Though the specific tensions expressed in the two books will differ, a common thread can be seen in that both show the underlying proclivity to violence as an integral part of the urban space. To define a violence which is not explicit carries with it some difficulty. The very medium of violence — that is to say, physical force — is directed outward. The case of Senegal is one which indeed exemplifies the divisions emphasized in colonial planning, with a tendency toward separation occurring in various forms throughout time. Fanon most famously argues that violence is a systematic dictate of colonialism which effects every aspect of the colonial space, and turn this into a Manichaeistic world within which the dualistic struggle between Good and Evil plays out.
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Though the specific tensions expressed in the two books will differ, a common thread can be seen in that both show the underlying proclivity to violence as an integral part of the urban space. To define a violence which is not explicit carries with it some difficulty. The very medium of violence — that is to say, physical force — is directed outward.
The case of Senegal is one which indeed exemplifies the divisions emphasized in colonial planning, with a tendency toward separation occurring in various forms throughout time. Fanon most famously argues that violence is a systematic dictate of colonialism which effects every aspect of the colonial space, and turn this into a Manichaeistic world within which the dualistic struggle between Good and Evil plays out.
Yet, in closely reading these two novels, which place the physically violent aspects of colonialism below the immediate surface of the text itself, it is possible to see the overarching reach of force — both physical and psychological, as explored by Fanon — while also recognizing certain modes of escape from the structures which put this force into action, pursued by the two female protagonists.
In this, he emphasizes the fact that the colonized were conceived of by the colonizers as an entirely separate species from themselves.
That the process is one of violence should not surprise. Examining the history of oppressed peoples and their struggle to overcome a state of subjection reveals the extent to which violence always plays a role.
In order to fully answer this question, we may turn toward the structure of colonialism, or the structure of oppression in general.
According to Fanon, the indisputable role of violence at the moment of decolonization is due to the originary creation of the colonial framework. This was, first and foremost, a violent undertaking, and it follows that the workings based upon this structure will be the product of a totalizing violence.
If the moment of decolonization is the work of violence, this is because the structure itself, that which must be overturned, was shaped by the violence of the original encounter Here, Fanon links the violence of exploitation to the ontological state of the colonized. It would seem that, for Fanon, the telos of violence must be violence. As such, the geography of colonialism is telling. This is precisely why Fanon must call for the extreme measures of a tabula rasa: all spaces that have been subjugated must be erased for the violence of colonialism to give way to a liberated geography.
With such extremes conceptually set in place, the question of whether there would be possibilities to engage the process of decolonization without resorting to the originary violence of the colonial endeavor arises. Fanon answers in the negative, proclaiming that all possibilities of nonviolence are merely the work of compromise between colonialists and the emerging colonized bourgeoisie The colonial space is not merely compartmentalized, however.
But as such, the two opposing sides of colonialism do not function to create a whole. The two confront each other, but not in the service of a higher unity. Following such dualism,the lines which sliced the land, severed ethnic groups, segregated the races, and divided rich from poor, were the violent sketch upon which the portrait of colonialism was painted. Abdoulaye Sadji, however, seems to circumvent the power struggle between colonizer and colonized brought out in the racial terms set by Fanon as well as the more general dichotomy proposed by Bhabha.
With his complex psychological portrayals of young women escaping the boundaries imposed upon them, Sadji calls for a more nuanced interpretation of subjectivity within colonial Senegal. With this in mind, it is possible to bring forth the issue of nonviolence in the struggle for independence. While Fanon rejects notions of nonviolence as they are presented in situations of compromise, it may yet be possible to see certain alternate notions of nonviolence in the literary history of West Africa at the moment of decolonization.
Having established that the delineation of colonized land is first and foremost a totalizing work of violence, we may explore instances in which these lines — borders both seen and unseen, official and unofficial — are broken or crossed. Of particular prominence are the lines that exist within urban spaces and in the literary portrayal of the city — that is to say, within the space of the colonial imaginary. Borderlines are broken and shadowy interstices are explored as the colonial sketch is defaced with alternate markings.
This is perhaps due to in part to the fact that they contain neither the nostalgic representations found in works of the same time period, nor the forthright portrayals of colonialism or nationalist discourse that would feature prominently shortly after their appearance. This had been about six years ago, and since then, she had nevered ventured back to her homeland.
The opulence and the closed, bourgeois circle in which she had developed,xi had turned her into a real Dakaroise. Her pride would be fully satisfied if she could have little Maimouna at her side, whom she knew to be sweet, attractive, and finely bred.
He chooses for her instead a candidate deemed more worthy. Only luck had favored Maimouna in giving her a sister of such importance. She slept in a bed adorned with clean, white sheets and soft pillows, while her servant spread herself out upon a mat, on the ground, guarding the life of this precious young girl like a dog.
What disproportionate distribution of privileges on this earth, my God! For our purposes, it is important to examine the role of the city in these relationships and, in particular, to draw the link between the spaces of the city and violent behavior.
Unfortunately, this departure will bring only more suffering, as she is led into a comparable situation that ends much less happily. While the main fault may be placed with the malevolent Yacine, there are particular circumstances in play, making such an act of vengeance possible. In fact, these two factors are not separate and must be seen in conjunction. As such, it is not only though her own initiative that the courtship and eventual pregnancy occurs, but also through the purposeful subterfuge of another.
Each house had about twenty renters, each of them just as indifferent as the rest From one door to the next, no one knew anyone else. An ideal city for amorous intrigues that survive so well in secret. Danger glided through the sky with the zooming of airplanes, stalked the absentminded passenger to the corners of crosswalks, and was found in the very anonymity that adorned all things and people.
