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Title:
Creolizing womanhood gender and domesticity in early anglophone Caribbean national literatures
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Gender and domesticity in early anglophone Caribbean national literatures
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vii, 343 leaves : ill. ;
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English
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Rosenberg, Leah
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West Indian literature (English) -- History and criticism   ( lcsh )
Women in literature   ( lcsh )
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bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
by Leah Reade Rosenberg.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Cornell University, 2000.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Thesis:
Dissertation

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University of Florida
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oclc - 48503068
ocm48503068
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AA00014530:00001


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CREOLIZING WOMANHOOD: GENDER AND DOMESTICITY IN EARLY

ANGLOPHONE CARIBBEAN NATIONAL LITERATURES














A Dissertation

Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School

of Comell University

in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Philosophy










by

Leah Reade Rosenberg

January 2000






























2000 Leah Rosenberg







BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Leah Rosenberg received a B.A. in classics from Johns Hopkins University in 1986.

She studied German romanticism on a Fulbright Fellowship in Munich in 1987 and

stayed there to complete a project in creative writing with a Thomas J. Watson

Fellowship in 1987. She received an M.F.A. in fiction from Brooklyn College in 1991

and studied at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus in 1997. She begins

teaching in the Department of English at Grinnell College in the fall of 1999.





















for my parents, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg and Charles Ernest Rosenberg

and

The University of the West Indies

and

The National Library of Jamaica







ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

"Creolizing Womanhood" is the product of universities and libraries in the United

States and the Caribbean. It is based on archival material available only in the

Caribbean, where I was able to conduct research with the generous support of Cornell

University, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. I

am very conscious of the limited funding available for graduate students at the

University of the West Indies. The economic dynamics of research and publication

call on scholars in the U.S. like myself to find means of counteracting the imbalances

between Caribbean and U.S. academic institutions, of developing ongoing

relationships with faculty and libraries in the Caribbean, and of working in these

relationships to strengthen the Caribbean institutions that make our work possible.

In particular, I would like to thank Victor Chang, who invited me as a visiting

student to the Department of Literatures in English at University of the West Indies

(U.W.L) in Jamaica, and whose generosity as a host greatly contributed to my work

and well-being. Other U.W.L faculty gave me invaluable help in Trinidad, Kenneth

Ramchand and Bridget Brereton and in Jamaica, Velma Pollard, Maureen Warner

Lewis, Patrick Bryan, and Glen Richards. I would like to thank Nadi Edwards in

particular for taking time from his hectic schedule to read my work, as well as James

Robertson for his never ending help in negotiating the National Library and Archives.

I must also thank the staffs of the West Indies Collection at the UWI library in

Mona and in St. Augustine, and at the National Library of Jamaica, where I became a

virtual resident. I am indebted to the National Archives of Jamaica and of Trinidad

and Tobago, the National Heritage Library of Trinidad and Tobago, the Jean Rhys

Collection at the Special Collections Department at the University of Tulsa, the

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections and interlibrary loan services of Cornell

University Libraries. I would like to acknowledge Lennox Honychurch for his







generosity and trust in permitting me to use Phyllis Shand Allfrey's papers. As

executor of Alfred Mendes literary estate, Michele Levy has given me copies of

Mendes's unpublished work, xeroxes of her own research, and answered my endless

questions about Trinidadian.

My committee, Nathalie Melas, Molly Hite, and Anne Adams allowed me the

freedom and provided the support for me to find a subject and method of analysis of

my own. Viranjini Munasinghe helped me to articulate my arguments in the chapters

on Trinidad. Elaine Savory and the readers for The Jean Rhvs Review gave me

invaluable feedback for my chapter on Rhys. Karen McRitchie spent many hours in

solving my crises of formatting.

I could not have completed this dissertation without the help of my friends,

who commented on drafts, suggested sources, improved my ideas, and sometimes fed

and housed me. In particular, I would like to thank Jen Hill for her patient and fast

editorial assistance. Mary Hanna's hospitality enabled me to complete my research in

Jamaica. Over the past two years, she has contributed important ideas to both my

chapter on de Lisser and my chapter on Rhys and has helped me in my work in

immeasurable ways. I am also deeply indebted to Carla Boyer, Jani Scandura, Hugh

Stevens, Estelle Tarica, and Keith Williams for their academic and moral support. I

am greatly indebted to Lawrence George Hutson, whose love and generosity, taught

and nurtured me for the first two years that I worked on this dissertation. My greatest

debt is, of course, to my family, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, Charles Ernest Rosenberg,

Jessica Marion Rosenberg, Alvia Golden, Drew Faust, and Claudia Koonz, who have

helped me, often at significant sacrifice to their own work. Finally, I want to express

my deep gratitude to Brian Carl Robison, who has given me love, shelter, and, most

importantly, hope that will last me for a long time to come.







TABLE OF CONTENTS


Chapter 1: Introduction


Chapter 2: "The Place where Pandora fill'd her box":
Creole women and the Racialization of Domesticity


Chapter 3: English Literary Masters and the Black Amazons
of their Imagination: the Destabilizing Presence of Afro-Caribbean
Women in late 19th-century English Travel Narratives


Chapter 4: Black Matriarch and White Witch: Herbert de Lisser's
'Nationalism' and the Politics of Race and Class in Jamaica.


Chapter 5: Wombs of Uncertainty and Pleasure without Paternity.
the Gender and Degeneracy of Trinidad's White Ruling Class


Chapter 6: Douglas in the Yard:
Creolization in Trinidadian Yard Fiction


Chapter 7: "The rope, of course, being covered with flowers":
Metropolitan Discourses and the Construction of Creole Identity
in Jean Rhys's Black Exercise Book


Epilogue


Appendix: Illustrations

Bibliography







Chapter 1: Introduction

"Creolizing Womanhood" was inspired by Rhonda Cobham's observation that

women were the central protagonists of Jamaican literature from 1900 to 1950, the

period in which national politics and trade unions developed in the British West Indies

("The Creative Writer" 195-247). With few exceptions, this observation holds true for

the entire region. Yet, as Cobham points out, as soon as nationalism became

entrenched and West Indian literature gained international visibility with the emergence

of writers like V.S. Naipaul and George Lamming in the 1950's, women disappeared

from the center stage of literature and became subordinate players in the West Indian
literatures of nation building. "Creolizing Womanhood" argues that one reason for

nationalist literature's subordination of women and its general masculinist nature from

the 1950s to the 1970s was the writers' need to radically diverge from the
protonationalist literatures of 1900-1938, which in making women prominent had

emasculated Afro-Caribbean men in much the same ways that English colonial

discourse had at least since the 18th century.
The main project of this dissertation is to explicate the contemporary political

significance of protonationalist representations of gender. What did Herbert de

Lisser's representation of the white slave mistress, Annie Palmer, as a voodoo

priestess and domineering nymphomaniac mean to the Jamaican readers of his 1929

White Witch of Rose Hall? How did this portrait participate in de Lisser's anti-labor,

pro-capitalist political agenda articulated through his editorship of the conservative
Daily Gleaner and his alliance with the ruling class? How did Trinidadians, residents

of the impoverished barrack yards and of the wealthy merchant and planter homes, read

the comic and sexualized images of the black working class women of "Yard Fiction"

published in Trinidad and The Beacon between 1929 and 1933? How did yard fiction

and the other fiction published in these magazines participate in the larger and very







ambivalent political agenda of The Beacon? And finally, how are we to read the early

work of the exile Jean Rhys in relation to her contemporaries who published in the

Caribbean? Can her deep concern with creole women's sexuality and respectability be
seen as sharing with de Lisser and the Beacon group a point of reference in English

discourse on the West Indies as well as the project of critiquing that discourse?
De Lisser, the Beacon group, and Rhys took their stock characters the black

yard woman, the seductive brown woman, and the sadistic or sexually deviant white

woman from English travel accounts and novels of the West Indies, written during

two specific periods, the rise of the English middle class and the debate over slavery

between 1774-1838 and the crisis of English imperial identity and the rise of scientific

racism in the second half of the 19th century.' These early twentieth-century Caribbean

writers also share a complex engagement with the English middle class ideology of

domesticity of the late 18th and 19th centuries. Whether they embrace it as de Lisser

did, flaunt and repudiate it as the The Beacon group did, or critique its racialized

construction as Rhys did, protonationalist anglophone Caribbean writers consistently
represented Caribbean national identities in respect to an English conception of

domestic womanhood.

Their appropriation of English representations of Caribbean women and
domestic ideology is made more complex by the significant role West Indian women

played in English ideology of domesticity. Starting at the end of the 18th century,
English discourse on the West Indies, deeply embedded in domestic ideology,

employed images ofCaribbeans in general and Caribbean women in particular to define

the West Indies as a place lacking domestic virtue and therefore lacking the manhood



These periods leave out Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre (1847) even though I
include that novel in my discussion of English discourse. The representation of West
Indians in the novel mirrors the rhetoric of women anti-slavery writers; that is, Jane
Eyre expresses an anti-slavery position in the post-emancipation period.







and virtue necessary for political autonomy. How could anglophone Caribbean writers

of the early twentieth century fashion a positive image of the nation while basing their

literature on negative stereotypes of creole women and a domestic ideology that denied

political legitimacy and masculinity in particular to the entire region? And yet, how

could they do otherwise if their models of literary and political thought were British?

Because of the complexity of the relationship between English and

protonationalist anglophone Caribbean writing, I approach the representations of

gender in these early Caribbean texts along two lines of inquiry. First, I examine

anglophone Caribbean writers'complicated appropriation and transformation of both

English representations of Caribbean women and of English domestic ideology.

Second, I explore the political implications of these appropriations for the Caribbean

societies in which they were produced. How does the focus on women and sexuality

inherited from English domestic discourse effect protonationalist West Indian

literature's ability to represent the majority working class population as politically

competent or powerful? How does this focus shape the literature's representation of

the nation as creole; that is, as a nation composed of multiple ethnic groups?

