kept from us, we didn’t just think we were different, we were different and everybody knew it. My older sister and Gracie my cousin were like me, they acted like all the other children, walked, talked, danced and played all the same yet were confined to friendship with each other. I was shy and stuck by either of my parent’s side rather than going out and playing with the other children, I was lucky I had Molly and Gracie. I wanted dark skin like theirs just so I could fit in and be one of them. Never so much had I wanted something than just to look the same. When my Mother or Father forced me outside to go and play with the other children they would taunt me and tell me that people not with two parents the same colour were going missing, I would run through the trees and their voices would follow me, going inside to see my dark mother and light father I would burst into floods of tears scared that somebody was coming after me. We have all heard the stories, stories that we were told not to worry about, tales of the white men coming in the night and taking the ones that they could see in the darkness, girls with skin just like mine. I was once told that it was because the white men were like the moon, they shone in the dark and thought that it made them better than those who you could only see in the light. I began to hate the night time.

There was a white man who worked at the depot with my father, uncle and men from the settlement had been watching us grow up; he was showing too much interest in us and often made comment about our light skin. It made many people uncomfortable and on a day when the leaves on the trees had began to brown and the days had gotten shorter, he decided to make this known, he had shown up as the sun was setting to talk with my mother and father. Tears rolled down my mothers’ cheek as I remembered the day that everything began to change. We had been playing outside and could only hear parts of the conversation, we knew that he had written a letter to somebody who I do not know telling them of us. I could not understand what was happening or why everybody seemed to be panicking and tempers were beginning to flare. The dust from the desert surrounding our home began to lift from the ground in a large gust of wind and my father hurried me inside unable to hear what was said, this was not before I saw my mother fall to the ground with her head in her hands. He sighed heavily as he wrapped his arms around my small frame and made calming shushing noises, I feel as though he needed soothing much more than I did. My mother stayed outside long after the strange white man had left, she was staring out across the plain landscape not phased by the wind whipping sand around her. Everybody changed from that day, there was no more sitting under the night sky, the fires were lit but nobody felt the warmth, songs were no longer sung. It was frightening, nobody would tell us what was happening, they instead shrouded us in a cloud of doubt and fear.
As I now knew, there was no hiding from fear; it consumes you until finally it finds you. In the dark and silent night we felt them coming. What the adults had been worried about was finally coming true, their worst nightmare became real in the form of the sound of large work trucks pulling up in front of our house, doors slamming followed by heavy-footed men climbing onto the porch and ripping open the door. In the time it took my mother to scream in fright and anger, I was bundled into a blanket and hidden under the foot of the bed. What I heard through muffled ears confused me; I couldn’t understand what was happening or why I was hiding from these people. I heard somebody say he was a constable, we were told to trust him or her, so why was mother yelling at him? He said he was a Protector of Aborigines? In a matter of moments filled with yelling and crying they were gone. Along with Molly and Gracie. Just like they turned up to my house, they had turned up to my country. Unannounced and uninvited. Around a hundred years according to the stories, they came to our shores in their big boats and pretty dresses and brought with them new religions and rules and thought that they knew what was best for my people and our land. At some point it changed from them being the different people, to us being the different ones. They were there only a matter of minutes but the damage of what they did in that small time would affect generations to come. I kept my eyes tightly closed and breathed in deeply to inhale the musty smell of the blanket around me, at any second expecting to feel a hand around my ankle and drag me out and take me away into the darkness. It never came. What felt like a lifetime later I was coaxed out by my father and was told to keep my eyes closed until the sun rose. As I slept my family gathered around me, the truth was- Molly and Gracie weren’t the first girls to be taken and they weren’t going to be the last.

The light came in the morning but the day was still filled with darkness. I awoke to the sound of tears, and the sight of two empty beds. My sister and cousin, my only friends had been taken away and I was supposed to go with them. The strange man that was at our house just days earlier had written a letter all about our skin colour and how we needed to be taken from our home because we weren’t like the others apparently. There was hope for us; hope that we would be more than those we grew up with. He had only made reference to what they thought was just two girls, so the people who visited during the night did not know I existed. My mother cried uncontrollably when she told me where they had taken Molly and Gracie, enough tears to flood the land too the Moore River Settlement, on the other side of the country in Perth where they now were. My father spoke softly when he hung his head and let tears fall from his eyes, it is the first time I noticed the colour of his skin. His skin was tanned from the hours he spent working the land out in the sun and in some places it was worn like old leather but was still light like milk, my father was white and my mother next to him was a dark brown… they were different from one another. Running his hands through his hair he began to speak “they will grow up with a better outlook on life than back with their families” he said it over and over again until he choked on tears trying to speak. He put his arm around my mother and they comforted each other while I sat on the ground in front of them, without my sister, without my cousin and let a single tear roll out of my left eye. They were going to find me because I was different. They were going to take me away from my family and try and make me white. Make me not who I was. I was old and new Australia, for the first time I was proud of this. They were not going to take this away from me.

reWrite:Assassin’s Creed: My French House_Final & Commentary

I was on my way to the orchard, and, Lydia, rushed towards me and embraced me into her arms.

“Oh Konnie, my little sister, I was so worried about you …”

Lydia is the only friend I have in this French House. This is the house of Sir Jean-Jacques Blaise d’Abbadie and most people; the maids, the servants and the people outside call it the French House because Sir d’Abbadie came from France.

“I’m fine. Why are you so worried about me, Lydia?”

“Oh, my little sister…” She called me her sister when the first time we met. She said I remaindered her of her younger sister who was killed when the Templar attacked their village.

“I was told there were some soldiers got killed when they entered the mountain. Some said it was the Indians and someone it was Him again, the assassin. Since last year, guards and soldiers disappeared when they got into the mountain. It was dangerous out there. I knew Madam sent you to get her herbs 3 days ago. So, I was so worried…”

Madam is the wife of Sir Jean-Jacques Blaise d’Abbadie. I don’t know her name. Nobody does. We all call her Madam. Every spring Madam sends me to the mountain, the other side of the river, to get some rare herbs. Thanks for Connor’s training, I am a good hunter and climber. She asks me to get the herb when Connor was sent to hunt the animals in the mountain. And she said the herb is helping for her bad sleeping and drives away her nightmare. It usually takes me a few days to return but I’m glad I can help.

“What are they doing in the mountain? Hunting? Like Connor?” I know in spring, Sir will send his hunters to get animals. But who will kill these hunters?

“I don’t know. There is rumours about those Indians who are living in the deep forest and they kill everyone that enters the mountain. ”

“Why are they killing people? Just for hunting the animals?”

“One of these rumours said Sir was looking for ingenious people who’s not willing to join him. He captured them and sent them to France. That’s why these Indians started fighting back. I heard they are planning some big. So they need information. They attacked those hunters and soldiers to get the info and then killed them. Thanks the Spirit of Mountain, you are back.”

I don’t think it’s true. I believe what Sir did is good. His army built a dam so we can have water in winter and he accepted people from different tribes to work here. So, they don’t have to live in the forest where there is not enough food or shelter.

“I’m good. See, I’m here, right in front of you.” I was not surprised to know the attack of the Indian. It was not the first time. We were all warned to enter certain areas before we were sent into the mountain. I thought if I was careful enough to avoid these places I would not get any trouble. All I wanted was just some herb. And when I came back to the House, I would be safe. We have all the walls and guards that protect us.

“You know you always looks like my sister to me.”

“I know. Thanks Lydia. Although I have Connor, most of time I feel you are my real sister.”

“It’s good to see you back. I need to help in the farm. I’ll see you in the kitchen after dinner. ”

“Ok.”

After taking a deep breath, I walk toward the laundry house. I’m glad Lydia was the first person I met when I was back. A warm hug definitely makes me feel better when I have to face these cold eyes. On the way to my orchard, I need to go across the laundry house, where the female maids are doing washing outside. They immediately stop chatting when I appear and look at me. They don’t like me. I can feel a chill on my back whenever I walk through these girls. All the servants and maids are from different tribes except Madam’s nurse, the housekeeper and the soldiers who come along with Sir from France. Yes, we have our own army here to protect Sir d’Abbadie and his family. I know they call me the French-Tiano girl behind me and they never talk with me. I think they don’t like me just become I can speak French and Tianoese but they don’t.

As soon as I pass the laundry house, I can feel a great relief from the bottom of my heart. The orchard seems to me a private world. I have been working in this orchard since I was ten. Every year I have some hands from the farm when harvest time arrives. But most of time, I work alone by myself. I like taking care of these trees alone. I am not judged by those trees and I don’t feel isolated.

Spring is in the air and I can smell the peach flowers when I walk through the path to the river. This is my best moment. Here I am, in my own world. Usually, I help kitchen prepare food in the morning and evening. Inside this French House, we build a small kingdom. There are so many people living here and kitchen is the place where most people are working. When I finish my duty in the kitchen, I come back and continue my work in the orchard. Occasionally, I need to help Madam to delivery her message to those Tianoese maids. She and her nurse can’t speak Tianoese. Although, the housekeeper arranges everything, sometimes Madam makes some special orders. And I will help out in those moments. My position is kind of strange in this House and I know it from very young age. I noticed that Conner and I are living in different areas, away from the other indigenous people. But I don’t think we are slaves. I grow up in this House and I work for Sir and Madam. I think this is my home. I picked up French in a very early age. Although no one taught me, I learned it very fast. Not like Marcus, who has his own private tutors, I didn’t learn how to write or read. Of course, I can’t compare with Marcus, the only son of Sir d’Abbadie.

“Here you are, my Konnie. I heard you were back. I was looking for you.” Marcus’ smiling face appears in front of me when I enter the orchard.

I didn’t know how to talk with Marcus when I first met him, when I was four years old. But we became friends very soon. I was the only kid at his age at that time. We learned our languages while we are playing and later on he found it’s interesting that having a friend who talks French but doesn’t look like a French. Our friendship lasted almost 10 years until his 16th birthday and we realised that we had another feelings toward each other. That night, we gave ourselves to each and I thought I was the happiest girl in the world. I didn’t expect this but I couldn’t help falling in love with him. “Marcus, I just want to stay beside you…” I told him this that night and he just smiled and combed my hair with his fingers”Don’t worry, Konnie. I’ll figure it out when I was titled.”

“How’s everything going? You got those herbs for my mother?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Oh, don’t call me that, Konnie.”

I like to see that smile  when I joke around him and call him Sir. Actually, as the only heir of d’Abbadie, he’s going to take this father’s title next month, on his 18 years birthday.

“You look not happy, why?”

We walk towards the river and sit under our favorite peach tree. I adjust my head on his shoulder, feeling relaxed and warm.

“It’s Connor. I feel something is not right with him.”

“What do you mean?”

“Since last three winters, he has spent longer and longer time in the forest when he’s hunting. It’s not safe there. I was worried about him and when he came back he always seems having something secret. He asked me to go with him this time before he left and he said we might have change to visit our tribe. He said I’m going to be 18 and I should know more about our people. But I don’t want to. So, I guess he’s not happy with that.”

Connor is my brother, my only family since our parents died. Our mother was the daughter of the Chief of tribe Tiano. When our father married with her, he became the new Chief. Connor told me that our father died in the war, when the Templar attacked our tribe 18 years ago. All the females and kids are captured. We are treated differently because we are the kids of the Chief. And my mother died when I was 6 months old. But he never told me about the details. Like me, he can speaks both languages as well. However, not like me, he spends lot of time with other servants from different tribes. Connor likes to go outside. He started hunting when he was 16 year old. First he went with the other hunters and when he was 18, he entered those areas that no one has been before and got some rare animals. Since then, he went hunting by himself alone. Usually, he’ll be back in one week. I don’t know what he’s doing outside. And recent years, he spends more time in the forest, which makes me start having bad feelings about him.

“Why not? Go to have a look.”

” I don’t want. Actually, I feel scared when I look at these people. You know Cane? He came last month and works in the farm.”

” I think I do. That guy with tattoo on his face, right?”

” Yes, isn’t that horrible? Those tattoos? Why can’t they keep their face clean, like you? I felt scared when I looked at him. He said he came from the same clan of my tribe. I don’t want to go the a place, where is full of these people.”

“Well, you do understand your tribe is very important for Connor, right?”

“Yes, I do. I know we are the children of the last Chief. And Connor is supposed to be the new Chief if we are not living here. But, our tribe is the history for me. I knew there were wars between the Templars and the native people here. But those bad guys are gone and your father came to stop the war. He gave those people who lost their tribe during the wars a new home. I was raised up here. I feel I belong to here. Your father protects us from hunger and cold. This House protects us from those Indians. I don’t know if we still have people of our tribe out there in the mountain. If they do live there, why don’t they come here, live with Connor and me.”

“I don’t know. Maybe these Tianoese still can’t forget the brutal war happened 18 years ago. My father told me that we didn’t need to fight again. The King wishes to build a beautiful village here. And we can help to make this place become more comfortable for living. If those people can live in a better life why they need fight. And I’m sorry your parents died in that war.”

“That’s not your fault. That’s on the cold-blood Templar leader, Charles Lee. Your father is good. He makes this House a new home for these people who survive from the war.”

“Forget it. Let’s talk about something funny and interesting. I heard Sir Rafael Joaquín de Ferrer is coming to visit next month, with his family. It is going to be a big party at that time. I think you will be busy.”

“I’m glad I can help. Since Madam knew I could speak French, I was asked to help her party. I feel good that i’m useful to her.”

“I heard Sir de Ferrer’s daughter is 16 years old. I don’t know how Spanish girl looks like. Anyway, I wish this visit has nothing to do with the War.”

“What war?”

“My father mentioned once to me, there was the French and Indian War outside. Our King is allied with the Spanish. I wish nothing goes wrong with it.”

