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I hate my English class this much.

ericum:

I just finished reading “Prospero’s Daughter” for my English class. And I think it was an okay book, not half as bad as I had imagined.

But what really makes me annoyed is the whole black oppression vs. white enemy debacle that my teacher keeps shoving down our throats, ignoring everything else the book touches on.

Not all white people think of black people as inferior, though I don’t question the need for the study of post-colonial discourse from this perspective. It’s a huge part of the novel, don’t get me wrong.

What worries me, however, is that she has skimmed over everything else in the book. How about the startling and sickening images of patriarchy when - spoiler alert - Gardner rapes both Ariana and his daughter Virginia? Why is the woman always the subordinate?

Why haven’t we discussed that at all?

And how about the segregation of the sick from the healthy? The disabled lepers from the able-bodied? Or what about the themes of religion that are continuous throughout the novel?

Why haven’t we studied any of this?

I understand that my teacher feels a personal connection to the post-colonial discourse - her family lived in a British colony (can’t remember which) - but by only focusing on those aspects of the novel defeats the purpose of the course.

This is English narrative studies, not Caribbean studies.

When should a teacher’s own personal agenda be overridden by the need for other, more in-depth discussions?

(This lack of discussion probably accounts for the distraction and boredom in this entire lecture.)

OH GIRL, I just finished the book today and I’m sure I must have the same prof that you had last year, because the same thing is going on this year.

To be fair, we have spoken about the sexual abuse, but less in a feminist/patriarchal context and more in a “this is further proof that the character is fucked up and impure” sort of way.

We discussed other stories earlier in the semester which dealt with the intersectionality of racism and sexism, and the sexism part was almost always brushed over. I know that it’s largely because I’m white, but I find the patriarchal/feminist analytic angle much more interesting in most of these stories, and it’s irritating that they’re barely being covered in this class.

  1. katesloan reblogged this from ericum and added:
    OH GIRL, I just finished the book today and I’m sure I must have the same prof that you had last year, because the same...
  2. ericum posted this