Investigating the Female Subaltern, Colonial Discourse and False Consciousness: A Spivakian Marxist-Postcolonialist Reading of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and No Longer at Ease

Jalal Mostafaee


The present research study attempts to investigate Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and No Longer at Ease in terms of Gayatri Spivak Marxist-Post colonialist conceptions of subaltern, colonial discourse and false consciousness. In Post-modernist fiction, there is anxiety that historical concerns such as the scale of violence in the Second World War, the Nazi genocide, the paranoiac politics of the Cold War and European colonialism have made fiction a medium for history. Chinua Achebe’s novels, indeed, are manifestation of colonialism and its subsequent impact on the literary text and dominant discourse. In exploring these terms, this dissertation endeavors to closely examine Gayatri Spivak’s concept of subaltern in the Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and No Longer at Ease. Furthermore, the present paper demonstrates Spivak’s voice to differences: that is, class categorization and marginalized subaltern subjects. By the emergence of colonialism, the significance of social class and social discourse became predominant; therefore, colonial discourses instilled into the social, cultural construction and literary text, particularly novel. In this regard, the investigation of the dominate discourses is pursued, and this helps to show how colonialism resulted in discourse inculcation. The resistant perspective against ruling ideology, as the Italian Marxist political activist, Antonio Gramsci calls it cultural hegemony is presented through language, tradition, and customs. Finally, the study focuses on Marxist concept of false consciousness from the viewpoint of Antonio Gramsci to Louis Althusser.

Keywords: Colonial discourse, Subaltern, False Consciousness, Social Class, Change and Tradition, Language, Culture

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