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Helen in Omeros by Derek Walcott

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Omeros portrays Helen as a beautiful, prideful, and spirited young woman, yet there are times when she is portrayed as a sexual object that is promiscuous with two friends. There are also some suspicions raised within Maud about her husband’s Plunkett obsession with Helen. Helen represents both the young woman and the island of St. Lucia, which is known as the Helen of the West Indies. The characteristics given to Helen by Walcott reflect the struggle with being dominated by males and them trying to claim her. She must fight the tourism and the men attempting to cast claim on her. In VI, we see Helen with an independent and rebellious spirit: “What the white manager mean to say was she was too rude, ‘cause she dint take no shit from white people and some of them tourist—the men only want to touch local girls; every minute—” (33) Helen does not conform like the others to the social expectations of the tourists. She rejects the ideology that a subservient attitude is necessary to keep the tourists appeased. The mention of the “white manager” also implies contempt for the white pop...
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