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Last Reviewed on June 5, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 461

The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon exposes the negative impacts of colonialism on cultures that have been colonized. He also discusses the barriers that prevent people from working to decolonize other cultures.

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Fanon says that decolonization is always a violent event and the first section of his book focuses on this violence. He explains that this occurs because it's substituting one type of people for another and that it completely changes the social fabric of a place. However, decolonization is something that people want and by the process they became more self-actualized. In order to be free, the people have to also free themselves of the reality created by the colonizers—for example, that one type of skin is worth less than another. Many cultures internalized this idea, he says. It was one of the things that kept people wanting to fight against oppression. It's natural to want to fight against being so maligned.

Since colonized places are kept that way with force, Fanon says that the only way to fight it is with force. When people came in to try and overtake new areas, they removed culture and ways of life that people already had. They also oppressed the people and tried to put themselves above them. Even when that process isn't inherently physically violent, it leaves mental scars and impacts.

When Fanon talks about people organizing to fight colonialism, he says that a major problem is a desire for things to happen quickly. Decolonization isn't a fast process because it takes a lot of mental groundwork to prepare to free people from mental and physical oppression. Changing a culture from the inside out is not easy or immediate. One problem he identifies is the disconnect between the people outside the...

(The entire section contains 461 words.)

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