Caribbean Literature

Topics: Short story, Jamaica, Caribbean Pages: 4 (1290 words) Published: February 6, 2014
Allison Lindquist
CLP 0220
Essay 1
7 Febrbuary 2014

The Caribbean presents an unrealistic facade to outsiders; this region is the vacation hot spot with many beautiful tropical islands, perpetual sun, and clear waters – a place to rid yourself of all worries, and unwind. But there are many underlying issues in this region that most people are unaware of. In The Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Stories, written by Stewart Brown and John Wickham, there are many depictions of the difficulties that people experience in the Caribbean. A common theme amongst many of these short stories is identity. In postcolonial societies, for example, the articulation of identity frequently becomes an upsetting process because of a historical, antagonistic relationship of domination and subordination that ruled the interaction of the diverse cultural groups within the colonial experience. Furthermore, domination still operates through a set of economic, cultural, and ideological mechanisms (otherwise known as neocolonialism). Also, the portrayal of resistant subjects asserting their right to sociocultural self-determination can be found in several texts like “Caribbean Chameleon” by Makeda Silvera, “Blackness” by Jamaica Kincaid, and “” by sal;idhrgshof. These stories help to create a deeper understanding about the Caribbean.

Silvera uses many literary methods in her short story “Caribbean Chameleon” to strengthen her piece. First of all, the title in itself, or pre-text has a deeper meaning; a chameleon represents adaptability and multiple identities—a prominent aspect of Caribbean identity. The title therefore gives hints to readers about what the story will be about. This story is extremely informative while using minimum resources. It is also a great form of protest due to the fact that the author uses unique linguistic, stylistic, and cultural ideas. Her short, incomplete sentence structure and use of language amplifies the infuriated tone she uses in...


Cited: Brown, Stewart, and John Wickham. The Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Stories. Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 1999. Print.
Life and Debt. Dir. Stephanie Black. New Yorker Films, 2001. DVD.
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