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Title: Transcultural rhythms : the Caribbean grandmother repeating across time and space
Author: Bethell Bennett, Ian Anthony
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2000
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The figure of the grandmother is a rhythm which repeats itself throughout Caribbean literature. The Caribbean literary grandmother owes a great deal to a history of hardship under slavery and post-emancipation struggles for self-realisation and empowerment. This thesis explores the repeating theme of theme of the grandmother-headed-household in literary works from Guadeloupe to Jamaica. The novels of Simone Schwarz-Bart, Joseph Zobel, Cecil Foster, Zee Edgell, Alvin Bennett, Cristina Garcia and Pablo Medina are interrogated in this space to reveal the importance of the grandmother character as the backbone of the works. Other novels from the region will also be utilised as secondary texts to further demonstrate the timeless nature of the grandmother's primary role in cultural retention and in the writer's imagination. Social-history provides an invaluable backdrop for understanding some of the dynamics involved in the West Indian family relationship and family structure. Theories as produced by theorists from within the region will be drawn upon alongside theories produced outside the Caribbean. These theories are included because they allow for a culturally distinct reading of Antillian literature that does not imprison the subject as reductionist, Eurocentric theory does. The combination of these theories , will thereby allow the importance of the grandmother character to come through, not as a dysfunctional copy of European models, but rather as a character constructed within a unique cultural contexts on distinct cultural codes. The premise of this thesis is the deconstruction of boundaries by highlighting the repeating grandmother rhythm. The established barriers serve to segregate works into groups based on language, nationality, gender, and ethnicity. Therefore, reading along the restrictive lines established by the latter has disallowed the rich understanding that an interdisciplinary study which crosses genre, gender, and lines of ethnicity reveals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Lyford Cay Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HQ The family. Marriage. Woman ; PN Literature (General)