A BEND IN THE RIVER AS A POSTCOLONIAL TEXT
Keywords:Colonialism, Post Colonialism, Imperialism, African Perspective
The present paper which intends to explore and analyse the postcolonial situation as depicted in A Bend in the River, defines Naipaul’s central area of interest in all his later novels, that is, the review and scrutiny of the situation prevailing in the third world countries. Set in a newly independent African nation, the story of the novel comes to the readers through the consciousness of Salim, whose narrative takes the readers to a river town located deep within the nation and makes them assess the situation through his perspective. The African country which becomes the setting of the novel remains unchristened and unnamed, probably, because Naipaul wishes to present a representative tale of violence and bloodshed, decay and destruction, chaos and disorder, turmoil and upheavals taking place in the third world countries in general and African countries in particular. Written in 1979, A Bend in the River unfolds before the readers as a magnificent work of art, a brilliant manifestation of the author’s perceptive mind, his keen insight and his unusual and unparalleled ability to perceive and discern the truth behind the historical upheavals and social breakdown in post- imperial states. Naipaul shows with terrifying clarity, the extent to which the situation in the postcolonial societies has deteriorated and exposes the forces which are responsible decay and decline in the postcolonial situation. The picture which emerges before the readers is that of a world falling apart, torn into pieces by the crude politics, exploitative tendencies and the selfish motives of the people who have stepped into the ‘shoes of the departing colonial masters’. The present paper is a humble attempt to make an honest postcolonial reading and deliver critical insights of such a seminal text.
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