David Diop’s The Vultures Analysis

6 June 2016

The poem ‘The Vultures’ by David Diop explores the British colonisation of South Africa and its ramifications. Diop articulates the inhumane actions of men that have resulted in the inevitable exploitations of native Africans. He conveys this through the utilisation of the symbolism in “the vultures built in the shadow of their claws”, where vultures are symbolic of the prejudicial discrimination the natives have been subjected to. The harsh reality of post colonisation is further demonstrated in the line ‘Laughter gasped its last in the metallic hell of roads’ where the use of the symbolism ‘metallic hell of roads’, depicts a country where weapons and guns congest up the country, supressing any joy or laughter. The repetition of ‘in that time’, Diop is reminiscing of the past, placing emphasis on his desire to return back to the times prior to the British Colonisation.

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Through this poem, Diop presents a reflection of disparity with imperialism and a yearning for Africa to become independent. Furthermore, Dan Harrison’s newspaper article ‘Tweet and sour: MP in spat with aboriginal woman on colonisation’ is commentary on the inevitable loss of the Aboriginals, the British colonisation has forced upon. Through the quotation, ”Do I snap my fingers and forget 213 years of oppression Mr Jensen?”, the use of rhetorical questioning conveys emotions of anger and feeling cheated through the seriousness and satire. Moreover, the book cover of ‘Terror and the Postcolonial’ by Elleke Boehment and Stephen Morton visually depicts the effect of post colonialism through the utilisation of visual devices.

Boehment and Morton’s use of the black and white in the illustrations represents the absence of cultural presence and the dehumanised life of the Native Africans. The incorporation of what appears to be white smoke or an explosion is an indication of a chaotic pandemonium, suggesting a negative impact of what may occur with a colonisation. In conclusion, through the exploration of the three texts a negative connotation of post colonialism has been reflected especially the human aspect where natives were socially, politically and economically affected.

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