Degree Name

Master of Arts (Hons.)


Department of English


Autobiography has a central role m Post-colonial literature, yet its features which are predominantly Eurocentric are not normally addressed in a critical reading. Western values attributed to individuality and personality need to incorporate an understanding of regional and cultural influences. This thesis examines autobiographical writing produced in the Pacific to evaluate how colonization transforms the notions of individuality and community within the narrative form. The assumptions of autobiography in the colonial scene are examined through the myth of Robinson Crusoe, and the naturalization of the superiority of western individuality is discussed in reference to colonial travel autobiography. Autobiography introduces different concepts of space and community to the Pacific Islanders who must confront values of privacy, nationality, and individuality in their life-story. Postcolonial autobiography must be read as a renegotiated narrative which conflates personal and national histories in the exploration of Postcolonial identities.