Novel celebrated 'English courage' and colonialism.Explain by giving an example

Asked by Ananta Srivastava | 19th Jun, 2014, 01:42: PM

Expert Answer:

The novel as a literary form emerged in Europe when European colonisation of the world was on full swing.Following are the ways in which it celebrated colonialism and the so called 'English courage':
  • The early novel contributed to colonialism by making the readers feel that they were part of a superior community of fellow colonialists.
  • Most writers of that time saw colonialism as a natural phenomenon. Colonised people were seen as primitive and barbaric, less than human and colonial rule was seen as necessary to 'civilise' them.
  • This tendency can be seen in Daniel Defoe's novel 'Robinson Crusoe'. In the novel, the character Robinson Crusoe represent a colonial mindset. He is shown as a slave trader who, when his ship is wrecked on an island, treats the local coloured people as inferior and primitive creatures. The 'native' he rescues is made a slave by him and Crusoe takes it upon himself the task of ‘civilising’ him. he even names him Firday without any regard for the man's real name.
  • Since these were times of colonial exploration and expansion, historical adventure novels showing white characters exploring and conquering news lands were seen as celebrating ‘English courage’ and hence were sold like hot cakes.

Answered by Soumil Shukla | 19th Jun, 2014, 02:49: PM

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