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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

[Archive] The Wretched of the Earth Assignment for Tuesday, 3/4/14

We have discussed the ways that translators and foreign invaders can distort descriptions of other cultures that they view through their own cultural lenses. We also know that, as readers, we must be careful not to distort our perceptions of other cultures through our own cultural lenses. In today's selection from The Wretched of the Earth, most of the chapter entitled "On National Culture," Frantz Fanon pushes this learning one step further by advocating for a national literature and, more, "a poetry of revolt" (226).

Cover of Fanon's
Groundbreaking Study
Image credit: Amazon.com
Assignment: In a two- to three-paragraph comment to this post, answer this prompt: Explain what Fanon means when he advocates for a “poetry of revolt.” Why is literature important to a liberation struggle? How does Keita Fodeba's play, "African Dawn," exemplify Fanon’s idea? Cite both the play and the selection from Fanon's book in support of your claim.

Use standard English. Include your name. Your comment may respond to previous comments as long as it otherwise fulfills these assignment criteria. Citation includes in-text citation and a list of Works Cited. See the citation link on this blog for instructions. This assignment counts as one participation grade and is due by midnight on 3/5/14.

27 comments:

  1. Xavior Williams

    What Fanon means when he advocates for “a poetry of revolt” is him saying not by only using poetry but by any type of writing expressing the truth of how you feel about a certain topic. Fanon says, “He cannot go forward resolutely unless he first realizes the extent of his estrangement from them” (266). With this Fanon believes that you must fully express yourself without retaining any type of information that beholds information that relates to yourself.
    Also Fanon believes literature is important to a liberation struggle because it helps bring other up around him. Fanon says:

    “We find a constant desire to define accurately the historic moments of the struggle and to mark off the field in which were to unfolded the actions and ideas around which the popular will crystalize” (227).
    If you stop at what you were to say in your literature you would be able to advance from it. Though at the same time you wont give anyone else an opportunity to build off of the literature that you gave yourself.
    Finally, Fanon says “African Dawn” is “not merely an intellectual advance, but a political advance” (231). He backs up what he believes by using this poem to show how those who aren’t colonized would be able to understand this message because it was made for them to have an up rise. If this poem didn’t fully depict the struggles and willpower of the situation, Fanon wouldn’t be able to derive a complete message from it.

    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963.
    Print


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  2. Matt Petrie

    When Fanon advocates for a "poetry of revolt" he is saying how poets use their writing to iterate their views on the issue through a couplet-slogans and clever wording, something they could not protest publicly without a clever message. As Fanan states "...but it is also descriptive and analytical poetry" (226) as well as "After the period of assimilation characterized by rhyming poetry, the poetic tom-toms rhythms break through"(226). Fanon believes in fully speaking one's true ideas and not holding back through a clever work of poetry.

    Literature is important to a liberation struggle because it acts as a way for the people to speak out and voice their opinions to the government. Fanon states "... it is to this zone of occult instability where the people dwell that we must come; and it is there that our souls are crystallized and that our perceptions and our lives are transfused with light" (227). Fanon describes here that through literature, the people's opinions are stated sternly and cleverly in a matter that depicts their true beliefs.

    Keita Fodeba's play "African Dawn" exemplifies Fanon's idea as he "reinterpreted all the rhythmic images of his country through a revolutionary standpoint" (227). Fodeba's poem clearly depicts his ideas and opinions on a colonized culture and how to state one's opinion through a well written work of literature.

    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print

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  3. Ben Judy

    Fanon advocates for a "poetry of revolt". "Poetry of revolt" is the idea of a poem, or a different piece of literature that has a deeper meaning than your average piece of literature. It has a deep meaning, usually about rebelling, or disagreeing from a certain organization or government. It also is the idea that poems have to describe and analyze the conflict, and meaning it is writing about. Also these pieces of literature do not have to rhyme. For example, "characterized by rhyming poetry, the poetic tom-tom's rhythms break through"(226).

    Literature is very important in a liberation struggle, because literature acts as a gate way for citizens to voice their opinions about the government. Literature is a way for people to express their opinions, and feelings with out being ridiculed, or attacked for their beliefs on a certain subject. "We find a constant desire to define accurately the historical moments of the struggle and to mark off the field in which were to unfolded the actions and ideas around which the popular will would crystalize"(227). This quote shows how often literature is used during liberation struggles, and how it can be helpful during these tough times.

