Academic journal article Journal of Caribbean Literatures

Introduction

Academic journal article Journal of Caribbean Literatures

Introduction

Article excerpt

In literature there are a surprising number of universal themes, stemming from shared experiences that ignore human boundaries. There are no borders to birth, the struggles of life, love, or death. We all share these basic experiences, and we all can see the reflections of these themes even in alien cultures. Other themes are more specific, stemming from particular events affecting smaller areas, such as Postcolonialism; these Postcolonial themes fascinate me in Caribbean literature. They are represented abundantly within these pages.

At its root, the primary theme these pages analyze is the struggle to find one's identity. This appears in a variety of ways, such as Sobeira Latorre's, Victoria Smith's, and Fremio Sepulveda's essays which (in part) explore the choice of language itself--whether one writes and speaks English, Spanish, or a combination of languages has immense significance. English is often seen as the language of the invader and the oppressor, but it is also the language that allows for the widest audience. This struggle for identity also includes gender and sexuality, as we see in the essays of Consuelo Martinez-Reyes and Scarlett Cunningham. It extends to religion, particularly the tension and sometimes open conflict between Christianity and Vodou, as Jason Barr explores. Daniel Arbino describes how this search for identity extends to the level of the entire Dutch Caribbean. …

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