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Identify any subaltern short stories.

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gayathri93 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 6, 2011 at 4:31 PM via web

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Identify any subaltern short stories.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 6, 2011 at 7:33 PM (Answer #1)

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If we define "subaltern" as relating to and having to do with post- colonial studies, I think that we can find many examples.  Some of the best work in all of literature might come from subabltern short stories that help to bring about cultural awareness as well as a deeper and more profound understanding of self.  I would examine several texts as examples of this.  The collection of short stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez entitled Strange Pilgrims, shows consciousness from the Hispanic point of view in different parts of the Spanish Speaking world where there is a struggle to define oneself in world where colonialism is not present, but its impact lingers.  Salman Rushdie writes a series of short stories in a work entitled, East, West which lives up to its title in exploring consciousness in a setting where colonialism is both alive and dead, within societies and within individuals.  Finally, in "Once Upon a Time," Nadine Gordimer explores the terror that those who were in the position of power under a colonial or apartheid system experience when change forces a radical change to such a structure.  These works help to explore the subaltern notion of consciousness, paying special attention to "the masses" and how they adjust to a life where their autonomy and freedom help to define who they are and how they should live.

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