The white man colonised.

Jackson’s careful consideration of both sides of colonialism in Ireland fascinated me in the same way Woolf’s entrapment within the structures of colonialism, and the disempowerment even of the European woman in colonialism presents an essential paradox of imperial rule. Traditionally I suppose the black-and-white thinker would see the imperialists as Europeans (or more generally Westerners) and the colonised as non-Europeans. Yet as KY pointed out in his blog post, the Irish were as much entrapped as colonised within the structure as they were c0ntributers to colonisation.

I found it also interesting that Jackson deliberately drew the parallels between Ireland and India, to break down the preconception that to be colonised one must be non-white. The Irish are an example that run counter to this assumption, and certainly the historical account of Irishmen on both sides of the fence serves to prove the paradox of imperialism.

Fundamentally, even among Europeans, like I mentioned in class discussion last week, the empire collapsed upon itself. Unable to sustain economically and certainly politically, there are in some ways no distinctions that can be drawn between Ireland’s experience coming into independence, and that of India. Within the imperial structure, maybe the lines drawn distinguishing East from West are not as clear as one would wish them to be.

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