n Latin American Report - The Caribbean experience in Earl Lovelace's

Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-6060



This article focuses on the treatment of the Caribbean experience in Earl Lovelace's novel . In this novel, Lovelace captures the life of the underprivileged Caribbean people in post-independence Trinidad in a very convincing way. Black people at Calvary Hill (which represents Trinidad) live in abject poverty despite now living under their own government. The poor inhabitants use their most important cultural resource, carnival as a survival strategy. Carnival laughter, music and dance provide them with momentary respite from their worries and frustrations. Carnival also unifies and strengthens them and gives them a sense of identity and belonging. The challenge for Lovelace's characters is to live beyond the carnival by adapting to the demands of the new society. Some, like Aldrick Prospect who plays the dragon role during carnival, eventually come to a realization that life is not all about the carnival but others fail to overcome their limitations. In Lovelace's view, Trinidad needs true heroes and heroines to redeem it from post-colonial oppression. Lovelace also encourages unity between blacks and East Indians since they experience the same harsh conditions and thus have the same destiny as Trinidadians or Caribbeans.

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