Traits found in Post-colonial literature:
- Post-colonial literature (and other arts) is an expression of the world or society in which it is created.
- Post-colonial literature deals with colonial power and colonized people.
- Post-colonial literature is built on a valid and active sense of national/racial self and identity.
- Post-colonial literature is mostly literature from former colonies, and this literature normally deals with specific aspects of what it means to be a former colony.
- The post-colonial criticism is what you use as a reader when dealing with authors from former colonial powers. The literature put under this form of analysis does not necessarily have to come from the same historical period as the colonization.
- Literature analyzed from a post-colonial perspective deals with attitudes and topics that characterize the specific period of colonization that has influenced it.
Often a post-colonial reading or post-colonial literature deals with general themes that are linked to general historical events; such themes can be described as being:
Dislocation – because of migration, enslavement, transportation or 'voluntary' removal for forced laborers.
Denigration – because of the conscious and unconscious oppression of the indigenous personality and culture by a supposedly superior racial or cultural model.
Alienation – social or/and cultural alienation to the country and culture that you live in, or to the country or culture that you are growing up in. Alienation is normally associated with a strong sense of longing for that which the author/narrator/character belongs to.
Inadequacy – the colonized culture will feel that it is not as good as the colonizing culture.
All or some of these general themes will exist in post-colonial literature, as well as literature put to a post-colonial reading.
When we do a post-colonial reading we look for specific elements that indicate a cultural conflict,...