The Interpretation of “Let Them Call It Jazz” by Jean Rhys.

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  • Topic: 24th century, English studies
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The interpretation of “Let Them Call It Jazz” by Jean Rhys.

Jean Rhys is famous for her “prequel” to Charlotte Brontë's “Jane Eyre” called “Wide Sargasso Sea”, however, it should be said that she was writing mainly novels. Her work are characteristic for using topics concerning the immigrants’ position in the West culture. The fact that she was born in West Indies influences deeply on her later publications in which she frequently presents her reflection on the problems that the strangers have to deal with. It seems that the portrait of Selina Davies, in her novel “Let Them Call It Jazz”, perfectly conveys Rhys’ experiences as a white Creole woman, as “the story is presented as a quintessential of the immigrant woman’s position in urban culture where she is marginalized and silenced.” In this work, Rhys wanted to introduce her problems on the background of racism and women’s discrimination that she experienced during her lifetime.

The main character in Rhys’ story is Selina Davis, a young, poor black girl from the West Indies who has not got any ambitions to improve her life. She is rejected by the society mainly because of her problems with pronunciation as she is using poor language in an uneducated way. It is perfectly seen while she addresses to her neighbor, “you a dam’ fouti liar”. Moreover, her way of using words enhances an impressions of her foreignness. Mainly because of the above-mentioned issue she seems to be rejected by her next door neighbors who are trying to force her to leave the proximity. What is more, they are ashamed of having such a neighbor who is black and sings too loud, “he’s the husband it seems and he stare at me worse than his wife – he stares as if I’m wild animal let loose”. While talking about Selina’s narration, the fact that she skips a majority of important events in her life and presents things and events as she sees them causes that she is not trustworthy and she is not taken by a reader seriously. It is clearly...
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