“Don’t worry too much. I think everything’s going to be fine.”

——————————————————————————————-

It was a busy week. Everyone was preparing a big feast for the French House’s most important guest, Sir de Ferrer. I haven’t got any chances to meet Marcus. He must  be with the guest and show them Sir d’Abbadie‘s hospitality. Connor was back 3 days after our Spanish guests arrived. I was so happy he’s safe. Although we don’t talk much, still he’s my only family here.

He caught me when I was working in the kitchen.

“Konnie, we need to talk.”

“Connor, finally, you are back. What takes you so long this time?”

“Konnie, I want you get ready. We might be leaving here soon.”

“What? What are you talking about, Connor? What you mean that we have to leave? Where are we going?”

Connor stared at me seriously. We talk in Tianoese when we are alone, but I still feel more comfortable to speak in French.

“Conner, I don’t understand. Are you doing this for the other Tiano people out there? Why don’t you persuade those people to move in here? They can work, have enough food and they can sleep in a warmer house. ”

“This is not our home, Konnie. These French people will not protect us…”

“Connor, I don’t have time right now. The evening party is starting. It’s Marcus birthday and I need to help in the hall. We will talk about this later.”

I was so tired that night when the party finished.  I tried to say happy birthday to Marcus but there are so many people around. I can see Marcus was looking for me in the crowd. But there is something unease in his eyes, which I can’t tell what is it.

I felt into sleep very soon after I threw myself into to my bed. Marcus was given his father’s title; he’s going to take charge of the army; he’s a man from today. I lost my thinking when my head touched the pillow. Maybe since he’s got some power, I can stay with him safely as he said before. This is the last question in my head before I started dreaming.

——————————————————————————————

My dream was waken by the dogs’ bark. I got up and walked out of my cabin. I had no idea what happened. Guards and soldiers were running everywhere. I saw Lydia run towards me.

“What’s wrong here, Lydia.”

“Oh, Konnie. Are you ok? Someone tried to kill Sir de Ferrer but failed and he’s running toward this direction.”

“What? Who? Did anyone get hurt? How’s Marcus?”

“No one got hurt. It’s the assassin. He is real. You are not safe here. Come with me.”

“I need to find Conner.”

“He must be with those guards and search for the assassin now. He will be fine. You come with me.”

“Ok.”

The search lasted the whole night but ended with nothing. We returned to our cabins in the morning and we were told to keep alert as there was an intruder into the French House.

I had a bad feeling.  I haven’t seen Connor since I talked with him yesterday afternoon, not even this morning, after the search was finished.

Connor came into my cabin the next night. His right arm was wrapped by some cloth stained with blood. I felt my heart sink into the bottom of the sea when I saw his arm.

“Connor, what happened to you? How did you get hurt?”

“Konnie, we have to leave here. This place is not safe any more.”

“Yes, because of you. You, the assassin, you make the place dangerous. People are after you everywhere. You can’t stay here, Connor. But why did you do this? Those soldiers, disappeared in the mountains, did you kill them?

“Yes, I did. But it’s not only me. Without our Indian friends, I couldn’t make it.”

“Why Conner? Why? We have been living here so long. I grow up here. Everything is good. ”

“Konnie, you don’t understand what freedom really means, don’t you? You think these French people built a home for us, for these indigenous people? They stay here because they found gold beneath that mountain. They built a mine and send soldiers to get the gold every year. They capture those people from small tribes and force them to mine gold for them and they kill them in the end to keep this secret.”

“I don’t believe in you, Connor.”

“You really think you can stay with Marcus? It’s a dream, Konnie.”

“You know about Marcus and I…. Ok, I never expect he will marry me, I just hope I can stay behind him.”

“Did he tell you he’s going to marry that Spanish girl?

I was so shocked that I couldn’t say anything. In next 2 hours, Connor told me everything. He met his master the first time he went hunting. This man belongs to an unknown assassin group that used to protect our tribe before. But during the war against the Templar, this group was almost destroyed. The master taught him to remember his duty since the day he trained his to become an assassin. Connor never believes the French will protect the local people. He waited 18 years to grow up, re-build our tribe and seek a chance to fight back.

“Do you know why the Spanish came here?”

“No.”

“The French lost the French and Indian War recently. The King has to cede this area, the Mississippi River, to the Spanish as compensation. Rafael Joaquín de Ferrer will be the new owner of this House.”

“NO…That couldn’t be true.”

” Jean-Jacques Blaise d’Abbadie was asking help from de Ferrer. And they have made an agreement that if the French helps to clear this area, he can still stay here as a local governor for the Spanish government. They are going to remove out all the existing tribe in the mountain, including our tribe.”

“I can’t leave here, Connor. I never leave this House before. This is my home.”

“No, Konnie, it never was our home. They destroyed our home before and they want to do it again. I have to protect our people by my own way. This is my duty. I didn’t tell you because I thought if there is not going to be any wars, maybe you can live here as you expected. But d’Abbadie just sold us to the Spanish. If de Ferrer is so excited about cleaning this area, we are all going to be slaves or got killed”

I bursted out into tears. I didn’t know what to do. Very soon, people would find out that Connor is missing. As his only sister, Connor left me no choice. I could either escape with him or stay here, get arrested and probably got killed after they tortured me for Connor’s information. The longer I stayed here, the more dangerous. And I knew I would never be able to back again.

Connor grabbed me out of my cabin and carried me on his shoulder before I could say no. He took a shortcut leading to the mountain and I could hear dogs were barking behind us when we run out of the house.

——————————————————————————————

Unfortunately, Connor was right. 10 days later, we came across some Spanish soldiers when Connor and his Indian friends shown me the gold mine in the mountain. They proved that the Spanish government took over the French House. After got married, Marcus helped to seek all the indigenous people, who was hiding and living in the forest. He captured them and send them back to Spain as slaves, including those maids and servants working in the House before.

I didn’t know I’m lucky or not. I left the House so I didn’t lose my freedom as Lydia; however, I lost all my childhood memory in that place. It was like I lost anther me, another Konnie, who was happily dreamed to be with Marcus, who was happily work in her own orchard, who happily believed she was protected by her master. Now I understand what Connor was fighting for, now I understand what was his duty. I joined his group and became one of them. We had fierce battles with these Spanish Templars. Sometimes, I look at the House from the top of the mountain. And now I understand it was never my Home.

**********************My Commentary**********************

My French House is based on the video game Assassins’ Creed III. The main character Konnie is the sister of Connor, the main character of the original game. However, Konnie dose not exist in the game. Inspired by those female slaves in the game, this character was created to tell the story before Connor turned to an assassin and the reason behind it. The point of view is mainly from the first-person narrative of Konnie. A third person voice was used by Connor to tell the story before Konnie was born and those facts that Konnie doesn’t know about their French master. The French House is a re-writing from the point of view of the most marginalized characters in game: Konnie in the novel is not only vulnerable, blinded by love, but also she comes from the Mississippi River, an area that conquered by the French intruders.

The French House is set in time before the game. The time line is spotted in 1763, the French and Indian War. This is an import time for the colonies because after the French lost this war, they have to cede the Mississippi River to the Spanish, which changed the life of those indigenous living there. It is a kind of prequel to Assassins’ Creed, because it describes the childhood of Connor and his turn point to become an assassin, which are not explained in the original game.

The House in this novel has an important symbolic meaning. It is a place where Konnie lived was her home and in the end she discovers it’s not. First, she thought that she lost her home because her Master handed it over to the Spanish Templar and later she realized that it was never her place. It refers to the fact that the indigenous people lost their homeland and their home as well.

This story is mainly told through the voices of Konnie and (briefly) Connor. Marcus and Lydia help to draw a picture of Konnie’s livng life in the House. It is about a girl waking up from a dream, a dream to live peacefully under the colonial control, but it is also about the disastrous relationship between France and her colonies.

The story starts from present, when Konnie is 18 year old. Part 1 describes Konnie’s current situation through Lydia and Marcus’ voice. Part 2 is the turn point that breaks Konnie’s peaceful life in the House and forces her leave to survive. Part 3 reveals what happens after Konnie’s leave and how she turns to support her brother.

In 1st part we see how isolated Konnie is. Her parents died before she has any memories about them. She has one friend, Lydia, who later is captured as slave and sent to Spain. The only family she has is Connor, her brother, yet they don’t talk too much.

The 2nd part is set after the Spanish arrival. Connor’s appearance leads readers to wonder what secret he’s hiding.

The 3rd part reveals the true face of Konnie’s Master, Sir d’Abbadie and Connor’s secret. Konnie is forced to leave the House by her brother to save her life. When she knows she has to leave, she shows strong emotion attachment to the House, to Marcus. By leaving the House, Konnie lost everything she thought was precious to her; her happiness, her first love, her not perfect but seems peaceful life. This loss reflects her role as a woman in that society of her day, but also the colonial system. The first 3 parts shows how Konnie struggles with questions of identity, her social identity and cultural identity.

In part 4, Konnie finally understands her brother and realizes who she is fated to become. She wakes up from her dream and grows up from a naïve girl into a soldier to fight against the new governor as she says this was never her home.

Konnie is portrayed as a special character in the French House. Her capability of French speaking, her relationship with Marcus and her position as an interpreter for Madam, all of these are responsible for her isolation from other indigenous people. On the other hand, Konnie is not really accepted by French culture as she understands Marcus couldn’t marry her. These culture exclusions, as Boehmer (1995) pointed out, are deep marks of postcolonial literature.

Konnie has no awareness of her own identity and her tribe at the very beginning of the story as she is raised up in a different environment. However, at the end of the story as she realizes the truth of being colonized, she decides to fight. Although she can’t stop this place being under control again, she fights for her own people, which presents the idea of ‘race’ and ‘tribe’ may become more important than ‘nation’ and ‘state’. (Fanon, 1963).

Reference

Boehmer, Elleke. (1995). Colonial and Postcolonial Literature. London, England: Oxford University Press.

Fanon, F. (1963). The Wretched of the Earth. United States: Grove Press.

 

 

 

(Final) The Vampire Diaries : Katherine’s diary

Commentary

 

My commentary is based on a short glossary of key postcolonial terms. First I define the term and then give an example of how this is used in my rewrite. I want to show how my story uses these postcolonial concepts.

 

Absence: Colonialist discourses often erase or make absent racial and cultural Others (such as Antoinette in Jane Eyre) . Katherine’s Diary tells of events from the vampires’ point of view, which is usually absent because of human domination of the world.

Centre: In Colonialist thinking, the homeland of Empire (England, America, etc) is at the centre of everything and everyone else stands in an inferior relationship to it, at the margins or periphery. Katherine’s Diary’s is set in the vampire territory of Mystic Falls instead of the ordinary human world.

Diaspora: This is when people migrate and spread out from their homeland, sometimes voluntary and sometimes forced. This happened to the vampires who humans have forced out of the human world into limited places (see Margins below).

 

Ethnicity: has been defined as ‘a fusion of traits that belong to a group-shared values, beliefs, norms, tastes, behaviours, experiences, memories and loyalties. Often deeply related to a person’s identity’ (PostcolDefs). In my story issues of ethnicity are treated in terms of different species who have different group-shared values.

Hybridity: Postcolonialism is characterized by hybridity, which means everything (such as ethnicity, identity, even gender) is mixed up and mashed. Hybridity is one outcome of the postcolonial period. The characters Klaus and Nadia are a hybrid in terms of species, where in postcolonialism hybridity usually refers to race and culture. I write: ‘Klaus? He was a hybrid, half vampire, half wolverine. Nadia is the first hybrid baby.

Margins/marginal/maginalise: in Postcolonial thinking, the Empire historically set itself up as the Centre, turning the colonized parts of the world into the periphery. In my story the vampires used to have an empire but it was defeated by humans, and the vampires have been marginalized. This is why they want to reconquer the humans.

Other/othering: Dominant groups make others into ‘Others’ (that is, they mark them culturally as inferior, different, strange, or simply ignore them and make them absent). Othering is both a psychological and political process. In my story world humans don’t accept vampires as people, they only want to use vampires genes to make a superior race.

Periphery: The British Empire saw itself as the Centre and the old commonwealth (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa) and conquered territories (such as India, China, parts of Africa and the Caribbean) as the margins or periphery. The vampires inhabit a peripheral world and have to hide away from humans to avoid being captured.

Presence: postcolonial writing often makes presences out of absences, such as Jean Rhys rewriting Jane Eyre as Wide Sargasso Sea, where Antoinette becomes the major character. My rewrite tries to make the vampires present by telling the story from their point of view, and particularly from the point of view of Katherine (also a female character as well as a vampire)

References list

Anderson, L. (2014).  The Vampire Diaries. United States of America: The CW Channel.

Boehmer, E. (1995). Colonial & postcolonial literature. Oxford,  New York : Oxford University Press paperback

PostcolDefs. (n.d.). Retrieved September 24, 2014, from http://www3.dbu.edu/mitchell/postcold.htm

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Chapter One

Nadia is reading Katherine’s diary, which her mother wrote for her.

Day 1. 11/Oct, 1202, Mystic falls.

There was one day when the united power of humans came as a huge and strong military, and swept my home, my childhood growing place, my village up in it… Their occupation of my world started since then.
The vampires used to be the greatest predatory species in the colonial rule of humanity. A lot of vampires were killed by humans (in a struggle to regain control ).

We only had a small parcel of land and just a few of us had survived from the war. Human-beings were strong enough to dominate us again. I couldn’t take any more tragedy.

After the war, most of us vampires were trying to improve our power, and started to build up the future plan for our family. We did not think the war was over between humans and us, that is why we were trying to improve our strength, because we did not want to watch our home get destroyed again. We had to defend our race and our home.

before the war. But the humans, too, were experimenting to create a powerful creature to defeat and conquer all of us, involving the insertion of our genes into human-beings.

