Caliban in Exile: The Outsider in Caribbean Fiction

Framsida
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1992 - 147 sidor


The Caliban-Prospero encounter in Shakespeare's The Tempest has evolved as a metaphor for the colonial experience. The present study utilizes the Caliban symbol in examining the influence of colonialism in Caribbean literature, focusing on the works of three major writers from the Caribbean islands: Jean Rhys, of British descent from Dominica; George Lamming, of African origin from Barbados; and Sam Selvon, of mixed Indian and Scottish heritage from Trinidad. The works chosen are set in England where the writers and their characters experience a double displacement, the alienation of the exiled in the country that once colonized their own islands. They are outsiders: unwelcome in Prospero's home country.

The novels dramatize the theme of physical and psychological exile. Rhys's characters need mirrors in which they search for an assurance of identity; Lamming's are torn by the conflict inherent in the tragic sense of life; and Selvon's ironic language expresses the deepest sense of exile: exile from one's own self. Other Caribbean writers are included in the analysis, and the volume concludes by examining contemporary writers for whom Caliban's role in literature appears to be changing. Novelists like Earl Lovelace and Jamaica Kincaid demonstrate that it is possible to be an outsider in one's own country, and that issues of class can be as corrosive as issues of race. The focus has moved beyond physical exile, but the spirit and strength of Caliban continue to pervade the new literature. In giving expression to their anguish, both the earlier and new Caribbean writers have created highly interesting and successful fiction. This well crafted thematic study of Caribbean literature will be of great value to students, teachers, scholars, and readers of Third World, post-colonial, and multicultural literature.

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Caliban the Excluded
Bootless Inquisition Jean Rhys and the Mirror of Exile
15
The Tormented Spirit George Lamming and the Tragic Sense of Life
45
Caliban the Calypsonian The Ballad of Sam Selvon
77
Redefining Caliban Toward a Brave New World
107
Bibliography
127
Index
139
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Sida 105 - You taught me language; and my profit on't Is, I know how to curse : The red plague rid you, For learning me your language ! Pro.
Sida 68 - At the level of individuals, violence is a cleansing force. It frees the native from his inferiority complex and from his despair and inaction; it makes him fearless and restores his self-respect.
Sida 53 - Water with berries in't, and teach me how To name the bigger light, and how the less, That burn by day and night : and then I lov'd thee, And show'd thee all the qualities o' th' isle, The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place and fertile.
Sida 37 - When I was close I saw the jagged stone in her hand but I did not see her throw it I did not feel it either, only something wet, running down my face.
Sida 115 - Let them eat,' was the people's opinion, 'after all when white men used to do all the eating did we commit suicide?' Of course not. And where is the allpowerful white man today? He came, he ate and he went. But we are still around. The important thing then is to stay alive; if you do you will outlive your present annoyance. The great thing, as the old people have told us, is reminiscence; and only those who survive can have it. Besides, if you survive, who knows? It may be your turn to eat tomorrow....
Sida 26 - Sometimes it was as if I were back there and as if England were a dream. At other times England was the real thing and out there was the dream, but I could never fit them together.

Om författaren (1992)

MARGARET PAUL JOSEPH, born in India, earned her doctorate in English at Temple University. A writer and reviewer, she specializes in post-colonial and women's fiction. She is the author of a study of Kamala Markandaya (1980) and is developing an anthology of writing from the Indian sub-continent.

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