The Caribbean Islands Essay

The Caribbean Islands Essay

Length: 1217 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

"The Caribbean"

The Caribbean, a region usually exoticized and depicted as tropical and similar in its environmental ways, cannot be characterized as homogenous. Each individual island has their own diverse historical background when it comes to how and when they became colonized, which European country had the strongest influence on them, and the unique individual cultures that were integrated into one. The three authors Sidney W. Mintz, Antonio Benitez-Rojo, and Michelle Cliff, all and address the problem of the Caribbean’s identity. They each discuss how the Caribbean’s diverse culture was created and molded by each individual island’s history, how its society was molded by the development of plantations, how the Caribbean dealt with the issue of slavery, and how miscegenation and the integration of cultures, as a result of slavery, contributed to the region’s individualism in regards to culture. Colonialism and acculturation and their impacts on the Caribbean islands were also important issues discussed by Mintz, Benitez-Rojo, and Cliff.

Although Mintz, Benitez-Rojo, and Cliff have the same intention in analyzing the Caribbean, they all use different approaches. Mintz, a social scientist, uses the social approach to describing the region, while Benitez-Rojo, a literary analyst, uses the humanistic approach as he implements the "Chaos Theory" in his breakdown of the Caribbean’s history, and Cliff uses a more personal approach.

In The Caribbean as a Socio-cultural Area, Sidney W. Mintz emphasizes how it is inaccurate to describe the Caribbean as a "cultural" area due to its complicated history. Their culture can not be characterized as "unified" or "Pan-Caribbean." He states that "if by culture is meant a common body o...


... middle of paper ...


...were a positive aspect of the Caribbean culture because they created an economy in the primarily primitive Caribbean.

Mintz, Benitez-Rojo, and Cliff illustrate and reinforce the reasons why the Caribbean must not be confused as another homogeneous region of the world. With all the different characteristics and features that compose each individual island, each island deserves to have their own separate identities recognized and their history acknowledges. Of course, I believe that the integration of so many diverse cultures is what makes the Caribbean unique and special in its own way.

Bibliography

Benitez-Rojo, Antonio. The Repeating Island, Duke University, Durham & London, 1992.

Cliff, Michelle. Abeng. Penguin Group, 1984.

Mintz, Sidney W. The Caribbean as a Socio-Cultural Area, Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean, Garden City, New Jersey, 1971.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Pioneering Exploration Of The Caribbean Islands By Christopher Columbus

- The pioneering exploration of the Caribbean Islands, by Christopher Columbus led to the first European contact of the Taino Indians in that region. This encounter resulted in the Taino Indians being traded, yet opened the South Atlantic and Caribbean for future exploration and eventual colonization. The first voyage of Christopher Columbus’ kicked off his legacy of being an explorer. The hardest part of starting Columbus’ voyage trying to find funds. “Columbus had a different idea: Why not sail west across the Atlantic instead of around the massive African continent....   [tags: Christopher Columbus, Isabella I of Castile, Spain]

Strong Essays
1455 words (4.2 pages)

Essay about One of the Largest Islands in the Caribbean: Jamaica

- ... Also, Bauxite and alumina are some of the biggest mining resources. Over 12 million tons of Bauxite and 3 million tons of alumina are produced annually. Some of the other minerals mined include copper, limestone, lead, zinc, and iron. Tourism is another big money maker for Jamaica with over 1 million visitors each year. Jamaica’s currency is known as the Jamaican dollar. Up to the late 1960's, the Jamaican dollar was worth more than the US dollar. However this is not the case today, it takes about 109 Jamaican dollars to equal one US dollar....   [tags: history, culture, Sean Paul, Bob Marley]

Strong Essays
1943 words (5.6 pages)

Government, History and Culture of The Bahamas Essay

- Have you ever been some place so small that encompasses so much. The constitution of the Bahamas is based on the Westminster modeled after Queen Elizabeth II. The governor-general of the Bahamas is the majesties representative. Perry Christie has been the prime minister of the Bahamas since 2002. The first prime minister of the Bahamas was Lyden Pindling. The Bahamas system of government is parliamentary democracy. This type of democracy holds regular elections for leaders. The cabinet constitutes the executive branch and has control of the government....   [tags: the Caribbean islands]

