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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

[Archive] WRETCHED OF THE EARTH Assignment for Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014

Image courtesy of Simon Howden
at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Assignment: Answer the following questions in a very short 100- to 200-word essay that is a comment to this post: Explain what Frantz Fanon means in The Wretched of the Earth when he advocates for a “poetry of revolt.” Why is literature important to a liberation struggle? And how does Wole Soyinka's play Death and the King's Horseman exemplify Fanon’s idea? Cite specific examples and text from Soyinka's play and Fanon’s essay that support your claim. You may use your reading notes, the readings, and any helpful links on this course blog. You may either work individually or with one partner from class. 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. Each comment must include your name (and your partner's if you have one) and use standard English. This assignment counts as two participation grades. All work is due by midnight on Friday, 10/17/14.

27 comments:

  1. Abdullah Aldehaiman

    When Fanon says “poetry of revolt” (Fanon 227), he means that this is a poetry but it is not for entertainment. This is a poetry that explains how people feel towards certain things that will lead to rebellion. He is making a common reason for people that are oppressed to rebel. Literature is important to liberation because it convinces people about a certain point, gives a cause for action, unites people through the feelings and struggles they are going through, serves as a reminder for people to call to action, and clarifies to the people who the enemy is. An example of how a poetry of revolt unites people and show a common enemy is when Fanon says “there is no common destiny to be shared between the national cultures of Senegal and Guinea; but there is a common destiny between the Senegalese and Guinean nations which are both dominated by the same french colonialism” (Fanon 234). The Death and the king’s Horseman is a play about the cultural struggle of African traditions and how they are influenced unwillingly by western methods. I noticed a sentence in the play that brings people together and calls them to action just like a poetry of revolt would. The sentence was “I would pray that you do not stay long enough on our land to see the disaster you have brought upon us” (Soyinka 50). In my opinion, this sentence shows a common enemy to the people that lived in that land.




    Works Cited

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

    Soyinka, Wole. Death and the King's Horseman. New York: Norton, 1975. Print.

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  2. When Frantz Fanon writes about a “poetry of revolt” in “The Wretched of the Earth”, I believe that he is writing about colonization and oppression of specifically the African people. “The poet ought however to understand that nothing can replace the reasoned , irrevocable taking up of arms on the people’s side.” (Fanon 226). When stating this I believe that he is saying that the poet first needs to understand who he is writing about. He can’t just write about them, he needs to be them, he needs to be the poem and cooperate or work with the movement of the people to defeat the oppression. It is then that he will understand, and be able to write about this from a first person experience.

    Literature is important to a liberation struggle because it is what fuels the people with motivation to act upon a rebellion. Literature is what helps people to see the big picture. Take Martin Luther King for example, his speech motivated people for many years and is one of the most life changing speeches someone has given to the public. Fanon is saying that before we may have only written to the ruler, only address the issues to the ruler, but now we speak more the community as a whole to get them to fight for their independence or society. “…now the native writer progressively takes on the habit of addressing his own people” (Fanon 240). He states that the native writer focuses on writing for the people, and motivating the people to fight for their culture.

    The play “Death and the King’s Horseman” is the perfect example of Fanon’s idea. Pilkings (who represent she British perspective) considers the whole act of Elesin taking his own life barbaric. On the other hand Elesin believes that it is the right thing to do. He needs to be able to help the king find his way in the other world so that the king can help the new king make choices for the good of the land. When Pilkings arrested Elesin, the society did not sit back and let it happen. All the women followed Iyaloja to where Elesin was and although Pilkings was there they still performed their duty as if fighting for what they truly believed in. Elesin finally fought for what he believed in by still taking his own life in the end, and showing everyone that he was standing by his duty, even if Pilkings got in his way that didn’t stop him.


