Many symbolisms and themes have stood out in the Caribbean texts discussed in class. Many common themes have even been connected between the different short stories and one of these themes is what I want to discuss in my prospectus. What I find interesting is the reoccurring use of nature and environment symbolism used in Caribbean literature. Therefore I will discuss this theme’s meaning in my eyes and as well as the interpretation from other readers. I will be using the text of Erzulie by Pauline Melville to support this reoccurring theme. An analysis of Pauline Melville’s Erzulie reveals a significant challenge that indigenous people faced, social righteousness. Melville’s story helps establish a new connection by exploring the social wrongs of the time and beauty of the Guyana country destroyed by colonialism.
After researching Melville’s work in scholarly databases only a few articles on the topic were found. Other analysis of the story discussed that there is an ...view middle of the document...
The author’s use of this Haitian goddess can be seen to portray a symbol of nature in the text. I shall later go into further detail the origin of this name and the meaning behind it. I will also examine its symbolism and significance in the text. I aim to explore the environment and the use of Erzulie as a way of the earth being fed up and taking revenge on those that have harmed her, for example murdering the men. I will argue that this character is used as a symbol of the Caribbean experience and takes revenge on the society that has suppressed so man indigenous people economically and politically. Using quotes from the text such as:
Something had gone wrong with New Amsterdam. After its heyday in the last century, the town was now in full mortis. It was a town with memory loss. Street names had dropped off and not been replaced. The buildings were wooden skeletons leaning against each other as though they had a headache....(Melville,148-149).
The importance of this argument is to go further in depth of the problems of the post-colonialized Caribbean. The problems in the Caribbean are society and nature that is portrayed through the writings of Caribbean authors. Since there are not a lot of scholarly articles devoted to this subject matter, writing another analysis on a Caribbean short story is helpful in the literature world. I feel that it is important because people should be aware of what colonialism did negatively to these Islands and Islanders. Students should not only be educated on African American literature in courses but also Caribbean literature. My claim can be debatable for diverse readers because they could interpret the short story in dissimilar ways or view the Caribbean’s in a different light. For example people who see the colonization of the Caribbean’s as purely positive and as a beneficial movement for the indigenous people will struggle to grasp and relate to my claim.
Melville has significantly contributed to powerful Caribbean literature, by allowing a relationship and partnership to develop between social righteousness and nature. I hope that after further research and brainstorming I can find new parts of the text to analyze. Hopefully I can find more outside sources that discuss the impact of colonialism on nature and society and how it is seen in Caribbean literature.