lonely londoners

Topics: United Kingdom, England, English people Pages: 4 (728 words) Published: April 24, 2014
Not only the story of the ‘The Lonely Londoners’ sends a message to its readers. It is also the language of the novel that successfully communicates with the readership. By the manipulation of Standard English or by using some form of Creolized English, Selvon distance himself from the mainstream culture of the United Kingdom, the power that colonized his homelands for several hundreds of years. The novel is targeted to groups of readers, the black and also the white people. The white readers can see it as a declaration of the detachment from the culture that always suppressed and underestimated the black people and the black readers in Britain can see it as an encouragement for forming a particular subcultural group that is worth noticing.

What is important: in the novel not only the characters use Creolized English but also the Third-person narrative is written in this form. According to Bentley, it “represents an empowering expression of collective identity that rejects the positioning of authority produced by having the narrator speak in Standard English whilst the characters use dialect.” Selvon rejects Standard English as the only correct form of English suitable for writing. Moreover, the use of the same form of Creolized English for the characters and for the narrative makes an impression that the person who is telling the story of the immigrants in Britain is actually one of them, and not only some distant observer: the narrator knows the people and situations from his own experience.

The only character different from the rest, at least when it comes to language, is Harris. He behaves like Englishmen, dresses like them and also speaks like them. The narrative comments on it: “Man, when Harris starts to spout English for you, you realise that you don't really know the language” (Selvon 103). However, the rest of the characters do not approve his way of speaking and behaving. They believe that he should remember his origin and that...
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