They did not know how much worse it would be to be a vampire! This plot would be the worst thing ever. That’s why I couldn’t turn you, my daughter, into a vampire, to always be hunted by humans!

I needed to save you from both the humans and Klaus. You are my one and only i could not let you get hurt. I had been running away from Klaus for thousands of years to keep my daughter safe. Honestly, there was nobody who I could trust, none, not even the vampires. I had to figure out a way to save my daughter by myself.

Even if I would have to sacrifice myself, I would do so. I did not have any other choices. There was no other way. I did not really want to turn my beloved daughter into a vampire. But, I knew that if I got to do this, I would never be able to see you again because of the curse by the white witch.

The only way i could meet my daughter again is to have someone who truly loved me for who I am and for what I am.

The only thing in the world which is stronger than my craving for human blood, is the love I have for my little girl. You are my future,  I could not lose you forever but……

Day 51. 25/Nov, 1202   

‘I have been dreaming of these things for nights. I have to find my daughter….’

Katherine thinks back to when she met the most powerful witch in Mystic falls.

“Please tell me, how can I eliminate this curse?” Katherine looked at the eyes of the white witch, begging for her to speak the truth.

“Question is, are you willing to do anything to get her back?” The white witch asked Katherine.

“Anything, so please tell me what I need to do to get her back.”

“There is only one thing you can do something, but you are better to give it up.”  The white witch understood Katherine and her love from for her daughter, but she also knew that the way was too harsh for anyone.

“I must find her. So please, let me know the way. I will do anything to find her whatever it is, I am willing to do it.” Katherine begged the white witch for the answer.

“The only way is… You have to find a person who is a doting person who would truly love you, and…,” the white witch paused.

“And what?” Katherine asked.

“You must make a terrible sacrifice to break the curse. You have to turn the man you love into a vampire, so you will get to meet her. But, once you turn him into a vampire, everything will be different. There is no one who will love you anymore. You will be the loneliest one in the world. I can tell how much you have suffered, losing her…” The white witch turned around, and her eyes filled with tears. “… Because my son was also killed by a human.  Nothing is harder than to lose a child…”

“Please, please… oh greatest witch. I will do anything.” Katherine kneeled on the floor and cried.

….
‘[Horse whinnying] [Knocking on door]

Good evening, sir.
If i could trouble you for a moment.
I’m looking for someone.
Her name is Katerina Petrova.
She was last seen outside of London in 1492.
She’s on the run.
I need to find her.
I need to ask her why she abandoned me.
Katherine: Nadia? Please.
I need to know.
Nadia, I’m right here.
I’m right here.
[Sighing] Uhh.
I was dreaming how I searched for you from village to village.
I know.
I heard you.
You said that I abandoned you.
You were ripped from my arms as a baby.
It’s completely different. I will never let you go anymore.Never,ever.
Not for a child without a mother.
You know, all this guilt is really taking all the fun out of this mother-daughter outing.
I’m sorry Tyler bit you, but you’re not going to die.
Did you ask Klaus for his blood? Oh, my, you really are delirious.
Nadia, he would love nothing more than to watch my daughter die.
And you don’t want to risk being outed.
No, I don’t.
So, that’s why I called him.
Nice to meet you.
I’m Dr.
Maxfield.
And luckily for us, he’ll love nothing more than to study your blood.

(Quoted from se05 ep15).

Nadia dreams about her mother.  In my dream, I was dying. Finally, Katherine found me, and saved my life. Katherine kept saying ‘sorry’ to me, but she didn’t say the exact reasons why she didn’t find me earlier. I was dying. Katherine was with me to save my life and finally she saved my life. Dr. M is trying to cure me. Otherwise, Katherine would still be getting chased by Klaus. Stefan and Damon are also looking for Katherine, who turned them into a vampire ages ago.

Day 36500. 5/Dec, 1592

After the war, there was nothing without hope…. The hope was to meet my daughter..

I had been looking for someone, and trying to turn him into a vampire, just to convince him how much he would love me. However, there was no one being true and real to me. All of them, they just wanted to be made into a vampire to live forever, staying young, becoming a better creature. But…athis time, I met a man who was different.

His name is Damon.

I still remember our lives together like it was yesterday.

You know what? The most exciting thing happened to me these days, is to meet you”.

Katherine felt guilt in the pit of her stomach and tried to change topic.

“My stomach is growling. I guess I am hungry. What do you feel like? ”

Katherine took hold of his arm and shook him.

“Hmm, I already knew you were going to say that to me. Let’s see… There are so many good restaurants here. But, I’m a regular here!”

Suddenly, one girl just walked pass by us. She looked familiar. Had I ever seen her before? She sat down in the restaurant with him.

“Today is a special day for you and me. That’s why you are so gentle?” I smiled and just glanced at him to see what he was thinking.

“Yeah, I finally can stay with you forever. Of course, we have to do lots of things in advance, but everything is going to be easier for you. .

By the way, I heard that there are new people in a town from Stefan. They are looking for something, and I think it seems like it could be related to you. We should be more careful whenever we move.”

“Yeah, I already heard about them before. But you know that there is nothing to make us stop. By the way, do you really want to become a vampire? You must be careful and think hard when you are making this decision. I am not going to do it if you don’t feel like it or are scared. You don’t have to change yourself because of me. Once I bite you, I can’t stop you turning into a vampire unless i kill you. We can never turn back the clock…this change is irreversible – once you have made this decision, there will be no going back!”

“There is nothing for me in life without you. I want to do this for both you and myself. It is the best thing I can do for us, so this is my wish. Words cannot explain, how I love you so much.”

I probably could feel his fear of what was coming to us and becoming a vampire. But I did love him as well. I would do anything for him and my daughter. Also, whatever is coming, it doesn’t matter as long as it helps me to see my daughter as soon as possible.

After dinner, we came back home for a special event. Guess what, yes, he was turning into a vampire.

I will never forget that night, the feeling of sinking my fangs into his neck. I didn’t feel guilt for that. There was only a future with him, though i found myself thinking that soon i would be able to meet Nadia.

Later on, as he started to turn, I pinned his arms and legs, and then gagged him with a  white bandage over his mouth.

Just in case, . A new vampire can easily kill humans and even vampires. If he killed someone, I had to harm him so it would be better to put him like this…. I really didn’t want him to make any trouble.

I felt the chilly wind from the window. Just behind me, there was someone…

 

Day 36511, 11/Dec, 1592

My room was in a completely mess.

One of the strangers who came to my house, was that girl who I saw in front of the restaurant the night when I turned him a vampire. My gut feeling was that she was a new vampire.

Sure enough she went on the attack. And then the pack appeared from nowhere and joined in.

She wasn’t particularly strong. But I had to try to protect him as well, so I couldn’t fight them.

We both just had to run away from there as fast as our legs would go. If I had seen all of the other vampires, I would have seen that one of them was an original vampire. He must have been a leader. I came close to being knocked out by him.

But that night, during the fight, Ming, the new vampire kept asking about the blue stone. The Blue stone is a legendary stone. It used to belong to me, however, not anymore.

It was broken by the white witches, so how could it still exist? A long time ago, when Nadia was born. Why were they looking for this?

What if the original vampire is Klaus? He was a hybrid, half-vampire, half-wolverine. Nadia is the first hybrid baby. I doubt if they were also looking for my Nadia. If they were, she must be in danger. I have to find her before them. Protecting her is my top priority.

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“Hey, g’morning. How about your feeling? Feel better now?” Katherine said that.

“Oh, whater going on with me? This feeling is amazing. I can even feel tiny things,  like your presence in here. You know I can so many things that were impossible before.

I’m pretty much convinced that I’m totally out of my freaking mind now….  Just out of curiosity… Did you have same dream with me when you are turned into a vampire? It is a bit weird, vampires should have normal dreams like a human, even pathetically unrealistic one…”

“Ah, that is the first symptom of being vampire. But don’t worry too much, you will get used to it really soon. I actually haven’t had dreams before, even the other vampires probably don’t. It’s pretty rare to have a dream, because, as you know that we are developed creature. So we don’t need to sleep nor dream. But I have seen one who had a nightmare which was deja vu… By the way, which dream was it?” Ketherine said.

“Hmm… so it isn’t that common, right? What if, I failed to be a vampire, is that why I am having a dream like this? Will you kill me, Katherine?”

“No way, it won’t be happening to you. You are doing well until now and you don’t need to worry about the other things, I am always here with you. All you need to do is just to trust just me, baby.”

“You always make me feel comfortable. All right, Katherine, it is the easiest thing I could do ever then… I just saw some blurry thing on my dream. It was similar to stone, it also was small and light blue… There indeed was a body found on the floor but that object was so bright and shiny, on the other hand, the bodies were terribly tragic.

I am sure various macabre scenarios happened in our house from those bloody vampires. I just can feel that without reasons. Every night, I am having a same dream. All this started with a little bite. After turning to be a vampire, I think about this dream all the time. And the strangest thing is that I was standing in the middle of it all.

At the end of the dream, I just kept walking with that blue object and I saw the total lunar eclipse. That is all I remember of my dream. I wouldn’t take it personally, dream is just not a reality.

Anyway, I have to get to work now, talk to you tonight, okay? And make sure your phone is on. If you hear from Stefan, you let me know immediately. See you, love.” He grabbed his jacket, turned around and left.

‘Oh. I actually think I have heard of the blue stone which was the original, and which the other vampires were looking for last night. I guess the real question is, what are they planning on doing with this? I also wonder what original vampire is coming back in this town.

What if the reason they are here, is just because of that stone. I must find it before they do.’

Day 36546, 15/Jan, 1593

I went to see the white witches. They said that “now is the time to meet Nadia.”

I finally can meet her. What if, she doesn’t remember anything about me? What if, she hates me and doesn’t understand me. I probably can’t explain all the things that I have had to do to find her. She will see and know when it is on time.

My man, Damon, he is all good these days, and not seeking blood all the time. I had to control him, so I “killed” him a few time (vampies cannot really die), but we still love each other so bad! I hope he’s not thinking that I’m using him just to find Nadia.

What if, he thinks everything that has happened between us was a lie, or that I am an evil, a terribly selfish person?

But I hope he would not think such a superficial thought. I bet Nadia is curious about him when we meet. I bet she wondered exactly what happened to me, why I did not find her much earlier than this. Maybe she thought I was dead so she couldn’t trust that I am her mother. I really don’t know how I am supposed greet to her. I might get the chance to tell her about my whole story.

However, I definitely will say that if there was a moment of uncertainty to find her, there is never a moment that I stopped loving her, to thinking of her…..

When the witch took Nadia, I was knocked out for an instant. That moment the witch took my Nadia, changed of my life forever. The day after, I snapped and realized that I just kept walking on that forest, looking for her. My heart was beating just for her. Losing my Nadia was so excruciatingly painful that no word can explain it…

After that, all my actions were directed towards finding her. I was hoping more than anything to meet her. But there is always a cost for what I need…… Therefore, I had to be strong enough to fight for the witches and the other vampires. I killed any living things that got in my way, and made them suffer. In the end, I was getting stronger from their pain.

I used to just hunt, maim and kill them, I had turned as a mad murderer. Most vampires should be terrified of me. All I needed was to meet Damon, the only one that loved me in the world…

The other moment I will never forget is Nadia appearing before my eyes again, after all those years. We embraced each other for what seemed like eternity.

There was so much to catch up on between us.

But what would I say to Damon when I brought her home… “Hello, this is my daughter I never told you about. I can thank you for saving her life.

When the night came that he found out, it seemed all my worst dreams had come true.

“Is this exactly what you were hoping for? All things were organized before you met me, right? Turning me into a vampire is all part of your little seduction, and you still need me on your side to find Nadia. Everything you did to me was for her, not me.

You lied to me all the times. Every day, every hour, and every moment we have been together… The whole story of us was all a pack of lies. How could you do that to me? I did everything for you. I have done everything that you asked me just for you…Why couldn’t you tell me that I was the only way to find your daughter…?  Don’t ever pretend like you have the excuses.

I thought we love each other truly but you really don’t know about the love. Nothing is more than the others. You are the same as the other vampires who don’t feel anything. You are just, like that vampire. Don’t even try to find me ever again.”  He went out of my house. I finally could meet Nadia but at the same time, I lost my love.

He knew everything that I tried to fall in love with him because of Nadia, How I met him, the reasons why I turned him into a vampire. Everything was planned already in advance. This was the only way it’s possible to meet her.

“Ah… I… don’t know how I can say… it’s like on the tip of my tongue, and I really don’t know how to trigger it. I swear…. My feeling toward you is real… that it is. I never lied to you. Just want to tell you my love is true……

I deserve everything you said about me….but, how could i do anything without you. I can do anything without you, baby….”

Katherine couldn’t sleep after he left – she felt she had lost her mind.

I have been trying to strive for balance in my life and live in the moment. But what’s wrong with me. Whenever I do something for my people, people always blame me although I didn’t do anything bad to them. Nobody loves me.. There is nothing without me and my daughter. I know that it’s awful, not to be loved. This is the worst thing in the world ever.

A daughter gained, a lover lost.

For you I’d do it all again.

