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Césaire, Aimé and Pinkham, Joan
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Why does Césaire say that “between colonization and civilization there is an infinite distance” (34)?

This question asks readers to understand Césaire’s central argument: that Western Europe’s claims to civilization rest on its colonial past and present, and that any colonial power is a barbaric, rather than civilized, one. Thus, when Césaire mentions an “infinite distance” between colonization and civilization, he means that someone or something that colonizes cannot be civilized and that which is civilized cannot colonize.

To Césaire, what does Hitler seem to represent?

To Césaire, Hitler, his rise to power and Germany’s widespread adopt of Nazi ideology represents the limitations and hypocrisy of Western Europe. According to Césaire, western civilization (its literature, philosophy, humanism, etc.) has always been built upon a dehumanizing, brutalizing categorization of humans like the one Hitler represented and advanced: “At the end...

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This section contains 929 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Discourse on Colonialism Study Guide
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