Books and Movies Reviews

The Wretched Of The Earth

Fanon’s book, “The Wretched Of The Earth” like Foucault’s
“Discipline and Punish” question the basic assumptions that underlie
society. Both books writers come from vastly different perspectives
and this shapes what both authors see as the technologies that keep
the populace in line. Foucault coming out of the French intellectual
class sees technologies as prisons, family, mental institutions, and
other institutions and cultural traits of French society. In contrast
Frantz Fanon (1925-1961) born in Martinique into a lower middle class
family of mixed race ancestry and receiving a conventional colonial
education sees the technologies of control as being the white
colonists of the third world. Fanon atfirst was a assimilationist
thinking colonists and colonized should try to build a future
together. But quickly Fanon’s assimilationist illusions were destroyed
by the gaze of metropolitan racism both in France and in the colonized
world. He responded to the shattering of his neo-colonial identity,
his white mask, with hisfirst book, Black Skin, White Mask, written
in 1952 at the age of twenty-seven and originally titled “An Essay for
the Disalienation of Blacks.” Fanon defined the colonial relationship
as one of the non recognition of the colonized’s humanity, his
subjecthood, by the colonizer in order to justify his exploitation.
Fanon’s next novel, “The Wretched Of The Earth” views the
colonized world from the perspective of the colonized. Like Foucault’s
questioning of a disciplinary society Fanon questions the basic
assumptions of colonialism. He questions whether violence is a tactic
that should be employed to eliminate colonialism. He questions whether
native intellectuals who have adopted western methods of thought and
urge slow decolonization are in fact part of the same technology of
control that the white world …

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