Attack On Titan Final

Commentary
I did my post-colonial re-write on Shingeki no Kyojin also known as Attack on Titan (2013). Originally it is a Japanese manga written by Hajime Isayama. The story is set in a world where humanity lives inside cities surrounded by enormous walls as a defense against the Titans, gigantic humanoid creatures who devour humans without a reason. The story initially centers on Eren Yeager his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and their childhood friend Armin Arlert who joins the military to fight the Titans after their home town is invaded and Eren’s mother is eaten by a Titan. I kept the original story and written a re-write on Eren’s perspective as I saw the animation, because as I watched the animation I was wondering how he felt as his first transformation happened. I tried to tell the story and show how Eren felt toward the titans and the humans after the war has ended in terms of the colonization between the humans and the titans. How vulnerable human-beings destroy and defeat the Titans. Amyratcliffe4, (2014) states that post-colonialism is linked to postmodernism and postculturalism. It recognizes the cultural diversities and differences. My re-write is a diary entry of Eren after the war has ended, him thinking about the past, confusion that he has, and the unaswered questions.This animation was originated from the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592 the second invasion in 1596. In the story Japanese was the Titans and Korean as the humans. Michael-Z (2012), states that the history of the world is a repeated cycle of the colonization, where weaker countries were conquered by the powerful countries that exert their influences on the newly acquired nations. Korea suffered the colorization of Japan from 1910 to 1945.

Attack on Titan

1st April 2014
Dear Diary.
It’s been months since the war has ended between the humans and the titans. For over a century we’ve been living in settlements surrounded by gigantic walls which it prevented the titans, giant humanoid creatures who eats humans for entertainment not for survival. As we knew those walls would not protect us forever we had to live in fear not knowing when they will attack but now all of that was over. The world that we live in is made of huge walls which are about 50 meters high and as strong as bedrock. There are three walls that protects the kingdom. Wall Maria is the outer wall of the human kingdom where poor people live in, the diameter is 480km and approximately 50 meters high. The middle wall is called Wall Rose, it is 380km diameter where other civilians reside and the inner wall protects the kingdom where the king lives. It is 250km diameter called Wall Sina. This wall is protected by the military police serving under the king. I still can visualize the day a Colossal Titan who is much taller than the wall suddenly appeared out of nowhere and knocked down the gate allowing smaller titans to enter. We were all panicking and petrified. My sister Mikasa and I rushed back home, found my mother pinned under the collapsed house. I couldn’t save her, the city guard Hannes couldn’t saver her too, even though he promised that he would. I witnessed something very disturbing and horrifying. The titan snapped mother’s head and swallowed her. That day I vowed to myself revenge to the titans and joined the army along with Mikasa and my friend Armin as I always wanted to become a member of Survey Corps. Survey Corps is one of the military most actively involved in titan combat, study about titans and human expansion. We were symbolized as ‘the hope of mankind’ and our insignia is known as ‘the wings of freedom’. The quiet days without the titans didn’t last long. As I graduated the titans attacked our town but things were different since back then. I wasn’t a hopeless little boy anymore; I was a trained soldier with ego. Even though we were all trained I had to see my comrades getting killed or eaten by the titans. I tried so hard, but we were outnumbered and most of the comrades were in fear. My best friend Armin was paralyzed with fear upon seeing his comrades’ fate and he was picked up by a titan. It almost swallowed him as I managed to drag and toss him out of the titan’s mouth before he was completely swallowed. I was in Titan’s mouth and Armin tried to help me and as I reached out my arm the titan closed its jaw and ate me. After that I have no memory of what happened. I must have blacked out. I have no idea how long I had been passed out but when I woke up I saw some of the comrades floating inside of the titan’s body, dead. My left arm was chopped off, I didn’t feel the pain, the blood flowing or the steam burning. I didn’t feel sadness, or regret, or longing. I reminded myself ‘I can’t give up just yet, I’ll annihilate every single one of you, and I’ll destroy you with my own hands!’ I was outraged, I couldn’t die like this, no, I didn’t want to die like this, and all I ever wanted was to see the outside world. I closed my eyes and I had a flash back when Armin and I used to meet up by the lake and talk about the outside world, how we were so excited to explore. The instant transformation was completed; I drove my right fist into the Armored Titan’s plated jaw. The force generated from my blow was enough to split the titan’s body. I think my first transformation was triggered by the desperation and drove to exterminate all titans. I became a thing that I hated the most ‘a titan’. When I became a titan, my mind was awake but my body wasn’t. I couldn’t move but the titan I became was moving, it seemed like I was controlling the meat-suit by my mind but it was difficult to focus. There were three titans that was within my sight that I couldn’t wait to destroy. Next thing I knew I was already killing the titans. I saw Mikasa, she looked confused. I couldn’t let those stupid titans kill any more of my friends or family. I searched for titans to kill. As I ripped their head off their body and stomping on their head I felt alive and I was actually enjoying killing them. It felt like I was invincible and that power I felt every time I killed them. I didn’t want to stop. This transformation made me strong not like humans how I couldn’t do anything but just watch my friends being eaten by them. But as I killed more and more titans I could feel that this titan meat-suit has its limits. I could feel my body burning and could not breath I had to get out of it. I tried to escape from it but I was attached to and I started to lose conscious. I pulled out my hand that was attached to the meat-suit. As I came out of the meat-suit it evaporated then I lost my conscious. When I opened my eyes it was blurry at first but I could see Mikasa with puffy eyes. She thought I was dead, eaten by a titan, then she hugged me saying “all that matter is you are alive Eren.” I explained to her what has happened, that I was eaten by a titan but I transformed into a titan and came out of the titans body that ate me. She thought I was losing my mind. Then Mikasa came to her sense and had an idea of using my titan power to kill all the titans that invaded our town. As I gained my full conscious I couldn’t believe my arm was there. It was chopped of when I got eaten but there was no time for answers. Mikasa and I searched for Armin, we needed him to persuade the comrades and the commander. That was Armin’s special talent that he had. I could see Armin top of the roof with no focus in his eyes, he was still at that place I was eaten, I think he thought I died by trying to saving him. Mikasa and I tried to get Armin to focus because we had work to do. I told Armin get his head together, that I am not dead and I needed his help but it was hard to get him focused as he was in shock. He was more in shock when he saw me. His eyes were filled with tears. I grabbed his hand and we headed to the meeting place where everyone was there. I explained everything to Armin and he knew what he had to do. When Armin tried to persuade everyone they looked at Armin like he has lost his mind. It was my turn to show them I could transform and can help. I remember biting my thumb as I transformed, they withdrew their blades. The commander ordered to get the cannons ready they were in fear. Armin screamed to get their attention; he devoted his life to trust him. I knew Armin will find a way to persuade them. Some comrades couldn’t accept me as their team, but that was not an issue because we had bigger an issue, the titans. I learnt that as I tried to transform into a titan it wasn’t as easy as abc. I had to have an ego and strong mind while I in transformation. If I lose the control the titan meat-suit can take control which means I can’t become a human again also I couldn’t stay long as being a titan, approximately 15 to 20 minutes I can endure, I tried longer but it gets so hot that literally it is like my body is on fire. I also learnt that after I come out of the meat-suit it evaporates, it is like I am the heart of the titan. Even though I hated being a titan but I actually enjoyed killing them feeling the power not being vulnerable. As I learnt how to control my power I wanted to know more about the Titans, what I can do and the limits that I can handle. It took us two days to destroy every single titan. I transformed a lot within the two days that it felt like my body wasn’t mine anymore. It felt like there was another me that want to take control of my body, the titan.
It’s been months since the war between the humans and titans has ended. All of titans are now destructed, well except for one. Me. I still think that I am a human not a titan. Everyone might disagree that I am a human but deep inside I still have my humanity left. I helped the humans destroy titans by transforming because I also wanted all the titans to be dead. I didn’t want to live a life that I had to live in fears not knowing when I will be eaten by them or when my friends and family will be killed. Even though I lost a lot of friends and family I still have Mikasa and Armin. Who stood by me when I didn’t know what was happening to me when I first transformed. I always wanted to live a life as a human with them, but because I can transform into a titan the kingdom don’t accept me as a human. This happened before the war ended. They couldn’t wait to kill me but Armin and Mikasa persuaded the commander by saying I could help to kill all the titans. But now there was no reason for them to keep me alive. I devoted by life to save my town, save the people we loved but it seemed like it wasn’t important to them anymore. I just wanted me to die. The war has ended and now they think I am a threat. To be honest I have hard time living with myself because I can become something that it shouldn’t exist at all. But I don’t want to let go of a hope that I have, a happy ending and my humanity. I tried to persuade the king that I am not a threat I can be leverage to the Kingdom. It is hard living in a place where everyone looks at you with horrified eyes and everyone calling me a monster and evil creature, town people that I knew since I was young they even throw rocks at me telling me to die. I am frustrated and angry, what I have done for this kingdom, to save people lives and a place that people do not need to live in fear. I had to transform by giving up humanity even though I didn’t want to, because it is hard to gain humanity again once I transform. Once I lose the control of my mind while I am in transformation I can’t become human again. Also there was no chance of winning if I didn’t transform. I knew that I had no choice but to transform, the humans are too vulnerable to win against the titans because they have fear, emotions and pain but on the other hand titans can’t feel pain or have emotions, just anger. Now I am getting confused. ‘Am I really a monster? What am I?’ I am a human. I was born as a human and my parents are both humans. How can I become a titan? I don’t know what to believe anymore or what I am any more. Only my father knew the truth, where is he when I needed him the most? He was always busy with his experiments that he never talked about. Then I remembered when I was little he injected me with some liquid telling me that one day it will show me the answers to this world and need to learn how to control the power. Was he talking about this? Me becoming a titan? Did he make me a titan? I needed more answers that I knew I couldn’t get answers to, but one thing that I knew for sure is, I don’t want to live my life as a titan. If I can’t live as a human there is no meaning to my life. I don’t want to live as a thing that killed my family. I don’t want to become one of them. Today there is only one titan left in this world, where there shouldn’t be any left. I am the only one who can make this happen and now I am going to make sure there isn’t any left in this world.

Reference
Amyratcliffe4, (2014). Hybridity and post-colonialism. Retrieved from http://amyratcliffe4.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/hybridity-and-post-colonialism/

Ashcraft, B. (2013). A Thousand Death Threats Against a Popular Anime Creator. Retrieved from http://kotaku.com/a-thousand-death-threats-against-a-popular-anime-creato-631792221

Seldomusings, (2013). The Possible Disturbing Dissonance Between Hajime Isayama’s Beliefs and Attack on Titan’s Themes. Retrieved from http://seldomusings.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/migiteorerno/

Jessica Chalmers final re-write and commentary

For those of you who do not watch game of thrones, the woman in this story (Mirri) is seen as a villain as she causes one of the main character- Danaerys’ unborn son and husband to die. Danaerys is a well liked character so of course the audience dislikes the person who causes her pain. I have re-written this from Mirri’s perspective as I believe her story is not really told. She is placed into the role of the villain and I have tried to tell her story and justify what she does by illustrating her reasons. What happens to Mirri’s villiage echoes reality in terms of colonisation and foreigners forcing themselves into power or conquering other nationalities. Many of the women described in this story are captured and used as slaves. Mirri and the others are oppressed by the Dothraki simply because they were too weak to defend themselves against this attacker.

Game of Thrones is set in a fictional universe, but it parallels society in the middle ages. The tv series is created by David Benioff and D B Weiss, and is based on the novels by George R. R. Martin.

Frankel (2014) points out that in Game of Thrones, there’s an enormous amount of violence against women. In my story, I am changing the way that this is treated, instead of just acknowledging that it happens as if it is a fact of life, I have taken the first person perspective of one of the victims of Dothraki violence. Frankel (2014), also says that the sexual violence towards women in the series and the continuous threat from men amounts to the environment of sexual oppression. My re-write focuses on an oppressed individual; it changes the perspective of this scene from the oppressor to the oppressed.

If I had mentioned the name Mirri Maz Duur to my friends who are avid Game of Thrones followers, they probably would not know who I was talking about. She is known as ‘the sorceress’.

Rahman, (2013), describes Danaerys as a: “liberal white woman, who goes around saving and civilising brown people”, and is very critical of her characters role. This puts her into the ‘white saviour’ stereotype which has many negative connotations. We see this in the scene I have chosen as she tries to ‘save’ the women after the Dothraki have attacked their villiage. Although Danaerys is a very well liked character, it is important to see that she is not perfect (I saw this even though she is one of my favourite characters). In my re-write I will write from the perspective of Mirri- the one who she claims to ‘save’, who hates her and the Dothraki with a passion and seeks revenge on them. This echoes colonisation and ideas of white people being superior in life and morals,  and enforcing their beliefs on others.

references:

Frankel, V. E. (2014). Women in Game of thrones: Power, conformity and resistance.

Rahman, A. (2013, June 13). Daenerys’ whole storyline on Game of Thrones is messed up. Retrieved from http://io9.com/daenerys-whole-storyline-on-game-of-thrones-is-messed-513189766

Re-write:

I feel like I died that day. For when everything you have known is torn down around you, what left is there to live for?

It started with a dream. The same dream I had been having for a week. I should have known that it was a premonition but I was denying the truth.

In the dream, everything is on fire.  People are being burnt alive around me. I am helpless, I am frozen to the spot and all I can do is watch as those who I love are murdered. This is the dream I have had every night since I heard about the Dothraki conquering towns nearby. I writhe in my sleep, helpless as I watch the flames take over. For a week I have this dream and wake up to the silence of the morning.

The last day of the dream, is the last day that I wake in my bed.

This time the screams are louder, the fire hotter and when I wake, chills ripple through my body as I realise that it is real. My house is on fire.

I am coughing and choking on the poisonous gas, my eyes are stinging, and tears are rolling down my face. I try to move but my body feels weak. I know that if I do not get out soon, the smoke will kill me. I haul myself to my feet and start making my way towards the door. The smoke is thick and heavy in the air, I try to hold my breath but my body still gasps for air and fills with the thick poison. After a few steps I double over coughing. I fall to the ground again. It hurts too much to open my eyes so I keep them closed. My body has started convulsing. All I can hear is the hissing of the flame. I can feel the heat against my body and sweat dripping down my skin. I can’t breathe.

