Where shall I turn, divided to the vein?” (27-28)
Derek Walcott’s poem “A Far Cry from Africa” deals with the poet’s inability to resolve his hybrid inheritance causing conflict between his loyalties to Britain and native Africa. Derek Walcott (1930- ) born in St. Lucia, spent most of his life in Trinidad and was also a recipient of Noble prize in literature in 1992. Belonging to both Anglo-European and Afro-Caribbean heritage, his duality in origin gave birth to a sort of identity crisis within himself. Most of his writing is a painful and jarring depiction of ethnic conflict and divided loyalties which earned him international fame in regard to his works in relationship of human. The intricate relationship between the colonized and the colonizer and the ways in which the Caribbean self-embraces and split between different places loyalties are central theme of Walcott’s writings.
Walcott has studied the conflict between the heritage of European and West Indian culture, the long way from slavery to independence, and his own role as a nomad between these two cultures. It is all about the settlers arriving in the region forcing people of Kikuyu from their tribal units. Walcott depicts the scenario of Europeans taking control over the farmland and the government and letting native people to serve the white race of Europeans in their own native land.
"A Far Cry from Africa" (1962) forces a question to speakers on cultural identity against a background of historical events. Exposing the intersection of cultures within the poet, this poem also highlights the “turbulent journey of a man trying to relate to his immediate schizophrenic Post-Colonial world reality and his state of hybridity” (Thou...
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...de between cultures as ‘high-low’; ‘white-black’; ‘civilized-uncivilized; and so on, therefore to anticipate more positive constructions of ‘Hybridity’” (Thounaojam, 2012).
To conclude, in most of Walcott’s writing, he portrays the relationship between the colonized and the colonizer and the ways in which the African self-hood and divide between different places and loyalties. Walcott is in quest in search of history and identity; he faces the cultural clashes of two nations, Africa and Europe. The poem moves to the battlefield within the poet as he owns dual cultural heritage and finds difficult to identify his actual identity where he belongs to. Walcott breathes two different traditions; he highlighted the dilemma between races in his poem who wants to adopt the "civilized" culture of the British, but also cannot excuse their immoral treatment of the Africans.
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