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Research Article

EEO. 2021; 20(4): 3142-3150

Debunking the Subaltern Voice: A Critical Analysis of Representative Colonial and Postcolonial Texts in Pakistani ESL Setting

Amer Akhtar, Selina Aziz, Hammad Mushtaq.


Classifying texts as colonial and postcolonial is a common practice in English studies in Pakistan. A key outcome of this trend is the reading of colonial and postcolonial texts as binary opposites with clearly and narrowly defined ideological stances supporting the colonial masters and the voiceless subaltern. By using two key texts—used extensively in the Pakistani educational context—we attempt to debunk that myth that Colonial texts act to undermine the colonized, whereas the Postcolonial texts give voice to the suppressed colonized and expose the cruelty of the coloniser. The analysis shows that the perception is not entirely correct, the Colonial text exposes the colonizers’ atrocities and snobbish attitude and the Postcolonial text presents the colonizers as good friends and kind superiors and therefore readers, and critics too, should be on their guard against being lulled into false generalities. The study is significant in that it underscores the importance of offering impartial and holistic view of reading texts in the educational settings with a view to encouraging learners to explore multiple meanings and interplay of ideologies.

Key words: Subaltern, Binary, Shamsie, Voice, Postcolonial

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