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English Myal by Erna Brodber - Essay Example

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The novel Myal appeared in 1986. It vividly portrays unique Caribbean religions and their influence on ordinary people. Religious context is used as lens of emotional and psychological state of the characters shaping the atmosphere of the novel. The main characters address such universal virtues as equality and faith and give insight look into spiritual world of every person…
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English Myal by Erna Brodber
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Download file to see previous pages Selwyn Langley, a husband of Ella, is a cruel and aggressive man who causes great emotional and psychological sufferings to Ella. The other characters are Mass Cyprus, Mass Levi, Reverend Simpson, Ole African, Anita and Miss Gatha. All of them are engaged in crimes and spiritual violence as victims or aggressors. The remarkable feature of the novel is that it is based on mixed chronological frames and double telling. Crimes have changed consciousness and personality of Ella and Anita who have to fight with spiritual 'rapists' (Mass Levi, Dan,, Selwyn).
Spirituality and subconsciousness are used as frames of the beyond which is close to us but which cannot be seen by common people. Spiritual traditions and zombification force the main heroes to look for new ways and methods to change their life. Fighting with prejudices and stereotypes, Erna Brodber unveils that traditional knowledge limits understanding of the self and the world, and starts to seek for another source of her spiritual development. The most impressive theme is that some characters can steal human spirit. Atmosphere of mysticism covers the protagonists creating a feeling of secrecy and spiritual burden. "Spirit thief...taking away these people's spirit" (18). Growth and metamorphosis are the unifying themes in the novel out of which the fully reconstituted spiritual knowledge and power of beliefs emerges. To some extent, spiritual practices and their acceptance or rejection, determine the level of heroes evolution and transformations affecting their spiritual development.
The culture of the main characters is destroyed by spiritual monitoring and interference. Timeless presence and power of mind show that people depend upon their own fears and terrors. The theft of spirit symbolizes that people are surrounded by unknown world they try to master and subdue, but in reality they are caught by their own prejudices and superstitions which prevent them to experience the world around. On the one hand, this zombification support factitious world created by Ella and other people, but on the on the hand these beliefs symbolize narrowness of human mind and knowledge about the universe. It supports spiritual nature of Ella and represents a determinant factor of her personal development. It is possible to compare spirit with the matrix of consciousness where everything is predetermined and cannot be changed.
Erna Brodber proposes a blend of native religions and Christianity. She shows that objective world is revealed to us in religion and common sense presupposes a principle or set of principles which is not itself part of this world of facts; human experience is not of a chaotic manifold but rather an awareness by an enduring subject of a unified world of objects This enables Erna Brodber to say that the manifold of experience cannot be provided independently of the mind, because only minds or consciousness can make relationships, and this is just what objectivity means. The self is indispensable to the world which it knows and thus the objectivity of the world cannot be explained naturalistically. She calls the process of self-understanding: "awakened consciousness of these new people" (110). In the novel, Erna Brodber describes a unique interpretation of God and its role in our life. It is possible to say that God embodies universal love and worship. Erna Brodber ends ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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