I find that protonationalist writers redefine the core terms of English discourse
on the West Indies by shifting the definitions of race and domestic virtue. My findings

are consistent with Simon Gikandi's analysis of 19th century anglophone Caribbean
texts, in which he argues that colonized writers were able to resist colonial discourse by
defining its central terms while writing within the conventions of colonial discourse

(xviii). De Lisser, for instance, employs Engish representations of creole women and

ideas of domesticity to redefine the whiteness of the Jamaican upper class to include

Middle Eastern immigrants and select light-skinned Afro-Caribbeans. Yet in

appropriating characters from English discourse, early anglophone Caribbean writers
also appropriated the logic of class and race oppression. Perhaps the most significant







example is de Lisser's and The Beacon's transformation of the figure of strong black

women, so prominent in English travel narratives of late nineteenth century, notably

Froude's The English in the West Indies (1888) and Charles Kingsley's At Lasta

Christmas in the West Indies (1871). In these texts, English writers were struck -- both

amazed and deeply horrified by the sexual and economic independence of black

working women. Their focus on black women is significant because their economic

independence as market women, their prowess in carrying heavy objects (particularly

on their heads) are some of the clearer inheritances from West African cultures.2

English travel writers translated these African cultural practices, already adapted to the

Caribbean, not only as transgressions of English femininity but as evidence of the lack

of proper manhood in the region. English writers typically presented Afro-Caribbean

women's sexual and economic independence as evidence of West Indian men's lack of

manhood. This lack of manhood in turn was used to argue against West Indian self-

government. If men could not rule their women, Froude contended, how could they

rule their own country? Using similar images of black working women, anglophone

Caribbean protonationalist writers feminized and depoliticized the working class,

producing an image of working class Caribbeans as unworthy of political power much

in the same way that English writers had argued against the political rights of the region

as a whole.

We gain much from placing the later anglophone Caribbean nationalist writers'

assertion of a masculine national identity and political competence in the context of the

historical emasculation of African and Asian Caribbeans both by English discourse and

by protonationalist writers. To claim political autonomy was thus almost necessarily a

gendered act. Thus a nationalist claim meant a turn away from the early literature in



2 In West African cultures women were responsible for selling at market and
for the task of carrying.







which women were not only the protagonists but in which their prominence correlated

with a combined denial of black political rights and masculinity. Belinda Edmundson's

Making Men (1999) supports this hypothesis. Edmundson bases her analysis of both

male nationalist writers and contemporary Caribbean women writers on her observation

that Caribbean male writers shared a deep investment in English Victorian culture, and

that their model both for literary production and nationhood relied on an English

conception of masculinity the English gentleman (1-5); that is, "for the English the

idea of nation was essentially tied to the idea of masculinity, such that Caribbean men

would have to prove themselves the masculine equals of the Englishmen who currently

dominated the imperial landscape"(8).

"Creolizing Womanhood" derives its title from Edward Kamau Brathwaite's

conception ofcreolization as the social and cultural interaction of people from Europe,
Africa, Asia, and the Americas that has produced and defined anglophone Caribbean

societies. For Brathwaite, creolization is both acculturation, "the process of absorption

of one culture by another" and interculturation, "a process of intermixture and
enrichment" (Brathwaite "Contradictory Omens" 11). And it is the process of making

the intermixtures of these cultures "native" to the Caribbean. A pidgin language is a

simplified mixture of languages shared by two groups of people who have separate

mother tongues. Creole languages are formed from a number of languages, primarily
West African and European, but these languages are the mother tongue(s) for their

respective countries. "Creolizing Womanhood" explores these processes of

creolization in the case of literature and in the case of ideas of womanhood; it explores

the process through which anglophone Caribbean literature and womanhood emerged

out of an integration and transformation of cultural practices from England, Africa, and
the Caribbean. It analyses how these become defined as therefore creole and national.

Finally, it analyses the political implications of these new creole literatures and







womanhoods on the process of creolization within anglophone Caribbean (proto)

nations during the first four decades of this century.

"Creolizing Womanhood" contributes to theories ofcreolization in Caribbean

studies and to theories of hybridity in postcolonial studies. By addressing the role of

gender, ethnicity, and class, it complicates or extends the model of "black/white"

creolization Brathwaite puts forward in The Development of Creole Society in Jamaica

(1971) and Contradictory Omens (1974).3 My analysis of early twentieth-century

fiction illustrates that creole societies made strong distinctions in terms ofethnicity,

class, and gender, and that these categories were so intertwined in the process of

creolization both in literature and in social divisions that one can not separate them

or discuss creolization effectively without reference to their intersections.

The intertwined nature of race, class, and gender is reflected in English

descriptions of the racial mixing of the West Indies as a process that radically reorders

almost all categories of English social order: race, gender, sexuality, and class. English

texts attempted to contain this disorder by describing creole societies as governed by a

race and class hierarchy that fixed white people at the top a mythic image referred to
in chapter two as the "Great House." Yet English texts still describe white women as

not only African in their cultural practices but also masculine. Lower class whites,

Bryan Edwards warns us, assume a familiarity with upper class whites shocking to

English men. Wealthy and independent Brown women problematize race, class, and


3 Here Brathwaite defines creolization was "the single most important factor in
the development of Jamaican society." What defined creole societies was "not the
imported influence of the Mother Country or the local administrative activity of the
white elite, but a cultural action- material, psychological and spiritual based upon
the stimulus/response of individuals within the society to their environment and as
white/black, culturally discrete groups to each other. This cultural action or social
process has been defined ... as creolization. (Creole Society in Jamaica 296). The work
of M.G. Smith, in particular, The Plural Society in the British West Indies (1965)
addressed similar questions before Brathwaite. Yet his work has not had the same
impact on contemporary scholarship as Brathwaite's.







gender distinctions by exhibiting the wealth and culture associated with English white

womanhood and the social and economic independence associated with white

masculinity.
In the conclusion of Contradictory Omens. Brathwaite alludes to the challenge

contemporary multi-ethnic societies posed to his theory ofcreolization, writing that

The entire notion of creolization has been based on the assumption that

it is a process that relates to dominant and sub-dominant groups. This
does little to explain and/or account for the action between equal

subordinates: lateral creolization: the 'leakage' between, say, poor white

and coloureds; between Syrians, Chinese and Jews; between these and

blacks; between blacks and East Indians and between East Indians and

others; and what happens, in the post-colonial world, when, with the
removal of the imperial dominant, these erstwhile sub-dominant laterals

begin to compete with each other, so that a new cycle of(inter)-cultural

confrontation and (probable) sub/domination begins all over again...

(Edward Kamau Brathwaite Contradictory Omens 63).

"Creolizing Womanhood" focuses particularly on these ethnic "leakages" and
their intersections with gender, illustrating, as Kelvin Singh's Race and Class Struggles
in a Colonial State Trinidad, 1917-1945 has, that the period leading up to independence

was characterized by a struggle between ethnic groups and classes for political and

economic power. De Lisser's Planters' Punch indicates that as early as the 1920s

Brathwaite's categories of dominant and dominated, white and Afro-Caribbean were

being redefined and reconfigured. When de Lisser cemented a political and social
alliance among upper and middle class Jews, Middle Easterners, British creoles,

expatriates and light skinned Afro-Caribbeans, he was redefining both race and class
lines.







As these examples indicate, I view creolization in the early 20th century

anglophone Caribbean as a process of breaking down but also of remapping barriers of

race, ethnicity, and class a process in which gender and representations of women in

particular played a critical role. In playing close attention to the power and gender

dynamics of creolization and in seeing creolization as process which has not created

egalitarian societies, my work closely follows that of Natasha Barnes and Shalini Puri.
Barnes, for instance, criticizes Caribbean historians, Edward Kamau Brathwaite and

Franklin Knight for valuing the inter-racial sexuality of plantation society as evidence of

social exchange without fully acknowledging the relations of domination which

governed enslaved women's sexual relations with white men (49-51). Similarly Puri

criticizes dominant theories of creolization, particularly those of Brathwaite and
Walcott, for not taking into consideration the power relations that shaped creolization,

in particular in relation to Indo- and Afro-Trinidadians (20-21). Puri argues that

approaches to hybridity, particularly, multicultural corporate capital and scholars of the

academic left, such as Homi Bhabha, Gloria Anzaldua, and Antonio Benitez-Rojo

displace the issue of equality and the politics of hybridity onto a poetics of hybridity

(Puri 12-13; Barnes 49-51 and 176).

This close attention to specific instances of creolizations contributes to the field
of postcolonial studies by examining the theoretical concept of hybridity. In particular,

my dissertation examines one historical instance of hybridity as Bhabha theorizes it in

"Signs Taken for Wonders" and links this analysis of colonial discourse to his
contention in the introduction of The Location of Culture that interstitial identities have
the power to redefine collective identities and alliances. In "Signs Taken for Wonders,"

Homi Bhabha proposes that colonial discourse necessarily produces hybridityy" by

exporting its texts and practices to colonies, where they are appropriated and
transformed by the colonized. These transformed versions of colonial discourse







necessarily undermine the absolute difference between colonizer and colonized and
challenge the authority of colonial discourse. In the instance Bhabha explores, the

translation of the English bible to India, the Indians who adopt the Bible do not

purposely undercut its authority. Rather they construe it in a way that makes sense to
them as vegetarians and as people who are denied knowledge and privilege by a

Brahmin elite. However, in so doing they significantly alter Britain's conception of

Christianity. The translated Bible in concert with this Indian application of it constitute

Bhabha's hybridity. In this model, the colonized people resist the Bible, but Bhabha

does not attribute to them conscious agency, asserting that

Resistance is not necessarily an oppositional act of political intention...

It is the effect of an ambivalence produced within the rules of

recognition of dominating discourses....(I0)
Early anglophone Caribbean writing constitutes an instance of Bhabha's hybridity in

that West Indian writers appropriated the form of the novel and short story as well as

the domestic ideology and scientific racism from English culture. They applied and

interpreted these as they saw fit in the context of early twentieth century Jamaica,
Trinidad, and Dominca. Yet unlike the Indian converts, protonationalist writers

explicitly challenge the colonial discourse even as they appropriate it.

Their ability to do so recalls Bhabha's discussion of late twentieth-century
African American artist Rene Green and writer Toni Morrison, in which he argues that

people who inhabit in-between or interstitial identities have the ability to challenge and
dislodge categories of identity like race and gender and to construct new identities and

alliances.

It is in the emergence of the interstices the overlap and displacement

of domains of difference that the intersubjective and collective
experiences ofnationness, community interest, or cultural value are







negotiated. How are subjects formed 'in-between', or in excess of the

sum of the 'parts' of difference (usually intoned as race/class/gender,

etc)? (2)

Though not poised at the edge of the millennium as the artists Bhabha addresses, the

anglophone Caribbean writers I address were interstitial figures between upper and

lower classes and between colonialism and nationalism. They wrote interstitial texts
that imbricated European, African, and Caribbean cultural traditions. They lived in

interstitial societies, defined almost since European contest as a quintessential site of

hybridity. Their resistance to colonial discourse and their deployment of it against the

working classes indicates the value ofjoining Bhabha's two projects the analysis of

colonial discourse and that of anti-colonial or postcolonial discourse. It is not

sufficient to investigate the impact of hybridity on colonial discourse and the metropole;

we must also investigate the impact of hybridity on the shaping of new national

identities and societies and integrate the projects of colonial discourse analysis and the

study of postcolonial society and culture. In the case of the early 20th century
anglophone Caribbean, gender is a critical category of analysis for this project. The
class politics of literature the intellectuals' critique of the upper class and their

ambivalence towards the working class -- became articulated through the prominent

representation of working class women and women's sexuality more generally.