In this moment that might be my last, I whisper a prayer, begging my God to save the people I love from this horror.  I am on my knees, crawling blindly towards my door. The heat is getting more intense, the hissing louder, and I know that I do not have long to escape.

When I finally feel myself hit the ground outside, I pause for a moment and pull myself to my feet. My eyes are still closed. The air is still thick with smoke. I walk as fast as my body will let me along the path I know so well. I am heading towards the town square, and towards the sound of people screaming.  Ashes on the ground burn my bare feet, but still, I walk on. The thing that keeps me going is the image of my lover in my mind.  If I find him, everything will be okay.

Once I feel the air thinning enough for me to breath properly, I open my eyes and stop walking. Tears instantly blur my vision. It takes a few seconds for me to be able to see again as I cry away the smoke.

I inhale slowly until I can breathe without coughing. My strength begins to return.

I listen to the screams that fill my ears.

“No stop. Help!”

Don’t ask me why, but my legs start to carry me towards the sound. I am heading towards the danger which is not logical but it feels unavoidable. Human curiosity gets the better of me.

The ashes on the ground burn my bare feet but I walk on. I barely feel it, as if I am somewhere else watching me walk through the burnt city.

Then I start to see the bodies. People that I have lived next to my entire life lay on the ground covered in blood. Some dead, some barely alive.

My nightmare is a reality in front of me. The people I have grown up with are at my feet, in piles of heads.

My heart skips a beat as I recognize the baker boy who makes my bread for me. His eyes, now lifeless stare up at me. The pain worsens when I see the head of a young boy in the pile, a boy that I knew very well. A few months ago I had nursed this boy. I had cured him of fever and now the Dothraki have murdered him. A deep and hungry anger rages through me. It fuels me, filling me with thoughts of revenge.

I continue on towards the screaming, body limp from the poisonous smoke but my anger pushes me forwards. I walk on past the bodies, searching only for one face.

“Mirri!”

Someone is screaming my name. I look around for the source of it and my eyes reach a pen filled with women.

“Mirri Run!”

It is my cousin yelling at me from the pen, eyes desperately pleading. I am filled with fear but like in my dream, I cannot move, I am frozen with horror.

A Dothraki man grabs me by the hair and yanks me towards the pen. When I struggle he hits me. Pain surges through my skull. I can smell the sweat on his body, mixing with blood of my people as it trickles down his skin. When I look up into his eyes I think for a moment that I have died and I am looking into the eyes of the devil.

I am thrown into the pen. Some women near me are being raped by Dothraki men, and there are more approaching. I feel sick to my stomach.

My cousin has pushed through the crowd and grabs onto my arm. There are tears streaming down her cheeks.

“They’re dead Mirri. They’re all dead.”

It cannot be.

“No, no tell me it’s not true cousin.”

She just nods and looks at me with sad round eyes.

“They burnt the temple,” she whispers.

My hatred for the Dothraki intensifies. They are savages with no love or respect for men or Gods. In that moment I condemn them all to hell.

I wish I was dead.

I am raped and beaten by many Dothraki men. I lash out at them but they are stronger than I am. It would have been better to have died in that fire, to never have woken up from my nightmare.  For what is the point in living now? All that I love has been crucified. I hope that the Dothraki men kill me. Maybe if I struggle enough they will.

Then I see the woman. She says something to the men and I am brought to her.

“What is your name?” she asks me.

“Mirri maz duur.”

It becomes clear that she wishes to save us, as if there is something left to save. She takes me with her to her husband, like I am some lost animal that she is asking him to keep. She looks at him as if she loves him and my rage extends to her. How can she love this man when she has seen his people destroy innocence, rape women, and murder children?

Maybe I was kept alive by my God to seek revenge on these people for what they have done. I trust in him and he brings me the opportunity as the woman asks me to dress her husband’s wound.

***

The woman is staring at me with hatred. Good. I smile. Her husband, her Kahl sits staring blankly into the distance. His body remains, but his mind is gone. A fate I would never wish upon anyone before I met the Dothraki.

“Why have you done this?”

She asks me as if I would have no motive.

“It was wrong of them to burn my temple. It angered the great shepherd,” I answer her coldly.

“My son was innocent.”

I laugh. “Innocent? He would have been the stallion who mounted the world. Now he will burn no cities.”

“I spoke for you. I saved you.”

“Saved me? Three of those riders had already raped me before you saved me girl.”

She is silent, I continue, “I saw my Gods house burn. There where I had healed many woman beyond counting. In streets I saw piles of heads, a bakers’ who makes my bread, the head of a young boy who I had cured of fever just three months passed.” “So, tell me again exactly what it was that you saved?”

“Your life.”

“Why don’t you take a look at your Kalh? Then you will see exactly what life is worth, when all the rest is gone.”

New Literatures 2014 Rubana Hasan Essay: Colonialism in Edward Morgan Forster’s novel “A Passage to India”

Colonialism in Edward Morgan Forster’s novel “A Passage to India”

 

The doctrine of Colonialism is the study of humans to find out why some groups of people are more suitable for the use as colonist than others (Georgii, 2009 as cited in Boehmer, 1995). This was being practiced before the time of Darwin, who later in a study decided that the Europeans were the best people that could be used as colonist. They later proved that they were very useful when it came to defending the foreign lands they colonised (Georgi, 2009 as cited in Boehmer, 1995).

People who colonise foreign lands are often portrayed as colonialists as shown in the novel “A Passage to India” which portrayed the colonist as the superior race and of higher rank ruling over the indigenous Indians (Georgii, 2009). The Indians were shown as being of lower rank, second class and outcast in their own country (Georgi, 2009 as cited in Boehmer, 1995). Because they did not speak English the colonist saw them as being different. The result of this was little or no integration at all with the colonialists (Georgi, 2009 as cited in Boehmer, 1995). In this essay, I want to talk about colonialism and the effects it had on the personalities portrayed in the novel “A Passage to India.”

Edward Morgan Forster had gone to India two times by the time he first published “A Passage to India” in 1924 (Hossain, 2012). It was his friendship with Ross Masood while he worked as a secretary for Sir Tukoji Rao, who was the Maharaja of Dewas which opened the way for him to go to the religious and cultural observances at the ‘Durbar’ (the royal court). This taught him and expanded his knowledge about India and its colonial legislation, but this never changed the fact that he saw everything from the viewpoint of a European onlooker (Hossain, 2012).

The novel, starts at the beginning of India’s revolution for independence from Britain and how the Congress stopped its collaboration policy with the British Raj and followed the call of Gandhi for non-violent uprisings (Lehmann, 2007, as cited in Wolpert, 2004). This lead to twenty thousand Indians being jailed by 1921. According to Philippa Levine, the British became interested in India as a result of the American colonies failure to trade on the East Indies (Indonesia and the Spice Islands) (Hossain & Rahman, 2013 as cited in Levine, 2007). This caused trading on the Indian Subcontinent to become the main focal point for the British colonisers in Asia (Hossain & Rahman, 2013 as cited in Levine, 2007). Over time, the British Raj saw India as their crowning jewel and not as a result of their resources, but because they were seen as an emblem of British overseas imperial power (Hossain & Rahman, 2013). This held the attention of the British colonisers’ right through to midway into the twentieth century and was used as a training ground for many officers in the colonial forces. These bureaucrats held onto their imperial superiority for around two hundred years and vehemently held to the position they were benefiting civilization by their highly developed cultural, ethnological and superior materiality. With the exercise of imperial power the British over reached themselves and their authority to rule and uprising’s from the native populations were inevitable. By the use of military and political power the British colonies continued with their imperialist programme and ruled through the use of expert knowledge and cultural superiority (Hossain & Rahman, 2013).

“A Passage to India” tells the life stories of Aziz, an Indian physician, his relationship to his friend from Britain, Cyril Fielding a principal from a Government owned college and Adela Quested. While on a trip to the caves of Marabar, Adela accused Aziz of trying to rape her. The resulting trial had the effect of exasperating the racial tensions and bigotry felt between the British colonialists ruling in India and the native Indians.

This novel raises a relevant inquiry about the portrayal of the “Other” in the locus of control (Sundnes, 2006). Forster, in his writing supposedly makes an effort to investigate and look closely at the English as well as the Indian “Other”. This affirms their status as the British overseas (Lehmann, 2007). The illustration of “Otherness” is the platform between East and West (Said, 2001). The West try to find anything that might be missing in the West and the East is always happy to find its own distinctiveness (Said, 2001). In the novel, Adela was portrayed as travelling to Chandrapore on the Indian Subcontinent to meet up with her fiancé, Ronny Heaslop the Magistrate at Chandrapore. Her future mother-in-law Mrs. Moore travelled with her. It was Adela’s desire to get to know Indians well and to experience the true India. The main event of the novel was an expedition planned by Aziz and then taken to the caves at Marabar, on the outskirts of Chandrapore. This was popularized at the beginning of the novel as an esoteric and sublime experience with the Marabar caves unaffected by human interference and the passage of time (Wisker, 2007). The caves had a mystic atmosphere like the “Otherness” deep in the soul of this diverse culture (Wisker, 2007). Adela experienced the caves as magical and savage like the deeply oriental East (Interaction between East and West, n.d.). It was this experience that made Adela realized that she did not love Ronny. While in the caves Adela realized that her feelings were not the same as how she thought about Ronny. To her the caves symbolically represented the ruination of marriage and the difficulty experienced during East versus West intercommunication. After she withdrew her marriage became an impossibility (Interaction between East and West, n.d.). Aziz went to jail after she complained about him of sexual harassment. When Fielding took Aziz’s side, she demonstrated weakness and then accepted there was error in her account of events and felt she let down the English community. The Indians welcomed the victory as it meant the English had to take their side. The English colonialists felt they had been let down, disgraced and were embarrassed. This caused the English community to reject Adela and Fielding from their community as they could see how loyal they were towards the Indians but this did not stop Ronny from breaking up with her.

It was at the Marabar caves that the lack of communication between Aziz and Mrs. Moore became apparent (Interaction between East and West, n.d.). Nonetheless, it was thought this was caused by the difficulty the language and culture barrier was causing. This could be seen as a symbol for the cultural gap and difficulties faced by East and West (Interaction between East and West, n.d.). Mrs. Moore found the caves at Marabar as horrid and bland and was not impressed with the sight and thought them to be mucilaginous (Jazza, 2013). Even though the novel portrayed her as a benevolent person and supportive towards India and Indians in general, in reality she was a neo-assimilative behind the scenes and only interested in forwarding the goals of the British Empire. She could not stand the stench and the idea of ever being back in that cave and crushed against other people in such an undignified way. Mrs. Moore had decided her relationship with India had come to an end. Through the metaphor of echo, the Indian culture of echoing other cultures had made relationships impossible (Jazza, 2013). She did not care much for the problem of Aziz. However, she felt he was probably innocent but could not be bothered helping him. In a fit of scepticism and an impossible feeling of indifference she shuts out the world, made up her mind and left India for good, returned to her home and died putting an end to her friendship with Aziz.

Forster, in his writing goes to great lengths to criticize imperialism (Sinha, 2008). He expressed his views through the character Ronny the Magistrate at Chandrapore city. Through Ronny he expressed the opinion of modern thinking Indians which viewed the East as a vocation (Sinha, 2008). Ronny never got sick of attacking Indians (Jazza, 2013). He went from attacking individual Indians to attacking whole communities and then the whole race. Ronny saw India as a miserable place held together by corruption. He tried hard to be seen to deal out justice to the population but was controlled by the lie telling and blandishment of others. Nevertheless, Fielding as well as Mrs. Moore were used as a symbol to demonstrate the continuing argument on how the British settlements should be controlled. This confirmed Ronny in his Christian belief that God has put the White Christians in the world to give an example of how to love their neighbours. Ronny liked to point out that the mimicry attitude among the Indians as a result of imperialism. In spite of how well educated some of the more well to do Indians were, they were still not accepted at an English man’s table, or allowed membership at the Chandrapore British Club. The British really hated the Indians modern opinions as they saw themselves as having higher moral values and being higher than the Indians through their moral knowledge. Said called this attitude on the part of West as manifestation of moral power (Jazza, 2013 as cited in Said, 2001). The Indians were so good at imitating the British dress code, manners and lifestyle that Ronny stopped seeing them as being Indians. The Indians no longer cringed when they saw the Raj representatives. Without ever going there himself, Dr. Aziz invited his own guests to the Marabar caves, showing just how immature he was. He was accused by Ronny as being a spoilt Westernized Indian and a mimic man. Ronny ignored Aziz and his invitation to go along as just their way of copying the British and being pleasant (Jazza, 2013).

The remarks of an ex-British nurse showed how cruel the British colonisers were towards the Indians. This particular person was quoted as saying, ‘’the kindest thing you can do to a native is to let him die” (A Passage to India, p. 200). In India the Raj were the representatives of the Turtons known as “The Collector” and the “Little gods.” According to Said, Ronny’s description of the Indians were a repeat of orientalist construction of stereotype (Jazza, 2013 as cited in Said, 1993). Aziz and Mrs. Moore felt a lot of friendship and empathy for each other, even with the evident age gap, sex, race, class, and religious differences when they both met for the first time in the Mosque which she visited during a performance of the play “Cousin Kate” at the British Club.

