The IUP Journal of English Studies
Postcolonial Ecocriticism: A Study of “Development” in Arundhati Roy’s “The Greater Common Good”

Article Details
Pub. Date : Dec, 2019
Product Name : The IUP Journal of English Studies
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJES41912
Author Name : Hossein Sheikhzadeh
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 06



Postcolonial literature, also called “protest literature,” demands social justice for the atrocities committed against the natives, but not much attention has been paid to the atrocities against the indigenous environment. Postcolonial studies has mostly been anthropocentric. However, the destruction of the environment during the colonial period needs to be addressed, as human beings and nature are interdependent. The colonial rulers regarded any unused natural resource to be unproductive, and in order to make it “productive,” the native environment was either wiped out altogether or vastly restructured to suit their purpose of economic benefits. The restructuring of the natural environment affected the indigenous people because they lost not only their roots and culture but also their traditional livelihood. This vast restructuring of nature has been justified on the grounds of “development,” but this development has always been an uneven one from a materialistic point of view because in this development, only the most powerful in the hierarchy of power have benefited, whereas, the colonized—the poor, the natives—have always been exploited. This paper delves into the issue of “development” in the postcolonial context with reference to the essay “The Greater Common Good” by postcolonial writer-activist, Arundhati Roy.


Ecocriticism studies the effect of human action on the environment and its disastrous consequences, whereas Postcolonialism engages with the issues of hegemonic and imperialistic practices and policies on the colonized human subjects.

With the coming together of these two disparate fields of studies, the focus has been narrowed down to the study of the impact of human action of the colonial/imperial power on the local ecology.


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