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

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  4. In The Wretched of the Earth, when Frantz advocates for a “poetry of revolt” (Fanon 226) he means that poetry is more than for entertainment purposes. Fanons “poetry revolt” was more to inform and bring awareness to important current events. These poetic writings were a form of freedom of speech and rebellion to keep quite but to express individual or group thoughts. Literature is so important during liberation because its how we are able to keep those personal historic points in history that everyone doesn’t see or know based on pictures or media. Literature during liberation because it can bring people together and think about what the real issue is and not just what they are told. Literature during liberation allows the readers to dig deeper into the content of freedom from whatever is keeping them in bondage from a happy and fulfilled life. Wole Soyinka's play Death and the King's Horseman exemplify Fanon’s idea because it is a play based on African traditions and cultures but being dominated by British and outside cultures other than theirs. This play alone is a revolt because it is written to give knowledge indirectly about what was going on in their region with their people. Another support from the text Fanon’s essay for my claim is his statement “Yes, the first duty of the native poet is to see clearly the people he has chosen as the subject of his work of art. He cannot go forward resolutely unless he first realizes the extent of his estrangement from them” (Fanon 226). This quote describes how these poets cannot just write anything but because their poetry is “poetry of revolt” (Fanon 226) they have to make sure they know every detail of the people they talk about. A quote from the play, Death and the King's Horseman, which supports my claim, is how Elesin played a distinct role to his people and how he had a duty to fulfill or would be a disappointment to his people. The play shows how their culture was so strong on certain ways and beliefs for their king and their people.


    Works Cited 


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


    Soyinka, Wole. Death and the King's Horseman. New York: Norton, 1975. Print.

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  5. “Poetry of revolt” (Fanon 226) means that the writings are furbishing from entertaining to educating. These writings were a form of rebellion towards to the government. It was to inform everyone of the events that were happening and to do it freely. Literature was important during this time because it was easier to understand and more relatable when it was in writing. It could be applied to everyone of all social and economic classes.
    In the reading “The Wretched of the Earth” it says “There is not a single colonized person who will not receive the message that this poem holds” (Fanon 231). This would be the example of the importance of literature during a struggle because, again, there is the freedom of writing and sharing the news with people in an understandable way.
    Both of the stories however was ruled by the British. They both were in the middle of an up rise to try and overthrow the ruling. In the “Death and the King’s Horseman” it shows that the people of the community has little to no hope of overcoming the British; …”Who would have known that the white skin covered our future, preventing us from seeing the death our enemies had prepared for us” (Soyinka 203).



    Works Cited
    Fanon, Frantz. “The Wretched of the Earth”. Trans. Constance Farrington. New York: Grove, 2005
    Soyinka, Wole. “Death and the King's Horseman”. New York: Norton, 1975. Print.

    Julie Smith and Kristen Weadon

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  6. Danielle Stryker

    https://docs.google.com/a/su.edu/document/d/1EdygSpOmVQjm2D0z_u2KQ1TR6TX1up7KWCxZZPaMCG4/edit?usp=sharing

    (Didn't fit)

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  7. Ashlyn Drake and Rachael Largent

    When Fanon advocates for “poetry of revolt” in The Wretched of the Earth, he means that poetry is not only for entertainment, but also to inform the people about a specific event. This type of poetry is informing the reader how the feel about oppression towards the African people. The poetry is expressing the ways in which the people came together to fight for their independence, “This may be properly called a literature of combat, in the sense that it calls on the whole people to fight for their existence as a nation” (Fanon 240).

    Literature is important to a liberation struggle because it informs people about a rebellion and how they should act during the rebellion. Literature brings a society together as a whole and helps them band together to stand up for what is right and what is best for their society.

    Wole Soyinka’s play Death and the King’s Horseman exemplifies Fanon’s idea in many ways. One example is Elesin’s decision to still carry on with taking his own life, regardless of what Pilkings thought. Pilkings did not think it was wise of Elesin to take his own life, so he arrested him to try to prevent this. Elesin always believed that he should perform his duty and did not let what Pilkings thought stop him. When he was arrested, an uproar occurred because the people backed Elesin’s decision. Elesin replied to Pilkings, “I would pray to you that you do not stay long enough on our land to see the disaster you have brought upon us” (Soyinka 50). In the end, Elesin proceeded with his ways and took his own life, for the best of his society.

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

    Soyinka, Wole. “Death and the King's Horseman”. New York: Norton, 1975. Print.

