dilluns, 15 de novembre de 2010

THEMES OF CARIBBEAN POETS (3)


2. THE EVILS OF COLONIALISM.

2.1- JOHN AGARD. "PAN RECIPE".

"First rape a people simmer for centuries".

The poem is conceived as a recipe in which:

- the author lists a series of ingredients required to cook a meal, which turns to be the colonial venture.

- The ingredients are all the dreadful acts committed in the name of the empire.

It opens with images related to rape and the takeover perforce of a foreign country and the sexual abuse perpetrated against women:

- The poet is pointing out that the exposure to violence undergone by the colony inevitably turned it into a cowardly and passive realm in the hands of the imperial power.

- He suggests that, besides raping, it is necessary to "simmer" these people for centuries,

· revealing the extent to which the presence of the colonial force has been prolonged for centuries.

· This verb is a simile that describes literally the act of letting these people boil slowly for ages until they are eventually destroyed.

· Colonialism also depends on the ideological manipulation of the native population, thus the empire sought to brainwash the natives as a means of annihilating their individual and national consciousness, so that the empire could introduce new colonial-oriented parameters.

· The poet draws on terminology related to cooking to highlight the notion that the collective memory of the colonised country was obliterated by the invading forces.

The ending of the poem is full of symbolism for the author presents

- the last stages of colonialism and how the empire, after devastating the land, abandons it before it is entirely consumed.

- a very metaphorical and symbolical language to describe how the colonial territories were swallowed up by the empire.

2.2- FAUSTIN CHARLES. "LETTERS FROM HOME".

"The wind writes to me of a storm brewing in the Caribbean".

The treatment of landscape became a crucial motif in Car literature as:

- a source of settings,

- an element that endowed WI people with a sense of identity.

- These landscapes were initially regarded as utopic Gardens of Eden where there was no sign of corruption.

- But this scenario exemplifies the evolution undergone by Car literature in its exploration of landscape:

· Idealisation gives way to pessimism.

· Utopia is overshadowed by apocalypse.

· These images

+ show nature in a convulsed and enraged state,

+ and they focus on the menaces that threaten the Car area.

· The allusion to a monster swallowing the Car is a metaphorical way of addressing the Eur colonial giant, the British empire as the perpetrator of these atrocities.

In the second section of the poem, he describes the aftermath of the giant's aggression.

- There is death and desolation everywhere

- and the land is thronged with corpses and bones that carrion animals are gnawing.

- He is suggesting that the period after the colonial era does not mean the eradication of the pressures and corruption, because:

· what we find is the gradual disappearance of the WI identity in favour of W wealth and opulence.

· Such wealth is only a mirage that rapidly vanishes.

· Eur nations take advantage of this gradual loss of identity to prolong their imperial domination by setting up multinational companies in former colonial territories, which forces the WI countries to abide by the economic postulates dictated by the metropolis.

Faustin Charles uses sounds that reproduce this natural outrage, thus these key words contain very resonant consonants. The use of alliteration reinforces the importance sounds play in his work

2.3- FRED D'AGUIAR. "MAMA DOT'S TREATISE".

"Mosquitoes are the fattest inhabitants".

He presents an animalised vision of human beings:

- He's trying to reveal the flaws of the human condition and of those who advocate imperialism.

- He constructs a veiled and indirect attack against the exploitative practices of the coloniser, who is compared to a mosquito:

· The choice of this animal is crucial to understand the satiric effect of the poem, for he consciously includes a parasite insect that necessarily depends on humans to survive.

· This is one of the foundations of imperialism, to live on the effort of the colonised until their exhaustion makes them unable for labour.

The poem is articulated through the contrast between: the opulence of the coloniser and the deprivation of the colonised:

- Mosquitoes are "the fattest inhabitants of this republic" contrasts with the unbearable starvation endured by the native population.

- Thus the abundance of a few usually results in the shortage of the masses.

- He states that the colonial domination begins when a native child is born, and lasts until the empire abandons the territory.

- The dictatorial control over the black population was regarded as a triumph and a duty that formed part of the white, civilising and evangelising agenda.

Religion, a less perceptible mechanism, becomes a pretext to conceal the barbarities committed in the name of God and Christianity to the extent of dismantling all those local expressions that might endanger its supremacy.

The animal imagery in the last two stanzas refers to the appalling conditions of the local population under the suffocating pressure exerted by the empire. The colonised is considered "bait for worms":

- which illustrates the humiliating position they are forced to adopt.

- This progressive dehumanisation turns the colonised into mere food for worms.