This allows the child to move more freely between social contexts than an older narrator might, and also causes the narrator to be trustworthy because of the innocence of childhood. This also allows the author to manipulate the narrator's surroundings by giving the child some of the author's ideas at times Note1.
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Though Merle Hodge, in her classic Crick Crack, Monkey, describes a West Indian childhood and Simi Bedford a Nigerian and British one in Yoruba Girl DancingEngland's empire casts a long shadow over both novels, revealing that both child protagonists have to overcome a "colonization of the mind," to reverse Ngugi wa Thiong'o's famous phrase.
At an early age, Bedford's protagonist is cast into a British boarding school as the only African student. Lacking a cultural matrix, she is forced to invent an Afro-British identity for herself that relies heavily on the British colonialist imagination -- conveyed through media and stereotypes -- for its imagery.
The Africa she knows and the Africa Great Britain imagines clash in her mind, and it is not until her late adolescence and the arrival of her family and friends from Nigeria that she is able to arrive at a more secure and de-colonized self-image. Although Hodge's protagonist does not leave the West Indies Trinidad until the very end of the novel, she experiences a similarly jarring psychological alienation.
Taken from her working-class aunt's home, she is "adopted" by a middle-class aunt whose ideas of culture, education, and socialization are rigidly Anglocentric. As a result, the protagonist is made to feel ashamed of anything that connects her to her folk heritage.
Though, unlike in Yoruba Girl Dancing, the agents of socialization are not British, their impact is not any less severe. A comparison of these narratives highlights a bitter irony of colonization: Such texts often emphasize the protagonist's growing awareness of her ethnicity, its social significance, or its meaning.
Ethnic literature in the U. As Naomi Solokoff has said, "the most important characteristic of Jewishness in modern literature is the very struggle with the issue of identity itself.
Narratives of childhood, concerned with a young figure's search for a personal voice, are keenly attuned to such matters" xi.
The struggle for identity is what characterizes both Crick Crack, Monkey and Yoruba Girl Dancing, since both are narratives in which identity is under assault from "Englishness" at a time approximately the s when such a cultural imposition was still less questioned than after the wave of decolonizations in the s.
Though located in culturally specific locales -- the Afro-Indian-Anglo Caribbean culture of Trinidad, the Yoruba culture of Nigeria, and England -- both narratives are characterized by their focus on what happens to children when cultural definitions are imposed through education, both social and formal, by the metropolis.
In other words, such education produces a sense of growing up elsewhere, whether one is literally sent away to school or alienated at "home. Her life in these environs appears happy and content, and the dramas of everyday life, even the death of her mother and her father's departure for England, are absorbed in sociability.
As Yakini Kemp notes, "she [Tee] is moving progressively toward the development of a positive self-image while she resides with Tantie" Their conversations as rendered in the novel betray that they identify with the white "heroes" of those movies and enjoy their genocidal victories over indigenous people.
This leads to ironic situations. For example, Krishna, an East Indian -- whose very presence on Trinidad is a result of British imperial settlement policies after the abolition of slavery in the s, leading to the transportation of East Indian laborers to the Caribbean -- relishes a Western "hero's" killing of Native Americans, who are victims, like himself, of the same global movement of European expansion; he describes a scene from a movie to his peers: The adolescents' identification with American movie heroes goes so far that a number of them have adopted the names of movie stars such as "Rock-Hudson " and "Gary-Cooper" 8.
Where does such an uncritical acceptance of the colonizers' ideals come from? The novel highlights the degree to which the school system is responsible for such an internalization of a Westernized worldview.Impact of colonial education in Hodge's Crick Crack Monkey Hodge’s book Crick Crack, Monkey is a story that mirrors the racist and the class divisions in the society.
She wrote about women, their lives and the effects of Post Colonial education. Crick Crack, Monkey Merle Hodge Pages: Published: The book: A young girl called Tee narrates the story of her childhood in Trinidad. After her Mother dies during childbirth, Tee is forced to live first with an aunt she calls Tantie and then with her Aunt Beatrice.
It is a fictional account of the traumas associated with British colonial education that is as sophisticated as any theoretical analysis or sociological study of these issues.
I am happy to see this text back in print." --Catherine John, University of Oklahoma"The new and handsome edition of Crick Crack, Monkey is a blessing. It is /5(14). "'This Englishness Will Kill You': Colonial[ist] Education and Female Socialization in Merle Hodge's Crick Crack, Monkey and Bessie Head's Maru." College Literature (): 62 .
The novel Crick Crack Monkey was written by Merle Hodge, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago. The novel was first published in the year by Heinemann Publishers Limited.
The story is narrated through the eyes of an unbiased child protagonist. Robin Brooks June Teaching Merle Hodges Crick Crack, Monkey: A Lesson Plan I. Introduction Merle Hodges Crick Crack, Monkey, first published in , is a significant text in the body of anglophone Caribbean literature.