Post-colonialism, a matter of perspective: native narratives in a language of violence and pain
King-Tamehana, Gayle Martha
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The aim of telling the story was to show that the aftermath of colonialisation is still manifest in this so called post-colonial era in Aotearoa from the perspective of Maori narrators. The novel is about inequality, powerlessness, oppression, prejudice, and the disproportionate distribution of resources. The stories are about the power relationships between, genders, cultures, ages and those who are mentally afflicted or anyone who is deemed to be different. The objectives are: to give some insight into what it is like to be different, initiate an awareness of the impact that cultural difference has in this country, to promote better understanding between Maori and Non-Maori, to generate self awareness through reflexive practices, to encourage the use of safe and effective coping methods during times of adversity, to emphasise the need for change, and a story that would instil hope. Alison Takes the Train is about what it means to be Maori in society, not because the characters are trying to live by or to sustain traditional Maori values for none of them are fluent in te reo; but by the mere fact that they are Maori and their Maoriness is inherent in the way they view the world. Through a language of violence and pain the narrators tell their stories. Keywords: Post-colonial, language, violence, inequality, powerlessness, oppression, prejudice.