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  8. Rachel Russell
    When “The Wretched of Earth”, states that this is poetry of revolt (Fanon 226) you can automatically assume this is a poem that is going to express anger. This was their way of expressing anger to the colonization. They could not revolt through actions, so they revolt with words. He compares their fight to the fight between night, and the night was becoming exhausted (Fanon 228). In his poem he states that his poetic works accurately define historical moments of study (Fanon 227). People who do not completely understand what’s going on because they’re not there can use this as an insight.
    Literature is important to the liberation struggle because words do not lie. People who are in different countries may not be able to see it with their own eyes, so they write it out allowing them to know what is happening. The play and the poem both demonstrate struggle. It shows their way of spilling the heart out on paper about colonization. They do not agree with their ways of life being interrupted with but they can’t stop it. The whites believe that they are doing the African Americans a favor by stepping in.

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

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  10. In The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon talks about "a poetry of revolt" which is not used as actual entertainment for people but as more of a form of information. In these poems there are current events that show the rebellion of the writer and some others. Literature is important to the liberation struggle by spreading word of news that is happening and sharing different views on issues. The spread of such knowledge causes a gain in followers and more participants in social rebellion. For example in "Death and the King's Horseman" all of the African traditions and cultures were being overridden by the British. The Africans were subtly trying to revolt against the British during this play and explain what was really going on with their people. They wanted to show the truth rather than what the British wanted everyone to think. A quote from "Death and the King's Horseman" that I think explains this well would be the same one that Julie found above. "Who would have known that the white skin covered our future” (Soyinka 203). This quote shows how the British were trying to mask the African traditions and culture as a whole. The quote from Fanon's work that stood out the most to me was probably where he stated "A national culture in underdeveloped countries should therefore take its place at the very heart of the struggle for freedom.." (Fanon 233). The very heart of their country should be their culture and religion, not any other countries. They should not have to struggle for their freedom when they were there first and they have lived and carried out their traditions for many many years.

    Works Cited
    Fanon, Frantz. “The Wretched of the Earth”. Trans. Constance Farrington. New York: Grove, 2005
    Soyinka, Wole. “Death and the King's Horseman”. New York: Norton, 1975. Print.

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  11. In the Wretched of the Earth, Fanon has an idea of “Poetry of Revolt”(Fanon 226). Poetry can tell of information about the government and old traditions of that the culture had. “ Poem is a moving and assembling of original Values, the popular will would crystallize”(Fanon 226). A certain way a government is ran at one point can be put into a form of poetry and then when the country is freed it can be told to establish the idea of what their government should be. You can’t have government without literature. Literature is important in Liberal movements as well. A liberal leader can move a group of people into wanting to continue to strive for freedom. The people will feed of his energy and connect to his words that he says. People use words to connect to the government. The people that protest are using words to explain their feelings or concerns. Soyinka’s “Death of a Kings Horseman” is an example of the Fanon’s idea of poetry of revolt. “ The responsibility of the native man of culture is not a responsibility of his national culture, but a global responsibility with regard to the totality of the nation, whose culture represents a nation” (Fanon 233). Elesin has a job he has to do that he revolts against Pilkings and kills himself anyway. The women stand up in the market to protect their tradition and they use words to fend off the police. Some traditions are too important to just let go. The village could use a story like this to explain to people why they have this tradition and what it means to them.



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

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  13. In the story “The Wretched of the Earth,” Fanon advocates for a “poetry of revolt” in order to show how important literature can be. Literature is a powerful thing and people used it then tell their own stories. It was used to distinguish a separation between the people and the oppressive regimes.

    Fanon defines what national culture and how essential it is. "A national culture is the whole body of efforts made by a people in the sphere of thought to describe, justify, and praise the action through which that people has created itself and keeps itself in existence" (Fanon 233). And he connects national culture as a means of trying to liberate your country. "To fight for national culture means in the first place to fight for the liberation of the nation, that material key-stone which makes the building of a culture possible" (Fanon 233).

    Africans wrote poetry during this time to produce their own culture/ideals and not Europe’s version. Same thing is happening in the play by Soyinka. Soyinka’s play “Death and the Kingman’s Horseman,” exemplifies Fanon’s idea because Soyinka uses this play to tell his story.

