Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lines 261-275

Lines 261-275 seem to hold together and carry huge implications on its own. Cesaire speaks to both the colonizers and the ones colonized. First, he tries to unite the slaves and bring them closer to him by asking them to embrace him without fear. He recognizes the biggest weakness of the slaves is their lack of voice. He believes that it could become their strongest weapon against slavery.
Cesaire is speaking for those muted. He tries to wake up those colonized who have internalized the feeling of inferiority and warn the colonizers. By referring to ‘those calamities that have no mouth’ and ‘those who break down in the solitary confinement’, I think he is relating to miserable conditions of the ones colonized. By calling them ‘calamities,’ he is alluding to their capacity of causing havoc to the colonizers and breaking the shackles.
He warns the colonizers not to assume him as a helpless slave by saying ‘beware of assuming the sterile attitude of a spectator.’ At the same time, he clarifies that he is not scared of the colonizers through his explicit expression. He suggests that slaves are humans too, and their lives and miseries are something not to play with. ‘A man screaming is not a dancing bear’ in this context could mean that someone screaming in pain is no way a spectacle or watching some circus animal.

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