Strong Essays
1013 words (2.9 pages)

The Caribbean Essay

- The Caribbean The inhabited islands clustered in the Caribbean Sea are an interesting study in cultural and social identity. Colonized by european powers from the Fifteenth Century, the Caribbean islands have become mixtures of cultures from Europe, Africa, and India, as well as from the original inhabitants of the islands. As a result, describing and defining the Caribbean is a much more difficult task than it appears on the surface. The norms and ideas of identity and history that exist on one island are vastly different than those that exist on a near neighbor, despite similarities in geography and history....   [tags: Caribbean Islands Culture Essays]

Strong Essays
1133 words (3.2 pages)

What is the Caribbean? Essay

- What is the Caribbean. Many ask themselves, What is the Caribbean. What makes up the Caribbean. and How has each island created their identity due to their history. Sidney Mintz in the article, "The Caribbean as a Social-cultural Area" approaches a more social interpretation, Antonio Benítez-Rojo in the article "From the plantation to the Plantation" approaches a more humanistic interpretation while Michelle Cliff in her novel Abeng and her article "If I could write this in fire" takes on a more personal view....   [tags: Geography Caribbean History Islands Essays]

Free Essays
1658 words (4.7 pages)

Essay on Word Collision: Christopher Columbus and The Taino Natives

- The swift sandy beaches of the Caribbean were once desolate and unknown rule by the natural habitat of Taino natives whose sole existence revolved around primitive nature. These Virgin Islands would be a critical and strategic discovery for the strengthening Spanish empire during the 15th century under the rule of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabel of Castile . On October 1492, a man by the name of Christopher Columbus would take the power of the Spanish crown to excellency and great dominion over the new world....   [tags: caribbean, virgin islands]

Strong Essays
1702 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on History Of Antigua And Barbuda Islands

- The Antigua and Barbuda islands are well renowned for their destination as one of the leading tourist resorts in the Caribbean. Tourism dominates Antigua and Barbuda’s economy accounting for more than half of the country’s GDP (CIA World Fact Book). When people vacation in this paradise they do not know the extensive history that is present on the island. Many Antiguans are involved in creating an atmosphere that conceals the painful history that existed in Antigua. In this paper I will focus on the history of Africans in Antigua, and show how these Africans developed into the Antiguans we know today....   [tags: Caribbean, Slavery]

Strong Essays
1145 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on Lost In Translation - Literature and Language of the Caribbean

- The Caribbean features literature from English, French, Dutch, Spanish, and also fusions of fragments of those languages forming a dialect or sometimes a new creole language emerges. The experiences of the islands are similar, but not identical. Therefore the women and men had difference experiences and so authors will have different themes in their literature. Some may be more focused on the social aspects of the country, some political, and others try to convey the personal triumphs and hardships of the individuals that inhabit the Caribbean space....   [tags: authors, anglo, islands]

Strong Essays
523 words (1.5 pages)

The Caribbean Essay

- The Caribbean Perhaps nowhere on earth is a more culturally varying region than in the Caribbean. The recent history has formed these islands into a confused, random area, hiding much of its people’s identity and heritage. Due to European Imperialism, extermination of aboriginal peoples, slavery, the plantation system, and the ethnic diversity of the inhabitants the Caribbean does not allow itself to be classified as one. In fact little can be grouped together. Sydney Mintz, Antonio Benitez-Rojo, and Michelle Cliff try to make sense of the combination and loss of culture as well as the reemergence of new ones....   [tags: Caribbean History Essays]

Strong Essays
717 words (2 pages)

Caribbean History Essay

- Caribbean History I. A Note on Historical Methodology: The conventional method of studying history consists of a chronological process. For example, the history of the ‘New World,’ or in particular the history of the Caribbean seems to originate in 1492, the year Columbus mistakenly landed upon Hispanola. Not long after the discovery of the New World, the age of European colonialism in the Americas emerges. This condensed version of the first several decades of European influence in the New World are the common historical accounts rendered about early Caribbean history....   [tags: Socio-Cultural Areas Culture Islands Essays]

Free Essays
1279 words (3.7 pages)