I would just like to briefly run through a few things I found interesting in Woolfe’s piece, “Growing.” First of all I would like to mention his literary style. I find it funny that he can put in so many details when he recalls a story. For instance, he makes sure to tell readers what side of the island he was on when a certain incident happened. However, there are many times when he blatantly says he doesn’t remember specifics about certain incidents. Of course, this is probably attributed to the fact that he had letters and his own journal entries that aided him in recalling specifics of incidents, but it comes across as paradoxical and gives the whole piece the tone of an old man telling his grandchildren about when he was an imperialist.
This brings me to my next point. The section where he describes when he first began to realize what it meant to be an imperialist was an eye-opener. It made me realize that young civil servants at the time came to the colonies because it was viewed as just another job. He talks about having to put on a façade in order to live and work in the colonies. However, I don’t think he viewed the façade and imperialism, as he came to understand it, together until he was being accused of striking Mr. Harry Sanderasekara.
Just a couple of the things I enjoyed about the piece. There were some images and turns of phrase that were comedic. The inclusion of photographs made the reading much more real, but at the same time contributed to a sense of the surreal in Woolfe’s recorded memories. I think it will be interesting to compare this piece to Burmese Days in that there are a lot of similarities. However, the tone is totally different.