A Far Cry from Africa

Published: 2021-07-13 05:50:06
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Category: Terrorism, Colonialism

Type of paper: Essay

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Derek Walcott was a black poet writing from within both the English tradition and the history of his people. The speaker is conflicted, on the one hand he loves his native homeland in Kenya and he does not want to see his people being slaughtered and treated the way they are now. He also loves his English home, but if he stays in Britain, He feels that he is letting down his people by not going back to his native homeland to help with defending Kenya from the Kikuyu tribe. This is what the speaker struggles with and it tears him apart inside.
The dilemmas the speaker faces in trying to find a way out of this bind are that he sees his people being slaughtered for no reason and with no compassion. The speaker states in (line7) that statistics justify and scholars seize means that the government is or has educated the Mau fighters what to believe and what to do with the British settlers. In (line 9 and 10) of the short story, the savages represent terrorism from below which are sub-national entities that engage in violence against the British colonial settlers.
The Mau fighters are the individuals that are fighting against the government. The speaker makes reference to a white child being hacked to death in bed and they are expendable as Jews. The speaker makes reference to this because savages are the Mau fighters or in this case the group who is against government. The speaker also sees the corpses are scattered through his beloved homeland which he calls paradise (4). In this poem, the speaker sees the upright man, the Kikuyu, as inflicting pain upon his people in Kenya.

In (lines 15-17) the violence of beast on beast is read as natural law states to me that the Mau fighters and the colonial settlers are the beasts. The upright man takes on the form of terrorism from above, while the beasts are the settlers who take on the form of terrorism from below. (In line 25) The speaker states the gorilla wrestles with superman. Here again the gorilla represents terrorism from below and superman represents terrorism from above. I believe that the Kikuyu tribe is a form of government all in its own because they make up their own laws and abide by them.
Terrorism is meant to cause terror and that is exactly what the Kikuyu tribe did to the African people. I believe the African people on the speaker’s paradise were afraid by the terrorists acts inflicted onto them by the Kikuyu, that they did not know how to defend themselves from the attacks. I believe that Walcott thinks that colonialism in Kenya is horrible, but it is good as long as the Kikuyu tribe leaves them to their peaceful ways of leaving. The speaker sees the British colonialism being overrun and controlled by the Mau fighters.

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