Cities in Caribbean Literature: a study of V. S. Naipaul’s Miguel Street and Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place
AuthorMasud, Farhin Al
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Caribbean literature shares a special concern with questions of identity, ethnicity, and language that rise out of the Caribbean historical experience. Understanding that experience is difficult but it can be attempted by seeing the reflection of the culture and history in Caribbean cities. The representation of cities in literature helps us to have a glimpse of the history along with the socio-economic and cultural shifts in the lives of its inhabitants. Colonial education and cultural colonization has created an anxiety which is faced by all the post-colonial nations and Caribbean cities are not an exception. This thesis explores the changes that colonization brought in the socio economic and cultural aspect of the cities through V. S. Naipaul’s Miguel Street and Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place. A Small Place is a work of creative nonfiction. It can be read as a reflection of the Antiguan government, the tourist industry and Antigua’s British colonial legacy. On the other hand, Miguel Street is a collection of linked short stories that draw on the author's childhood memories of Port of Spain set in wartime Trinidad and Tobago. It depicts the instability of the West Indian society in which impelled by eccentricity, ambition or sheer romanticism, the individuals are always trying to get away. This thesis argues that the experiences and memories of cities are embedded in people’s culture, background and surrounding through textual analysis supported by post-colonial theories.