The framework for the play's action is provided by the Nine- Night ceremony of the dead, a wake-like ritual practiced by many of the syncretist Revival cults of Jamaica, but particularly by the followers of Pocomania
The facts are revealed fairly quickly, for the play does not aim at ordinary suspense.
Crew, who farms a smallholding just outside the big estate, has killed the white owner of the estate, and then apparently committed suicide. And if this violent act is not to be viewed as a senseless act of a deranged or drunken man it must be under- stood in terms of the past, not just the immediate past of this man's life but also that larger past which constitutes the history of black people in the Caribbean.
The use of the Nine-Night ceremony is, of course, a brilliant theatrical choice. Because the phenomenon of spirit possession is central to this ceremony, Scott is able to multiply his cast of characters and to take us back to the past effectively and economically to selected episodes without making the action appear disjointed or incoherent. But it is also the most appropriate choice in terms of the history Scott is making or remaking because it signals at the outset that this history is a possession of the black people and very different from the sanctioned colonial accounts. The Nine-Night ceremony is a cultural survival from the African past.
Gardening in the tropics
Themes involved are:
Unequal distribution of wealth – the irony of outsiders benefiting more from the resources more than locals.
Exploitation of natural resources – natural resources are exploited by greedy outsiders ,the golden sunshine that tourists seek out reminds us of other travellers who came for gold in an earlier exploitation of the natural resources.
Sunshine as light becomes symbolic of enlightenment
The suns colour-gold, becomes symbolic of greed
Gold which suggests golden opportunity is ironically contrasted to silver