Sarah Knoth--Word

Metonymy: “A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated, as in the use of Washington for the United States government or of the sword for military power.


 Bhabha’s piece “Of Mimicry and Man” is an interesting discussion of the use of mimicry in colonial and cultural development. In other words, I found that Bhabha’s argument spoke about mimicry as almost a kind of governmental propaganda, which is to say that these half-truths are a “partial presence, which is the basis of mimicry, articulates those disturbances of cultural, racial and historical difference that menace the narcissistic demand of colonial authority” (88). It seems that government, colonial discourse etc. etc. are always caught in translation---caught in metonymy. There is the “question of the representation of difference is therefore always also a problem of authority” (89). Because there are so many ways of representation, authority can be skewed.  He says, “In mimicry, the representation of identity and meaning is rearticulated along the axis of metonymy” (90). Identity and authority are caught up in this articulation of metonymy, but metonymy itself is sometimes hard to articulate.  

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