Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko: Cultural Appropriation, Historical ‘Truths’, and Rationalizing Imperialism

  In Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, the white supremacist slave owner played by Leonardo DiCaprio puts forward an argument that while those whose origins can be traced back to the African continent are inferior to Europeans, there are some ‘exceptional’ people of colour, a logic that dismisses the accomplishments of any person of colour as […]

Blood Meridian: The Epilogue

  Blood Meridian (or the Evening Redness in the West) is widely regarded as Cormac McCarthy’s finest work.  Though he won the Pulitzer Prize for The Road, and The National Book Award for All the Pretty Horses, it is Blood Meridian that critic Harold Bloom boasts is “worthy of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick”.  The novel is a rich […]

George Orwell’s ‘Shooting an Elephant’: Imperialism, Postcolonialism, and Police Brutality

  George Orwell’s ‘Shooting an Elephant’ is not as widely known as other works by Orwell, such as Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, but the short story carries as much currency today as his more celebrated works and more effectively speaks to specific issues in practical terms that Orwell’s more iconic works.  The narrative is […]

Austin Clarke’s Growing Up Stupid Under the Union Jack: Imperialist Education

  On the first page of Austin Clarke’s Growing Up Stupid Under the Union Jack, he writes the his mother told him that “Learning [was] going make [him] into a man” (5), a sentiment that sets the tone for the rest of memoir.  The work is an account of his formative years in St. James, […]

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: A Capitalist Children’s Novel?

  There are few in the West who have gone through childhood without reading Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or seeing one it it’s film adaptations (sorry Tim and Johnny, the Gene Wilder version was SO much better), but in engaging with the work with younger eyes, it is often easy to miss […]

Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things: Intersectional Oppression

  In 1997, Arundhati Roy published her first (and to date only) novel: The God Of Small Things.  The non-sequential narrative is an ambitious work that encourages the readers to look at it through a multiplicity of lenses, but it most effectively engages with colonial, feminist, ecocritical, and Marxist perspectives.  Roy creates a majestic cast of characters […]

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Aristophanes The Birds: The Grecian Environmentalist

  The Birds, also called simply Birds to avoid confusion with the with the Alfred Hitchcock film, is one of few plays written by Aristophanes that does not mention the Peloponnesian Wars, but this does not mean that it is not largely political.  The play speaks to internal government issues, raisings concerns about bureaucracy, whilst also speaking […]

The Fallacy of ‘Race’ in David Henry Hwang’s Yellow Face

  Note: The author of the work being reviewed, David Henry Hwang, is also a character in the play.  To differentiate between the character and the author, the abbreviation ‘DHH’ will be used to refer to the character, while the name ‘Hwang’ will be employed to refer to the author.   There is perhaps no realm […]

L. Ron Hubbard’s Ole Doc Methuselah on Capitalism and Universal Healthcare

During the pulp era, there were a great many prolific writers who often turned out a book or two a week.  Of the science-fiction authors from that era, there were perhaps none more prolific in their prime than L. Ron Hubbard.  This is not to say the writing was great, just that there was a […]