Consciously writing national but not yet nationalist literature, early anglophone
Caribbean writers inhabit another arena of hybridity, that of the space between
colonialism and independence. In studying the complexity and complicity of this

period, "Creolizing Womanhood" contributes to the current project in postcolonial

studies of complicating older visions of the relationship between colony and metropole,







and of the transition between colonialism and nationalism.4 Leela Gandhi describes this

trend as a recognition that "the anti-colonial perspective neglects to acknowledge the

corresponding failures and fissures which trouble the confident edifice of both colonial

repression and anti-colonial retaliation"(124). "Rarely," she writes, "did the onslaught

of colonialism entirely obliterate colonised societies. So, also, far from being

exclusively oppositional, the encounter with colonial power occurred along a variety of

ambivalent registers"(125). This is certainly the case in the British West Indies, where

independence resulted from progressive government reform rather than violent

revolutions.

"Creolizing Womanhood" participates in this project by examining the deep

ambivalence intellectuals had about English colonialism and about working class
political rights during this period of transition. It delineates the continuities and

discontinuities between colonial discourse and protonationalist writing, which in turn

helps us to map the continuities and discontinuities between colonialism and

nationalism. These in turn help us to understand the complex hierarchy of race, class,

ethnicity, and gender that still governs the anglophone Caribbean nations.

Again, "Creolizing Womanhood" demonstrates that gender is a critical lens for
the investigation of hybridity in the transition from colonialism to nationalism. West

Indian intellectuals negotiated their role during this transition in terms of gender. They

both asserted and doubted their masculinity, while tending to produce emasculating
representations of the working classes. Further, the significance of domestic ideology

to 19th century English nationalism and colonialism is reflected in the fact that Jamaica

and Trinidad claimed manhood as an essential process of claiming nationhood.

The first task of"Creolizing Womanhood" is to establish and explicate what I


4 Dominica did not become an independent nation until 1978, so the 1920s may
not constitute such an intermediary period though they like the larger islands
participated in the West Indian Federation 1958-1962. (Check dates)







will call the English discourse on the West Indies. From the late 18th century into the

20th, England produced a specific discourse on the West Indies, one that consistently

portrayed the West Indies as an inversion of English domestic order and virtue. The

depiction shifted from a moral narrative in the pre-emancipation period, 1770-1838, to

a scientific narrative in the late 19th century without significantly shifting the logic

underlying the argument that the West Indies needed colonial rule because it lacked

domestic virtue. This discourse on the West Indies was articulated through a body of

apparently disparate texts travel narratives, memoirs, novels, colonial reports and

was imbricated in the systems of economic, political, and physical power exerted on

colonized people who though deeply disempowered resisted, participated in, and

shaped the discourse.

In insisting that colonized and enslaved Caribbeans played a role in English

discourse, I differ from Said's conception of orientalism, which I have taken as a part

of departure for understanding English discourse on the West Indies. Said is famous

for arguing that the "brute reality" of people living in the "Orient"was in some respects

unrelated to the European discourse that represented the "Orient"(5). Though English

discourse certainly strove to define and control the West Indies through a complex

interaction of ideas, texts, and institutions, Caribbeans' many cultural practices, their

"brute" physical strength, their numbers, their sexuality, their articulateness among

other things all contributed to English discourse if only as a motivation for English

discourse to redefine these practices as inferior and these strengths as weaknesses.

Representations of the West Indies in English domestic discourse contributed to

the construction of a metropolitan bourgeois identity and the codification of the flaws

and inferiority of the English aristocracy and working classes. English colonialism

didn't merely record and define (middle class) England as virtuous and the West Indies

as immoral; it produced England as a place of domestic order and virtue in part by








producing the West Indies as a place of aberrant domestic practices -- white male

employees were often, for instance, allotted Afro-Caribbean concubines; slaves had no

legal right to marry.

In seeing English discourse on the West Indies as linked at a fundamental level

to an English ideology of domesticity, I am echoing the findings of scholars of colonial

discourse. In Imperial Leather Anne McClintock argues that "the cult of domesticity

was a crucial, if concealed, dimension of male as well as female identities...an

indispensable element both of the industrial market and the imperial enterprise" (5).

Similarly Ann Stoler treats[] bourgeois sexuality and racialized sexuality not as

distinct kinds... but as dependent constructs in a unified field" and argues European

concern with domesticity is directly linked to fears of the threat empire posed to the

domestic household (97). She argues, as I do, that colonial discourse did not just

represent the colonial subject as sexually transgressive, it produced sexual

transgression, particularly through the concubinage system that required most white

employees to have non-white partners and punished them, their partners, and their
children by denying them full membership in a white and respectable class. Similarly

supportive of my argument is her contention that metropolitan constructions of colonial
identity were constitutive of the ostensibly European, bourgeois discourses on

sexuality through which the bourgeois subject was formed in the 19th century (Stoler
97-100).

The consistency within late 18th-century and early 19th-century English
discourse on the West Indies results from the fact that all texts held the same

fundamental imperial principles that domestic virtue was a sign of political

worthiness and that the goal of labor policy in the West Indies was to produce a system

in which planters maintained control over labor. These principles created continuity in

an otherwise agonistic discourse produced through the metropolitan struggle between








the pro-slavery lobby and the anti-slavery movement, between aristocrats allied with

the plantocracy and the English middle class, between mercantile and free trade

capitalism.

Yet the discourse is fundamentally ambivalent when examined through the lens

of gender. This ambivalence is expressed most explicitly in its representation of Afro-

Caribbean women, who are depicted alternately as the most desirable of women and the

most repulsive. Their transgressions of English domestic ideals of womanhood provide
the strongest evidence for arguments in support of colonial rule, while their industry,

beauty, and independence reveal the invalidity of those arguments.

In seeing English discourse on the West Indies as fundamentally ambivalent and

focused on sexuality, my project appears to mirror Robert Young's central argument in

Colonial Desire. Like Young, I hold that colonialism produces a deeply ambivalent

sexual desire for colonial subjects and that this desire constitutes a "nightmare" for

Europe because it produces inter-racial people who undermine the purist definitions

and hierarchies of race which legitimate European imperial power. However, Young

bases his work almost exclusively on a body of European theories and therefore finds
the cause of this ambivalence within these theories. In contrast, I maintain that specific
material practices in the colonies constitute part of the discourse and help to explain the

ambivalence which characterizes it.

In understanding colonialism as a discursive system, in which power is exerted
and resisted, I like Said, am grounding my analysis in a Foucaultian model of discourse.

However, I use term "ideology" in order to isolate the conflict within the discourse that

I see as causing the ambivalence towards Afro-Caribbean women. By ideology, I refer
to the set of articulated values and norms of behavior that the English middle and upper

classes used to legitimate their claim to power in Britain and its colonies. I view this

ambivalence about Afro-Caribbean women as resulting in large part from a conflict







between the English justification of imperial power based on an idea of white,

European supremacy and the de facto practice of racial integration that characterized
English colonialism in the Caribbean. To be an imperial power, England had to

espouse a belief in racial purity. Because it undercut the idea of racial purity and
hierarchy, the defacto practice of racial integration in colonialism necessarily

threatened both English identity and English power.
In the second chapter, "'The Place where Pandora filled her box": Creole

women and the Racialization of Domesticity," I suggest that English domestic
ideology articulated in novels, travel narratives, and histories written in the late 18th
and early 19th century (1770-1838), the set of beliefs about proper gender roles and

sexual behavior, played a critical role in negotiating the conflict between England's
need to engage in colonialism in order to be a strong nation and the threat racial
integration in the colonies posed to English national identity. English domestic ideology
defined racial and cultural interaction as illegitimate; it provided the moral logic for the

laws which restricted the economic and political rights of illegitimate people. It thus
limited the threat the de facto policy of colonial integration posed to white hegemony in
the colonies and to the metropolitan ideology of racial purity and supremacy. Yet it

also produced a striking ambivalence in English texts, particularly those written by
white men. These texts produce heightened negative and positive depictions of Afro-
Caribbean women in response to the conflicting pressures of colonial ideology that
defined Afro-Caribbean women as abject and colonial practice that defined Afro-
Caribbean women as the appropriate partners for white men.
In the third chapter, "English Literary Masters and the Black Amazons of their
Imagination: the Destabilizing Presence of Afro-Caribbean Women in late 19th-century
English Travel Narratives," I argue that English writing after emancipation continued
to deploy domestic ideology to legitimate English rule in the West Indies and continued








to express a deep ambivalence towards Afro-Caribbean women. Travel narratives by

prominent English intellectuals, Anthony Trollope, Charles Kingsley, James Anthony

Froude and W. P. Livingstone focused on the Caribbean's strong black women and

found in their independence and "masculinity" proof of black men's femininity and

incapacity for political power. At the same time, their admiration of black women's

strength and independence undercut their claims for blacks' laziness and ultimately their

arguments for direct colonial rule.

In the fourth chapter, "Black Matriarch and White Witch: Herbert de Lisser's

'Nationalism' and the Politics of Race and Class in Jamaica," I begin my analysis of

anglophone Caribbean writers' appropriation of English discourse on the West Indies.

Herbert de Lisser is one of the first and most powerful people to write self-consciously

Jamaican literature. He redeployed English arguments that blacks were essentially

incapable of domestic virtue in such a way that strengthened the already existing social

hierarchy that divided Jamaicans along racial, economic, and moral lines, a hierarchy in

which which dark-skinned, unmarried, unskilled Jamaicans remained as large pool of

exploitable labor for the wealthier, lighter, married upper classes. Further, he used the

rhetoric of English domesticity to foster the integration of Jews and immigrants from

the Middle East into the category of the white ruling class. De Lisser strove to

"creolize" English domesticity, presenting Jamaica's identity as a modem nation based

on domestic virtue. However, just as Afro-Caribbean women defied the racial

categories of 19th century English writing, they also reveal the inconsistencies in de

Lisser's construction of the upper class elite and ultimately undermine his construction

of the new white ruling class.

