Hegemony, Migration and Dictatorship in V.S Naipaul’s A Bend in the River

Sanjida Kalam


V.S Naipaul as a migrant and a living bystander of the transition of an era—colonial to postcolonial, becomes an eyewitness about the horrendous condition of migrants in Congo who went through massive discrimination because of the hegemonic attitude of the rulers. His novel A Bend in the River focuses on the catastrophic situation of the migrants of Congo and the commoners who become the subject of animosity and subjugation by new elites— the watchdogs of the previous masters in Congo. In this connection, this paper will examine how the new-puppet democrats dominated the lives of the Africans, particularly the mixed-raced African descendants who were subject to subjugation after their emancipation from a long slavery system. Thus, using the lenses of Gramsci’s “hegemony”, and “colonial hangover”, this paper will investigate how Naipaul reveals the mechanism of previous British rulers and how they implement hegemony among the Africans, resulting in a shadow colonial system in which the Africans, as well as mixed-race Africans, are dominated.


hegemony; colonial hangover; migration; discrimination; slavery

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