However, Forster is unambiguous when it comes to the collaboration of government policy within the text. But a study of history reveals a strong political background (Hossain, 2012). This shows the combativity of the affiliation between the colonized and the colonizers on the basis of national, racial, religious, linguistic and most of all, their cognitive abilities (Hossain, 2012). The uprising of 1919 proved to be the most significant when the British mercilessly crushed the uprising at the town of Amritsar in the Punjab district (Hawkins, 1983). General Dwyer gave the order for his soldiers to open fire on a crowd of unarmed people killing about four hundred. As punishment for attacking a White settler, Miss Marcella Sherwood, the General made the Indians involved crawl through the street. In the novel Mrs. Turton, after the allegation made by Adela to Aziz said of the Indians, “They ought to crawl from here to the caves on their hands and knees whenever an Englishwoman’s in sight” (A Passage to India, p. 216). After Amritsar, General Campbell gave an order ordering the Indians to approach all Europeans houses on foot (Hawkins, 1983). This meant that whenever Aziz visited Major calendar he was required to park his Tonga and walk to the front porch of Calendar’s house (A Passage to India, p. 16) (Hawkins, 1983).

Later, in defiance Gandhi launched the Non-cooperation Movement (Hawkins, 1983). Gandhi then in 1921 explained in a letter the function of this Movement, he wrote, it is our desire to co-exist with the British settlers. However, this existence must be based on friendship and us being equals in understanding and practical application. Until we have achieved this goal we must continue with the non-cooperation Movement (Hawkins, 1983 as cited in Gandhi, 1921). The British government also forced the Indians to give up their British titles, remove their children from British state owned schools and to start fasting (Hawkins, 1983). Forster made reference to all these measures in his novel when Aziz was on trial. The Nawab Bahadur disregarded his title and became Mr. Zulfiqar and the students at the government college went on strike out of sympathy for the Mohamedan women who swore “to take no food until the prisoner was acquitted” (A Passage to India, p. 214). The novel portrays Aziz as an Indian nationalist and goes on to say that the non-cooperation Movement never demanded independence from the British crown (Hawkins, 1983). On the last page he shouted: “India shall be a nation! No foreigners of any sort!” (A Passage to India).

After all the charges against Aziz were discharged he moved to the state of Mau which was not under British rule. While there he met a British agent who pointed out to Aziz how he could be free from the bondage of British slavery and ruler ship (Hossain, 2012). On one occasion Aziz was portrayed as mocking the British rulers of India. Once while Fielding was on state business and touring in Mau, “Aziz sketched a comic salaam. Like all Indians, he was skilful in the slighter impertinence” (A Passage to India, p. 296). He showed his hatred for the British by putting up as much resistance towards the colonial power as possible (Hossain, 2012).

The anti-British attitude of Aziz was typical of the Indians towards the British rulers (Hossain, 2012). As British rule began to take hold of India Aziz learned about politics and was turned into a very angry nationalist by the end of the novel. At the start of the book he was shown to be inwardly sympathetic towards the pan-Islamic sentiments and had a deep respect for their past achievements and culture. It was through this influence of contemporary thought and the Muslim Khilafat Movement that transformed him into an angry nationalist. It was through the Khilafat Movement that Muslim society became united in India, as well as their ability exercise of wisdom and insight into human affairs. It was the continued aggression of Britain towards Turkey that fuelled the Khilafat unrest in India. The Muslims who lived in India viewed Turkey as the spiritual centre of Islam and the land as holy. The Khalif had views about religion that guided the destiny of the Khilafat Movement. The wars between the Christians of Europe and Turkey had serious consequences in India which had the result of turning them against the British command. Britain continued being hostile toward Turkey after the First World War. This had the result of making the Muslim feeling in India even stronger against the British and called for the support of the Khilafat, by the use of slogans which Aziz helped to distribute at the end of the novel. By this time, he was also supporting the Afghan Muslims who along with him were calling for the British and the Christians to leave India (Hossain, 2012). It was between 1920 and 1923 that Gandhi endeavoured to realize his dream of independence for India and was calling for public support for the Khilafat and was throwing everything into agitating his cause as well as calling for the support of the Hindus (Singh, 1985). Aziz had the same idea and concept of independence as Gandhi and supported his strategy for achieving that state of friendship which Gandhi saw as one of the most important goals for achieving Indian independence or swaraj (Singh, 1985).

“Clear out, clear out, I say. Why are we put to so much suffering? We used to blame you, now we blame ourselves, we grow wiser. Until England is in difficulties we keep silent, but in the next European war aha, aha! Then it is our time… Down with the English anyhow. That’s certain. Clear out, you fellows, double quick I say. We may hate one another, but we hate you most. If I don’t make you go. Ahmed will, Karim will, if it’s fifty or five hundred years we shall get rid of you, yes, we shall drive every blasted Englishman into the sea, and then he rode against him furiously “and then,” he concluded, half kissing him, “you and I shall be friends” (A Passage to India, p. 315, 316).

In the last few sentences addressed to Fielding Aziz showed that political independence meant friendship followed by affection that political independence was not the end (Singh, 1985). He showed that the end was turning hate into friendship and explained he cannot be friends with Fielding until India has achieved independence from British rule (Singh, 1985). Aziz and Fielding’s friendship was always based on the idea that the English colonists and the native Indians were equals (Georgii, 2009). The friendship of the native Indian and the British failed to create the union for this goal. In the novel, this issue is shown on a very personal level through the affiliation of these two men.

“A Passage to India” ends with a conversation reconciling Aziz and Fielding (Sinha, 2008). They are together once again during their last ride in the Mau jungles (A Passage to India, p. 314). This is a bitter yet sweet meeting and the last time they will see each other (Sinha, 2008). All the misconceptions and confusions that cultural and racial differences cause have been sorted out. It has come time for Fielding to withdraw into his English way of thinking as he is married to Mrs. Moore’s daughter Stella, he is no longer prepared to ignore his own countrymen on account of an Indian.

To conclude, the effects of colonialism are clearly visible in the novel.

References

Forster, E. M. (1924). A Passage to India. London, England: Penguin Books.

Georgii, G. (2009). The colonialists versus the locals: friendship in E. M. Forster, A Passage to India. Retrieved August 20, 2014, from http://hh.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:239735/FULLTEXT01.pdf

Hawkins, H. (1983). Forster’s critique of imperialism in “A Passage to India”. South Atlantic Review, 48 (1), 54-65. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/3199513.pdf?acceptTC=true&jpdConfirm=true

Hossain, M. E. (2012). The colonial encounter in A Passage to India. Retrieved August 20, 2014, from http://www.asaub.edu.bd/data/asaubreview/v6n1sl25.pdf

Hossain, M. E., & Rahman, M. (2013). Kim and A Passage to India: A binary of colonial attitude. Retrieved August 20, 2014, from http://www.banglajol.info/index.php/SJE/article/view/14469

Interaction between East and West (n.d.). Retrieved August 22, 2014, from http://fef.baskent.edu.tr/amer/includes/conference3papers/HasanBaktir.pdf

Jajja, M. A. (2013). A Passage to India: The colonial discourse and the representation of India and Indians as stereotypes. Gomal University Journal of Research, 29 (1), 38-48. Retrieved from http://www.gu.edu.pk/New/GUJR/PDF/June-2013/38-48.A%20passage,%20jajja.pdf

Lehmann, Z. (2007). The colonial other in E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India. Retrieved September 2, 2014, from https://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/QUEST/FileStore/Issuefive/Filetoupload,93191,en.pdf

Said, E. W. (1993). Culture and Imperialism. London, England: Vintage Book.

Said, E. W. (2001). Orientalism. New Delhi, India: Penguin Books.

Singh, F. B. (1985). A Passage to India, the National Movement, and independence. Twentieth Century Literature, 31 (2/3), 265-278. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/441295.pdf?&acceptTC=true&jpdConfirm=true

Sinha, S. (2008). E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India. In M. Reena (Ed.), Quest for human harmony in Forster’s A Passage to India (pp. 29-37). New Delhi, India: Atlantic Publishers.

Sundnes, J. R. (2006). Passages to and from India: Narrative discourse and cultural identity in A Passage to India and “the Impressionist”. Masters Thesis, University of Oslo, Norway.

Wisker, G. (2007). Key concepts in postcolonial literature. NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Die Another Day Rewrite + Commentary

Rewrite – General Zao’s Imprisonment

James Bond was the sole thought that plagued Zao’s consciousness. He may have been a broken man but he would never forget the reason for all the pain and torture he had suffered. The familiar lock on the door began to move and this to Zao meant the beginning of another day as a prisoner. Light erupted from the doorway but was quickly followed by a wave of water which was aimed directly at Zao.

“Get up now, the day has started” one soldier shouted, as another grabbed Zao and pushed him off the bed and onto the stone cold ground. He let out a cry of pain and struggled towards the sink that had broken off the wall in a previous attempt for freedom. He began to shiver and shake as the two soldiers then came in from either side and pulled him onto a wooden chair. While one pushed down on Zao’s hands that struggled to break free from the vice grip, another grabbed one of the ropes off the floor and managed to tie one hand up

“We’re gonna need some help in here! This one’s a fighter!” one soldier shouted.

A series of shuffling feet and echoing brought a small fleet of men who swarmed into the cell. One then raised his gun and slammed the barrel into Zao’s face. The men quickly tied his other hand as others brought in a large wooden box that was overflowing with water. They dropped it suddenly, directly in front of Zao, which caused him to jerk violently.

Unbeknownst to the soldiers in the room, another figure had appeared in the doorway.

“Everybody may now leave” the man boomed in a heavy British accent. His face remained dormant as he waited for the exiting to begin. The men then proceeded to exit passed Zao, which left the room in a quiet state. He stepped forward towards the chair and began to circle an unconscious Zao, all the while studying his face and body. Once he had reached full circle he lifted the lid off the heavy box and pushed Zao’s back, which in response lifelessly fell into the water, half submerging his body. He remained still in the water, which had large chunks of ice causing its temperature to fall well below zero degrees.

After 20 seconds, Zao regained consciousness and pulled himself out of the container of water and back onto his chair, all the while coughing, panting and expelling liquid and water from his mouth. He kept his eyes closed but he knew somebody else was with him.

“Good Morning. I am Alex Trevelyan”, the man said.

Still gasping for air, Zao waited a moment before submitting a response.

“I know who you are Mr. Trevelyan. You’re a British Spy working for MI6, you’re codename is 006. I know this because you were one of the commanders who invaded Korea. You, along with your fellow 00 family, managed to kill in excess of 1,000 foot soldiers as well as a very significant colonel.

“And who might this colonel be?” Alex questioned.

“Colonel Moon, MY FATHER!” Zao shouted in response. “Why do you think I’ve been locked in this god for saken hole? I murdered all those British soldiers because you smug British half-wits decided that you would walk into our country and try to change our way of life. For that I will never forget your face, or your name, because I will be the one who will end your life.”

Alex snickered which caused Zao to frown and grind his teeth like a lion picking flesh from its gums.

“You can try my friend, but you will not and, I repeat, will not be successful.”

With that Alex made his way towards the exit while Zao focused on the large body of water before him. He would not bother with a response because he did not respect nor like the man.

Zao sighed. His situation was not looking at all optimistic.

“Maybe I should just let myself drown in the water and end this suffering”, he said to himself. “It would make things a whole lot easier.”

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

He remained in this inactive state for a minute before lifting his head.

“No, I will not stay” Zao whispered, before raising his legs as high as they would go. With a grunt and a drop, his legs came flying down and directly onto the chair legs that kept him bound. Both front legs snapped and Zao fell forward as the ropes unfastened themselves. With his hands free he rubbed his wrists and his stomach, where a large purple bruise had begun to surface.

“HELP, HELP ME” Zao screamed as he ran towards the exit before darting to the side of the door. The same lock was quickly unbolted before two men rushed in to the cell, only to find a broken chair. Zao swiftly appeared from behind and slammed both of his hands onto the necks of the men who fell to the ground instantly. Knowing he hadn’t much time to escape, he dashed for the door that oddly wasn’t shining with sunlight, instead blanketed in black that signified the evening. Zao quickly looked around the very dim hallway and ran to his left as either way seemed as good as the other. As he ran, the left side had doors just like where he was detained. Zao’s bare feet splashed in small puddles as water casually leaked from the derelict ceiling. Screaming suddenly erupted from the door directly to Zao’s left and he came to an abrupt halt.

“I am not alone” Zao whispered in his native Korean tongue before once again darting off into the dark abyss.

Part II

After what seemed an eternity of running, Zao could see the hallway begin to widen which caused him to slow his pace from a run into a slow walk. The damp, wet interior began to change shape, as through the wide gap torches had been lit, breathing slight warmth and life to the decrepit atmosphere. Voices began to echo as Zao approached what looked like a foyer. Murmurs continued to travel past Zao, so he hid behind a large statue. Peaking out from behind, he could see Alex, as well others all sitting around a circular table, with a woman with platinum white hair sitting at the head.

“We are not taking responsibility for what we did in Korea. We were doing what we needed to ensure our safety, which meant going in and setting up bases and governing sectors. We needed our people in there so we could adapt for the future to prepare in case of attacks. As the leader of this agency, I will not apologize for attempting to save our people” the woman with the white hair said.

Alex nodded at what the woman said. “Olivia, I agree that we did do it for the safety of our people, but interfering with the government, the assassinations…we made a large almost unnecessary impact on the Korean people. Just look at our prisoner, he is seeking revenge and justice and I would almost say it is deserved if my life wasn’t directly involved. “

“I would appreciate it if you called me by my proper name Alex, please do not forget that I am an ‘M’ and I am your superior.”

Zao pondered whether or not he should come out from hiding and face the crowd but he also knew that it would hinder his escape. He had also neglected to notice the two soldiers who had crept up behind him. One swiftly grabbed at his arms and ripped them backwards.

“We have an escaped prisoner over here!” one guard shouted.

M closed her eyes in anger.

“Take him back to his cell, immediately! How the bloody hell did that even happen?” she said as the two men escorted Zao back down the hallway and into his cell.

Part III

M made her way down the endless hallway of cells and eventually entered Zao’s cell and stood in a frozen pose, staring at the man who lay bound before her.

