Romance and Revolution: Women’s Narratives of Caribbean Decolonization

Kevin MeehanUniversity of Central Florida
Vol. 25, No. 2 (Fall 2006), 291-306

Through a reading of three Caribbean women writers, this article explores how their stories investigate the trope of romance in order to explore national liberation. The article first establishes the trope of romance through the male Caribbean writer C. L. R. James, who dramatizes the attachment to colonial culture after independence through the relationships of his characters. The article then examines how Caribbean women writers have revised the romance trope. In Mon Examen de Blanc, Jacqueline Manicom centers the text on a woman, increases maternal imagery, and challenges the idea that romance enables revolution for women. Merle Collins’s Angel investigates a woman as a political subject while relegating the romance trope to secondary characters. Finally, the short story “Inez” by Merle Hodge investigates sexuality as the site of women’s oppression. With these stories, the article argues that such writing challenges general Caribbean women’s writing by documenting and redressing women’s exclusion from political struggles and seeking new ways to represent oppression and resistance.

Mary Wollstonecraft Sojourner Truth Margaret Atwood Abigail Adams Amy Tan H.D. Simone de Beauvoir Zora Neale Hurston Frances Burney Virginia Woolf

"The white saxifrage with the indented leafe is moste commended for the breakinge of the Stone."

— Turner, Herbal, III, 68 [1568]