The Mysteries of Belonging

By Marjorie Attignol Salvodon.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In The Autobiography of my Mother by Jamaica Kincaid, key experiences in the life of Xuela, the young narrator-protagonist, reveal the ways in which gender, race, and colonialism converge to shape Caribbean childhood in a post-colonial context. Told from the keen perspective of a girl-child who narrates her tumultuous life in Dominica, the novel juxtaposes unequal power relations not only to critically interrogate them, but also to propose an alternative conceptualization of belonging and identity. The legacy of racial hierarchy, multicultural belonging, rigid social conventions, and gender inequity are seen through the prism of the young narrator’s eyes. Xuela’s at once rebellious and contemplative vision evokes her complex cultural, historical, and linguistic heritage. This presentation examines the challenges of belonging in a Caribbean childhood and the subsequent affirmation of Caribbean female subjectivity.

Keywords: Caribbean Literature, Cultural Identity, Colonialism and Post-colonialism

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.69-76. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 512.012KB).

Prof. Marjorie Attignol Salvodon

Assistant Professor of French and Humanities, Sufffolk University, Boston, MA, USA


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