Caribbean Literature - Essay Example

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One of the obvious developments in the world literature of the contemporary period has been the improvement in the number of writings by woman writers and this phenomenon is especially evident in the transformed attitudes to and progress in women's writing in the Caribbean literature…
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Caribbean Literature
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Women's Writing in the 1980s in Caribbean Literature One of the obvious developments in the world literature of the contemporary period has been the improvement in the number of writings by woman writers and this phenomenon is especially evident in the transformed attitudes to and progress in women's writing in the Caribbean literature. In a reflective analysis of the history of the Caribbean literature, one comes to realize that women's writing had a prominent representation in the literature in the 1980s. "One of the most significant developments of the 1970s was the increased publication of Caribbean women's writing and in the 1980s some highly significant new voices came into print." (Donnell and Welsh, 368) The prose works by the Antiguan-born, United States-based, Jamaica Kincaid's Annie John and the poems by Jamaican Lorna Goodison and British-based poets Jamaican Jean Binta Breeze and Guyanese Grace Nichols illustrate the writings by women in the 1980s. These woman writers were born in the late 1940s and 1950s and they produced their first major works in the 1980s. "The term 'Caribbean women writers' describes an extremely diverse collection of women: women of numerous racial and ethnic groups who reside in many nations and write in at least four European languages and many Caribbean Creoles." (Rody, 117) Significantly, the most acclaimed woman writer of the region, Jean Rhys, is a white woman identified with English modernism who lived in the wake of Caribbean women's renaissance in the 1980s. Jamaica Kincaid, Michelle Cliff, and Maryse Conde are some of the prominent figures during the Caribbean women's renaissance in the 1980s. Therefore, a profound analysis of the Caribbean literature of 1980s, one recognizes a key stage of development in women's writing.
In the critical work 'The Invisible Woman in West Indian Literature', Ramabai Espinet investigates the 'invisibility' of East Indian woman in Caribbean literature and one gets the notion that women arbiters are marginalized by virtue of their ethnicity and gendered depiction. "Although a rather crude developmental framework characterizes parts of this piece, it does constitute an important examination of a critically neglected area in Caribbean literature and criticism." (Donnell and Welsh, 369) Another significant writing of the period is Grace Nichols's i is a long memoried woman which is a decisive long poem in reminding the Caribbean women's histories. In Nichols's 'Your Blessing' one finds the centrality of the mother figure which also represents some essential facts regarding the land and its people. Lorna Goodison's second collection I Am Becoming My Mother (1986) also deals with mothers and mothering and this illustrates the features of woman's writings during the 1980s in the Caribbean literature. "'Guyana Lovesong' makes interesting use of images of textuality, a recurrent strategy in Caribbean literature and its blurring of space and time is reminiscent of Harris's more complex fictional experimentation with the same and, more recently, of Pauline Melville's short story 'Eat Labba and Drink Creek Water'." (Donnell and Welsh, 371) Therefore, it becomes obvious that the 1980s was a significant decade in the history of the Caribbean literature as it saw a prominent phase of woman's writing in this regional literature and an analysis of the major works by woman writers bring out the major characteristics of women's writing in the Caribbean literature.
Works Cited
Donnell, Alison and Sarah Lawson Welsh. The Routledge Reader in Caribbean Literature. New York: Routledge, 1996. P 369.
Rody, Caroline. The daughter's return: African-American and Caribbean women's fictions of history. New York: Oxford University Press US. 2001. P 117. Read More
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