Roald Dahl’s look at the British Empire through his two short stories “Poison” and “Man from the South”
Keywords:Roald Dahl, short stories, British Empire, colonial(-ist) literature, postcolonial studies
The aim of this paper is to analyze two of Roald Dahl’s short stories, “Poison” and “Man from the South”, beyond the classical approach to Dahl’s fiction. If Dahl’s adult fiction is most often read in terms of its extraordinary plots, as well as its macabre nature and unexpected endings, my intention is to look into both stories in the light of postcolonial studies. Not only is this approach justified on account of the setting where the stories take place, India and Jamaica, once part of the British Empire; the pertinence of such a reading is underlined by the presence of a number of elements that are commonly found in colonial travel narratives and which therefore place Dahl’s stories in relation with a very different literary tradition, colonial literature.
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