Such was the stronghold of civilization that had attracted and seduced little Maimouna as it had so many other dreamers from the Senegalese bush] In a certain sense, Dakar could be seen as having been planned upon a model of anonymity. Drafted in , the plans for this city were essentially limited to a centralized European space.
These events may be seen as part of general tension between the extreme precision guiding the structure of Dakar in the colonial imaginary and the laissez- faire reality that led to a partially navigable city. While it would seem unexpected, this violent behavior was perhaps lying within her actions from the very beginning.
The opulence of the city, lying in such stark contrast to the humble origins from which she issues, lends weight to these actions as symptomatic of a larger social structure of violence. Her situation is, after all, not different from that of her maid, Yacine, with the exception that she was taken out of the impoverished situation in which her maid still lives. The close quarters shared by the two women, who each serve as mirrors of another life — either dreaded or dreamt of — is but another instance of the dualistic separation between otherwise closely related persons.
With her position threatened by scandal, Rihanna reacts with the same violence as Yacine — though the violence is encated directly rather than indirectly. The seduction she is so intent upon avenging occurred as a young woman, newly arrived in Dakar. In comparing the stories of these two women, it is clear that the dualistic extremes of wealth and poverty which are writ large in the streets of the city they walk both issue from and lead to the inherent violence of the chaotic urban space.
Her efforts are not in vain, for she does attract the attention of a civil servant in the office where she works. The main narrative follows this relationship, and this particular story presents no surprises — she is romanced, promised marriage, and then left by her lover without a word.
Through this story, Sadji cites a long history of such connections between European traders temporarily stationed in in the comptoirs and the signares they would take as companions: these relationships were seen by both the French and Wolof communities as standing above simple concubinage, often accompanied by the same rites and rituals that would be undergone in indigenous marriages.
What comes across so strikingly in the story is not its tragic plot but the tragic position occupied by Nini within the social structure of the city. She cultivates herself in the style of a French woman — acting, speaking, dressing, and living as such.
Yet, while she is able to embody the image of the French woman, she cannot be considered one. It is not only within the physical realm that she attempts to imitate, for she also takes great pains to inhabit the psychology of the colonizer, even unto extremes.
With their position in decline, this double belonging turned into double rejection. One particularly telling instance occurs in the presence of Messieurs Martinau who will become her lover and Perrin. He thought that respecting Nini was to respect his race in the eyes of these two Whites from France.
It is this very status of being neither one nor the other — and therefore considered lower than both — that structures her experience. Puis le Blanc et le Noir examinent le plan ensemble. Le monsieur des travaux publics a fini de palabrer avec le Blanc.
Then, the white man and the black man examine the plan together. Nini watches this with a disapproving eye This monsieur from the public works finished speaking with the white man. Her voice lends perspective to the physical closeness between the worlds while they nevertheless maintain a profound separation, the three-dimensional space swiftly transforming into a series of two-dimensional portraits resembling early ethnographic accounts of these colonial urban spaces.
Boundaries and limits are continually viewed through the eyes of Nini; however, she also passes through areas which seem to escape the rigidity of these distinctions. Being the space of mixing between the generally segregated groups, this is also the place in which the racism of Nini and her constant companion Madou is most vehemently realized: Parfois, quand un groupe de Noirs en complets passe, la conversation change.
At first, they expressed their indignation to M. Dru, the police inspector. A very embarrassing question which M. Dru preferred not to answer. On the one hand, this is a question of wanting to maintain a high social status — which seemingly may be achieved by becoming as French as possible, and thereby perhaps gaining access to the world of the white colonizer.
Taking on a caricatured French identity means taking to extremes every aspect, including, and perhaps most especially, its racism. The event is, of course, viewed by her friends as a success of the whole group. Tout le monde les regarde au passage. Elles regardent le monde aussi, mais sans le voir. A mute ecstasy fills them, a little vertigo of unusual and overflowing joy runs through them, pouring madness into their poor, maladapted brains. Everyone watches them along the passage.
They watch the world as well, but without seeing it. Deprived, by the narrator, of their capacity to think actively, they are incapacitated by emotion. The ecstasy they feel is mute, and emotion here acts upon them while they accept it passively without speaking. While everyone in the crowd can see them, they are unable to see it. Beings and things become anonymous, reduced to vague silhouettes, immobile and fossilized. The whole universe, for them, is held in this long, narrow, straight road.
The Place du Gouvernement. The universe enlarges. Because if men are equal before God, they are not equal in the streets. This is precisely the totalizing force of the urban geography found throughout the novel, one in which the microcosmic spaces of integration examined more closely represent the more ingrained tendencies to segregation. Throughout her courtship with Martineau, it is clear that Nini is able to traverse the spaces of the city and to enjoy a certain position within the white society she desires to access.
ABDOULAYE SADJI MAIMOUNA EBOOK
Mue par un vouloir-vivre, Maпmouna tombe alors dans le piиge des stйrйotypes. Dakar est le seul endroit du Sйnйgal qui trouve grвce а ses yeux car il est synonyme de confort matйriel : son imagination lui reprйsentait ce pays comme un sйjour incom parable. Maпmouna considиre Dakar comme le cadre propice а son йpanouissement. La ville reprйsente tout un symbole fort. Maпmouna a la ferme conviction que Dakar est un endroit oщ coulent le lait et le miel et oщ on connaоt un bonheur sans fin. Ses rкves ne sont pas le signe de sa capacitй а se projeter dans le futur mais ils constituent la preuve de son inadaptation а la rйalitй.
Personnages De L'oeuvre Maimouna D'abdoulaye Sadji dissertations et fiches de lecture