    "African Dawn" is a play that exemplifies Fanon's ideas of a "poetry of revolt", and the ideas of literature in a liberation struggle in many ways. "African Dawn" is a play during the time of a liberation struggle, that talks about the thoughts and emotions of the citizens of this town. The play also talks about colonialism, and how it effects it's citizens. For example, " In colonized countries, colonialism after having made use of the natives on the battlefields, uses them as trained soldiers to put down the movements of independence"(232). "African Dawn" in a sense is a "poetry of revolt" during a time of a liberation struggle.

    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  4. The Wretched of the Earth

    When Fanon says “the poetry of revolt” he is referring to poetry that addresses as well as picks about something. Showing its details by provoking our thoughts with repetition and contradiction. “After the period of assimilation characterized by rhyming poetry, the poetic tom-tom’s rhythms break through. This
    is a poetry of revolt but it is also descriptive and analytical” (Fanon 226). Literature is important to a liberation struggle because it serves as a way to address and communicate with the people that are the focus of his or hers piece of literature. “Yes, the first duty of his native poet is to see clearly the people he has chosen to be the subject of his work” (Fanon 226).

    Keita Fodeba exemplifies Fanon’s idea in his poems by using the same kind of repetition seen by Rene Despetre, who Fanon refers to earlier with on of Despetre’s poems. Fodeba also has a clear audience in mind, focusing on those effected by a struggle. “Dawn was breaking. The little village, which had danced half the night to the sound of its tom-toms, was waking slowly. Ragged shepherds playing their flutes were leading…Dawn was breaking-dawn, the fight between night and day…Dawn was breaking, still breaking. The sparrows circled amongst the leaves announcing the day” (Fanon 227-228)

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  5. By advocating for ”poetry of revolt”, Fanon supports the means by which literary arts are used to express uncommon and/or unheard truth and thoughts. Fanon states, “He cannot go forward resolutely unless he first realizes the extent of his estrangement from them” (266). In this quote, Fanon asserts that communicating accurate ideas clearly and concisely instead of using soft blows in the form of poetic words, which can cause confusion on the true meaning and reasons for the chosen position.
    Additionally, Fanon says “We find a constant desire to define accurately the historic moments of the struggle and to mark off the field in which were to unfolded the actions and ideas around which the popular will crystalize” (227). Fanon declares the importance of works of literature due to its significant influences in liberation. Fanon declares that through literature, the opinions of the people are listed expertly. Literately work is vital to an emancipation struggle because it provides a way for people to voice their opinions on the system they are seeking refuge from.
    Lastly, Fanon verbalizes that the “African Dawn” is “not merely an intellectual advance, but a political advance” (231). The poem was to be used by those who remain colonization free and those who seek freedom from colonization because it communicates a message that is only apparent to them and will aid in their quest for freedom.

    Works Cited

    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  6. Fanon advocates for a "poetry of revolt" in this excerpt in regards to colonization and oppression of the colonized people, specifically in Africa. I think he is advocating the idea that a "native poet" of a colonized nation cannot fully understand and write about his people in order to fight their oppressors, but the poet must join in the movement with his own people to fully understand them. He states, "it is not enough to try to get back to the people in that past out of which they have already emerged; rather we must join them in that fluctuating movement which they are just giving a shape to, and which, as soon as it has started, will be the signal for everything to be called in question" (Fanon 227).

    Literature is important to the liberation struggle because it is what speaks to the people and sparks a fire under them, which in turn strengthens their rebellion. Fanon writes, "while at the beginning the native intellectual used to produce his work to be read exclusively by the oppressor, whether with the intention of charming him or of denouncing him… now the native writer progressively takes on the habit of addressing his own people" (Fanon 240). He refers to this type of necessary literature as a literature of combat because it calls on the people to fight for their nation's existence. Literature allows for the nation to develop a new culture after their culture before was stamped out by colonization.

    Keita Fodeba's play, "African Dawn", exemplifies this idea that the colonizers take over these nations, force them to change their ways, take them to battle to defend someone else's country, and then use them against their own people. Fanon states that he chose to quote this poem because it is "not merely an intellectual advance, but a political advance" (Fanon 231). Naman's unfortunate demise while on the way back to his country was all because of colonialism. It is a "poem of revolt" because it is addressed to the colonized people who can relate to the story in hopes that it will make them want to fight for their nation's independence.

