Resisting Linguistic Crucifixion1: A Postcolonial Reading Of Milcha SaÌnchez-Scottâ€™s Latina
Language becomes a tool of subjugation when it is forcefully imposed. In postcolonial critical discourse, language often is viewed as a fundamental site for struggle and resistance. The process of linguistic imperialism occurs in two different ways: by displacing the native indigenous languages terming it as impure and inferior and by imposing the imperial language as standard as a mean of cultural control. In his essay â€œConstitutive Graphonomyâ€, Bill Ashcroft acknowledges the resistant potential of language and argues that the â€œpostcolonial text brings language and meaning to a discursive site in which they are mutually constituted, and at this site the importance of usage is inescapableâ€. In the postcolonial context, language plays a key role to undermine the authority of power. In order to resist the linguistic hegemony, a writer can use several parameters of the language namely language mixing, code switching, dialects, slang etc, each being important in its own way.
This paper, drawing from the theories of postcolonialism, proposes to show how Milcha SaÌnchez-Scott, a noted Chicana playwright, uses language as a mode of establishing self-identity and thus opposes the attempt of linguistic imperialism practiced by the mainstream American society. Milcha SaÌnchez-Scottâ€™s play Latina has been selected for analysis because here language has been consciously and effectively used to resist cultural dominance.