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British Literature

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The British Empire was once taking over many different territories and colonizing around the world. In the twentieth century what was accepted as British literature because more diverse. Britain diversified its self not only around the world but people from all over came to Britain too. Many writings in this period show this in different ways. Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own", Salmon Rushdie's "English Is an Indian Literary Language", Ngugi WA Thiong'O's "Decolonising the Mind", Wole Soyinka's "Telephone Conversation" are some works that show the diversity of British literature.

Well known for colonialism, a policy by which a nation maintains or extends its control over foreign dependencies, Britain was growing. More and more in the twentieth century and after is where colonialism became neocolonialism, a policy where a major power uses economic and political means to perpetuate or extend its influence over underdeveloped nations or areas. This is when Diversity started to grow all over the world. People were moving to different parts of the world to explore, to gain power and to better their own lives. This is the time when education started growing and more and more people were getting educated. Women were beginning to be more out spoken and technology was advancing.

With all the change going on in the twentieth century women were also big parts of this movement of diversity. The dramatic setting of "A Room of One's Own" by Virginia Wolf is that she has been invited to lecture on the topic of Women and Fiction. She advances the thesis that "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction" (p.2092). Her essay is constructed as a partly-fictionalized narrative of the thinking that led her to accept this idea. The narrator then reflects on the history of the university, thinking in particular of the materials, labor, and money upon which it was founded and maintained.

Why have women have always been so poor, the narrator wonders later on through out the story, thinking about how different things would have been "if only Mrs. Seton and her mother and her mother before her had learnt the great art of making money and had left their money"(p.2103) for the education of their daughters. She is forced to concede, however, that a great sacrifice would have been required "There would have been--that was the snag in the argument--no Mary." Plus, law and custom conspired to prevent those women from having any legal property rights at all; they were themselves considered property. Where a man would have been given free restraint, the narrator is restricted to a narrow path on the Oxbridge campus, nor is she permitted to enter the college library. These obstacles signify the effects of an educational culture that radically restricts the capacity of a woman's intellectual exposure. Woolf identifies the fact of being denied access whether to buildings or ideas as another type of infringement on the freedom of the female mind. This segregation is a more of a drastic kind of interruption, one that disturbs not just a single thought or dream, but the life-long developmental of an individual or the historical development of an intellectual tradition.

As the Britain rule still had a lot of influence Salmon Rushdie wrote "English Is an Indian Literary Language". English was being pushed upon the natives and many people had different opinions on what this represented. "English is by now the world language."(p2540) Many people thought that it was a good idea to have English as the primary language while others thought that their language was better and superior. From his prospective he thinks that people are taking the English language and making it their own, sort of like how we along the border have made spanglish our own. Depending on where people live, I would say that the English language varies. Older generations were fighting that English would ruin their culture and their race while the younger generations went along with the language, accepted it and used it, "They use it as an Indian language, as one of the tools they have to hand,"(p.2540) which is what mainly people have been doing since.

In India being such a big country is colonized differently. In the north Hindi which is their primary language is looked and seen as better than English and people do not really accept change as much. But in the south they embrace the English language, "...not only because of technical vocabularies and the international communication...but also simply to permit Indians to talk to each other..."(p.2540).He later wonders if he is Indian or British and says " Indian-born British writer" (p2540) explains him. In conclusion to his writing he says that they English language was the exclusive control the English people had in the rest of the world.

African people were also diversifying British literature. Ngugi Wa Thiong'O wrote "Decolonising the Mind" is both an

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