    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  7. Josh Kramolisch

    When Fanon advocates for a “poetry revolt” he wants a war of words and a peaceful war not a war with weapons and death. More of a war that picks people apart analyzes what they have done wrong. “..but it is also descriptive and analytical poetry”(226)

    Literature is important to a liberation struggle because it can show people both sides of the battle without actual conflict. “We find a constant desire to define accurately the historic moments of the struggle and to mark off the field in which were to unfolded the actions and ideas around which the popular will crysalize”(227).

    “African Dawn” is all about a revolt using poetry to get your point across without the use of deadly force. “Nor merely an intellectual advance, but a political advance”(Fanon 231).

    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  8. Tawah Alsindi

    What Fanon means when he advocates for “poetry of revolt” is that when he is saying that the poetic and literary arts are a great way to support, express and show the truth of your feeling and thoughts about something. Fanon states, “He cannot go forward resolutely unless he first realizes the extent of his estrangement from them” (266). In this quote, Fanon explains his idea about struggling and extracting your self and do not let anything that may stop you to express your thoughts and information.

    Fanon says "... it is to this zone of occult instability where the people dwell that we must come; and it is there that our souls are crystallized and that our perceptions and our lives are transfused with light" (227). In this quote, we can see that literature is important to a liberation struggle because it is a way that people could speak and show up their opinion about certain topics.

    Fanon states “African Dawn” is “not merely an intellectual advance, but a political advance” (231). Keita Fodeba's play, "African Dawn," exemplify Fanon’s idea because it serves as a communicating message to colonized people whom are mentioned on the story to fight for their nation.

    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  9. When Fanon addresses the area of "poetry of revolt" he is saying how poets can use their power of writing to show their views on a sensitive subject. Although they are protesting out in the open, their message is just a strong by using the power of their writing. Fanon says writing is “is also descriptive and analytical poetry" (Fanon 226). This shows us how smart you have to be in your writing to help encrypt the message to reader. The reader will eventually find out the true message of the writing after analyzing it. Fanon also mentions the rhythm of the writing can help relay the power of the message also.

    Literature is also very important for a liberation because it allows the people to speak out to the government. The power of writing can be analyzed by any generation. For example, our Intro to Lit class we our constantly analyzing literature. We read and then see what the meaning of it is. This a perfect example of why it is important to liberation. It allows different generations and societies to all read the same message and see the meaning. Fanon states “it is to this zone of occult instability where the people dwell that we must come; and it is there that our souls are crystallized and that our perceptions and our lives are transfused with light" (Fanon 227). This means the writer has the power to explain their opinions through writing.

    "African Dawn" is a play that exemplifies Fanon's ideas of a "poetry of revolt" and also how literature is great for liberation. “African Dawn” shows the struggle of liberation and how colonization can change a nation. Colonization forces people to change their ways and change. Fan stated "not merely an intellectual advance, but a political advance" (231). In this quote Fanon is talking about colonization. He mentions how it is not intellectual advance (saying how stupid it is and how it does not benfit people who live there.

    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  10. Sammie Gosling

    I agree with Xavior’s point of view on what Fanon means about “Poetry Revolt”. Fanon says that you must be able to expression your truth about something through any type of writing whether it is poetry or not. He used a great quote from fanon on page 266. With that quote Fanon is trying to say that you should not withhold any information that may have to do with yourself. Also, Fanon believes that literature is important to liberation struggle because it helps people bring themselves out to him. He said, “'There is a tendency to bring conflicts up to date and to modernize the kinds of struggle which the stories evoke, together with the names of heroes and the types of weapons” this is saying that bringing up past stories about struggles can help us understand people and their thoughts (240).

    Also, I agree with the other quote that Xavior used to explain the liberation struggle on page 227 about how Fanon believes that what you say in your literature is something you should believe in and can advance from it. Through your literature you should be able to give other people advice and that they should be able to grow off of your own thoughts.

    In the play “African Dawn” Fanon shows his idea of literature by explaining how colonialism affects the people had with and with each other. It also exemplifies the thoughts and emotions of the people in the story about how the feel about their town. Colonialism had a big affect on the people because they were trying to fight for their independence. Fighting for their independence is also another way Fanon showed “poetry of revolt” because the people felt really strong about winning their own independence.



