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Title: Race, class and resistance in three Caribbean novels
Author: Wheatley, Natalio Dixon
ISNI:       0000 0004 6500 5574
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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This research gives an analysis of the hierarchical socio-economic system inherent in Guyana, as is illustrated in the novel, Apata, by Harold Bascom; in Trinidad and Tobago, as is illustrated in The Dragon Can't Dance; and in Jamaica, as is illustrated in The Harder They Come. The inhabitants of these societies respond to their oppression with ideological and physical resistance. This study determines that the efforts to overcome the system have failed, due to ideological and organizational weakness. The study begins with an introduction that makes the case for literary analysis as a tool to examine the conditions of a society. Specifically, the introduction is giving focus to the topic of race, class and resistance in three Caribbean novels. Following the introduction is a chapter discussing race and class in the Caribbean. The discussion of race and class is contextualized within Marxism's development and adaptation throughout different societies. Then the specific analysis of Caribbean scholars, many using the tool of dialectical materialism, is applied to the historical circumstances of Caribbean societies, detailing slavery through post emancipation colonialism and the postindependence neocolonial era. After this examination of race and class, this study looks at the resistance to the oppressive conditions inherent within the socio-economic structure of the Caribbean societies. The great bulk of this study is focused on an analysis of each novel. In Apata, it is clearly shown that characters are denied and given opportunities based on their race or colour, which results in resistance. The Dragon Can't Dance, which focuses on a range of characters rather than one primary character as in Apata, is analysed to show how race and class determine the quality of one's life, how individuals seek escape from their condition, how they survive with their condition, and what their response is to their condition. In the HarderThey Come, the main character has his dreams dashed by the hierarchical, racialized, socio-economic system. A number of scholars are drawn on to substantiate a number of points in relation to race, class, and resistance in Caribbean societies. The author of this study concludes with a determination of the way forward for Africans in the Caribbean and the wider African diaspora.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral