Created By: animeg3282 on June 25, 2012 Last Edited By: animeg3282 on September 2, 2012

Under The Colonial Yoke

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Colonization isn't all fun and games for the people being colonized. Your new overlords may at best push your people to the side building outposts and creating new strange governments. At worst, your people will be herded onto reservations, smothered under an apartheid type regime or attempts to wipe out your language and/or culture. Some natives will rise up and become Freedom Fighters, and some will assimilate to the new order. Oftentimes one of the colonized will be called upon to bridge the gap between communities. Some stories focus on how the colonized deal with the loss of their culture, and blending their culture with the colonizers.

Examples can be set either in a Real Life setting, such as South Africa, Korea under Japanese rule or a Native American reservation or a fantasy setting:

Examples: Real Life Settings:

  • Things Fall Apart - the counterpart of Heart of Darkness The Ibo people in Okonkwo's village have their lives changed forever by the incursions of missionaries and British colonial masters. Some, like Okonkwo's son, join the missionaries, and others attempt to fight against them.
  • When My Name Was Keoko details the story of a young Korean girl under Japanese occupation in World War II. They are forbidden to use their Korean names, or study the Korean language.
  • Rabbit-Proof Fence - Based on a True Story - 3 Aboriginal girls escape from a home that they have been sent by the Australian government which is attempting to wipe out Aboriginal culture.
  • Lagaan - the colonial British have levied ruinous taxes on a poor Indian village. The villagers (with the help of a English Rose who is in love with the protagonist) must put together a cricket team and defeat the British at their own game.
  • Gandhi - In this film the titular Gandhi leads
the fight for independence of India against the British Empire.
  • The River Between - Tensions between European missionaries, Kenyan converts and other Kenyans make up the back drop of this novel. The struggle to mesh African traditions and European beliefs are part of the tension as well.
  • Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) and El Filibusterismo (The Sedition) by Jose Rizal , ae set in the Philippines' Spanish colonial era (1565-1898). Much detail is given to the racism of the Spaniards toward the Filipinos, who in those days were forced into labor from age 18 to age 65, were seen as inferior to the Spaniards, and were derisively refered to as "indios chonggos" (monkey natives).

    • La Résistance shows up and is a vital plot-driver in both: in Noli, the protagonist is framed as a member and gets sent to jail, but he breaks out near the end, and in El Fili, thirteen years after the events of Noli, said protagonist comes back under false identity as a jewel merchant, close friend of the Governor-General, and leader of the resistance who is planning a Guy Fawkes-style revolution involving a time bomb disguised as a lamp, several sacks of gunpowder, and a wedding reception where important government and Corrupt Church officials are in attendance.
  • In The Calligraphers Daughter by Eugenia Kim, the Japanese are attempting to assimilate the Koreans by banning their native festivals.

Fantasy Setting:

  • In The Blue Sword the land of Damar has been colonized by the 'Homelanders' who look down on the Damarians and try to impose their laws upon the people there. Harry, a young Homelander, works against Homelander ignorance and Damarian fear to save both communities.
  • In Voices, one of the Annals Of The Western Shore Series by Ursula K. Le Guin , the city of Ansul is ruled by the Alds, who suppress the culture of the native people, and rule by fear. Memer must overcome her hatred of the Alds to save both communities.
  • In the Vorkosigan Saga:

    • In the backstory, the Lost Colony of Barrayar was annexed by the Cetagandan Empire, and had to fight off the invaders, after learning to master their technology.
    • Barrayar, in turn, conquered the planet of Komarr, which controlled their only wormhole, and which had let the Cetagandan invaders past. Tensions between Barrayar and the Komarran freedom fighters are a major theme throughout the series--especially since Miles' father managed, through a series of unfortunate events, to gain the nickname, "The Butcher of Komarr".
  • In Code Geass , the Japanese have lost their rights, and even their name (they are referred to as 'Elevens') under the rule of the Britannian Empire. Under this backdrop, resistance groups form to bring back the autonomy of their country.
  • In The Course of Empire and The Crucible of Empire: Earth has been colonized by aliens. . There is La Resistance but it is given up; however the humans have to strong a culture too be simply assimilated. The humans end up as a vassal state in the alien's empire with their own self-government and work as allies, but there is a fair share of Fantastic Racism to get through.
Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • June 26, 2012
    Xtifr
    Hmm, I was going to chastise you for ignoring my suggestion to make a broader We Were Invaded trope, but the name is so good that I can't.