    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print

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  11. Abdullah Alrasheed

    What Fanon means when he advocates for “poetry of revolt” when he says “..but it is also descriptive and analytical poetry”(226). He wants to express and show his word of the poet toward a revolt.

    Fanon states that “We find a constant desire to define accurately the historic moments of the struggle and to mark off the field in which were to unfolded the actions and ideas around which the popular will crystalize” (227). This quote serves as a reason that literature is important to a liberation struggle because as Fanon believe that the literature is a way to express it to the people.

    Finally, Keita Fodeba's play, "African Dawn," is poetry to express Fanon’s idea about the revolt. He states “Nor merely an intellectual advance, but a political advance” (231). It also describe how colonized people should fight toward the their nations’ independence.

    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  12. Fanon says the “poetry of revolt.” This means the poetry addresses and also talks about something. In the text, Fanon refers to this by writing about colonization and oppression of the citizens, particularly in Africa. He also supports it by showing literary arts can be used to tell uncommon and unheard truth and thoughts. Fanon says, “He cannot go forward resolutely unless he first realizes the extent of his estrangement from them,” (266).
    Literature is important for liberation because it can be a way for people to go against the government and speak their mind. Fanon says, “We find a constant desire to define accurately the historical moments of the struggle and to mark off the field in which were to unfolded the actions and ideas around which the popular will would crystalize,” (227). This shows how often literature can be used during liberation struggles. It can also be helpful during these tough times.
    “African Dawn” is a play that showed Fanon’s thoughts for ”poetry of revolt” and shows how literature can be great to help with liberation. It shows the struggles for liberation and that colonization could change a nation. Fanon said, “Not merely an intellectual advance, but a political advance,” (231) In the quote he speaks about colonization and says that it was not an intellectual advance, saying that it does not benefit people who live there.
    Work Cited
    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  13. Gillian Brandes
    Literature is important in a liberation struggle because the people of the nation are able to speak their mind and express their opinion. Fanon states, “This literature…it is as if a kind of internal organization or law of expression existed” (239). People started out writing poetry then moved on to novels. Through literature people were able to express how they feel. The example of poetry in the selections we read was also used to express how Keita Fodeba tried to “accurately define the historic moments” (227).
    Fanon advocates for “poetry of revolt.” This poetry is the use of poetic tom-tom’s and rhyming schemes. Fanon states that a native poet is not able to fully memorialize his people when they are under colonization because the poet has to give everything to the people that are colonizing them. (226). This poetry also can have a deeper meaning.

    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. Trans. Constance Farrington. New York: Grove, 2005. Print.

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  14. When Fanon advocates for a “poetry of revolt”, he is describing the use of poetry and other literary forms as expressions of a certain viewpoint and feeling. In this context, the “poetry of revolt” was relevant during the times of oppression of the people in Africa, relating to our discussion in class about British colonization. By directly stating a viewpoint and analyzing its components, Fanon describes that poetry has a deep meaning. “He cannot go forward resolutely unless he first realizes the extent of his estrangement from them” (266), is a statement by Fanon that shows that poetry must be direct, but also can allow an author to grow and separate from a traditional viewpoint.
    Literature is important to a liberation struggle because it allows citizens have a voice against their oppressors. People who are seeking refuge are able to speak freely, and in a way that may allow others to see from their eyes. On page 227, Fanon states, "We find a constant desire to define accurately the historical moments of the struggle and to mark off the field in which were to unfolded the actions and ideas around which the popular will would crystalize”, showing the importance of “poetry of revolt” as historically relevant and rebelling against popular ideas. Through literature, people can voice their opinions, challenge their liberation, and spark a fire for the people of the nation to rise against the forces that restrict them.
    Keita Fodeba’s play, “African Dawn”, exemplifies Fanon’s ideas of the impact of colonialization, and that this play is similar to a “poetry of revolt” style. The play voices the opinions and experiences of the oppressed, and was another stride towards liberation. Described on page 232, “In colonized countries, colonialism after having made use of the natives on the battlefields, uses them as trained soldiers to put down the movements of independence”, the play relates to how the citizens interpreted and reacted to these events. However, it is also a response to the oppression, and is a way for the citizens to reveal their voice.

