College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Graduation Date

9-2014

Document Type

Thesis

College/Department Conferring Degree

English

Keywords

postcolonial literature, Caribbean literature, neocolonialism, afrocentrism, African oral tradition

Abstract

This thesis focuses on the implied presence of African storytelling tropes and characters in postcolonial Afro-Caribbean literature. It argues that Afro-Caribbean writers deliberately utilize these tropes in order to separate themselves from a vestigial European cultural presence. The three main tropes and characters studied in this thesis are rites of passage, Trickster, and Hero. A hybrid character that embodies traits of both Trickster and Hero appears in contemporary Afro-Caribbean literature, suggesting that an African-inspired cultural hero is needed to transcend neocolonial boundaries. African-inspired rites of passage suggest that all Caribbeans of African descent should undergo both cultural and identity-related rites of passage, arriving at a sense of pride in both African pasts and a collective Afro-Caribbean present free from the colonial grasp.

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