    So therefore, literature plays a very important role in trying to convey a message. Africans used it to produce their own stories.


    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: 1965. Print.

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  14. Fanon describes “poetry of revolt” (Fanon 226) as a way of expressing anger about a situation and revolting with words rather than violence. He uses poetry to get his message out. Fanon knows that it is necessary to truly understand the people you are speaking to in order for them to be on his side because “nothing can replace the reasoned, irrevocable taking up of arms on the people’s side” (Fannon 226). The people ultimately control what happens in a society. If the people choose to rebel, than oppression could be abolished and it is up to the poet to convince them that revolting is the right thing to do.

    Literature is important to a liberation because it can reach a lot of people. People are more likely to read something entertaining than anything else, so it would encourage more people to get educated about what is going on. It also helps the author to persuade people to believe his ideas.

    “Death and the King’s Horseman” by Wole Soyinka is a great example of this idea. The British people in the play are trying to stop an African tradition because they don’t agree with it. Even though they have authorities such as Pilkings trying to stop them, they carry on their tradition. This agrees with Fanon’s idea that the oppressed need to rebel against their oppressors in order to triumph.

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

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  15. Nick Meilinger

    Fanon is saying when Algeria is being oppressed by colonization you can't just have an armed resistance but you have assert their own culture through literature. Literature is important to a liberation struggle because when colonization takes away all of their culture they have to start new and literature is key in culture especially starting fresh after it was taken away. "While at the beginning the native intellectual used to produce his work to be read exclusively by the oppressor, whether wth the intention of charming him or denouncing him..." (Fanon 240). He's telling them that they shouldn't just write to show their oppessors hey are unhappy, they need to write to their people to maje them do something about it.

    Wole Soyinka's play the Death and the Kings Horseman is a primse example of what Fanon calls "poetry of revolt" because it is about Yoruba people being oppressed by their colonizers. It talks about how the white people took away their culture and wouldn't let them practice it because they thought they were inferior. This play is a form of literature that calls the people of a nation to stand up and embrace who they are and take back what's theirs. “Who would have known that the white skin covered our future, preventing us from seeing the death our enemies had prepared for us. “

    Fanon, Frantz. “The Wretched of the Earth”. Trans Constance Farrington. New York: Grove. 2005
    Soyinka, Wola. “Death and the King’s Horseman”. New York: Norton, 1975. Print.

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  16. Ashby Lewis

    My understanding is that the poetry revolt is a way for the people to express what they feel is right through. This allows them to express feelings without the public display attention (226). It is important to a liberation because it allows them to inconsequently throw out their believe on certain things that they don’t believe is right, of that they believe should be changed(227). Fanons idea helped out the people of the countries. In hopes of improving the freedom they didn’t have from the British, finally he paid the price for these ideas.(230)
    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963. Print

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  17. Heather Shannon and Colton Fisher

    In “Wretched of the Earth,” Frantz Fanon expresses not only his own thoughts, as well as the cultural internal thoughts of the natives, by “poetry of revolt”. These poems help inform the people of the African oppression taking place during World War II. The use of poetry shows the struggles of the people while educating everyone on what is actually going on during the events. The use of “poetry revolt” can be seen as merely a form of rebellion, the writers are using these mechanisms to express their own personal freedoms. In Fanon’s poem he describes an except, “Dawn was breaking. We were at Tiaroye-sur-Mer. In the course of a widespread dispute between us and our white officers from Dakar, a bullet struck Naman. He lies in the land of Senegal”(Fanon 231). This is an essential component of poetry because it creates emotional attachments between the reader and the main character. This is another thing that makes “revolt poetry” extremely influential in the native African culture.
    Literature is important during liberation because it gives the people something to go off of, during a time of rebellion. Literature can serve as a guideline for those who are rebilling against a common group. Once the native writer takes on the habit of addressing his own people, we come upon the term of “literature of combat.” This clarifies the intentions of importance of how literature during liberation can bring the people together as one unit. In “the Wretched of the Earth it states, “…literature of combat, in the sense that it molds the nation consciousness, giving it form and contours and flinging open before it new and boundless horizons…”(Fanon 240).
    In the “Death and the King’s Horseman” the theme of cultural power and tradition gleams through the understanding of African tradition. However, neither reading displays a clash of culture… but simply a combined act of society expressing traditional beliefs. For example, in “Death and the King’s Horseman,” Pilkings has no understanding of the African culture Elesin is destined to complete, so he tries to stop him by arresting him. Furthermore, when he comes to take Elesin away, Iyaloja and the women of the village attempt to stop him from interrupting the cultural ritual. This ties back into Fanon’s writing of “Wretched of the Earth” because it exemplifies the native’s rebellion against the colonized people.