    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  15. Nick Sauble

    Fanon advocates for a “poetry of revolt.” What he means is that the poem is not just about the rhyming, but it has a deeper meaning. He includes in the passage, “After the period of assimilation characterized by rhyming poetry, the poetic tom-tom’s rhythms break through” (Fanon 226).

    Literature is important to a liberation struggle because it helps the people express their opinions, beliefs, and sometimes feelings. Fanon states that, "We find a constant desire to define accurately the historical moments of the struggle and to mark off the field in which were to unfolded the actions and ideas around which the popular will would crystalize" (227).

    Keita Fodeba’s play takes place during the times of colonialism and shows how the citizens felt and acted. This play exemplifies Fanon’s idea because it is a good example of a “poetry of revolt.” This is supported when it says “colonialism after having made use of the natives on the battlefields” (Fodeba 232).

    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  16. Fanon’s “poetry of revolt” advocates the use of poetry and other literary forms as expressions of a feeling. The context of his “poetry of revolt” was relevant during the times of oppression of the people in Africa, and relates to our discussions in class about the British colonization of Africa. By using his feelings for and of the oppressed, Fanon describes that poetry has a deeper meaning.
    Literature is important to a liberation struggle because it allows citizens have a voice against their oppressors. People who flee from their oppressors often tell tales of misery and allow others to understand them. Fanon states, "We find a constant desire to define accurately the historical moments of the struggle and to mark off the field in which were to unfolded the actions and ideas around which the popular will would crystalize” (227), he shows that it is possible to rise above oppression by using poetry. Through literature, people can voice their opinions, challenge their oppressors, and take the steps to create a revolution for those under an oppressive rule.
    The play, “African Dawn” Keita Fodeba, takes Fanon’s proof of the impact of colonization, and creates a play that fits Fanon’s “poetry of revolt” style. The play shows the steps of the oppressed on their journey to freedom. Written on page 232, “The colonized man who writes for his people…must take part in action and throw himself body and soul into the national struggle.” This quote takes the very essence of the “poetry of revolt” and formulates it into words. Fanon shows that literature may be a savior, but it is not enough. Action is required if things are to change.

    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  17. When Fanon advocates “poetry of revolt,” he wants Africans who were involved, or have personal connections to others involved, to write about their experiences of the colonization of the French. Fanon states, “nothing can replace the reasoned, irrevocable taking up the arms on the people’s side”(226). Fanon means that he wants the writings of poetry to have the people’s side. Additionally, Fanon does not want people from the “other” side, meaning the French, to write the poetry work. He states, “the other side gives us nothing unless by a thousand detours we finally swing in their direction’’(Fanon 227). Fanon means that the “other” side gives us nothing about the people but their side of the conflict or event.


    Literature is important during a liberation struggle. Literature allows citizens to voice their opinion about the government or a certain occasion. Literature gives the people a clever way to voice their beliefs so that they or their family do not get harmed. Additionally, literature allows the voices of the people to be heard about what actually happened. Fanon says, “we find a constant desire to define accurately the historic moments of the struggle and to mark off the field in which were to be unfolded the actions and ideas around which the popular will would crystallize” (227). This quote describes how people want their voices to be heard and how they want the events of a conflict to be correct.


    Keita Fodeba’s play, “African Dawn” exemplifies Fanon’s idea of a “poetry revolt” by showing the African people’s emotions and reactions to the conflict. The play shows this when Naman leaves for war and is about to come home from war. The play states “Naman was thus officially marked out, for every evening the village girls praised his great stature and muscular appearance in musical couplets”(229). The African people’s emotion and reaction to Naman coming home is blissful. The play states, “ that Naman would soon be home. The matter of the toms-toms was at once heard. There was dancing and signing till dawn”(231). These quotes show the African people’s reaction, emotion and their side. Fodeba’s play did not pay attention to the views of the “other” side, meaning the French side.

    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  18. Alyssa Jaghab.

    The Wretched of the Earth

    When Fanon means he advocates for a "Poetry of Revolt" he pretty much saying that poetry and or literary arts is one of the best ways to express the way you are feelings and it is a good thing to be able to share your thoughts through writing. This is proven on page 226 when he states, "The first duty of the native poet is to see clearly the people hue has chosen as the subject of his work of art. He cannot go forward resolutely unless he first realizes the extend of is estrangement from them" (Page 226). You must be able to express yourself through your work of literature and not hold in your feelings against a government you do not agree with. The greatest works of art comes from those who speak such passion in their writing.

