The Dragon Can't Dance. The author,Earl Lovelace, allows even the non-indigenous reader to understand, to feel the physical and psychological realities of poverty-stricken Calvary Hill - every "sweet, twisting, hurting ache"(p. 133) - more intensely , more completely, through his use of paradox. Indeed, oxymorons pepper the pages of his novel, challenging our habits of thought and provoking us into seeking another sense or context in which these self-contradictions may be resolved into truths, truths that are clearly universal yet at the same time inseparable from the combined colour and squalor of post-World War II Trinidadian life.
Striking contradictions are employed most frequently in the author's characterization of Sylvia. While she is a relatively marginal character, in her, Lovelace limns a startlingly real portrait of a woman, body and soul, and, as virtually all male characters in the novel are mesmerized by her, it is fitting that the extent of her power is most regularly conveyed in terms of paradox. Already at age seventeen she possess a "knowing innocence"(p.39), intuitively aware of her sacrificial role to her overburdened mother's rent collector, Guy. When he would touch her, she sometimes stood still, sensing, almost mischievously, the need to perfect the "triumphant surrender"(p.40) fitted for the whoredom that was her destiny, if not her calling.
Along with the omniscient narrator, the protagonist Aldrick Prospect is fascinated by her. When she comes with a white dress and oversized shoes to offer herself to him, he thinks that it is "as if she had come both to give herself and to resist his taking her." Unable to accept the social responsibility that she implie...
... middle of paper ...
...im, "I didn't know he was your friend," Fisheye responds: "Get the f-- out of here, who say he is my friend" (p. 155)?
Of course Fisheye's retort contradicts what he unconsciously feels inside, but it is indicative of that seemingly unattainable goal of not only Trinidad and Tobago, but of all nations - "Indian, Chinee, white, black, rich, poor" (p. 163) - that Pariag redefines, thinking of Miss Cleothilda and her All o'we is one: "No. We didn't have to melt into one. I woulda be me for my own self. A beginning...' (p. 224). And Lovelace's vision in The Dragon Can't Dance provides just that: a microcosmic beginning, ringing challenging, all-too-relevant truths about humanity from a world of self-contradictions, through a lucid poetry of paradox. To borrow Lovelace's own words about Miss Cleothilda, his is arguably a novel of "audacious and pious grandeur" (p. 147).
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Marina Warner's The Dragon Empress At the age of sixteen, the beautiful and elegant T’zu-hsi entered the Forbidden City in Peking. The daunting walls, enormous buildings and massive pillars loomed around her as she walked deeper and deeper into its confines. She entered the palace as a timid young girl, but it was from within these walls that she would keep her claws around all of China. Marina Warner describes the life of this ruthless enchantress in The Dragon Empress, an essential read for understanding Chinese culture during the 18th and early 19th centuries.... [tags: Marina Warner The Dragon Empress]
787 words (2.2 pages)
- Red Dragon by Thomas Harris The novel Red Dragon by author Thomas Harris has 454 pages and I have divided them into 4 sections. The first section of this book will be 113 pages long and consist of exactly 10 chapters.... [tags: Harris Red Dragon]
1713 words (4.9 pages)
- Dragon-Chinese culture Name Date According to the Chinese culture, the drugs are considered to be legends, which helped the society during the hard times, for example times of war against enemies. According to the Chinese mythology, dragons were creatures with four legs, whose bodies were covered with scales. According to the beliefs of the Chinese people, dragons had power over nature, and as a result controlled natural phenomena such rainfall, floods and even the occurrence of hurricanes.... [tags: dog, dragon, symbol]
534 words (1.5 pages)
- Empress Dowager Tzu His Exposed in Sterling Seagrave's Dragon Lady China’s great ancient empire has been the source of stories, fables, and fascination throughout the world for generations. The Asian culture has a long history of powerful leaders and ruthless battles making it one of the longest standing powers that the world has ever known. Yet, what took centuries to create was destroyed during the reign of a single ruler, plunging the country into chaos and confusion. The one who often is believed to have generated this collapse is the Empress Dowager Tzu His, the last Empress of China.... [tags: Sterling Seagrave Dragon Lady]
592 words (1.7 pages)
- The Reluctant Dragon GRADE LEVEL: This is a relatively short book and would be good for third or forth graders or for someone at an intermediate reading level. This packet will be designed for third graders. SYNOPSIS: The setting of this book takes place in medieval times in a small English village. It's about a boy, his mother and father, a dragon, a dragon slayer, and the people of the village. It all begins when the father of the boy discovers a dragon in a cave in the countryside. The father tells the boy and the boy proceeds to go and find the dragon.... [tags: Book Report Dragon Essays Children's Books]
1006 words (2.9 pages)
- Fantastic Elements of Saint George and The Dragon Margaret Hodges adapted "Saint George and The Dragon" from its original work that was written by Edmund Spencer. "Saint George and The Dragon" is a short story that was published in 1984. Margaret Hodges, who adapted this fantastic literature, is from North America. " Saint George and The Dragon" shows many characteristic of Magical Realism; however, it is Fantastic Literature. "Saint George and The Dragon" is similar to Magical Realism because the characters within the story treat the events as a normal occurrence.... [tags: Saint George and The Dragon]
1093 words (3.1 pages)
- Saint George and the Dragon as Fantastic Literature Set "in the days when monsters and giants and fairy folk lived," Margaret Hodges' tale Saint George and the Dragon brings to the world of children Edmund Spenser's classic Faerie Queene. Retold in children's format in 1984, Saint George and the Dragon is based upon Spenser's English legend of the sixteenth century. Through examination of the characteristics that describe fantastic and magical realist literature, a more concise understanding of magical realism can be obtained.... [tags: Saint George and the Dragon Essays]
1173 words (3.4 pages)
- In this assignment, I will closely analyse the speech made by Earl Spencer for the funeral of Lady Diana, considering the complicated context and literary devises he uses to affect his audience. The speech was written as a funeral speech for Diana's close family and friends, but also, more importantly, for the public, as it was broadcasted worldwide. In the speech, although it's primary purpose is to pay respects to his sister; he uses the opportunity to promote Diana's charity work, and to raise controversy within the royal family.... [tags: Rhetoric of Earl Spencer's Speech]
558 words (1.6 pages)
- In the 17th century Britain a ’new wave’ of poets emerged, the one that would later be labelled the metaphysical poets. They had a very unique style that is very energetic, paradoxical, often enough to completely boggle the reader, and in a way entertaining for the way they hid their real point at times. How many times have we thought of them innocent, often thinking them to be saints and such. Certainly, in a way they are, but to enjoy reading them we have to be fully aware of the possible peiorativeness of their poems.... [tags: poetry, To Lucasta, The Rose, love]
1922 words (5.5 pages)
- Prologue My feet pounded the ground. Hard. Over and over again. Every impact sent a jolt of pain up my legs. My breathing came in rapid, wheezing gasps. I wanted to barf. My stomach felt as if it had been cut open. My throat burned as if a thousand white-hot needles had been stabbed into it and left there. My right arm hung uselessly at my side. The moonless night sky was sprinkled with stars which disappeared as I entered the thick forest. Blood pouring from my shoulder painted a trail behind me, marking every step I took.... [tags: Creative Writing Essays]
785 words (2.2 pages)