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

    Soyinka, Wole. “Death and the King's Horseman”. New York: Norton, 1975. Print.

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  18. In Wretched of the Earth, Fanon talks about a "poetry of revolt" (Fanon 226). Poetry of revolt is not the same as traditional poetry. It is an attempt to accurately tell history. "We find a constant desire to define accurately the historic moments of the struggle" (Fanon 227). History is told from the point of view of the victors. Poetry of revolt is a way for the people who were oppressed to tell their history the way they want to. Death and the King's Horseman by Wole Soyinka is a play revolting against Western ideals that are forced onto African cultures. The African people want to tell their own story and they do so through poetry.

    Work Cited
    Fanon, Frantz. “The Wretched of the Earth”. Trans. Constance Farrington. New York: Grove, 2005

    Becca Lavin & Cody McClung

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  19. Poetry has been used throughout the ages to teach us stories and lessons from our ancestors. It has been used to make us laugh, dance, sing and even cry. Poetry has told us a history of heroes from ancient Greek Gods to foolish young Shakespearean lovers. But there are times when poetry must take a turn from the more lighthearted ways and move into the darkness of the world. Poetry must then bring forth that which is happening to light where no one can flip a switch to plunge it into darkness once more. This is our “poetry of revolt” (Fanon 226).

    To speak of “poetry of revolt”, we must take a look at liberation and literature. Poetry, as mentioned before, has told us a history, but “the understanding of the poem is not merely an intellectual advance, but a political advance” (Fanon 231). The audience must not look at history with a broken gaze. Instead they should look at this poetry with fire in their hearts. This poetry of revolt is not just an “intention of opening the future” (Fanon 232). It is also a “basis for hope” (Fanon 232). This poetry is bringing “conflicts up to date and [modernizing] the kinds of struggle which the stories evoke, together with the names of heroes and the types of weapons” (Fanon 240).

    Wole Soyinka’s play “Death and the King’s Horseman” is an excellent example of this “poetry of revolt.” This play was “based on events which took place in Oyo, ancient Yoruba city of Nigeria, in 1946” (Soyinka 3). “Death and the King’s Horseman” was an extremely political move. Just by publishing a play in Africa was a powerful statement. Soyinka wanted to prove that Africa, as a continent, needed to be self-sufficient and stop relying on foreign countries for their needs. They had once been self-sufficient before the Europeans invaded their lands, so why not now?

    Even more of a political statement (and a sly one at that), Soyinka chose to make this a performance work, similar to the Griots and their storytelling. Instead of writing a book, he chose to write a play because poetry and theater are ancient African traditions. Despite the Europeans’ attempts at smashing out the African culture, Soyinka wanted to prove that it was still there and alive.

    The play itself, a “largely metaphysical” confrontation, worried Soyinka (Soyinka 3). He did not want anyone to misinterpret the meaning of his text. It was not a clash of cultures. It was a complete takeover.

    Works Cited:


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  20. Sorry, it cut off my works cited:

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

    Soyinka, Wole. Death and the King's Horseman. New York: Norton, 2002. Print.

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  21. When fanon is talking about “poetry of revolt” he is mentioning a movement. He is talking about using poetry as means for an anti-colonial movement. He is talking about using poetry politically to inspire people to rise up against colonialism. He wants to bring awareness to current events and have people relate literature to what is happening around them. The literature is supposed to be used as means for the people to connect with each other and feel a sense of bonding and freedom. “He cannot go forward resolutely unless he first realizes the extent of his estrangement from them” (Fanon 227). The poet is supposed to understand the differences and the relationship between them and their audience. Without that understanding they cannot effectively relate to them.
    The death and the king’s horseman is an example of this because it shows how the African tribes were oppressed and influenced by colonials and it was meant to open the eyes of the people reading it as to how they were treated. It shows how the colonial influence can affect traditional customs. Pilkings view of the tribe shows how barbaric the colonials believe the tribes are.

