Prospero and Caliban: The Psychology of Colonization by O Mannoni

By O Mannoni

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Extra resources for Prospero and Caliban: The Psychology of Colonization

Sample text

It is these conditions, as I shall endeavour to show, which explain why the development of the inferiority complex is slowed down, and indeed stifled, in a community like that of the Malagasies. Dependence and inferiority form an alternative; the one excludes the other. Thus, over against the inferiority complex, and more or less symmetrically opposed to it, I shall set the dependence complex. And these two different psychological climates serve to characterize two different types of personality, two different mentalities, two different civilizations.

Another symbol is, or used to be, a branch selected from a strong forest tree. It is interesting to compare these customs with the tree-worship of the Melanesians (see Do Kamo, by Maurice Leenhardt, for -58- instance), 1 but they are best understood in terms of the dreamsymbolism I shall be explaining later on. In any case, whatever the influence of circumcision on the minds of the Malagasies, paternal authority, for all its force, is still a derived authority and at all points it extends beyond the person of the father.

But they can hardly do otherwise if they are to obey the dictates of their dreams and forebodings. By way of excuse they offer the reasons which they consider to be the most polite and plausible. The European is shocked at these continual 'senseless' lies, but the Malagasy cannot tell him the real reason for his actions because he knows he will come up against an incredulity that nothing he could say would ever overcome. His failure to make any attempt to convince shows how firm are his own convictions.

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