In contrast, the intellectual group around The.Beacon, whose work I address in
chapters five and six, attacked the bourgeoisie and the colonial hierarchy of race and

color by attacking domestic ideology particularly its late 19th-century manifestation







in "Victorianism." Their stories illustrated that bourgeois restrictions on sexuality

produced degeneracy. Incest and adultery were products of colonial restrictions of

white female sexuality and the exclusion of non-whites from the class of people the

upper class could marry. Their work argued that Victorianism's domestic morality

transformed the processes of creolization cultural and sexual into perverse, violent
and degenerate practices. While it strove to break down the social hierarchy by

attacking its ideology, The Beacon's choice of strategy limited the magazine's ability to

be representative of creole society. It excluded much of the Afro- and Indo-

Trinidadian classes, who fought for social legitimacy on the basis of their respectability.

To be an effective oppositional force, the magazine needed significant contributions

from all ethnic groups; their choice to attack respectability made that a social

impossibility. This opposition to respectability also restricted The Beacon's vision of
the creole nation to the sphere of sex and morality. Where later writers Samuel Selvon

and V.S. Naipaul portray Trinidad's creole society as characterized by a struggle

between Africans and Indians over national culture, Alfred Mendes and C.L.R. James

produce images ofsexualized inter-racial figures, whose cultures become reduced to
their sexual desirability. Such a vision ultimately reflects an ambivalence towards the

integration of Afro-Trinidadians and Indo-Trinidadians into positions of political
power, as is indicated by The Beacon's strident arguments against universal suffrage.
The Beacon's ambivalence about the Indo-Trinidadians' integration into national

culture is illustrated in Mendes's horror at the Afro-Indo-Trinidadian annual festival for
the La Divina Pastora, at Siparia. Ironically, The Beacon's strategy of attacking

respectability resembles de Lisser's pro-domestic policy; both contain further

integration of different racial and ethnic groups particularly as it relates to political
power.

In the final chapter, "'The rope, of course, being covered with flowers':








Metropolitan Discourses and the Construction of Creole Identity in Jean Rhys's Black

Exercise Book," I argue that Rhys's private journal engages in a dual critique of

English domestic ideology and Freud's theory of seduction and female masochism. I

read her description of her childhood both as a critical rewriting of Jane Eyre and of

Freud's Dora. Rhys draws comparisons between her experiences of being beaten and

seduced and Afro-Caribbeans' experiences of being flogged and sexually violated as

slaves. In so doing her account illustrates the critical importance of the history of race
and empire to the middle class conceptions of the nuclear family and marriage --

conceptions which are the foundation for both Bronte's novel and Freudian

psychoanalysis. Rhys's Exercise Book illustrates that psychoanalysis takes the nuclear

family as a universal norm and disregards the ways in which domestic ideology has

historically defined marriage and legitimacy as white and metropolitan. Though Rhys

reiterates aspects of English colonial discourse, her construction of creole womanhood

deconstructs the racialization of key subject positions in Caribbean "mythology" -

particularly the idea that inter-racial women are mistresses and that all Afro-Caribbean

women stand outside of wedlock and domestic virtue. If the myth of the Great House

with its white planters, brown mistresses, and black field workers, is one of the central
myths in perpetuating racialized politics in the anglophone Caribbean, then Rhys's
deconstruction of the racialized femininities of the Great House contributes to
reconceiving national and creole identities on less fixed racial terms.

In addressing both Bronta and Freud, Rhys's engagement with domesticity

significantly differs from both de Lisser's and The Beacon's. Further, Rhys lived and

published in England. Her work belongs to the modernist canon; its form often differs
significantly from other Caribbean writers, particularly in its rejection of a linear

narrative. As a writer in exile, her work stands at a significant remove from the daily

politics of her homeland, Dominica. This is in sharp contrast to de Lisser's novels and







The Beacon which were very much embedded in the daily politics of their countries.

They were published as part ofjournalistic projects and were written by men who were
or who became significant political players. Finally, as the daughter of an expatriate

government officer and member of a planter family, Rhys had deep historical roots in

plantation culture as a white creole that most other white writers I examine simply did

not have, with the possible exception of Jean de Boissiere.

Thus Rhys's narrative techniques, her biography, the venue and the reception of

her work distance her from the other anglophone Caribbean writers active in the 1920's

and 1930's. Yet, placing her work beside that of de Lisser, C.L.R. James, and Alfred

Mendes illustrates that Rhys's near obsession with white creole women's sexuality,

particularly with their rejection as legitimate wives, participates in a broader pattern of

concern among anglophone Caribbean writers of her generation. Nearly all anglophone

Caribbean writing of this early period was deeply concerned with the conflict between
the English ideal of womanhood and Caribbean femininity. Nearly all defined creole

identity in relationship to the question of marriage and domesticity.

In insisting on the importance of these early texts to understanding the
following generation of writers like V.S. Naipaul and George Lamming, "Creolizing

Womanhood" participates in the current trend of remapping the anglophone Caribbean
literary canon. The contradictions I focus on -- the fact that this early generation of

writers both resisted colonial discourse and redeployed aspects of colonial discourse to

undercut the black, working class struggle for political power are precisely what
have led scholars to exclude most proto-nationalist literature from their scholarship and

from anthologies of West Indian literature. Many scholars will, no doubt, contradict

me, arguing that this literature has been overlooked because it is badly written, as
Donnell and Welsh phrase it euphemistically, "somewhat embarrassing and naive" (14).

Yet, I would submit that these artistic shortcomings are often linked to a political and







cultural conflict: the desire to write authentically Caribbean literature in an Empire in
which Victorian English literature remained the dominant literary model. This political

contradiction was embodied in the form of early Caribbean literature. For instance, the

failed and tortuous plot of Thomas MacDermot's One Brown Girl and (1909) is
structured as a romance in which two or three elite women ought conventionally -

to end the novel married. Instead, their lives become consumed by a campaign to save

one Afro-Caribbean woman from sexual temptation, a goal for which they are willing

to sacrifice their own happiness and the lives of highly valued, well-to-do white men.
These marriage plots are abandoned but remain in the novel partly constructed, like the

many unfinished homes in the Caribbean whose naked cement blocks and steel cable

testify to unfinished plans. The novel ends with the resolution of one of perhaps ten
plots, no marriages, and the death of most white male protagonists. As what may have

been the first in a projected series of novels for which there was neither the funding nor

perhaps the time to complete, MacDermot's only full-length novel is very much like

those many houses; its incompleteness is its final form. Yet, if this is a failure, it is
intriguing in that it reveals much about the negotiations Caribbean culture made before

it produced writers like Kamau Brathwaite, Era Brodber, or Merle Collins, whose
work integrates Afro-Caribbean subject matter and cultural form.

Yet, the anglophone Caribbean literary canon that provided the foundation for

contemporary Caribbean studies had little space for these intriguing failures. The
canon was established by scholars in London, the intellectuals of the newly independent

countries of the Anglophone Caribbean men like Kenneth Ramchand, who

participated in the Caribbean Artists Movement in the 1960s and 1970s and who
worked with West Indian writers of the 1950s boom like Naipaul, Lamming, and
Andrew Salkey. With the very significant exception of Naipaul, West Indian literature

of this movement focused on predominantly Afro-Caribbean experience. Writers







challenged not only English colonialism's denial of Caribbean culture, but a

conservative literary establishment in the Caribbean. In Jamaica, the conservative

literary establishment was embodied in J.E. Clare McFarlane's literary history of the

Caribbean which cherished Victorian English literary culture and rejected creole as a

language unworthy of literature (Donnell and Welsh 12).

Thus, the anglophone Caribbean literary canon established in the 1970s,

necessarily assumed a sharp break between English and anglophone Caribbean writing.

It presumed an almost categorical opposition between Victorian English culture and

Caribbean nationalism, while privileging texts that could be seen as fitting into a

tradition of resistance against colonialism and racism, texts which had a clear place in a

progression towards nationalism. This political and cultural progression was perceived

largely in racial terms. Thus, texts which focused on whites were often not included in

the canon witness Brathwaite's famous rejection of Jean Rhys as a Caribbean writer

on the grounds that "white creoles in the English and French West Indies have

separated themselves by too wide a gulf and have contributed too little culturally, as a

group, to give credence to the notion that they can, given the present structure,
meaningfully identify or be identified, with the spiritual world on this side of the

Sargasso Sea" (Contradictory Omens 38). The depiction of Afro-Caribbean characters,
particularly from the working class or peasantry, and the inclusion of creole language
became markers of a text's Caribbeanness. To a certain extent, this strategy was

effective. In Claude McKay's writing, for instance, the representation of Afro-

Caribbeans and the use of vernacular language correlates with an anti-racist, anti-

colonial, pro-labor politics and the project of expressing both a Jamaican national and a

diasporic identity.5


5 One could, I suspect, argue that McKay's work is included in the canon
because it is of higher literary quality than the work of MacDermot or de Lisser. This
may be a contributing factor, but it is not the only factor.







However, in other cases, the representation of black characters does not
correlate with nationalist or clearly anti-racist politics, but such texts are still included

in the canon. This is the case with de Lisser's first two novels Jane's Career (1914)

and Susan Proudleigh (1915) and with some Trinidadian yard fiction. In these texts,

the representation of black women rearticulates the late nineteenth century colonialist

argument that black men lack the masculinity necessary for political autonomy. While

de Lisser published roughly twenty novels, only the two novels with black protagonists

are included in the literary canon.6 Similarly, the Beacon group produced two genres

of fiction, yard fiction about Afro-Caribbeans, and, what I call, fiction of white

degeneracy. The two genres functioned together to critique the colonial bourgeoisie,
and to legitimate middle class intellectuals, yet the literary canon has only preserved

yard fiction. In both the case of de Lisser's enormous literary corpus and the diverse

body of fiction produced by the Beacon group, the political significance of the writing

only becomes clear when viewed as a whole. The canon's selective inclusion of texts

has obscured the writers' broader political agenda.
Until the 1990s, there existed basically only two studies devoted to this early
literature, Cobham's dissertation, "The Creative Writer and West Indian Society:



6 De Lisser actually published four novels and one short story with black
protagonists: "The Story of the Maroons" (1899), Jane's Career (1914), Susan
Proudleigh (1914), Jamaica Nobility (1926),which is really a long short story, and
Myrtle and Money (1941) which is a sequel to Jane. Neither Jamaica Nobility nor
Myrtle and Money were ever printed as books both appeared only in the magazine,
Planters' Punch and "The Story of the Maroons" is only available in the 1899 Jamaica
Times. These would have been much less accessible than Jane's Career which was
published in book form in England and in Jamaica. Jane's Career is the first of de
Lisser's novels and the one with the most hints of respect for his black heroine. It is
thus a logical choice for canonization. Susan Proudleigh is mentioned as worthy by
Mervyn Morris and has been analyzed in Rhonda Cobham's dissertation. There has
been little further work on it. De Lisser's The White Witch ofRosehall, a novel about
whites, has received some acclaim but this is partly a result of its role in popular culture
and the Jamaican tourist industry.







