College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Graduation Date


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Department/Program Conferring Degree



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


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.