Demonizing Africa: A Bend in the River and Naipaul’s Comprador Intellectuality


  • Muhammad Afzal Faheem Institutional Affiliation: The University of Lahore, Pakistan
  • Nausheen Ishaque Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), University of Central Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan



Representation, Orientalist, Essentialist, Demonize, Comprador Intellectual


This paper establishes V.S. Naipaul’s position as a comprador intellectual for his essentialist representation of Africa in A Bend in the River. The position (of comprador intellectual) has been ascribed by Hamid Dabashi to the array of highly feted non-Western writers who justify the Western orientalist (mis)appropriation of the East. The unrelenting orientalist bashing of the imperialized world (Africa in this case) legitimizes the civilizational responsibility of the West to mend the situation of the supposedly inferior Africans. The violent colonial intervention to provide order and stability to the place shows Naipaul’s orientalist world view regarding the colonized Africans. The alleged, all-pervading darkness of Africans can thus be illuminated by the White colonizer’s masterful exercise of power. Naipaul, as an author, functions as a comprador intellectual who appears serving the colonial commercial interest. The West needs to destroy all the cultures that may be potential sites of resistance, so, Naipaul offers a systematic denigration of African culture to sabotage the potential culture of resistance. The narrative of African demonization justifies the colonial machinery and its exercise of violence against the natives. The paper, therefore, calls into question Naipaul’s role as a cultural intermediary, since his 'point of enunciation' (a concept given by Stuart Hall) seems to be resting on an overtly colonial trajectory of the West.


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How to Cite

Faheem, M. A. ., & Ishaque, N. . (2021). Demonizing Africa: A Bend in the River and Naipaul’s Comprador Intellectuality. Review of Applied Management and Social Sciences, 4(2), 595-604.