The Shift of Self and Other in Doris Lessing’s The Grass is Singing
Keywords:Identity, Other, Self, Shift and Colonial
The topic of identity has been the subject of intense and passionate discussions, with politicians, critics and revolutionaries equally tending to divide the world into opposing groups. In the post-colonial era, this has led to an emphasis on dichotomies such as oppressor-oppressed, colonizer-colonized, master-slave, settler-native, and us-them. Each country seeks to establish its uniqueness by contrasting itself with others, and in doing so, identity is often viewed as something fixed, basic, and unchanging. However, this approach has led to the creation of binary divisions in society and losing of distinctiveness and individuality due to mimicry, ambivalence, and hybridity, and the need to deconstruct and reconstruct subjectivity in what is known as the third space. The relationship between human experience and societal factors in a colonial or postcolonial context is a central theme in postcolonial literature, and it explores issues such as the fluidity of power and position. This paper examines the shift of self and other in postcolonialism through an analysis of Doris Lessing's 20th century South African novel, The Grass is Singing. The novel challenges established dichotomies and demonstrates how the colonized can subvert their subordination. It also reveals the fluidity, vulnerability, and fragile nature of colonial identity by highlighting the shifting positions of those in power and those who are not.
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