City Research Online

Critiquing global capital and colonial (in)justice: Structural violence in Leonard Woolf’s The Village in the Jungle (1913) and Economic Imperialism (1920)

Davies, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-3584-5789 (2015). Critiquing global capital and colonial (in)justice: Structural violence in Leonard Woolf’s The Village in the Jungle (1913) and Economic Imperialism (1920). The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 50(1), pp. 45-58. doi: 10.1177/0021989414555209

Abstract

By drawing on theories of structural violence and applying them to Leonard Woolf’s first novel, The Village in the Jungle (1913), this article argues that the fictional work allowed Woolf to think through certain political, legal, social and cultural issues that would later inform and enhance his extensive engagement with, and critique of, global capital and colonial and international judicial systems. Whilst some critics have argued that The Village in the Jungle’s perspectival infiltration into the daily lives of colonised subjects operates as an extension of colonial discourse, this article argues that in fact it is this unusual if not, at the time of its publication, unique perspectival orientation that enables the novel’s interrogation of structural violence. Written from a victim-oriented perspective, the novel excavates the varying layers of structural violence as they are spread both socially and also geographically to show how the colonial administration and its legal system are complicit with, if not actively facilitating, the exploitation of Ceylon by the structures of global capitalism, as well as highlighting the ramifications of the unevenly developing capitalist economy that slowly sutures the island into these cross-national networks. The article concludes by arguing that the novel’s excavation of structural violence is directly related to, and lays important foundations for, Woolf’s thought on exploitative imperialisms and the international judicial system, The League of Nations (of which he was an architect)—--as articulated in his later polemic work, Economic Imperialism (1920).

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Davies, D. Critiquing global capital and colonial (in)justice: Structural violence in Leonard Woolf’s The Village in the Jungle (1913) and Economic Imperialism (1920). The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 50(1), pp. 45-58. Copyright © 2015, the authors. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.
Publisher Keywords: Ceylon, Economic Imperialism, global capital, Leonard Woolf, social justice, structural violence, The Village in the Jungle, uneven development
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > English
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/20314
[img]
Preview
Text - Submitted Version
Download (501kB) | Preview

Export

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login