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

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  22. Eyram Wayem
    What Fanon means by “poetry of revolt” (Fanon 227) he is trying to say that people may live in a society in which, as natives, they must abide by the rules that have made them into the people that they are through oppression and colonization by another higher force of power and that through literature can they express themselves about how they truly feel with the new life that was forced upon them. An example of how fanon’s poetry of revolt unites people and shows a common enemy is when he says “there is no common destiny to be shared between the national cultures of Senegal and Guinea; but there is a common destiny between the Senegalese and Guinean nations which are both dominated by the same French colonialism” (Fanon 234). This is his way of saying that rebelling against an oppressive power doesn’t necessarily have to be violent and have war and bloodshed just to get a point across of how the natives of any place, that has been colonized, need their own independence. The same can almost be said when referring to Soyinka's play Death and the King's Horseman because it shows how a "tradition", that involves killing one's self just to show respect to the dead, can make a person feel angry about what they have to do in order to shown respect. Whereas, just living a normal life and abiding by the laws that have been set in place is a much better option. The freedom to choose is what matters. So long as there are laws to keep things in check then having independence isn't such a bad thing.
    Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove, 1963.

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  23. Wole Soyinka’s work, "Death and the King’s Horseman" serves as an example of the revolt that Frantz Fanon describes in “The Wretched of the Earth”. Fanon introduces a poem called “African Dawn” and concludes that the true meaning of the “revolt of poetry” of which he speaks refers to the “political advance” that is taken from the poem (Fanon 226 231). The same idea can be extracted from Soyinka’s purpose in writing Death and the King’s Horseman. Because his play was just that; a play, rather than a novel, it created a political uproar. Soyinka intentionally wrote this piece as a play because he wanted to mirror the role of the griots as he told the story to his people in Yoruba (Soyinka 3). Since he fictionalizes parts of the story, it can be further classified as an ancient African artwork much like the stories told by the griots.
    In addition, Fanon says that “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). This particular statement is an example of how the “poetry of revolt” or the poetry that quietly, yet powerfully makes a mark on its audience is presented in both of these works (Fanon 226). Soyinka very well recognizes that by formatting "Death and the King’s Horseman" as a play rather than a novel, he will gain some reaction from the global community, however, his wit to publish his work in Africa as opposed to sending it to be published elsewhere also makes a powerful statement. Like Liz pointed out in her post, Soyinka’s move to publish in Africa says a lot about the continent’s independence and self-sufficiency. It is a testament to Fanon’s statement about poetry being a “literature of combat” (Fanon 240). He says this about poetry and the power it wields to fuel the kind of self sufficiency that Soyinka advocates for Africa: “It is a literature of combat… assumes responsibility… it is the will to liberty expressed in terms of time and space” (Fanon 240). Rather than being centered on cultural disputes, these two works exemplify the meaning of a quiet rebuttal with a powerful impact.
    Works Cited:
    Fanon, Frantz. “The Wretched of the Earth”. Trans. Constance Farrington. New York: Grove, 2005.

    Soyinka, Wole. Death and the King’s Horseman. New York: Norton. 2002. Print.

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  24. In The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon, I believe he is trying to advocate for his people against colonization. He uses “poetry of revolt” to show the reader how they fought against the oppression and for their independence. “A frequent mistake, and one which is moreover hardly justifiable, is to try to find cultural expressions for and to give new values to native culture within the framework of colonial domination” (244). He shows that they are not willing to accept the colonization and give up their freedom. A way they do this is through “poetry of revolt”. The literature is important because it is a form of their revolution through words and can be used to teach others about their experiences. Frantz uses poetry to speak to crowds instead of just one person.
    The play “Death and the Kings Horseman” is a good example of Fanon’s idea; the play shows that the African people did not want to surrender to the colonization by the British. They did not want to give up their culture even though the British considered it barbaric. Elesin went on with his suicide regardless of what Pilkings actions. Elesin says to Pilkings “I would pray to you that you do not stay long enough on our land to see the disaster you have brought upon us” (Soyinka 50). He warns Pilkings for trying to change his people’s culture when they are not willing to accept the change just like in the poem by Frantz Fanon.