Jamaica 1900-1950"(1981) and Reinhard Sander's Trinidad Awakening (1988). Now,

however, a growing number of scholars are working on early anglophone Caribbean

writing. Ironically, Ramchand, who formulated the idea that the Caribbean was "life

without fiction" prior to the 1940's, has been one of the major figures in collecting early

Caribbean writing from newspapers and literary magazines. Selwyn Cudjoe has
reprinted early Trinidadian novels, A.R.F. Webber's Those that Be in Bondage (1917)

and Philip Maxwell's Emmanuel Appadoca (1854). Alison Donnell and Sarah Welsh

made a strong effort to reshape the canon by including many early and obscure texts in
The Routledge Reader in Caribbean Literature (1996). Two biographies were recently

published of early women writers, Delia Jarrett-Macauley's The Life of Una Marson
and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert's Phyllis Shand Allfrey: A Caribbean Life, which
includes previously unpublished short fiction by Allfrey. In addition, Michele Levy has

recently edited a collection of Alfred Mendes's short stories and will soon publish his

autobiography.

Why, if there is such an abundance of neglected literary texts from this period,
have I focused on three of the better known writers and institutions -- Herbert de

Lisser, the Beacon group, and Jean Rhys? Rather than to produce a comprehensive
guide to proto-nationalist literature, I have sought to shape a hypothesis by analyzing

three of the most powerful or visible figures of this period. In my discussion of
Jamaican literature, I chose to focus on Herbert de Lisser because as author of roughly

twenty novels, several non-fiction books on Jamaica, and editor of Jamaica's most

widely read daily paper, The Gleaner from 1903 to 1944, he was probably the single

most powerful figure in establishing a local literature in Jamaica. However, in focusing
on de Lisser, I have omitted several important writers on the grounds that they exerted

less influence on the development of Jamaican literature in Jamaica: McKay,

MacDernot, Una Marson, and McFarlane. In a comprehensive literary study, I would








include material from MacDermot's efforts to foster Jamaica literature, the short story

contests in The Jamaica Times and his series of local fiction, "The All Jamaica Library"

(1903-1909), in which his two works, Becka Buckra Baby and One Brown Girl and -

are particularly important.

In addition, an extensive analysis of black middle class writers Claude McKay,

J.E. Clare McFarlane, and Una Marson would be necessary to a broader study.

Though he lived most of his life in exile, McKay was the first Jamaican to publish

books of verse in creole, Songs of Jamaica (1912) and Constab Ballads (1912).

McFarlane and Marson were central figures in the Jamaican literature establishment

from the 1930's to the 1960s. McFarlane was president of the Jamaica Poetry League

and author of what may be the first literary history of Jamaica, A Literature in the

Making (1956) and editor of the first anthology of Jamaican poetry, Voices from

Summerland (1929). Marson wrote two of the first Jamaican plays to be performed in

Jamaica and four books of poetry; she was the first Jamaican woman to found and edit

journal, The Cosmopolitan (1929-31), and develop and host a BBC radio program,

"Caribbean Voices" which supported many of the writers who came to define the West

Indian literature of the 1950s and 1960s.

McKay's "When I Pounded the Pavement" (1932) reveals English

colonialism's use of domestic ideology to suppress Afro-Caribbean political rights and

masculinity with a brutality and clarity striking in comparison to all other literary texts I

have read from this period. This rejection of domesticity seems to contrast with

Marson and McFarlane who propound propriety. Yet in fact all three writers struggle

with domesticity and English cultural models all three produce conflicting images of

nation and sexuality. McKay's novel Banana Bottom (1933) suggests that Jamaican







national identity is founded in marriage and privileges English culture.7 Una Marson

celebrates Jamaican folk culture and decries the constraints of middle class domesticity

on women in her play, Pocomania (1938), yet the play ends with the admonition that

middle class women must renounce that folk culture along with its sexual freedom in
order to mary and gain their place in the middle class. J.E. Clare McFarlane wrote a

number of lengthy poems Beatrice (1918), Daphne (1931), and The Magdalen
(1957) on the value of black women's chastity and criticized Marson for her

expression of sexual desire in poetry. Yet he published (and republished in several

forms) a book-length argument, Sex and Christianity in support of polygamy a
practice English domesticity defined as the antithesis of virtue and the epitome of the

evils of African culture. Though Marson and McFarlane may have failed to create the

nationalist literature of the 1950s, their work is essential to understanding the

negotiation between English and Afro-Caribbean cultures that was necessary to the
emergence of that literature.

In the case of early Trinidadian literature, I focus on The Beacon because it has
been traditionally identified as the institution that brought together literary and political

national movements in Trinidad. Because The Beacon has been preserved in the

anglophone Caribbean literary canon in such a reduced form, I have felt it important to
extend the scholarship by considering the relationship between the fiction and non-
fiction, between the literature on whites, Afro-Caribbeans, and Indo-Caribbeans.

In focusing on The Beacon, I have omitted a number of fascinating but obscure



McKay's Banana Bottom is heavily invested in English Victorian culture. It
depicts the Jamaican nation as a marriage between an English-educated black woman
and a black male peasant, orchestrated by the figure of cultural authority, the English
gentleman, Squire Gensir (Edmondson 73). Edmondson writes, for instance, that "it is
his political philosophy that accounts for his inclusion in both the West Indian and
African American canon, despite African American puzzlement at his 'English
attitudes"'(74).







romance novels: A.R.F. Webber's Those that Be In Bondage (1917) and Yseult

Bridges's Ouesting Heart (1934) and Creole Enchantment (1936). In choosing the

genre of domestic romance, Webber and Bridges rearticulated the colonialist sentiment

concomitant with the genre a central concern with marriage, a racialized conception

of domesticity and womanhood, and the idea that only well-to-do or educated people

can be protagonists. Despite the generic Englishness of their texts, both Webber's and

Bridges's novels illustrate that adapting the romance plot to the ethnic and racial

politics of Trinidad and Tobago necessitated fundamentally altering the form perhaps

most significantly, heroines are no longer virgins until marriage.' In omitting these

romantic novels, I have omitted an important contrast with The Beacon, since one of

The Beacon's revolutionary moves was to abandon the romance as a plot. In so doing,

it rejected the much of the conservative ideology implicit in that form. When the goal

of fiction and image of the nation was no longer the sexual union of lovers, addressing

issues of class and representing the majority became possible.

Although it was published after WWII and thus falls outside the period of my

study, Seepersad Naipaul's short stories and journalism constitute another significant

contrast to The Beacon. The Beacon includes no fiction written by Indo-Trinidadians;

its fiction represents Indo-Trinidadians with the same ambivalence with which English

discourse depicted Afro-Caribbean women either as objects of extreme desire or

extreme repulsion. Naipaul's text sidesteps many of the contradictions which

characterized The Beacon perhaps because he wrote for Indo-Trinidadians and

participated in their debates in the 1930's and 1940's over religion and culture (9).


8 Webber's novel is the most dramatic in this respect, requiring an incestuous
love and ultimately the marriage of first cousins, the abandonment of priesthood, the
burning of cathedrals, and gender reversal in order for the two lovers to unite and
then they can only do so in England, outside of their homelands, Trinidad, Tobago, and
Guyana. Webber's novel also provides the most extensive literary representation in
this period of the sexual politics and violence involving Indian women on plantations.







Naipaul's depiction of the Indo-Trinidadian community does not privilege women as

yard fiction does. But it does place Indian women in positions of significant power vis-

a-vis the protagonist, Gurudeva, whose life and narrative are framed and shaped by the

entrance and departure of women. Though its criticism of physical violence towards

women may seem to repeat the inflammatory images through which English discourse

presented arranged marriage as a form of slavery, Naipaul criticizes both the system of

arranged marriage and the Americanization of Indian women which resulted from the
U.S. presence in Trinidad during WWII.

That this larger group of writers also foreground women and sexuality and

negotiate national identity in terms of domesticity supports my hypothesis that

protonationalist writers express their ambivalence towards independence and majority

rule through a focus on women, particularly black, working class women. That

Seepersad Naipaul, a later, Indo-Trinidadian writer, deviates from the protonationalist
model I propose may point to the historical specificity of the model. My argument

pertains to the primarily white and light class of intellectuals of the early 20' century,

who stood in between colonial and nationalist rule, people who had a precarious, if also

powerful, position in each. Ultimately, the protonationalist focus on femininity and the
nationalist focus on masculinity illustrate the importance of gender to the inter-related

projects of colonialism and nationalism in the anglophone Caribbean.


A Note on Terms

18th- and 19th- century English discourse divided the British West Indies into

three major racial categories, of which there were subdivisions: "Negroes,"
"Mulattoes," and "Whites" "Negroes" were divided between those born in Africa and
creoles born in the West Indies; and occasionally into tribes or nations, "Ibo" or

"Coromantee." "Mulattoes" or "Coloureds" were a visibly inter-racial class, often








subdivided into finer distinctions for instance, mustee, mustiphini, quadroon. Whites

were divided between European-born and creoles, and between a wealthy cultured

class and a poor, uneducated class. Further distinctions were made among Europeans

and "near whites." For instance, in the 18th century Jews did not enjoy full legal rights;

in the early twentieth century, Trinidadian Portuguese were "off-white." Jamaicans

who look white but have non-white relatives are sometimes referred to as Jamaican

whites as opposed to white Jamaicans.
I employ a variety of racial terms, most frequently black, brown, and white,

respectively, to refer to these three groups. I use Afro-Caribbean and much less

frequently Afro-Creole to denote all Caribbeans of African descent, usually in situations

in which English discourse is reacting to all non-whites and non-Asians in the colonies.

I use these rather than the English terms not because they are still in current usage in

the anglophone Caribbean and are less directly embedded in the English colonial

discourse than "negro" and "mulatto." Yet we must note the inability of these terms to

adequately represent creole populations. De Lisser, for example, creates a category of

white that includes immigrants from the Middle East and browns who are wealthy, and

light enough not to too visibly shift the English definition of whiteness. In that case, I
have used the phrase the light elite. In Trinidad, the douglas people of combined

Indian and African descent -- clearly complicate the term Afro-Caribbean because they

are both Afro- and Asian Caribbean.

