The Alegorical Significance in Alego Carpentier's "Like the Night"

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Alego Carpentier wrote Like the Night to depict western civilization and its historical relations with North and South Americas. It is rather read as an allegory than just a narrative which traces humans’ development in terms of a binary two sets (Europe vs. non Europe,) and examines the power relations between them. Particularly, the story reveals the West attitudes toward colonization and the colonized through the eyes of the narrator who is a Greek soldier taken to fight for Spain against America. This kind of allegorical stories plays a major role in determining the mode of narration, the choice of characters and their function in the story, the setting, as well as the themes. Each of these elements is done in a way to serve the the underlying message behind the story, the fact that the West is the civilizer and the non West is the uncivilized. Starting from this point, the aim of this paper is to analyze the story and interpret it as an allegory of Western civilization and its colonial expansion, specifically in Americas. It will argue that Carpentier undermines the notion that colonial domination aims to help people to develop and progress to achieve civilization, and reveals the real intentions of the colonizer, namely exploitation and exoticism. It will also examines in details the elements of story mentioned above and how they are created to represent the West. Finally it will show how Carpentier’s story complements the postcolonial theory. "Like the Night" by Carpentier uses first-person narration. The five-part story is narrated by an anonymous "I" that misleads us into reading it as one continuous tale related by a stable narrator. In fact, as we get into it, there are historical cues that situate us in radically different contexts. A narrator about to go off to the Trojan War gives way to a Spaniard ready to embark for the Americas, and on to an
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