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How can we use Postcolonialism in Multicultural American Literature?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I can see how the accepted ideas of what defines Postcolonial literature can be included in a study of Multicultural American Literature.  The struggle for voice and validation in Multicultural American Literature can be found in Postcolonial literature.  Both modes of narrative expression seek to bring voice to one's experience.  They both seek to validate the condition of being that specific individuals are immersed.  This might be one way in which both can be integrated within one another.  In seeking to understand how American writers construct the issue of race, Postcolonial literature can assist in this process.  I think that there needs to be a clear delineation between how Postcolonial literature might be addressing a specific historical context and condition that is not necessarily as evident in Multicultural American literature.  Yet, I believe that there is some overlap.  Postcolonial literature that deals with the issue of race and racism in specific cultural contexts can be used to accentuate some of the same conditions of being in Multicultural American Literature.  In this way, both can be seen as articulating different aspects of the same experience.

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