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



    Soyinka, Wole. Death and the King's Horseman. New York: Norton, 2002. Print.

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  25. Christy Daily
    Most poetry is written for emotional entertainment. For fanon however “poetry of revolt” (Fanon 226) is a message about the political and social culture of Africa at that time. This work and works alike are to inform and persuade the readers. Most are written in opposition to the current system of the country. The play Death and The King’s Horseman by Wole Soyinka gives the same idea. Integrated throughout the play are pictures of a white supremacy government taking over African culture. Soyinka expresses the feelings the natives are experiencing as their culture is being changed and reconstructed before their own eyes. As explained in the background section of the play “Whatever is complicity with the indigenous ruling class might be, the importance of Soyinka’s classic for a viable postcolonial cultural and political praxis lies in this achievement” (Soyinka 195). It is important that these types of literature be written to inform other nations what is going on and the feelings of the natives but also for those natives who may not have a voice or chance to see what is happening.


    Works Cited

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

    Soyinka, Wole. Death and The King’s Horseman. New York: Norton, 1975. Print.

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  26. When Fantz Fenon advocates for “poetry of revolt” in “The Wretched of The Earth” I think that he is trying to relate the writing to support the act of going against oppression. This is specifically directed towards the African people in this case. Fenon wanted to inform these people that they needed to fight against the cruel treatment they had received. The purpose for poetry of revolt was a “basis for hope” (Fanon 232) and an “intention of opening the future”(Fanon 232). The poetry was meant to inspire the people.
    Literature is important to a liberation struggle because it has the capability of being able to motivate people to fight for something, whether it be against oppression in this case or for other wants or needs. The writer tries to speak to a whole community or group of people in the writing instead of just making issues aware to just to ruler’s who are seen to be of greater importance. If the writer can get the attention of a whole community and make them aware of any issues that may be occurring they can inspire them to do something to change these issues. This gathers the attention and support of many people. And those people as a unit have a greater chance of making a change.
    The play “Death and the King’s Horseman” is a great example of “poetry of revolt”. The play itself was written to defend the African culture. Plays and poetry were looked down upon by the Europeans. Despite what the Europeans thought, plays were written to show that the African culture would stand strong.

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

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  27. Literature is important to a liberation struggle because it allows its audience to see all sides of the struggle and, to the truly aware viewer, remove all prospects that could sway the reader to one side of the struggle along with the viewer’s cultural lens. As stated by Frantz Fanon, works of national literature “may be properly called a literature of combat” due to its nature to “fight for the existence as a nation” (Fanon 240). In terms of colonialism, a nation consists of its natives and its colonizers; therefore, Fanon’s notion is true: a native will want to continue their way of life while the colonizer tries to imbue their way of life towards the community they are trying to completely overtake. However, viewing the actions under literary confinement allows the reader to see the nation, along with its flaws, as a whole. In the case of Death and the Kings Horseman, the clashing ideologies within the nation of Oyo become visible. Wole Soyinka narrates in Pilkin’s character, “It is still a good bargain if the world should lose one night’s sleep as the price of saving one’s life.” Elesin then retaliates that his life was not saved, but destroyed instead (Soyinka 50). Though each character struggles to understand the differences between each other’s cultures, the audience is able to make a justified assessment of the situation being portrayed and make a clear opinion. Thus, when Fanon advocates for a “poetry of revolt,” he wants the audience to find the median between two truths and feels that literature is the best way to represent any such median in hopes of improving the struggle within a nation.

    Works Cited

    Fanon, Frantz. “The Wretched of the Earth”. Trans. Constance Farrington. New York: Groove, 2005.

    Soyinka, Wole. “Death and the King's Horseman”. New York: Norton, 1975. Print.

    ReplyDelete