Notes for Non-Western Literature

What makes it Western?

  1. Militarism
    1. the outright annexation of territories as extensions of the host country, which seeks to control the development of the political destiny of a geographic area as a bulwark against the interests of foreign competitors in a given hemisphere, where the interests of the indigenous people are ignored--Columbia
    2. the establishment of spheres of influence, which seek to control pre-established commercial zones in exclusion of other European powers, where alliances are made with the pre-existing establishments of the indigenous society--China
    3. the establishment of protectorate-like colonies, which seek to plant citizens of the parent country who will oversee and direct the exploitation of an area’s natural resources and of its indigenous peoples by initially working through the pre-existing infrastructure and then establishing a new infrastructure on top of that--Guinea
  1. Economic domination
    1. the exportation of raw materials harvested from the country’s natural resources
    2. the importation of finished products to increase the market share of European enterprises
    3. the exploitation of host country labor in the service industry
  1. Cultural dominion
    1. the spread of propaganda that convinces the host country nationals that the Western power is culturally superior to the non-Western power
    2. the institution of foreign exchange programs which Westernize the host country nationals to make them more compliant with Western interests

In using these three methods to facilitate entry into a non-Western country, the Western powers create a class of non-Western citizens that become wholly Westernized in thought and deed, and it is usually from this new class whence comes the upper intelligentsia. The works they produce, in literature, music, and art, and the forms of governments they choose, alongside the political theories they espouse in the maintenance of those governments, gradually become increasingly Western in and of themselves. A country that develops a government compatible with the West and a culture ideologically similar to the West is a country that is more easily dealt with by the West.

This background on how a country becomes westernized should help set the stage for your answering the final exam question: What has been the impact of the West on Non-Western literature? Now, all you have to come up with are specific examples of that impact through the readings. In what way is Western thought incorporated into these works? How is Western culture manifested? Western influence?

The final exam will be held on the 11th of March, for which you may take the entire three hours in class to answer the above question.

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