    Liberation Struggle is important in literature because it shows two different sides of a conflict without an exact out burst of the problem. People speak what they feel and are not afraid to do so, (Strength). A good example of this is when Fanon states, "we find a constant desire to define accurately the historic moments of the struggle and to mark off the field in which were to be unfolded the actions and ideas around which the popular will crystallize" (Page 227). Once again this has to do with writers being able to express their own opinions, traditions and or cultures through writing regardless if people agree or disagree with them, or before you are completely wiped out of your culture.

    Keita Fodeba's play, "African Dawn" shows another type of struggle through liberation and how to colonize people to battle for their nation regardless if these people want to or not. It is all force. They are forced to change their way of living and become allies with a nation they might not even want to be apart. If these people have to fight against their own people they must there is no option. Who can possibly say they are capable of doing that? "African Dawn" was written for those who have experienced colonization and have hope for freedom. This is proven when he states, "not merely an intellectual advance, but a political advance" (231).

    Work Cited

    Fanon, Fratz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  19. Emmy Jo Maguire

    In The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon advocates for a “poetry of revolt” because it adds a purpose and meaning to the writing. “The colonized man who writes for his people ought to use the past with the intention of opening the future, as an invitation to action and a basis for hope”(Fanon, 232). The writing has to spark a flame in the audience to make a difference. Fanon claims that “the understanding of the poem is not merely an intellectual advance, but a political advance”(231).

    Literature is important to a liberation struggle because it can influence a person to help their country. “But to ensure that hope and to give it form, he must take part in action and throw himself body and soul into the national struggle”(232). With this poetry of revolt, it is more of a personal account which makes it much more important. The personality of the poem, especially if it is a strong personal account, impacts the audience.

    Keita Fodeba’s play, “African Dawn,” exemplifies Fanon’s idea because it has “an invitation to action and a basis for hope”(232). In the play, it shows the realness and struggle of a man who is loved and just a laborer going off to a major war. The emotions and the struggles of the villagers and Kadia show how the war affects a village. “Again several months went by and everyone was once more anxious, for nothing more was heard of Naman”(230).


    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  20. Fanon advocates for a “poetry of revolt”, he is in a way describing how the use of poetry and many other literary forms as a way to express a viewpoint and certain feeling. The context of his “poetry of revolt” was relevant during the times of oppression of the people in Africa. This relates to our class discussion about the British colonization of Africa. Fanon states “ The native poet who is preoccupied with creating a national work of art and who is determined to describe his people fails in his aim, for he is not yet ready to make that fundamental concession that Depestre speaks of” (Fanon226).


    Literature is important to liberation because it gives the citizens a voice against their oppressors. Through literature people can find their own personal voice, and they are also able to pull people together to rise against the forces that restrict them.” Taking means in nearly every case being taken: thus it is not enough to try to get back to the people in that past out of which they have already emerged; rather we must join them in that fluctuation movement which they are giving a shape to, and which, as soon as it started, will be the signal for everything to be called in question” (Fanon 227). Keita Fodeba’s play, African Dawn, exemplifies Fanons thoughts on the impact of colonization. Fodeba’s play shows the voices and the experiences of the oppressed people, the play also strides towards liberation.


    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  21. What Fanon means by advocating “a poetry of revolt” it is he saying that poetry has more meaning to it. Poets have different ways of writing different pieces. Poetry establishes a deeper meaning and expresses views of topics. “After the period of assimilation characterized by rhyming poetry, the poetic tom-tom’s rhythms break through. This is a poetry of revolt but it is also descriptive and analytical” (Fanon 226).
    Literature is important to a liberation struggle because it serves as a way for the people to not only understand the literature but also it can be a way to express their opinions. “Yes, the first duty of his native poet is to see clearly the people he has chosen to be the subject of his work” (Fanon 226).
    Fanon states that the “African Dawn” is “not merely an intellectual advance, but a political advance” (Fanon 231). He uses the poem as a way to express to the colonized people to better understand it.