    BTW, it's Ursula K Le Guin. But I admire your taste in picking that and The Blue Sword to be among your starting examples. :)

    • In the Vorkosigan Saga:
      • In the backstory, the Lost Colony of Barrayar was annexed by the Cetagandan Empire, and had to fight off the invaders, after learning to master their technology.
      • Barrayar, in turn, conquered the planet of Komarr, which controlled their only wormhole, and which had let the Cetagandan invaders past. Tensions between Barrayar and the Komarran freedom fighters are a major theme throughout the series--especially since Miles' father managed, through a series of unfortunate events, to gain the nickname, "The Butcher of Komarr".
  • June 26, 2012
    animeg3282
    I couldn't explain that this was what I wanted not the invasion trope, so I made this instead. It's the name of a real idea, that I 'borrowed' for this trope.
  • June 26, 2012
    arromdee
    This is a bad name because "postcolonial" normally refers to the effects of colonialism that linger on after the colonizers have left.
  • June 26, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    ^agreed. Maybe Life Under Colonialism?

    Star Trek Deep Space Nine is set after Bajor has been freed from the Cardassians, but for the rest of the series it's painfully obvious that Bajor is too small and weak to maintain it's own independence; it alternates between being a protectorate of the Federation or reconquered by the Cardassian/Founder alliance.
  • June 26, 2012
    animeg3282
    Yes, I'm no good at names so I stuck one on since you need a name to make a YKKTW
  • July 4, 2012
    MorwenEdhelwen
    The Desert Song: Pierre becomes a freedom fighter.
  • July 5, 2012
    animeg3282
    So Pierre is a Moroccan under French colonial rule?
  • July 16, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    If memory serves, there are references to this in the Narn/Centauri relationship in Babylon5, specifically in the ongoing tension between Ambassadors G'Kar and Molari.

    As for the title, I rather like it, but if you want to emphasize the postcolonial, how about The Colonial Yoke Leaves Scars?
  • July 16, 2012
    animeg3282
    Who was colonized and who was the colonizer in B5?
  • July 17, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    ^ The Centauri invaded/colonized the Narn, as I recall. G'Kar seemed interested in retribution, I think, while Molari was keen on rejuvenating Centauri glory (and seemed to consider lording it over the Narn to be part of the "good old days".)
  • July 17, 2012
    NimmerStill
    Should this be split into works (whether fictional or nonfictional) set in Real Life historical colonial settings and fantastic and sci-fi made-up settings?
  • July 17, 2012
    karstovich2
    ^ Excellent idea.
  • July 17, 2012
    animeg3282
    I didn't know if we had enough examples. does anyone have any ideas for the description? things to add? subtract?
  • July 25, 2012
    LordGro
    May occasionally lead to Occupiers Out Of Our Country.
  • July 25, 2012
    animeg3282
    ....that reminds me how the f did I miss Code Geass? Explanation will be on trope.
  • July 27, 2012
    jatay3
    The Course Of Empire and The Crucible Of Empire is about relations between humans and a conquering alien empire.
  • July 27, 2012
    animeg3282
    How do the humans react to the alien conquerors? Freedom fighters, assimilation?
  • July 27, 2012
    jatay3
    Between. There is La Resistance but it is given up; however the humans have to strong a culture to be simply assimilated. The humans end up as a vassal state in the alien's empire with their own self-government and work as allies, but there is a fair share of Fantastic Racism to get through. The idea is inspired, I am told by the influx of Greek culture into Rome after Rome conquered Greece. The humans act as the Greeks and the aliens act as the Romans.

  • July 29, 2012
    TBeholder
    It Sucks To Be Colonized?
  • July 29, 2012
    animeg3282
    I LOL'd, but would that past muster?
  • August 15, 2012
    MorwenEdhelwen
  • August 15, 2012
    ArgentumUranium
    Jose Rizal's two novels Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) and El Filibusterismo (The Sedition) would qualify, being set in the Philippines' Spanish colonial era (1565-1898, longer than almost all Spain's other colonies). Much detail is given to the inordinate racism of the Spaniards toward the Filipinos, who in those days were forced into labor from age 18 to age 65, were seen as inferior to the Spaniards, and were derisively refered to as "indios chonggos" (monkey natives).

    La Resistance shows up and is a vital plot-driver in both: in Noli, the protagonist is framed as a member and gets sent to jail, but he breaks out near the end, and in El Fili, thirteen years after the events of Noli, said protagonist comes back under false identity as a jewel merchant, close friend of the Governor-General, and leader of the resistance who is planning a Guy Fawkes-style revolution involving a time bomb disguised as a lamp, several sacks of gunpowder, and a wedding reception where important government and Corrupt Church officials are in attendance.
  • August 15, 2012
    animeg3282
    ...that sounds more like actual racism than fantastic.
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