How is "Zigzag Way" a part of postcolonial literature?

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Postcolonial literature deals with many themes, the strongest of which is the struggle of a culture to deal with outside forces and influences.  The history of the Cornish miners and their immigrant lifestyle in Mexico echoes this theme.  These group of individuals were bringing their own culture and patterns of behavior to a new and unknown world.  They had to learn to adjust to the new environment while trying to maintain their sense of self - a difficult struggle, and one that happened during colonial and postcolonial times.  A new group would enter, or would leave, and the environment of a country would change.  The inhabitants were forced to react and adjust and, often, change their behaviors.  The Cornish workers were in this position.

Despite their struggles, however, these workers were the invading force.  They changed the environment with their pursuit of mining, regardless of the wishes of the natives.  As happened in many a colonial culture, a revolution upended the community and the Cornish workers scattered.  But they left behind their influence in the form of the mines.  The Huichol Indians, the natives, are suffering at the cruelty of the mines - a creation that is not native to their soil.  This is analagous to the postcolonial communities in Africa who were suffering in a capitalistic economy that was left by the Western invaders.


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