    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  22. Zadok Miller

    Fanon advocates for a “poetry of revolt”, and by doing so he states that “but it is also descriptive and analytical poetry” (Fanon, 226). Fanon is trying to portray that this poetry of revolt is not only used to express their concerns, but it also is going to analyze the problem so that possibly a diplomatic solution can be resolved. Fanon also warns poets when he states “The native poet who is preoccupied with creating a national work of art and who is determined to describe his people fails in his aim” (226). Fanon is attempting to warn other poets of being too fancy with their words to the extent of which attention is drawn away toward the meaning of the words being spoken, and toward the literary expertise shown. This is problematic because the whole purpose of the poem of revolt in the first place is to express concern, and describe the problem but if the words are abstract to the point of where comprehension is difficult then the meaning will be lost in the words.

    Literature is important during a liberation struggle, poets on either side wish to properly portray what exactly was occurring during this time period. While each side has much different views than the favorable side which is stated by Fanon “and the other side gives us nothing unless by a thousand detours we swing finally in their direction” (227). Fanon is trying to tell us that the only side will only try to trick you into believing their side is the correct side. This is why it is important for literature to be present by both parties in a conflict so that both stories are told, and history can sort out the rest. Fanon also describes what Fodeba had desired to be resolved from the poetry, “we find a constant desire to define accurately the historic moments of the struggle and to mark off the field in which were to be unfolded the actions and ideas around which the popular will would crystallize” (Fanon 227). So from both Fodeba as well as other poets you get the general sense that they wish only to accurately portray what happened so that future generations can learn from.

    “African Dawn” exemplifies Fanon’s idea of attempting to portray the conflicts of the war in relatively simple language without trying to impress with wordplay, and rhymes. On page 244 Fodeba states that “In the colonial situation, culture, which is doubly deprived of the support of the nation and state, falls away and dies” (Fodeba, 244). Here Fodeba is trying to describe how culture tends to fade away in times of liberation, conflict, and colonialism. As present here, and throughout the play, Fodeba wants to explain the conflict and what results from it, in a way that, “not a single colonized person will not receive the message that this poem holds” (Fodeba, 231).


    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  23. By advocating for a "poetry of revolt", Frantz Fanon is saying poetry, as well as other forms of literature, are a way for the oppressed to combat against their oppressors (226). Fanon says his writing is a "literature of combat" because it voices his opinions and fights back against those who are keeping him down (240). This was written during a time when Europe had colonized Africa and was brutally forcing Africans to change their customs, religions and languages to those of Europe. Fanon wants people to speak out about their experiences not only as a way to fight those who have colonized them, but also as a way to be "descriptive and analytical" in order to educate people of what went on during colonization in hopes of preventing such events from occurring again (226).

    Keita Fadeba's "African Dawn" exemplifies Fanons reasoning by showcasing an example of the harmful effects European rule had on Africa. Fadeba explains how African men were forced to fight a way for Europe when it had nothing to do with Africa. Fadeba says "the white people had taken Naman" because Europeans were taking men "[to] go to the war in their [European colonists] country" (229). Fadeba explains how Naman spent years fighting a war that wasn't his and was even captured and held prisoner by the enemy, only to be killed by those he was protecting on his way home. Fodeba says "in the course of a widespread dispute between us and our white officers . . . a bullet struck Naman" (231). This exactly the kind of injustice Fanon wants people to voice their experiences about.

    Fodeba's "African Dawn" perfectly exemplifies what Fanon is advocating because it is a prime example of the troubles European colonies in Africa were experiencing. Fanon advocates for those to speak out against their oppressors by writing their stories for others to read and learn about the injustices occurring. Fanon wants a "poetry of revolt" because he wants those who can speak up to speak up for those who can't. Fanon wants those who write to be the voices of their nation and fight for the rights that are rightfully theirs.

    Work Cited

    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove Press, 1963. Print.

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  24. “Poetry of Revolt” is a significant term in the piece of literature, it can be referred to as a poem or a unique piece of writing that has its own meaning. In this case it is about the oppression of the colonized people of Africa. Fanon is advocating the idea that the “Native poet” cant understand where the citizens are coming from, therefore he cannot fight their battles of oppression until the Native poet inputs himself into the movement with his people. Fanon states, “ he cannot go forward resolutely unless he first realizes the extent of his estrangement from them”(266).
    Literature is essential for a liberation struggle because it allows individuals to speak out against the government, this relates to the modern day 1st amendment of the constitution of freedom of speech. They are very similar. Literature is a way for citizens to release their inner feelings about something without being ridiculed or belittled for their beliefs.
    “African Dawn” is based around the idea of “Poetry of Revolt”, because when the colonies took over the African nations they were forced to change. “African Dawn” explains the thoughts and emotions of the citizens who occupy these towns and their reaction to emotion and conflict. The play voices the opinions of the oppressed. For example “not merely an intellectual advance, but a political advance. (231).