Despite these many short-comings, the tripartite division black, brown, white

- has proved necessary to my analysis not only because English discourse articulated

this division, but because each group had a different history of political rights. In

Jamaica, Trinidad, and Dominica, wealthy browns had political rights in the early 1830s

in contrast to most blacks who first got the vote with universal suffrage in 1944.

Voting rights were also tied to property requirements; thus, the franchise was almost







never a right based on color or race alone. The social stratification was so strong that

property requirements could effectively function as racial exclusionary laws. For black

Jamaicans political authority, even cultural authority is much more recently gained than

for brown Jamaicans and thus has a different significance. And it is for this reason and

the power of the Great House myth that endowed each of these racial identities with a
particular social, economic, and moral place that the terms, however, problematic

remain in my analysis.

When I began writing this dissertation, I used the term anglophone Caribbean to

refer to the region in contradistinction to "West Indian," which has been seen as

problematic because it is an English (mis)construction of geography and identity.

However, in sections about English discourse, I use the term, West Indies, because I

am discussing precisely that English invention -- the West Indies.

Finally, I would like to explain the terms I use to refer to class because issues of

class are central to the chapters on Jamaican and Trinidadian literature. I use the term

bourgeoisie to refer to the mostly urban class of merchants whose interests determined

colonial policy. In the early 20th century, merchants had such large investments in

plantations that the historical split between the two groups had been considerably
reduced. In addition, an elite class of planters and merchants were using "whiteness"

to foster solidarity across ethnic differences British, French, Spanish. I refer to this

combined group of planters and merchants as the ruling class or upper class,

occasionally as the elite, because the colonial government acted in their interests, and
they held significant power over government policy as members of the legislative

council. This category excludes small-scale planters and small and middle -scale
merchants. In Jamaica, de Lisser tries to unite petit bourgeoisie Middle Eastern and

Chinese retailers with the established bourgeoisie of white creoles, many of whom

were Jewish. In Trinidad at the same time period, the white bourgeoisie was struggling





30


against the petit bourgeois Middle Eastern shopkeepers and there was not yet a

unification of these two classes (Singh Race and Class 101-104).

I use the term middle class in the context of the anglophone Caribbean to refer

to clerks, civil servants, office workers, teachers, non-white ministers, and smaller

scale business men and planters. The majority of this class assimilated the English

bourgeois ideology of respectability that defined the colonial bourgeoisie.







Chapter 2: "The Place where Pandora filled her box": Creole women and the
Racialization of Domesticity

The Dunghill of the Universe, the Refuse of the whole Creation, the Clippings of the
Elements, a shapeless Pile of Rubbish confusd'lyjumbl'd into an Emblem of the Chaos,
neglected by Omnipotence when he form'd the world into its admirable Order....The
Place where Pandora filled her box. (Ned Ward A Trip to Jamaica with a True
Character of the People and Island (1700) 13).

It's true, indeed, he had caught her tripping at Jamaica, but that he thought was not so
much the fault of the woman as of the climate, believing that cursed malevolent planet
which predominates in that island and so changes the constitution of its inhabitants that
if a woman land there as chaste as a vestal, she becomes in forty-eight hours a perfect
Messalina, and that 'tis as impossible for a woman to live at Jamaica and preserve her
virtue as for a man to make a journey to Ireland and bring back his honesty. (W.P.
Jamaica Lady (1720) 110)

From the 18th into the 20th century, English histories, travel accounts,
memoirs, and novels produced a consistent image of the British West Indies as an
inversion of English domestic and gender order, a place where men slipped into

femininity, women into masculinity, whites became African, and Africans started to

look white. Imbricated with legal, economic, religious and social institutions, these

texts constituted a colonial discourse on the West Indies, less elaborate, more

conflicted but otherwise similar to Said's conception oforientalism. Underlying this

representation was the question of political sovereignty. The West Indies did not merit
political sovereignty because it lacked England's domestic virtue; its men did not merit

suffrage because they lacked the Englishman's masculinity.

English discourse undercut West Indian claims to sovereignty by representing
West Indian society as governed by large plantations, an image that has come to be

known as the "Great House." In this Great House vision of the West Indies, a social

hierarchy pertained in which class and race were coterminous and fixed.9 Whites were


9 I have taken the phrase "Great House" from Lucille Mathurin Mair. An indication
of the model's importance is that two important historical works have chosen to
challenge it. Mair's in many ways definitive "A Historical Study of Women in Jamaica,








by nature of their whiteness always wealthy but morally degenerate the men

unfaithful husbands, the women undesirable and infertile. Inter-racial people, usually

referred to as "Mulattoes," were always skilled and household workers, best known for

their sexually promiscuous and unmarried women, lovers typically of the master,
"mulattoes" were by definition the children of illicit unions between master and slave.

Blacks stood always at the bottom, unskilled workers, oversexed and prone to venereal

disease and polygamy.'0 English discourse was thus a profoundly domestic discourse -

based on the structure of the planter's home, particularly the sexuality of its residents.

Historians of the independence era have consistently challenged the Great

House image by documenting the diversity of slave societies in the anglophone

Caribbean. Brathwaite contends that of the roughly 30,000 whites in Jamaica in 1820,

only 1,189 were men of significant wealth and property (134). Whites were divided by

class and by nationality; white West Indian communities included English, Scots, Irish,

Sephardic Jews, and Europeans. Most white males were employees, bookkeepers and

overseers. The majority of white women were middle and lower class, small-scale

proprietors, teachers, and seamstresses.

Though the majority of inter-racial people were a product of non-marital
relations between white men and Afro-Caribbean women, a significant number may

well have resulted from legally married partners or from white women and Afro-






1655-1844" emphasizes the power of the image of the Great House in disseminating
the idea that there was "a uniform white way of life and that it was wealthy" and
dedicates herself to revealing the falseness of that image as it pertained to women
(192).

1t I employ the term brown to refer to the recognized inter-racial population,
comprising the many categories slave owners and English writers devised to delineate
color.








Caribbean men." Beckles reminds us that though the offspring of a white man and an
enslaved Afro-Caribbean woman would be born a slave, the children of white women

and enslaved men would be born free. These unions of white women and enslaved men

were not, Beckles asserts, as infrequent as conventional history has led us to believe

(7). Though most "blacks" were enslaved, they did not work exclusively on large scale

plantations, but in a wide variety of enterprises from salt production to the Royal

Navy as the narratives of Mary Prince and Olaudah Equiano recount.

In contrast to the static racial hierarchy presented in the Great House image,

West Indian societies were defined by the processes ofcreolization the interaction of

Europeans and Africans (and in certain colonies Amerindians). In The Development of
Creole Society in Jamaica 1770-1820, Kamau Brathwaite firmly asserts the power of

creolization, claiming that

the single most important factor in the development of Jamaican society

was not the imported influence of the Mother Country or the local

administrative activity of the white elite, but a cultural action material,

psychological and spiritual based upon the stimulus/response of
individuals within the society to their environment and as white/black,

culturally discrete groups to each other.(296)

Numerous creole cultural forms developed in the 17th and 18th centuries: syncretic,

creole religions like obeah and myal, creole languages derived from varieties of English

dialects and African languages, creole music, creole carnivals, cuisines, couture, and

modes of thinking. Creole sexual and domestic practices produced inter-racial people.



Brathwaite's research shows that a number, though not a great number, of legal
marriages occurred between whites and near-whites. Whites seem to have exchanged
whiteness for economic security and near-whites to have exchanged wealth to secure
whiteness because Jamaican law made anyone at fifth remove from their African
heritage legally white (Brathwaite 148-9).








Yet few if any creole cultural practices were accepted as legitimate.1 Though

a significant number of inter-racial people gained freedom, wealth and even political

power, this did not at first radically challenge the colonial status quo. The process of

creolization in the anglophone Caribbean has tended to rebuild social barriers even as it
deconstructed them, reproducing the hierarchy of the slave plantation in social

hierarchies of color, class, and ethnicity.

Yet, paradoxically, creolization offered the promise of freedom and the

redistribution of wealth and privilege. Inter-racial people threatened colonial hierarchy

because they pointed to the instability of English identity the anxiety that "even for

the European-born, the Indies was transformative of cultural essence, social

disposition, and personhood itself. ... 'Europeanness' was not a fixed attribute, but one

altered by environment, class contingent, and not secured by birth"(Stoler Race and the

Education of Desire 104)." On one hand English identity was by definition white,

ostensibly tied to birth in England and to ancestry. On the other hand, Englishness was
defined culturally through the assimilation of bourgeois, domestic culture; "what
sustained racial membership was a middle-class morality, nationalist sentiments,

bourgeois sensibilities, normalized sexuality, and a carefully circumscribed 'milieu' in
school and home" (Stoler Race and the Education of Desire 105). That some inter-

racial creoles were better educated, could speak more proper English, converse in a

more cultured fashion and dress with more sophistication than many white creoles
fundamentally destabilized the conception of whiteness in the West Indies. Thus, inter-
racial people challenged racial categories, and ultimately undermined the English


12 Inter-racial sex was characterized by inequality the slave status of the woman,
the freedom and sometimes proprietorship of the male. Syncretic religions were often
forbidden, as were some forms of creole music; creole language was seen as a
bastardization of English; creole food was often described as slaves' food.

"3 Stoler is referring to the East Indies, but the same holds true for the West Indies.







principle that Europeans were culturally distinct and superior to non-whites a

principle on which rested the justification of Empire. Their wealth also challenged the

economic and political domination of the planter class. The anxiety over this challenge

is reflected in the Jamaica Assembly's 1763 vote to limit the amount of money brown
children inherit to 2000 pounds.

Follow Brathwaite, I suggest that this domestic discourse with its "Great

House" vision was a discourse about creolization. I borrow from Ranajit Guha's

reading of colonial discourse as a "prose of counter-insurgency." I am not analyzing

Guha's subject, English discourse's denial of Indian political agency and organized

resistance. But I share with Guha the awareness of having only accounts written by

colonizers as sources of information about colonized people. Like him, I suggest that

these texts distort the reality but that we can extract a significant amount of information

from them if we identify their code. During the Santal revolt, English discourse denied

the agency and power of Indians; in the West Indies, it denied the power of
creolization. In India, English documentation of disobedience and revolt were indices

of organized resistance. When an English colonial writer points to a West Indian

practice with moral and cultural disgust, we can look at that practice as a probable
instance of creolization. For instance, they define white women in terms of their
"negro" practices, by which they mean their creole language, dress, and eating habits.

