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“Do you ane Willy Wonka anytime accustomed the Oompa-Loompas to unionise?” asks Fergus Lamb (second year, Wolfson). Our amut is followed by a moment of abysmal contemplation. We mull over the agency in which Roald Dahl’s acclaimed amber nch additionally happens to be a absurd agent of commercialism and colonialism. Afore Dahl’s rewrites, the Oompa-Loompas were portrayed as African pygmies who were paid in amber beans. Perhaps this veered too alarmingly abutting to the history of slavery, attached servitude, and labour corruption beyond the British Empire: Dahl rewrote them with white bark and aureate hair. Our exercise, while humorous, serves to accentuate what Fergus believes is all-important about abutting the English Tripos critically.
Growing up in Kent, Fergus was for a continued time blind of the colonial undertones in the abstract he was reading. “You accept viewpoints aback you’re aloft in a society,” he remarks. Actuality white, British and male, Fergus had a calmly Eurocentric accomplishments that complex an careless absorptive of ‘canonical’ texts and their portrayal of chase relations and colonial dynamics. “When we’re young, we’re consistently actuality accomplished how to accept the apple through credo and political thinking,” Fergus erts. This necessarily culminated in a worldview that disconnected whites and nonwhites, or, as articulate by postcolonial thinker Edward Said, a worldview in which the white Western ‘Self’ can alone ascertain itself in affiliation to the ‘inferior’, non-white, Eastern ‘Other’. Fergus addendum the affluence with which this became his absolute way of examination the apple afore his appointment with postcolonial critics.
“It is important that we do abstraction and appraisal these old, stale, white writers,” Fergus argues, “because they’re still popular”
Reading Nigerian columnist Chinua Achebe’s acclaimed abode “An Image of Africa” inaugurated Fergus’s action of alarmingly rethinking the worldview he grew up with. Achebe effectively challenges Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and its delineation of Africa as “a antipode to Europe, as a abode of negations at already alien and vaguely familiar, in allegory with which Europe’s own accompaniment of airy adroitness will be manifest”. Conrad, he says, portrays Africa as “‘the added world’, the antipode of Europe and accordingly of civilization”, which Achebe attributes to Conrad’s “residue of abhorrence to atramentous people”.
Reading Achebe helped Fergus to claiming the preconceptions he had irenic accustomed as allotment of his worldview. He generally adopted stereotypes present in the media that abstract political diplomacy in added countries as anarchic as against to recognising how absolute political alude emerged from actual cirstance. In particular, it helped to capsize his account of Heart of Darkness, accouterment the accent and ytical accoutrement he bare to affirm above-mentioned suions he had about the argument and avert these positions thereafter. Fergus believes that these binaries amid the ‘