    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  25. Erin Septer

    When Fanon means he advocates for ”Poetry of Revolt” he is saying all literary forms are expressions of how you feel and your viewpoint on the situation. When writing you need to write with a purpose to ignite something in the audience to want them to make a difference. Fanon says this, “The colonized man who writes for his people ought to use the past with the intention of opening the future, as an invitation to action and a basis for hope” (232). He also explains how understanding literature isn’t just mentally, but its supposed to include your feelings as well.

    Liberation struggle is good in literature because it shows both sides of the problem and it can influence people to help their country. “But to ensure that hope and to give it form, he must take part in action and throw himself body and soul into the national struggle” (232). To the right person, this quote could have a huge impact on them to stand up and do something. Writing should have an impact on the audience, or no one would be interested in reading it. Also Fanon states “the storyteller once more gives free rein to his imagination; he makes innovations and he creates a work of art” (241).

    The play “African Dawn” exemplifies Fanon’s ideas of a “poetry of revolt” because it uses poetry to get a point across clearly with no force, just a easy way to explain a situation. “Not merely an intellectual advance, but a political advance” (231). It serves as a communicating message to colonized people who are mentioned to fight for their nation.

    Fanon, Fratz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  26. Kiersten Michel
    Fanon means when he says he advocates for a "poetry of revolt" by the fact that poetry talks about a certain subject but has all of the rhyming and rhythms. Though those techniques are not required for the reader to understand the poem being presented. For example on page 226 "The lady was not alone; She had a husband, A husband who knew everything, But to tell the truth knew nothing. "This introduction to the poem shows that poems don't need to have rhyme and rhythm to make it understandable and believable.
    Literature is important to a liberation struggle because they were dealing colonization. They were not able to have their voice heard. "From being a reply on a minor scale to the dominating power, the literature produced by natives becomes differentiated and makes itself into a will to particularism" (239). With this people were able to write down their feelings and they were understood. Starting with poetry and being able to print books was wonderful. Literature became their way of life.
    Keita Fodeba’s play, “African Dawn,” exemplified Fanon’s this idea with the colonization. In Fodeba’s play he is explaining the situation of one of their men going on travels without really knowing what is out there in the world. Namen was praised in their people but when it came to the real world he didn’t do what he was supposed to do so he died. This is the comparison for the people of a different land showing their way of life and whoever did not follow was killed to show that the outsiders were the ones who were right. “Not merely an intellectual advance, but a political advance” (231). In this quote it shows that there ways of making people do what they want. Whoever is in power has the hand over all the others in the group.
    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.
    Fodeba, Keita. “African Dawn.” Page 227-237. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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  27. Alysha McCleaf

    What Fanon means when he advocates for a "poetry of revolt" is that poetry not only tells a story, but helps to communicate and describe something to the people. Fanon states, "A poem is the assembling and moving together of determining original values, in contemporary relation with someone that these circumstances bring to front." (226). This describes that poetry is not only rhythmic sentences, but they have meaning that help the people reading it to understand the value in it.Literature is important in the liberation struggle because literature helps people be able to voice their opinions and relate to the government. Fanon states that in Keita Fodeba's work, "We find a constant desire to define accurately the historic moments of the struggle and to mark of the field in which were to be unfolded the actions and ideas around which the popular will would crystalize." (227). This shows that the popular voice can be heard through literature. Literature is the foundation of all things surrounding the government. Literature is necessary for a country to function.

    "African Dawn" amplifies Fanon's ideas of "poetry of revolt" and literature improving the liberation struggle. This can be seen by Fanon's quote, "There is not a single colonized person who will not receive the message that this poem holds." (231). This quote shows that all people can be spoken to through this type of literature and that it is important to every culture. Every poem holds meaning and value that everyone can understand therefore bringing the people of the country together.

    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print.

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