They define brown women by their "white" habits, their taste for European dress and

their successful performance of the role of white wife. "

This focus on creolization is important because it indicates that domestic

discourse developed in relation to creolization, and that domesticity was deployed as a

strategy to limit the threats creolization posed to English identity and English control in



4 My reading of creolization here follows Brathwaite's chapter "Creolization" (The
Development of Creole Society 296-305).








the West Indies. Creolization was colonial policy on the ground; domesticity was

colonial ideology. I suggest that the strongest purpose of the domestic ideology in

English discourse on the West Indies was to negotiate this conflict between the imperial

ideals of domestic virtue and racial purity and the colonial practice of producing multi-

racial cultures and people." In Britain's Caribbean colonies, inter-racial concubinage

was virtually institutionalized. Domestic discourse provided social mores that barred

inter-racial marriage and legal codes that restricted the right of illegitimate children, the

children of inter-racial couples, to inherit and thus to attain the political, economic, and

social power to challenge the colonial hierarchy.
This chapter is devoted to a critique of English discourse on the West Indies

because it played a central role in proto-nationalist writing in the anglophone

Caribbean, in particular its representation of creole women. I focus on the central

female figures of the "Great House" the sadistic white woman slave owner, the

seductive brown mistress of the slave master, and the strong, masculine black woman
worker. These women arrived in the novels of Thomas MacDermot and Herbert de

Lisser, C.L.R. James and Jean Rhys heavy with the baggage of their role in colonial

discourse, its negation of West Indian cultural and political legitimacy.

I focus on the two periods of English discourse which most influenced early
anglophone Caribbean writing: (1) 1770-1838 the period which fashioned the image


"s Stoler claims that metropolitan discourse produced the immorality of the colonies
and that this immorality rendered colonials inferior to the metropolitan middle class.
The immorality of colonials functioned to define metropolitan bourgeois identity
(Stoler 97-100) I agree that English discourse produced West Indian immorality. Yet,
I read the threat posed by colonial practices more in terms of a conflict between
colonial ideology and policy than does Stoler. England was able to deploy domestic
ideology as a means of articulating metropolitan identity and defining it as a superior.
England engaged in colonialism to produce new markets and more capital; the price of
colonialism was interaction with non-Europeans, ultimately a creolization of English
identity and a loss of English control over Empire. This was not a price England's
bourgeoisie could acknowledge.








of the Great House in a profusion of texts produced by the debate over slavery and the

concern over the wealth and power of the plantocracy; and (2) 1860-1906, the period

which produced the figure of the masculine and independent black woman as a sign of

the Caribbean's lack of real manhood an image born of a crisis in English identity,

articulated in a variety of travel narratives and monographs by prominent English

literary men, most notably Anthony Trollope, Charles Kingsley, and James Anthony

Froude. The depiction of the West Indies shifted from a moral narrative of what

Catherine Hall calls "cultural racism" in the first half of the 19th century to a biological

narrative based on scientific racism in the second; the message, however, remained the

same: the British West Indies was devoid of the English masculinity and therefore in

need of Englishmen.

In English texts written about the West Indies in the late 17th century and early

18th century, many of the individual elements of the later discourse existed. In Ned

Ward's A Trip to Jamaica (1700) and in the anonymous Jamaica Lady (1720), for

instance, Jamaica is represented in many of the same ways that it is in the latter part of
the 18th century: as a place which destroys women's chastity, a place where white

creoles are only superficially feminine and brown women are the mistresses of white

men. Early historical texts, Richard Ligon's A True and Exact History of the Island of
Barbadoes (1673) and Hans Sloane's A Voyage to the Islands (1707) represent

Africans as naked and polygamous. These descriptions parallel 19th century English

complaints that slaves eschewed clothing and practiced polygamy. But it was only in

the late 18th century that these elements were configured into one fixed representation

of the West Indies which racialized domestic virtue, rendering white and English

womanhood synonymous with one another and with sexual virtue, while defining

brown and black women as inherently sexually immoral and leaving the white creole

woman as a racial and moral in-between character -- physically white but morally and








culturally brown or black.

From 1770 to the early 1840s, the debate over slavery was the motivating

force in producing English texts on the West Indies. As a result, English discourse

itself was strongly divided between texts written in defense of slavery and those written

in support of emancipation.

To illustrate the consistency of English discourse and its construction of the

Great House, I analyse the representation of creole women in roughly fifteen texts of

this period, including histories, travel narratives, and novels, some anti-slavery, some

pro-slavery, some written by women, others by men. I include five historical accounts,

Edward Long's History of Jamaica (1774), Bryan Edwards's The History- Civil and

Commercial of the British Colonies in the West Indies (1798), and J. Stewart's An

Account of Jamaica and its Inhabitants (1808) and A View of the Past and Present

State of the Island of Jamaica (1823). These are all written by a politically and

economically powerful class of men, who stood in-between the category of creole and

English. They were long-time residents of Jamaica, often of established, wealthy

planter families, but born and educated in England. During the 18th and 19th century,

these are the only group of whites to articulate West Indian nationalism or sentiments

approaching it. They are the closest approximation we have to a white creole voice.
Yet without exception they all espouse English domestic discourse and thus define the

West Indies, particularly its women, as lacking though their lack of English virtues and

accomplishments.

I consider four travel narratives by English men, the first two well-known and

oft-cited, J.B. Moreton's Manners and Customs of the West India Islands (1790) and

Monk Lewis's Journal of a West India Proprietor published in 1834 but based on two

sojourns in the island in 1815-16 and 1817. The remaining two are less well known,

Cynric Williams's A Tour Through the Island of Jamaica from the Western to the








Eastern End in the Year 1823 and George Riland's Memoirs of a West-India Planter

(1837). J.B. Moreton presents himself as having worked in Jamaica as a bookkeeper,

he writes a whimsical guidebook to the island for bookkeepers, giving them practical

tips about sex and women as well as an abundance of salacious anecdotes. Monk

Lewis, an absentee landlord, writes a journal of daily events on his plantation that

focuses almost exclusively on Afro-Caribbeans. He and Moreton both include poetry,

songs from slaves; Lewis, in particular, records Afro-Caribbean oral tradition,

describing the woman story teller and recounting her Anansi tales. In Cynric

Williams's account, we see slavery as a series of comic love encounters. Riland's text

is an anti-slavery tract, written by a man who was himself a planter. All three present

themselves as critical of slavery, and yet all three participate in slavery.
I refer to four travel narratives by women: Lady Nugent's Journal, Mrs. C.A.

Carmichael's Domestic Manners and Social Conditions of the white, coloured, and

negro population of the West Indies (1833), The Youthful Female Missionary: A

Memoir of Mary Ann Hutchins (1840), and Mrs. Lanagan's Antigua and the Antiguans

(1844). The wife ofgovernor Nugent in the first years of the 19th century, Maria

Nugent was the embodiment of English domestic womanhood in Jamaica. Her diary

records her attempts to bring Christianity and domestic virtue to the government slaves

and her dismay at the failure of creoles of all colors to attain English cultural and moral

standards. Though well-versed in anti-slavery literature and prepared to condemn

slavery, Nugent finds that slaves are not badly treated. Carmichael, a long time resident

of St. Vincent and Trinidad, and Lanagan, a long time resident of Antigua, are strong

supporters of the plantocracy and defenders of slavery. In contrast, Mary Ann

Hutchins' letters form a Baptist anti-slavery text, describing the life of a young wife and

missionary in Jamaica during the last years of apprenticeship and the first year of

emancipation.







These histories and travel narratives were widely available in England and

influenced novelists. Sypher asserts that however far-fetched representations of West

Indians in English literature may seem, they are usually based on historical accounts; he

lists Long and Moreton as two of the most influential (Sypher 505). Charlotte Smith

cites extensively from Bryan Edwards's history in The Wanderings of Warwick; some

scholars suggest that Charlotte Bronte had read Nugent's journal which was printed

privately in 1839 (Thomas "The Tropical Extravagance" 4; Nugent ix); Long's

description of white creole women seems to be a blueprint for Bronte's Bertha Mason

in Jane Eyre. So close or closed is the relationship between fictional and historical

texts, that Stewart employs a scene from Smith's novel The Wanderings of Warwick as

historical evidence of the character of white creole women in his 1808 Account of

Jamaica

I consider three novels in the tradition of women's anti-slavery writing

Charlotte Smith's Wanderings of Warwick (1794) and The Letters of a Solitary

Wanderer (1800), Maria Edgeworth's Belinda (1801), and Charlotte Brontes Jane

Eyre (1847). These contrast weak and immoral West Indian characters to strong and

moral English figures with the result of defining English manhood and womanhood as

superior. I include two novels written from a West Indian perspective: the pro-slavery

novel, Marly, anonymously published in 1828, and Mrs. Henry Lynch's The Coton

Tree (1847). Both counter English discourse by portraying the West Indies as a moral

and cultured society.

Despite the disparity in gender, political position, and genre, these books
present a surprisingly consistent image of the West Indies. The continuity in the

discourse arises from the shared investment in English rule in the colonies and in

domestic virtue as a justification for colonial rule.

I borrow my model and understanding of domestic ideology from Catherine







Hall's White Male and Middle Class. Domesticity and anti-slavery were linked middle

class projects, both campaigns of the evangelical Clapham sect, which exercised great

influence over English politics and social practices. It was largely through domesticity

that the middle class defined itself as different and superior to other English classes, the

aristocracy and the working class. The ideal of domestic womanhood restricted women

to the "private sphere," to their homes and to the two defining roles of womanhood:

mother and wife. Economic dependence was absolutely essential to domestic

womanhood. Accordingly, women were to be chaste until marriage, unaffected,

religious, submissive, self-sacrificing, and nurturing. In Hall's description, the domestic

woman was "naturally more delicate, more fragile, morally weaker, and all this

demanded a greater degree of caution, retirement, and reserve"(85-6). Men were

allotted the public sphere, action, reason, and economic power. With "grandeur,

dignity and force," men were to rule and protect family and nation. Women were to

domesticate or "regenerate" the family and nation (Hall 86).

Central to domestic ideology and to the definition of the middle class was a
new and strengthened divide between gender roles "between men and women,

between public and private"(Hall 95-6). Thus, when the West Indies is criticized for its

weak men and unfeminine women, it is being criticized for its failure to meet an

English, middle class standard of domesticity.


The Great House

I. White Women

Represented with prominence greatly disproportionate with their numbers,

white creole women are depicted from Long to Bronte, and Moreton to Smith, as the

wives of wealthy planters women who were by definition poor imitations of

bourgeois femininity. Their failure to be English ladies and their consequent loss of








white womanhood illustrated the instability of whiteness, indicating the extent to which

whiteness was a function of culture, not phenotype or genetics. The slim demographic

data we have indicates that the failure of white creole women to "pass" as English

ladies may have as much to do with class as it does with their creole identity.