“I do not condone what they do here” M said.

“Good joke woman!” Zao spat out, almost repulsed by her hypocrisy.

“Why do you still, after all this time, remain defiant?” she said.

Zao didn’t move.

The woman sighed, “It doesn’t even matter anymore, things are out of my control, you are not my problem! We have decided to trade you for one of our agents that the Korean people have taken hostage.”

Two men who were at the back of the cell, charged forth and yanked Zao from his seat, ordering him out of the building. The first time in forty-five days that he would see the outside world. Zao was pushed out the door but instead of going left, was forced right, away from the large meeting room where he had overheard the British MI6 members conversing. He must have been in one of the first cells as the walk to the right took far less time to reach an end. Instead of a large room, there were two stone doors that were pulled open as Zao and the men got closer. Once they were completely open, one of the soldiers gave Zao a big shove and he was finally breathed fresh air.

The crisp mountain air gnawed at Zao’s face. He shuddered and then broadened his shoulders; an attempt at strength in dire circumstances.

“MOVE! TOWARDS THE BRIDGE, NOW!” a soldier screamed.

Zao turned just enough for him to see the soldier aiming a gun in Zao’s direction. He immediately began to march towards a large bridge that was suspended over a gaping chasm.

“We reach the end General” M shouted from a distance, looking over the vast mist that blanketed the crevasse.

Zao did not turn around as his body remained fixed on the bridge that hung before him.

“You took out some of our best men” M said, “and for that, you do deserve to die”

“Before you go, who was your ally from the east?”

“Who was it that made him betray his own country?”

Zao smiled and nodded his head every so slowly.

“The same one who betrayed me” he added.

M’s face froze as she realised that all along the two parties had the same enemy and that Zao had neglected to relinquish this information, as it would have made him disposable.

Zao then raised his head high and began to move forward onto the bridge. The thick mist surrounded him and eventually consumed him as he moved forth. Zao then realised that he was once again not alone. He could see a shadowy figure appearing before him after a few seconds; the figure then showed its face.

“BOND?” Zao said in complete disbelief.

“Your people are not as idiotic as I thought they were. You should be grateful they decided to spare your life” Bond said in a blunt tone.

“But I, I killed you. I saw you fall to the ground!” Zao stuttered as he was still in shock at the sudden revelation.

“Exactly, you saw me fall to the ground. Did you see me die? No, you didn’t, therefore I am still very much alive” Bond said confidently.

Zao stared at Bond. Not moving or breathing, just staring at the man who was responsible for the capture and command of so many of his people.

“You will fall eventually and I will be there as witness to make sure of it” Zao said.

Bond began to walk forward and slightly nudged Zao on the shoulder as he passed him.

“I look forward to the day General Zao, until then, spare me the unpleasantries” Bond said as a sayonara to the still clearly confounded Zao.

“Goodbye, Mr. Bond, I will see you soon” Zao said as the two walked off in opposite directions. The mist once again folded over Zao and he eventually disappeared from sight.

Commentary

The James Bond films are a series of stories that focus on a fictional character called James Bond who works for the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). The books, which were made into movies, were written by Ian Fleming who had worked as a Naval Intelligence Officer during the Second World War. He used his own experiences and imagination to sculpt the first Bond movie, which has since then evolved into the series we now read and watch today.

Eon Productions have currently made 23 films based on the books with ‘Die Another Day’ being the 20th in the series. Lang (2004) states that ‘Die Another Day’ works as a postcolonial reworking of the colonialist politics of the Bond series. My rewrite changes the opening of the film to follow Zao, a villain and major henchman and his imprisonment in a British facility as opposed to Bond who is caught and locked up in a North Korean Penitentiary. The former being the actual story line seen in the film. Zao blames James as well as the other ‘00’s’ such as 006 Alex Trevelyan, as they had previously commanded battalions and entered Korea which caused discourse amongst the government, military and army by assassinating prominent figureheads and Colonels, including his father.

Linder (2003) says that the series has prominent undertones that focus on theoretical perspectives that include structuralism, Marxism, feminism, psychoanalysis and most importantly post colonialism. Because of the prominent ideas of post colonialism, my rewrite aims to explore the horror and damaging events that the Korean people and Zao had to deal with which included forced government, assimilation as well as murder and torture. I aimed to show the views of the people who were hurt the most by the British Military and Governments actions and how they truly damaged North Korean cultural identity. To make sure that my rewrite was plausible and could fit in with the Canonicity of ‘Die Another Day’, I integrated scenes and characters who are central in the Bond universe such as James Bond who in my version I envisioned to be Pierce Brosnan, “M” the head of the MI6 played by Judy Dench, as well as Alex Trevelyan who was portrayed by Sean Bean in Goldeneye, another very successful Brosnan Bond film which features a similar setting and themes regarding assimilation and grading of cultures, but was set in Russia instead. Thieme (2005) goes on to say that postcolonial counter-discourse writes back to the English canon, deconstructing the original text.

Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin (2013) state that dislocation can be defined as the movement, either willing or forced, of people from a place they are familiar with to one that is unknown to them, and the consequences of that transition. My rewrite aims to embody the raw emotion and pain that the Koreans had to deal with through the use of Zao as he truly personifies all the misery of his people. I have focused on the physical and emotional trauma that he faces by using imagery and emotive language.

References

Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (2013). Postcolonial Studies: The Key Concepts (3rd ed.). New York, USA: Routledge.

Thieme, J. (2005). Postcolonial Con-texts: Writing Back to the Canon. Literature,            Culture and Identity. Debrecen, Hungary.

Metz, W. (2004). Breaking the Cycle: Die Another Day, Post colonialism and the James Bond Film Series. New York, NY.

Linder, C. (2003). The James Bond phenomenon: A critical Reader. Manchester, UK.

Whale Rider Re-Write

It was strange, returning home after all this time. Home was probably the wrong word to describe a place I hadn’t visited in over 15 years, but it was the word I used to describe Whangara. Mostly due                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 to habit. Things where so different back here, the same, but so different. Coming home to my tribe, my whanau, and my birthplace, had been a long time coming. When I finally got over my initial fear, I became convinced that everything would be fine; that I would be welcomed home with open arms; that I would fit right in to a place I had forever belonged. I was wrong.

New Zealand was a somewhat racially divided country, post colonisation. It seemed that most people brushed over the racial tension, but being a Pakeha looking, part Australian, part Maori woman made me incredibly aware of the tension between two cultures (that supposedly were at peace with one another.) This tension was something that was often so discreetly masked, that unless it was directed at you, you wouldn’t even notice it. The point was, I was heading home for the first time in what felt like a million years, and I had an abundance of anxiety and distress at the mere thought of being reunited with my family. For me, the purpose of this journey wasn’t so much about reconnecting with my family, as it was about reconnecting with myself. Having recently graduated university, I found myself beginning to truly question my moral standing, and the basis of the teachings that I had grown up surrounded by. Yes I had always been aware of my Maori heritage, but I had never fully explored that aspect of myself, nor had I let it play any part in my life up until I decided to revisit the place where it all began. Whangara.

It was a crisp, fresh autumn morning, with low clouds impairing my visibility slightly. This coupled with the fact that I had almost no idea where I was going, and that my GPS was quickly running out of battery, did nothing to ease the anxiety ridden thoughts that plagued my mind. It was a seven hour drive to Whangara, and I had left at 1am after deciding sleep was impossible. I was on my way to my Uncle Porourangi’s, to visit my cousin Pai and settle in for the week. Pai and I had always stayed in touch even though I was living in Australia, and her love and appreciation for our heritage and history was something that had always fascinated me about her. Pai had grown up mostly with our grandfather, but I had never really connected with him in that way. I’ve always believed it was because of my Fathers Australian blood, flowing through my veins, not that Koro would ever let onto that. I was always treated differently, as a child, and I had always been made to feel like it was because of the colour of my skin. The Maori didn’t want me, because I was too fair, and the Pakeha’s didn’t want me, because I was too dark.

As I pulled up to Uncle Porourangi’s old house, everything looked and felt the same, as though no time had passed since I left. I turned off the car, took a deep breath, and stepped outside. The air was clean, in the kind of way that seemed to reawaken your lungs after too much time in the city. The breeze was cool, and the sun was beginning to glisten on the dew drops that speckled across the grass. This was it. I slowly made my way up to the front door, fidgeting with my keys as I walked. Before I could lift my hand to knock, the door flung open, and there was my cousin Pai, looking more radiant than I could remember. She smiled deeply and gave me a hug so tight that it put me back together again. “Welcome back girl, it’s about damn time you showed up…” she whispered warmly in my ear. Those words carried weight with me, I knew she had only meant them lightly, but as with most things I took them to heart. Pai guided me inside, and then I noticed, everything was different. The whole interior of the house had been modernised and was filled with gleaming new appliances, minimalist furnishings, and a feature wall of Maori art in the most vibrant red I had ever seen. The house looked incredible, show homey even, and its modernistic features and designer-esque appearance immediately helped me feel more at ease. “Wow Pai the place looks incredible!” I said, somewhat more enthusiastic than I wanted. The wall that once forced us to ignore the backyard and the ocean, was now replaced with bi fold doors and an amazingly large wooden deck. As I followed Pai through the lounge and out onto the deck, I was welcomed by a table laid out almost entirely in an abundance of French Pastries, fresh fruits, eggs, homemade sausages and all the things one would expect at a five star breakfast buffet. I was suddenly overwhelmed by not only the choice of food I was facing, but also the unexpected European influence that had clearly made its presence known throughout the home. Swallowing my thoughts, we sat down to breakfast (just the two of us I might add, although there was enough food for 12), and I asked her about her life and about the renovations and her apparent shift in taste. We discussed the finer details of European influence, and modernist American interior design, but her overall response to my question of identity was surprisingly simple. “Not everything is black and white.”

After a few quiet days relaxing around the house, Pai decided it was time for me to venture into town a bit more, and start meeting some extended family members, get to know the people a little, before being officially welcomed onto the Marae on Friday. It was now Wednesday, and the lingering thought of what was sure to be the cultural experience of a lifetime was enough to make me feel ill. Over and over I told myself that it needed to be done, that it was all part of who I was, and that afterwards I would probably gain this profound understanding of my identity or something. That hope was basically the only thing preventing me from becoming a walking panic attack, plus over the last few days Pai had learnt how to handle my anxiety in the most gracious and kind way I had ever experienced. We spent all day Wednesday and Thursday walking around town, through the local shops, and speaking with Aunty after Uncle after Cousin after Nan. It was exhausting and exhilarating all at once. It was also amazing to me how many of them knew me, knew my story, and wondered why it had taken me so long to come back home. It was difficult trying to explain the culture gap between my parents and the issues that arose from that, but by Thursday evening I almost had it down to a fine art.

Pai and I headed home after a long day of walking, talking, meeting and greeting, and decided to relax on the deck with the gas heater on full blast, sipping Sav and reminiscing on our shared childhood. The conversation was light, fun and easy, but I could help this nagging feeling that Pai’s incredible grace and consideration towards me had stemmed from somewhere…

“Pai can ask you something?”
“Here we go… Shoot.”
“This patience you have with me, this understanding of why I feel so out of touch with myself, where does that come from?”

Pai took a sip of her wine and breathed deeply. Then she told the incredible story of her teenage years, and how she had struggled and worked so hard to prove to our Koro that she was destined to be Chief, and how she nearly died trying to ascertain herself as a valued member of our tribe. Eventually she was welcomed and respected by all the elders, but for Pai it was just too little too late. She left Whangara after high school, studied interior design at university, and learnt a little bit about life in the big city. It was almost her way of doing what I did, of finding out how the other half lives and experiencing diversity for herself, experiencing a different culture for herself. Pai and I were opposites in our experiences, and yet we shared that common feeling of never quite knowing where we fit in, and never quite knowing what was missing from ourselves. After realising Pai was just like me, the anxiety that had plagued me for so long, began to lift, like a fog rising with the sun. I don’t know if it was the wine, or the fresh air or the magic of Whangara, but I was slowly beginning to feel like myself again.

The next morning I awoke with an unusual sense of calm, the anxiety was still gone, along with the buzz of wine, and for once in my life I felt ready for the cultural experience I was about to undertake. Pai briefed me on the basics of a traditional Marae welcoming, the Pōwhiri, and the way and manner with which I was expected to conduct myself. Normally this would have given me the most incredibly overwhelming anxiety, but the peace remained, and I felt ready. Pai drove me to the Marae, and we waited quietly at the entrance for the Karanga to begin. As Pai began to call to the elders, the ancestors and all those present at the Marae, we slowly made our way onto the Tapu land of Whangara. The waiata’s were some of the most beautiful I had ever heard, and the magic of their words transcended beyond what I had ever experienced. The music and song of my people, my tribe, my home, was moving me in such a way that I felt pieces of myself come together. Fast forward past the initial welcome onto the Marae, we as a community shared a meal, laughed, spoke, and genuinely enjoyed one another’s company. I felt so welcome, and so a part of something special, and it was so comforting knowing that they were happy to have me. Sure I was still the outsider who had left for 15 years, but everyone could see that I was trying, and they truly seemed to appreciate that. After a good two hours and some exciting games later, my Koro finally appeared from within the crowd. I hadn’t seen him since I’d left so long ago, but he hadn’t aged a day. His hair was still slicked back with curls poking through, his eyes still twinkled with that same cheekiness that I remembered as a child, and his face was still as stern as ever. I suddenly felt nervous again, and a small wave of anxiety washed over me. Aside from the occasional Happy Birthday phone call every few years, we hadn’t spoken. He came and sat facing me, quietly and graciously, and let out a deep sigh. I reached out and touched his warm cheek and he did the same. This was the closest we had been in years and the exchange felt so surreal and comforting all at once. Koro gazed at me, puzzled and questioning, and said “I hope you know that you’re home now, this is your home just as much as it is mine, and we never want you to forget that, my girl.” A thousand emotitions flashed through my mind and rolled down my cheek in the form of one tiny tear. “I know Koro, thank you so, so much.”

