• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Evoking the past is one of the most important strategies in the practice of West Indian Writers. Discuss with close reference to Dennis Scotts An Echo in the Bone.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Question 1 - "Evoking the past is one of the most important strategies in the practice of West Indian Writers." Discuss with close reference to Dennis Scott's An Echo in the Bone. When studying history one often learns that without knowledge of the past, understanding the present is indeed futile. According to Spanish philosopher George Santayana, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." This also resonates in West Indian Literature. It can be deduced that, it is a principle by which many West Indian writers abide, hence 'evoking the past' is an important strategy of West Indian writing. Dennis Scott is an esteemed Jamaican playwright, a founding father of Ritual Theatre, as well as a recipient of the Prime Minister's medal for service to the arts in Jamaica in 1983. Although Scott has achieved so much, one cannot overlook the fact that many of his works goes unnoticed and unrecognized towards an international audience. Nevertheless, Scott managed to create outstanding pieces, with fundamental messages to not only entertain but inform audiences of varying issues which were present in the past and still plague the present. An Echo in the Bone is Scott's revelation of the past, as it relates to Jamaica, specifically highlighting Slavery as a system of exploitation for the back race as well as a tool for mental enslavement. ...read more.

Middle

"... I suffer too long- three hundred years!" Crew remarks after he has killed Mr. Charles, he ranted that he was not going to be imprisoned. One may think that Crew's act was an act of breaking a cycle, proving to the white man that he was no longer the one in charge, and helping to finally emancipate his race. Walcott argues that it is necessary to wipe the slate clean to escape from "servitude to the muse of history." In analyzing the play, one is unable to overlook the fact that the characterization is indeed peculiar, most characters have multiple roles throughout the piece and this is not because the play was a low budget one, but instead to show the relation and connection between the characters in the present as well as the past, which is significant, but one must admit this can be a bit problematic, especially for someone reading the play and not watching it. However, one must realize that there is no separation between the characters and their ancestral past, as it determines their actions and who they will become. Note however, that Madame is the only character who maintains her role throughout the play's entirety, and this is not to be taken lightly. Madame represents a static character with dynamic proportions. In other words, even though she never changes her role, the role she plays has remained constant as the times changes around her. ...read more.

Conclusion

The chain represents a symbol of hanging from the institution of slavery. It does not move, it is the fixed backdrop, and is preset throughout every scene. Just highlighting the fact that the past haunts the present whether we want to believe it or not. Another significant prop would be the machete. The machete represented the plantation system, during slavery, where the black field slaves, worked the field for centuries cutting cane, to the benefit of the white planter. The machete in this case was used for the prosperity of the white man .Note keenly though that the same machete that was used for the prosperity of the white man was used for his demise. Crew committed a violent act when taking the machete to kill Mr. Charles, he was tired of the oppression, the dehumanizing, the emasculation he just wanted to end it, and that he did. An Echo in the Bone, is a true representation of 'evoking the past'. It is indeed evident that Scott takes a rather different approach in dramatizing and highlighting the need to visit ones past to figure out the present. This he was able to achieve through a complex set of variations, on the transformative power of role making, the plot construction as well as his selection of props. So after studying and analyzing the play, one is probably left contemplating the idea, does time really change? Or is it just a revelation of the past? ?? ?? ?? ?? 6 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Play Writes section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Play Writes essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The History Boys. Consider the significance of finding your way in life, in ...

    3 star(s)

    She teaches history to the students as what inscribed on the books and hesitatingly lets Irwin shapes the mindset of the boys for she knows that the boys will not get the Oxbridge scholarship if they are still as innocent as the previous semester.

  2. How does Pinter exploit the verbal and the visual in the Birthday Party

    Indeed, she actually says "I know what's going on. I've got a pretty shrewd idea." it's not certain whether this is true but either way it shows that she does possess a certain amount of intelligence as she knows Goldberg won't want people finding out what they did to Stanley.

  1. Analyze Brecht as the man, the context of his life, his theatre technique of ...

    In The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Brecht uses the Alienation conventions such as song in narration and the play within a play. The application of song and narration is used whenever there is a new idea within the scene or when the scene changes completely.

  2. Long Day's Journey into Night: Can One Successfully Escape Reality?

    "But I must confess, James," she admits, "although I couldn't help loving you, I would never have married you if I'd known you drank so much" (O'Neill 113). Even though she loves him dearly and vice versa, as is demonstrated throughout the play, he is driving her away with his drinking.

  1. Equus Essay. Although it is obvious that Shaffer intended both Frank and Dora to ...

    Dora's excessively religious upbringing and beliefs play a large part in Alan's life and religion, particularly as many of his rituals are influenced by Christianity (his flagellating, and the terms he uses to describe his religious paraphernalia e.g. "the Ark of the Manbit").

  2. Futility of existence in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead

    They have no narrative history and don't know who they are, they are not even aware that they have no narrative history. They question their purpose, this could be linked to Existentialism as it links to the question of 'who are we?'

  1. Scene by scene analysis of "Equus"

    They hem Alan in. He doesnât even have any space to breathe. Alan just wanted to laugh, he wanted to have fun. But his father doesnât. Frank just overreacted. Since this day, Alan never was on a horse, he said to Dysart. He didnât care to, although he worked in a stable.

  2. Through the selection of three characters in 'Journey's End' examine how Sherriff presents human ...

    face"), though Stanhope's weaknesses seem to be half concealed, hence why the pallor is described as being "under his skin" rather than in plain sight as Hibbert's are. Sherriff presents the audience with two conflicting images of human weakness: Hibbert, the stereotypically weak man, and Stanhope, the seemingly strong and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work