Analysis Of The Book ' Banana Bottom ' By Claude Mckay Essay

Analysis Of The Book ' Banana Bottom ' By Claude Mckay Essay

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“For the island colony was divided into three main groups in a political and social way. The descendants of the slaves were three-fourths of the population and classified as black or dark brown. The descendants of Europeans and slaves were about one-fifth of the population and classified as coloured or light brown. The rest were a few thousand East Indians and Chinese and perhaps the same number of pure European decent.” (Pg. 4) Claude Mckay blatantly describes the historical reality here in his novel, Banana Bottom. The reality that McKay is describing in Jamaica, directly relates to the history of the Caribbean and Jamaica specifically in the 19th Century.
The various differences in skin tone mentioned in this novel are not unintentional. The biracial and multicultural characters in Banana Bottom are an accurate representation of Jamaica in the 19th century. After the emancipation, many of the islands in the Caribbean needed to ship in laborers from other countries that were willing to work on the plantations. This was in order to maintain the economic demands and exports of sugar, and other agricultural crops.
The main character, Bita Plant is a native-born Jamaican girl who is later adopted by two white missionaries, the Craig’s. This leads Bita to be educated in Europe, and then returns to Jubilee in Jamaica, and eventually her hometown, Banana Bottom. Therefore, Bita represents the two sides of the Jamaican society. The hypocrisy that is all too frequent, accompanies religiosity, unrestrained enthusiasm for the arts and entertainments of the European folk, yet pride in black institutions and heritage. Bita is independent in thought and behavior, and is in discernment in the choice of the two competing philosophies.
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...r a time, for he represents that aspect of her that the Craig’s have attempted to remove. However he runs away from the responsibility when marriage is mentioned.
Perhaps of most racial significance is Jubban. Jubban is described as Blue black- a deep black and he is an ideal contrast to Bita’s other lovers: he is thoughtful, not overly intellectual, hardworking, and an emotional, responsive, and responsible lover and husband. He is serious, strong, and proud of his race and of his own accomplishments as a worker. He is the true complement of Bita and the foundation of her contentment.
Bita choosing Jubban in the end is a way of saying how “black is beautiful” it’s a reevaluation of race now. McKay is wrapping up his racial conflict of a story into a moral about how instead of the culture and race of the black community being repulsed it, in actuality, is stunning.

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