The Things That Fly in the Night: Female Vampires in Literature of the Circum-Caribbean and African Diaspora

By Giselle Liza Anatol | Go to book overview

5
Reconstructing a Nation of Strangers:
Soucouyants in the Work of Tessa McWatt,
David Chariandy, and Helen Oyeyemi

Myth is an unbreakable mirror that helps second-generational sons and
daughters of any culture, not just Nigerian, access the fears, joys, humor
and identity of their original country in a way that food, music and family
sometimes can’t[….] They capture the mind, imagination and heart
.

—HELEN OYEYEMI

As I discussed in Chapter 4, one of Nalo Hopkinson’s primary goals in Brown Girl in the Ring is to employ soucouyant folklore to interrogate gender norms in contemporary society, particularly those surrounding motherhood. Another prominent theme of the novel is the exploration of definitions of national identity for the immigrant and other subaltern populations of Canada. For example,when Premier Uttley—ostensibly the voice and representative of all Canadian people—awakens from the surgery in which the heart of African Caribbean Gros-Jeanne has been placed in her body, the rhetoric is suggestive: the politician refers to the heart as a “foreign” body (168) and an “alien” organ (237). On a personal, individual level, this wording might seem appropriate: the heart is not the one with which she was born. On the sociopolitical stage, however, the language of the White Canadian leader regarding the heart she has received from a Black Trinidadian immigrant implies that only those born in Canada who occupy White racial identities will ever be acknowledged as “real” Canadian citizens; they do not belong to the “‘truthful’ visual knowledge [that] regulates and normalizes how Canada is seen— as white, not blackless, not black, not nonwhite, not native Canadian, but white” (McKittrick 96–97). And even though the healthy heart has been stolen in Hopkinson’s novel—quite ironic, given the discourses associating non-White people with disease, dirtiness, and vice—and not willingly donated for the benefit of the woman and the larger body politic that she represents, Uttley feels “invaded in some way, taken over” when it is implanted (236). In a dream state, she orders it to stop resisting

-189-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Things That Fly in the Night: Female Vampires in Literature of the Circum-Caribbean and African Diaspora
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 296

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.