The Effects of Caribbean Colonization on the Family: Through the Eyes of Caribbean Women Writers

The Effects of Caribbean Colonization on the Family: Through the Eyes of Caribbean Women Writers

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The effects of colonization on the family of Caribbean people, as described by various

twentieth century Caribbean woman writers, are as complicated as they are vast. These authors show

that families continue to struggle with separation, poverty, and cultural identity issues that create extra

ordinary difficulties for the families who live on these post-colonial islands. It can be argued that all

families have struggles, both internal and external, and while this is undoubtedly true, the struggles that

the families described in these novels endure have a direct connection to their colonized past and the

influences of the colonizer, still felt by the countries colonized and their people. The abolition of

slavery in these islands did not eliminate the special problems that the former slaves, now inhabitants,

would inherit, nor did it eliminate the effects or consequences that these issues would create for the


One of the most prevalent concerns for these families is that of separation, both literally and

emotionally, due to differences in the family members interpretation and acceptance of their own

cultural identity. We can see literal family separation in Jamaica Kincaid's “Annie John,” through both

the emigration of Annie's mother, from the Dominican to Antigua, to Annie's eventual immigration to

England. These literal separations of family are derived from economical and educational reasons.

Annie John leaves Antigua, and her family, at the age of sixteen to pursue a continued education that

she can not find in her own country. We can see the emotional toll this has on Annie as she describes

her conflicted feelings on her departure: “My mother and my father...

... middle of paper ...


colonizer. The authors of these novels show us a glimpse of what it was and is like growing up and

living in a post-colonial country. Their mouths have been the mouth of misfortunes which have no


Works Cited

 Cesaire, Aime. "Xcesaire." Instructional Web Server -. Web. 20 Nov. 2010.

 Danticat, Edwidge. Krik? Krak! New York: Vintage, 1996. Print.

Edgell, Zee. Beka Lamb. London: Heinemann, 1982. Print.

 Estimates, By Some. "Haiti Earthquake Six Months Later: Where Do Things Stand? - ABC News." - Breaking News, Vote 2010 Elections, Politics, World News,Good Morning America, Exclusive Interviews - ABC News. Web. 24 Nov. 2010.

Kincaid, Jamaica. Annie John. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1985. Print.

Marshall, Paule. Praisesong for the Widow. New York: Plume, 1983. Print.

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