Pai and I drove home later that evening, stuffed full with food and love and culture and joy. I had never understood the cultural divide between Maori and Pakeha until now. It had always seemed rediculous and untrue and surreal, but I had learnt that it was very real and very prevelent throughout New Zealand. The biggest struggle I felt was that both sides had such little understanding of one another, and to an extent, it seemed as though they had no interest in changing that. Pai and I were the exeption, we were here, we were trying to learn about on another and both cultures so that we could gain a high understanding of the issues that had plagued our antion for far too long. The truth was, not everything was black and white, and as I sipped wine with Pai on the deck watching the sunset one last time, we made a pact to do everything we could to bridge the gap between our cultures. It was time to bring together the past and the future, and traditional and the new, the Maori and the Pakeha. The truth was, we were all New Zealanders, and if that was all we had in common at this point? Well, at least it was a start.

COMMENTARY

I have chosen to base my re-write on the Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera, by creating a new character and incorperating the Whale Rider story and concepts into my re-write. My story takes a look at the journey of a recently graduated young woman, with Maori heritage, and explores her journey as she travels home to uncover her identity within her Maori culture. Growing up she experienced a great distance between herself and her culture, as she had Australian blood in her as well. She always felt that the colour of her skin impacted on the way that her grandfather and family treated her, and so after moving to Australia, she had little to no interest in exploring that side of herself. My re-write takes a look at the cultural divide that still remains to this day in post-colonial New Zealand. The gap between Maori and Pakeha is still existant in this modern and multicultural country and its not something that can easily be ignored. Manuel, J. (2013) says that ‘Modern colonialism’ can be defined as military, economic, or cultural oppression & domination of a country or race. While many New Zealanders could certainly pinpoint oppression, this story deals with more of a look at the distance and misunderstandings of the two cultures, and the lack of effort both sides put into gaining a greater understanding of one another. “At present, cultural identity is based on some manifest and some latent aspects of the micro-culture, with the ” latent ” predominating among Maori.” (Fitzgerald, 1974). The stress that New Zealanders put on their cultural identity is quite strong, and to say that it didn’t matter would be undeniably incorrect. By looking at this young woman’s journey to better understand herself, I’m aiming to explore a journey that all New Zealanders should consider undergoing at some stage in their lives. Culture and community is such a strong part of New Zealand society, and we pride ourselves as being on of the most multicultural countries in the world. The New Zealand ‘way of life’ is one that encourages community, through appreciation of sport, outdoors and arts, and this old fashioned idea that we are all so different from one another is something that needs to be seriously reconsidered. Its time for kiwi’s to be kiwi’s together.

The protagonist in my story learns to become much more accepting of herself and others, and learns that even just showing that you’re interested in how the other half lives, and trying to gain a better understanding, is all it really take for that gap between two cultures to close. “In many works of literature… we meet characters who are struggling with their identities in the wake of colonisation, or the establishment of colonies in another nation.” (Educational Portal, 2014). Its not as uncommon as we are lead to believe, that people feel uncomfortable with themselves or others due to colonisation effecting their understanding of their identity. These issues are clearly addressed, and are fundamental elements of both Whale Rider and this re-write.

REFERENCES

Educational portal. (n.d.). Post-colonialism in literature. Retrieved September, 23, 2014, from http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/post-colonialism-in-literature-definition-theory-examples.html#lesson

Fitzgerald, T. K. (1974). Maori Acculturation: Evolution of Choice in a Post-Colonial Situation. Oceania, 44(3), 209–215.

Post-Colonialism in Literature: Definition, Theory & Examples. (2013). Retrieved September 29, 2014, from http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/post-colonialism-in-literature-definition-theory-examples.html

“Patriot Ahn Jung-Geun” Final ver. Commentary

Cast

* Patriot Ahn Jung-Geun

* Ito Hirobumi

* Ahn Jun-Seo (Anh Jung-Geun`s son)

* Ahn Hyun-Seo (Anh Jung-Geun`s daughter)

* Mrs. Jo Maria (Anh Jung-Geun`s mother)

* Mrs. Mi-Rae (Anh Jung-Geun`s wife)

* Korean President Park Jung-Hee

* Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs

* Korean Minister of National Defense

* Japanese Prime Minister Suzki Nabe

* Japanese Ambassador to Korea Yasuo Hiroku

* Japanese Defense Minister

* Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Commentary

The essence of this re-write is focused on the Postcolonial Theory. The main point of postcolonial theory is ‘decentring’ which means that colonial rules and its values are no more important role  (New Literatures ppt, 2014). In addition, Dirlik (1994) asserts that postcolonial theory have three definitions. One is described literally as the conditions before colonial societies. Another is described as the global condition after the period of colonialism. The other is described as the informed discourse by an epistemological orientation. That is discussion of postcolonial theory requires knowledge of what the theory deals with and what kinds of philosophical and critical traditions it builds on, and should be critiqued in various ways. Those three definitions of postcolonial theory also provide a direction towards exploring the multiplicities of language, identity and the constructs that maintain or sustain a system.

To focus on my re-writing in the postcolonial literature, I chose the original movie “patriot, Ahn, Jung-Geun” which is a Korean movie. In the movie, Korea was colonized by Japan from 1957`s (I have reset the time), so there were many patriotic Korean people to take back again the country from Japan. Among them, patriot Ahn, Jung-Geun, who was a fighter for national independence and was a foundation stone for independence of Korea from Japan, is the most famous person in Korea. He made a great effort to independence of Korea during the almost his lifetime.

The depiction of original movie was colony of Japanese imperialism from 1957 to 1977 Korea. The movie depicts Ahn Jung-Geun`s great achievement which was to assassinate Ito Hirobumi, who was the chief instigator in the occupation of Korea, former Prime Minister of Japan, Prince and the Resident-General from Japan. Ahn always hoped that Korea could be independent from Japan, a Self-reliant Nation State, and that East Asia could be peaceful. After the assassination incident, the independence activist Ahn was executed by the Japanese government for assassinating Ito Hirobumi. After the death of Ahn, in the original movie, his son: Jun-Seo (7 years) was poisoned to death by Japanese government spy who asked the way and gave the poisoned candy to Jun-Seo. The Anh`s son was minor character in the movie. He just appeared once at the end of the scene (movie part 2, 38:30 – 39:40), and he just died from Japanese spy. However, I re-wrote this part of the movie and make a new story by using postcolonial theory. The re-write follows, first of all, I change that Ahn`s son is not dead and keep him alive. Then he and rest of the family left the country to avoid the Japanese government a month after Ahn`s death. This act looks like they just ran away from country, but there is an important reason that they want to avoid the Japanese character as quickly as possible. This idea is ‘decentring’ of my re-writing. Through the postcolonial theory, most of postcolonial literatures have a specific characteristic. It is that almost characters suffer damage to their cultural identities from formerly colonial character such as emotional, political, social/cultural and psychological oppression (Post-Colonialism in Literature: Definition, Theory & Examples, n.d.). According to this reason, they go to the Pennsylvania state, United States. There was a Pennsylvania University of Technology which was well known for nuclear physics. They gradually prepare how can save the country in the U.S. Jun-Seo is a smart child, because he inherited his intelligent knowledge from his father and grandfather. Especially, he showed a remarkable talent for science; physics. This means that he will be supposed to play an important role in Korean science to keep the independent Korea safe and independent. In my re-write, so I set up Jun-Seo to be a “nuclear physicist of genius” and then developing the nuclear missiles in Korea from 1987 to 2015. I guess that the nuclear weapon will be the most powerful weapon in the future, so if Korea has nuclear weapons, we can protect the country from any enemy`s invasion. This is well expressed in the part 3 in my re-write. (I just say that out of concern for you, I don`t imply that the development of nuclear weapons don`t mean to destroy and make colonialism the other countries.) In addition, I had finished the military service for two years in Korea, so I naturally have become interested in national defense. In this sense, I am also motivated my re-writing story from my military experience.

The crucial idea of that runs through the re-write is the idea of  “political independence of Korea” and “independent defense of Korea”. According to Manuel (2013), “Postcolonial literature often involves writings that deals with the issue of de-colonization or the political and cultural independence of people formerly subjugated to colonial rule” (p. 40). During the Japanese colonial period, Korea hadn`t decided independently anything. Korea always followed Japanese political decision, e.g. Korean used the Japanese language and name, and didn`t have Korea`s own culture. In addition, Japan disbanded Korea`s army, so Korea had not resisted anything to Japan. Thus, Korea must have easily assimilated to Japan`s culture, society, etc. However, after liberation from Japan, I would like to make Korea have an independence decision, not influenced by Japanese colonial vestige in my re-writing. Thus, I highlight my re-writing that “Korea`s “de-colonization” from Japan`s colonial rule in every way, so I apply that Korea government can politically decide to develop nuclear missiles in the name of peace of Korea from the other country`s invasion. Furthermore, Korea launches the nuclear missile by Korea`s independent decision to Japan, when they invaded Korea without any right reasons. And then finally, Korea is able to assert themselves without having to kill anyone.Those are well expressed on my re-writing. That things couldn`t do during the Japanese colonial time. In short, the purpose of my re-writing is “de-colonization”, “the political independence of Korean” and “independent defense” from formerly Japanese colonial rule.

In my re-writing, I decide to use the third person narrator and past and past perfect tense. But, I use the present tense in “conversational style sentence”, because as I use a present tense, I think that I can well express the reality in those sentences.

References

Dirlik, A. (1994). The postcolonial aura: Third world criticism in the age of global capitalism. In P. Mongia (Ed.) Contemporary Postcolonial Theory. London: Arnold, pp. 294-319.

Manuel, J. (2013). Postcolonial theory. Retrieved September 23, 2014, from http://www.slideshare.net/midnightphantom26/postcolonial-theory-29505009?next_slideshow=1

New Literatures ppt. (2014). Part One: Postcolonial Theory. Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand.

Post-Colonialism in Literature: Definition, Theory & Examples. (n.d.). Retrieved September 23, 2014, from http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/post-colonialism-in-literature-definition-theory-examples.html#lesson

Kevin (DaeHan) Wee.

The Great Gatsby Re-Write

Commentary

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is often considered one of the Great American Novels. The novel thematically focuses on social stature, notoriety, excess, love, and the American Dream. It is also seen as representative of the 1920s or, as Fitzgerald coined, the Jazz Age. However, the labelling of The Great Gatsby as representative of the Jazz Age puts a spotlight on the lack of African American presence within the novel, as jazz is of African American origins and flourished in the 1920s during the Harlem Renaissance (Bloom, 2004).

The Harlem Renaissance was a period, beginning in the 1920s, in which there was a large emergence of African American culture within the Western world. Chiefly focused in Harlem, New York, and Paris, the Renaissance produced many great jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Nat King Cole, which caused Harlem to become a hot spot for New York’s wealthy, white, social elite. Stars like Mae West, Joan Crawford, and Charlie Chaplin were frequently found in Harlem (Lewis, 1989).

Considering the novels themes, it is quite startling that socially aware Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, and Nick Carraway did not venture into, or even mention, Harlem and visit The Cotton Club – famed for its black jazz performers, infamous for its whites only policy- or see Shuffle Along at the Sixty-third Street Theatre – a musical produced and starring only African Americans, which became so popular Sixty-third Street was declared a one-way street (Bloom, 2004).

Furthermore, Fitzgerald not only ignores the birthplace of jazz, but completely removes its African American roots and association by having Nick Carraway describe Gatsby’s band as “no thin five-piece affair” (p. 42) but a full orchestra – bringing jazz up to high culture, as African American is considered beneath, or low culture. Also, giving the jazz composer an unmistakably European name – Vladmir Tostoff (p.51) – further distances African Americans from jazz.

It is not only Fitzgerald’s seemingly intentional omission of Harlem that marginalises African Americans, but the only African American characters mentioned are referred to as “bucks”, or animals, rather than actual men, and are presented in racist stereotypical way with “the yolks of their eyeballs rolled toward us in haughty rivalry” (p.67), creating a strong sense of Othering (Soivak, 1985).

It is from the view of the Other – one of the unnamed African American men driving across a New York bridge (p.67) – in which this rewrite is written. Within the rewrite the unnamed man questions his status and the status of African Americans within the Jazz Age, or as Ashcroft, Griffiths, and Tiffin (1989) puts, questions “the philosophical assumptions on which that order was made”, thus highlighting that Fitzgerald’s novel is not truly representative of the Jazz Age.

References

Ashcroft, B., Grffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (1989). The empire writes back. London: Routledge.

Bloom, H. (Ed.). (2004). The Harlem renaissance. United States: Chelsea House Publishers.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. (2008). The great Gatsby. Australia/Victoria: Penguin Group.

Lewis, David L. (1989). When Harlem was in vogue. New York, United States: Oxford University Press.

Spivak, G. (1985). The rani of summer. In Francis Baker (Eds.), Europe and its others Vol. 1 proceedings of the Essex conference on sociology of literature. Colchester: University of Essex.


Where Is Harlem?

A grand orchestra
For such grand people.
Without pulp, Harlem
Left at the back door.

Only laughs our way
When we, like them,
Are modish, and white
Chauffeur driven.

Yet, West and Crawford,
Armstrong and Chaplin,
Cool, rich, elite, all
Crooning with Harlem.

No Gatsby with us bucks
Just that one way
Street, past Sixty-third,
To The Cotton Club.

Where is our Harlem
Amongst Sir’s orchestra?
After all, where is the jazz
Of this great Jazz Age?