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

Discuss the importance of the ideas of roots and rootlessness in post-colonial writing by comparing at least two different texts you have studied.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the importance of the ideas of roots and rootlessness in post-colonial writing by comparing at least two different texts you have studied. Ideas of 'roots' and 'rootlessness' are important features of post-colonial writing due to the writers' concerns with the effects of neo-colonialism. 'Roots' conveys ideas about heritage, background as well as race and culture thus 'rootlessness' occurs when people lose these identities. The loss of identity could be when people do not have history to refer back to; one of the key themes in Walcott and Rhys' writings. Due to colonialism, the traditional way the colonised used to live can not be found easily anymore. From where Walcott and Rhys comes from, the Caribbean, the colonialists had changed the official language to English and changed many different customs; this perhaps causes the feelings of 'rootlessness' as they loose their cultural identity. Both Walcott and Rhys explore these ideas in their writing to show how 'roots' and 'rootlessness' is important to the society in general, but also how they were personally affected. In 'Almond Trees', Walcott explores the ideas of 'roots' and 'rootlessness' by connecting 'roots' to ideas of history. Walcott opens the poem with a short line of 'There's nothing here', showing emptiness with bitter feelings. ...read more.

Middle

Antoinette says she does 'not want to see that ghost of a woman who they say haunts this place', which is quite ironic as she is looking at herself but she refers herself in a third person; she describes herself to be someone else. This directly linked with the ideas of self-reflected images in Walcott's poem; both look at themselves as if they are looking at someone else. This can be seen as loss of identity hence they can not define their 'roots' feeling 'rootless'. Furthermore, this leads into questioning ideas about the changed homeland thus their identity has been affected. Walcott introduces ideas of history with 'twisted, coppery, sea-almond trees'; this brings in the existence of the 'sea-almond trees' which had been there since the Caribbean was discovered by the colonialist. However, the augmented images of 'twisted, coppery' suggest the ages of the tress and the length of the tree's existence. Conversely, it could also mean that people are not respecting the traditional values thus it is becoming demented. The on the beach, there are 'forked limbs of girls toasting their flesh' suggest the ideas of the tourists disgracing the long-established principles of the Caribbean. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is particularly visible when Antoinette claims that she "will be a different person when [she] lives in England and different things will happen to [her]". Due to her loss of identity, she feels 'rootless' as a result she feels that the only way to get her identity back to by moving away from home. However, this is highly ironic as later when she moves to England, she becomes the 'mad woman in the attic'; she does change. However, the readers witness that Bertha has completely different characteristics to Antoinette and perhaps through losing her identity, this is how she became to feel 'rootless' thus changes into Bertha. Both writers see the importance of the ideas of roots and rootlessness, seen especially through their own personal attributes towards these concerns. Both writers' personal background of them being multicultural adds to the fact that they are more personally engaged with the concerns in their writing; both writers expresses anger towards the loss of identity leading into 'rootlessness'. However, Walcott presents ideas of 'roots' and 'rootlessness' on the changes made to his homeland so when he comes back, he does not feel at home, whereas Rhys conveys feelings of 'rootlessness' by putting the characters in a foreign environment where dominance and oppression takes away their identity leading the characters to feel 'rootless'. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Other Poets 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 University Degree Other Poets essays

  1. This essay is mainly focused on Elizabeth Bishops poem One Art, and the recurrent ...

    even a loved one, which is what she considers to be the biggest loss. The usage of the imperative "write it"(line 19), shows the poet's struggle in finishing the last line or even the struggle she goes through in trying to say what she wants.

  2. Displacement and Doubt in Post-Colonial Literature. Olive Seniors Gardening in the Tropics is ...

    representing a quest through the landscape for her identity and place of belonging influenced by her Jamaica and English mix. 'Talking in the Trees' is another collection by Senior in which she first explored the personal questions that remained in her mind of where she belongs.

  1. Does the simplicity of Simon Armitage's work detract from the complexity of the social ...

    The poem is introduced by a prologue: A man strolls past the town hall wearing a sandwich-bard for a coat, and it ain't for the next closing-down sale, or the time of the next coach, and it ain't for the price of a fake tan, or bringing the government down,

  2. "Representation makes dummies of us all" - How is this sentiment reflected in Carol ...

    Duffy often uses broken phrases, single word sentences and stream of consciousness to express the feelings of her characters. 'Education for Leisure' (Selected Poems : 11) sees the association between Gloucester's speech from Act 4 Scene 1 of King Lear and the fly the speaker sees in front of him; "I squash a fly against the window with my thumb.

  1. Dylan Thomas' The Hand that Signed the Paper

    than the third stanza describes the effects of the treaty; and its concern is of the consequences for that sloping shoulder. There is bitterness in this stanza as the treaty is considered to be a disaster in biblical terms. The fever, famine and locusts that are referenced are allusions to the Old Testament.

  2. Compare and contrast different ways of presenting dominance and oppression in post-colonial societies by ...

    The poem conveys the experience of having one's conventional responses to the iniquities of West Indian history subverted. The concern about the existence of purity and evil at the same time is obvious at the beginning of the poem. This soon escalates in to anger throughout the poem then has the tone of reconciliation at the end.

  1. In What Way Imagist Poetry Influences Modernists

    The rigorous poem structure of the Classicism and the image, which Imagists place emphasis on, are fit well into one another. Another poem that fully displays the compact structure of Classical Poetry is "In a Station of the Metro." There are only fourteen words in this poem: The apparition of

  2. Silence and Opression in Discourse on the Logic of Language

    poem draws attention to the sociopolitical forces and institutions that conspired together to stamp out the language, culture, and identity of the colonized. The first-person narrative is written in free verse and centered on the page, foregrounding a voice that has historically been marginalized and silenced by cutting out the tongue.

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