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

Displacement and Doubt in Post-Colonial Literature. Olive Seniors Gardening in the Tropics is an example of a collection of work that through the use of poetic and literary techniques, effectively displays her ambivalence towards h

Extracts from this document...


LITERARY ESSAY "The Post-Colonial writings of women throughout the African diaspora often reflect ambivalence toward place and language (Teresa Zacoolink)." Discuss with reference to Olive Senior's Gardening in the Tropics.' Displacement and Doubt in Post-Colonial Literature Nostalgic yet ambivalent, is the unrelenting reaction expressed by Post-colonial female writers of the African diasporic community living and writing abroad. Jean Rhys and Olive Senior are two such female writers who portray via their literary works, the personal struggles they experience, of yearning to be home whilst fearing rejection and seeking their own national and cultural identity through their own displacement. Olive Senior's 'Gardening in the Tropics' is an example of a collection of work that through the use of poetic and literary techniques, effectively displays her ambivalence towards her identity whilst gaining affirmation. Post-colonial writing embraces the language and ideas that have been rejected by the Europeans while seeking to disseminate the Hegemonic thinking imprinted on the West Indian groups and reshaping our values and identity. This literature is rich in passionate and determined female writers that seek to present a once muted female voice on issues that may arise in the mind of individual who feels out of place and doubtful. ...read more.


a Caribbean person and identity and the way I define that is somebody who, precisely like me, embodies not different races, and different cultures. I mean people just have to take me or leave me." Olive Senior is attributed for her technique of tonial and linguistic variation and her ease of switch. As she has often expressed, her switch is effortless due to this being her natural style influenced by her dynamic cultural background. "Though I not quarrelsome I have to say: look I tired now" The lines above from the poem, 'Meditation on Yellow' exhibits one of Senior's dialect changes. Whilst ambivalent to her identity, it can be said that Senior manipulated her creole language to have a wider range of people who themselves are as 'indecisive' and culturally dynamic and as well, mark her identity. The manipulation of characters in a literary piece can reflect the writer's views as well as their innermost struggles and conflicts. In 'Hurricane Story 1903' it is noted that Granny is instilled and rooted with her Jamaican culture. Likewise, this relates to Senior herself who tries to hold onto her Caribbean roots whilst remaining in Canada, despite her uncertainty of belonging. ...read more.


It can be argued that the nostalgic reminiscence is presented in 'Meditation on Yellow' where Senior writes "I want to feel mellow, in that three o'clock yellow' where she muses on the sun's glow at that time of the afternoon in such a tropical setting. This greatly contrasts to her environment now in Canada which varies drastically. It can be argued that Senior, though feeling displaced in her homeland and society on a whole, still admires and yearns for her country as this is seen in the gardening motif throughout Gardening in the Tropics. Bruce King in his introduction of the book, West Indian Literature, states that "West Indian Literature is more about coming to terms with exile, rapid change and the desire to belong in a region of the world..." Many female West Indian writers of the African diaspora are subject to this exact sentiment and thus release their frustration and uncertainty through their work. Olive Senior and others effectively utilize their creative literary techniques to often display their feelings of displacement and ambivalence throughout their work. This is in fact often done, not as means of 'wanting to' but instead fulfilling a 'need to' provide a voice to others who may feel such ambivalence, likewise as Jean Rhys connected to Olive Senior. ...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. Ted Hughes's Examination at the Womb Door

    It also gives a very ominous- death, the ultimate fear of all mankind, and sacrilegious tone to the poem- the crow, a small bird, being insolent in front of God by insisting that it is owned by Death (Who owns these scrawny little feet? Death. Who owns these unspeakable guts?

  2. Discuss the importance of the ideas of roots and rootlessness in post-colonial writing by ...

    Images of 'mirrors' are used by both Walcott and Rhys to present each character/ however the fact that the 'reflections lack substance' suggest that the narrator has lost him/herself that s/he does not have a clear identity anymore; likewise to Antoinette.

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

    There is, however, a problem with relying on memories to form opinion on a person; the memories represented in Carol Ann Duffy's poems are often incomplete, bringing only half an image to the reader. The shift between past and present is sometimes indistinct and this blurring makes the speaker's identity and character hard to pin point.

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

    The usage of certain conventions such as: tone, rhyme scheme and language (especially the variations of formal and colloquial language and adjectives) appeal to reveal the poets feelings throughout the slight variations of line repetition and language. In addition, the poem raises and ironic question about the loss o things in life taken as an art.

  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

    There are two edicts in the poem, which are italicized passages located on the right side of each page. Each edict is a passage concerning language and slavery. Edict I recommends that slave owners should separate their slaves into "as many ethnolinguistic groups as possible" (354)

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

    The representation of the Caribbean as the 'World's green age' was what the colonialists believed about the Caribbean. They believed that Caribbean was the 'untouched' place where it was the 'Eden' on Earth. However, the existence of evil condemns these qualities as they use their dominance to oppress the nature.

  2. Free essay

    Cutting A Better Man Out Of The Hedge: a discussion of the relation of ...

    history, alongside that of personal history, in the lines 'Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds/Bends low, comes up twenty years away', and the somewhat regret-laden line 'I've no spade to follow men like them'. There is more to Heaney's Irishness than ancestry in the land; there is a trace

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