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.
... middle of paper ...
...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.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Author Claude McKay, throughout all of his novels, investigates how the concepts of class worked in a world dominated by capitalism and colonialism. His protagonists are black intellectuals, a rarity in their society, who can find symbolism and inspiration in the most complex works of classical writers or the simplest Negro spiritual, yet struggle to find their place in society. In Banana Bottom the protagonist Bita Plant is adopted and sent to England from Jamaica by white missionary benefactors and returns to her home village of Banana Bottom seven years later a beautiful, cultured young lady.... [tags: World Literature]
714 words (2 pages)
- Claude McKay's "Harlem Shadows" During the Harlem Renaissance, the black body was considered exotic and the "flavor" of the week. Society had an obsession towards black women, in general, blackness. However, the white race wanted to listen to their music, mingle with the women, and enjoy the other finer luxuries that the black society could afford. Even the art was captured by this idea of the exotic and contentment in being "black." The masquerade began as members of the white race tried to pass as black and during that experience gain some satisfaction from their own lost and confused existence.... [tags: Harlem Shadows Claude McKay Essays]
1384 words (4 pages)
- Usage of the Outsider Theme in Claude McKay's Poetry Claude McKay was an important figure during the 1920's in the Harlem Rennaisance. Primarily a poet, McKay used the point of view of the outsider as a prevalent theme in his works. This is best observed in such poems as "Outcast," "America," and "The White House." In these poems, McKay portrays the African-American as the outsiderof western society and its politics and laws and at times, the very land that he is native to. McKays's poem, "Outcast," is the most obvious example of this outsider theme.... [tags: Papers Claude McKay Outsider Poetry]
758 words (2.2 pages)
- The poem America by Claude McKay is on its surface a poem combining what America should be and what this country stands for, with what it actually is, and the attitude it projects amongst the people. Mckay uses the form of poetry to express how he, as a Jamaican immigrant, feels about America. He characterizes the bittersweet relationship between striving for the American dream, and being denied that dream due to racism. While the America we are meant to see is a beautiful land of opportunity, McKay see’s as an ugly, flawed, system that crushes the hopes and dreams of the African-American people.... [tags: Liberty, Justice, Poetic Analysis]
1105 words (3.2 pages)
- In the battlefield when fighting against death can be futile, Claude Mckay’s persona in the poem “If We Must Die” gives one last speech to motivate his subordinates for one last stand in order to change despair into the will to fight. Throughout the poem, Mckay utilizes smile, imagery, and diction to strengthen the speech and to portray the enemy as savages. The poem is written in iambic pentameter; but the poet varies the iambic pattern by using trochaic, spondaic, and anapestic feet to underscore images and ideas.... [tags: Iambic pentameter, Poetry, Trochee, Iamb]
1024 words (2.9 pages)
- The life and Writings of Claude McKay Introduction Every literary period can be defined by a group of writers. For the Harlem Renaissance, which was an extraordinary eruption of creativity among Black Americans in all fields of art, Claude McKay was the leader. Claude McKay was a major asset to the Harlem Renaissance with his contributions of such great pieces of writings such as “If We Must Die” and “The Lynching.” McKay wrote in many different styles. His work which vary from “dialect verse celebrating peasant life in Jamaica, to militant poems challenging white authority in the United States, to philosophically ambitious novels about the effort of blacks to cope in western society... [tags: essays research papers]
2791 words (8 pages)
- Claude McKay was born on September 15th 1890, in the West Indian island of Jamaica. He was the youngest of eleven children. At the age of ten, he wrote a rhyme of acrostic for an elementary-school gala. He then changed his style and mixed West Indian folk songs with church hymns. At the age of seventeen he met a gentlemen named Walter Jekyll, who encouraged him to write in his native dialect. Jekyll introduced him to a new world of literature. McKay soon left Jamaica and would never return to his homeland.... [tags: essays research papers]
692 words (2 pages)
- Claude McKay Claude McKay was one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century African American literature. He was known world wide from the West Indies to the United States to Africa all the way to his birth place Jamaica. When mentioning controversial writers, Claude McKay comes to mind. He was first of many African American writers who would become known for speaking their minds through literature during the early 1900's.... [tags: African American Literature]
1212 words (3.5 pages)
- If We Must Die by Claude McKay Clearly provocative and even chilling, “If We Must Die” by Claude McKay stirs deep and powerful emotions in any who reads it. A poem inspired by violent race riots, it serves as a motivating anthem representative of an entire culture. Graphic and full of vengeance this poem is demanding action, not telling a story. McKay utilizes imagery to its fullest extent creating an end result which any man or woman, black or white, who has ever felt the hard and hateful hand of oppression can relate to.... [tags: Papers]
721 words (2.1 pages)
- Claude McKay's If We Must Die One of the most influential writers of the Harlem Renaissance was Jamaican born Claude McKay, who was a political activist, a novelist, an essayist and a poet. Claude McKay was aware of how to keep his name consistently in mainstream culture by writing for that audience. Although in McKay’s arsenal he possessed powerful poems. The book that included such revolutionary poetry is Harlem Shadows. His 1922 book of poems, Harlem Shadows, Barros acknowledged that this poem was said by many to have inaugurated the Harlem Renaissance.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
1267 words (3.6 pages)