Wealthy white women had the highest rate of "absenteeism" in Jamaica; they

were the least likely category of whites to live on the island (Mair 192). Many white

women were small-scale planters and business owners. In 1817 in Barbados, white

women made up 50% of slave owners of properties with less than ten slaves. In 1815

in St. Lucia white women were 48% of slave owners with less than ten slaves (Beckles

8). As married women's property legally belonged to their husbands, these statistics

are evidence of the large number of independent white women participating in the

colonial project as entrepreneurs and small planters, not as dependent wives. But they

were clearly not wealthy, and many were poor. The local vestries gave jobs, pensions,

and passages to England to poor white women in order to avoid the spectacle of their

visible poverty (Mair 208-9).

Thus, most white women simply did not have the financial wherewithal to

secure the education and material possessions that would give them the linguistic and

cultural skills, the clothing or the leisure to be real English gentlewomen. Because

English discourse on the West Indies viewed whiteness as synonymous with upper class

position, there was no legitimate category for white women of lesser means despite

their majority. Unable to pay for the education to free themselves from the telltale

signs of creole culture, these women lost their unquestioned right to whiteness. Thus,

creole identity for white women meant an inextricable combination of class, race, and

geographical status.

Both pro-slavery and anti-slavery texts made their case against white creole

women by arguing that the brutality of slave society and the contagious nature of







African culture rendered white women unsuitable as wives because they could not

nurture and educate English men." Charlotte Smith's The Wanderings of Warwick

(1796) provides a prototypical depiction of the brutal white slave mistress."' In

Smith's novel, a young British lieutenant, "Jack," arrives early on his wedding day and

glimpses his beloved Miss Shaftesbury, a Jamaican, administering a flogging to a young

woman. Jack explains to his companion, Warwick, that,

My fair, my gentle Marianne, whom I have seen weep over fictitious

distresses of a novel, and shrink from the imaginary sorrows of an

imaginary heroine, walked with cool but stately steps before two old

negro women who dragged between them a mulatto girl often or eleven
years old, while another stout negro woman followed with the

instrument of punishment in her hand, which I soon found was to be

applied to the unfortunate little creature, who while one of the old

monsters bound her and another endeavoured to stop her mouth,

pleaded as well as she could for mercy to her "dear Missy" and pleaded

in vain. (53-54)



6 Charlotte Sussman makes this same point in her discussion of Smith's novel:
"Abolitionists, as well as pro-slavery advocates, feared that exposure to such scenes, in
which a white woman came face to face with the cruelty imposed on black bodies
would ruin both the female capacity for compassionate suffering and the lines between
familiar relations and economic relations. Neither group imagined that domestic virtue
could withstand the pervasive cruelty of Jamaican slave culture, but proponents of
slavery thought the threat could be contained, while abolitionists argued that the danger
to femininity was ineradicable and mortal" (268).

17 Other writers who depict white creole women in stereotypical terms as cruel and
violent to slaves include: Charlotte Bronta, Thomas Pringle, Cynric Williams, and Lady
Nugent. In Jane Ere, Rochester tells Jane that Bertha was unreasonable and violent
with her servants. Cynric Williams describes a white woman's jealous wrath at a brown
woman (317). Lady Nugent writes of one creole family, "as for the ladies, they appear
to me perfect viragos; they never spoke but in the most imperious manner to their
servants, and are constantly finding fault"(107).








As a result, Jack leaves without a word, never to speak to Miss Shaftesbury

again, much less to marry her though the loss of her fortune will restrict him to a

working life (53-55). In having her slave flogged, particularly in appearing "to enjoy the

spectacle," Miss Shaftesbury revealed the falseness of her femininity. "

In his Account of Jamaica and its Inhabitants (1808) and A View of the Past

and Present State of the Island of Jamaica (1823), Stewart explains that "... the woman

accustomed to the exercise of severity soon loses all the natural softness of her

sex"(View 172). Being raised from early childhood to "lord over" another human

being leads her to view corporal punishment as normal and to lose her feminine

qualities of"humanity" and "benevolence"; these losses in turn negate her other

feminine virtues as Stewart writes, "without these, even beauty, wit, and

accomplishments, would lose half their charms"(An Account 161-2). "Lording over" or

being "master" of other human beings is for Stewart essentially unfeminine. "Being

Master" was masculine. The loss of femininity Stewart describes, constitutes, in the

binary gender system of domestic ideology, a masculinization of white creole women.

That both pro-slavery and anti-slavery texts depict women slave owners as

pathological suggests that English writers perceive the position of master as inherently

inappropriate for women in domestic ideology." Since anti-slavery discourse held that


"8 Sussman analyses this scene at length, focusing on the falseness of Miss
Shaftesbury's femininity demonstrated in her lack of sentiment. In the anti-slavery
movement women are supposed to be inspired by the mistreatment of slaves portrayed
in books to act against slavery; that is, their sentimental response to slavery should
elicit anti-slavery action (Sussman 272). In this scene, the white creole proves herself
insensible to sentiment. Sentimental novels do not produce or nourish a feminine
sensibility in Miss Shaftesbury. Slavery, the novel suggests, has destroyed that
sensibility.

'9 In The Mastery of Submission, John Noyes discusses the conflation or slippage
European discourse made in the late 19th century between white women, who had
authority over servants in the colonies and white women dominatrixes wielding whips
over men in the metropole. In her article on de Lisser's The White Witch of Rose Hall.








slave owning was morally wrong and detrimental to all slave owners, gender ought not

to have mattered. However, even in anti-slavery writing, there is something especially

disconcerting about the female slave owner, which makes her very existence a

perversion. In his appendix to Mary Prince's slave narrative, Thomas Pringle, secretary

of the Anti-slavery society, chooses the image of the white woman slave owner as the

quintessential image of slavery's evil. In describing this Brazilian slave owner as a

sadistic prostitute, who beats her young female slave with such fervor that she does not

notice that her blouse has fallen to reveal her breasts (Prince 113). Pringle conflates

sexual license, physical cruelty, and a lack of sensibility. The multiplication of vices

suggests an exaggerated antipathy towards the woman qua slave owner.20 This choice

suggests to me that for anti-slavery, as well as pro-slavery texts, women's power over

other human beings is represented as perverse or pathological because women's power

is a threat to patriarchy.
If white creole women are undesirable first because they transgress gender

boundaries, they are unmarriagable in the second instance because they transgress racial

boundaries. Although all creoles spoke creole, ate of creole food, and probably shared

other creole cultural practices, English writers define the creole culture as "negro" or
"African."2 In so doing, they vilify creole culture, rendering it an antithesis to the


Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert argues that the woman plantation owner, Annie Palmer,
disrupts the patriarchal power simply by virtue of being the master of large plantations
and she must be vilified and then destroyed to restore the patriarchal order. Both
Noyes's and Paravisini-Gebert's arguments point to intolerance of women in the role of
master. I think that a similar phenomenon occurs in English discourse during the early
19th century.

20 It is also significant that statistically most slave owners were men. We might
note that slaves were particularly important property for white women, who could not
so easily inherit land as their brothers,.

21 As there is today, there was probably a linguistic continuum. People spoke at
different levels of this continuum and interspersed different levels of creole speech.








superior English culture. Stewart, for instance, maintains that white women's

"involuntary imitation" of Afro-Caribbean servants led them to acquire "the very

manners and barbarous dialect of the negroes" and thus to "exhibit much of the

Quashiba"(160).2 The stereotypical portraits were almost formulaic, always defining

white creole women by their creole language, culinary, and dress habits, as well as

their poor conversation skills. From the point of view of domestic ideology and the

English middle class, "Africanization" rendered white creole women unfit for marriage.

However, from the point of the historian ofcreolization, the africanized white woman,

Stewart's "Quashiba," is a creolized woman.

White creole women may have the facade of English culture, but if caught at

home, they will be found transgressing racial boundaries in any number of cultural

areas: space, dress, food, and all other aspects of deportment.2 Edward Long's

description probably served as a blueprint for later writers, whose accounts become

almost formulaic. If deprived of English models, Long explained, white creole women

are prone to acquire the language and habits of their Afro-Caribbean servants. Long

gives an inventory of the ways they constitute the binary opposite of the English ideal

of domestic womanhood: white Jamaican women are often found in indecent clothes

of slaves, "awkwardly dangling [their] arms with the air of a negroe-servant, lolling

almost the whole day upon beds or settees, her head muffled up with two or three

handkerchiefs, her dress loose, and without stays." They eats slaves' food and

dispense with civilized habits of tables and silverware. "At noon," Long describes

white creole women "as employed in gobbling pepper-pot, seated on the floor, with her


Quashiba was the stereotyped, racist name of a woman slave; its counterpart for
male slaves was Quashee.

Even Mrs. A.C. Carmichael, who defends white creole women, describes them as
unable to engage in cultured conversation, but she attributes this to overwork, not the
assimilation of African culture (39).







sable hand-maids around her. In the afternoon, she takes her siesto as usual.... When

she rouzes from slumber, her speech is whining, languid, and childish. (vol. II 279).
When she's older, Long continues, the white creole will be so embarrassed by her

intellectual weaknesses that she will refrain from speaking in public. "Lapsus linguae" is

the phrase, Mar y's hero uses to refer to a creole woman's slips into creole. He, for

instance, finds his creole dance partner "a lively-good tempered girl, though only half
educated, and rather too much of the negro. Once on his putting a question to her,

when she was off her guard, she returned by way of answer, 'Him no savey, massa.' She
caught herself in a moment, and endeavoured to laugh it off, but it would not do"(my

italics 210). Marly's observation that his partner is "rather too much of the negro"

makes clear that he defines creole language as black; anyone who speaks it as

blackened by it. Lady Nugent observed "the creole language is not confined to the

negroes. Many of the ladies, who have not been educated in England, speak a sort of

broken English, with an indolent drawling out of their words, that is very tiresome if

not disgusting"(131).2

Marly's creole partner is explicitly contrasted with the upper class, English-

educated heiress, Miss MFathom, whom Marly is destined to marry. The narrator
conveys the excellence of MFathom's linguistic and conversational skills by an implicit

comparison with the stereotypical monosyllabic creole. He comments "she not only did

not fall off in conversation, nor detract from the prepossessing opinion we are led to

grant beauty"( 19). She is the appropriate wife for Marly because she is the opposite of

the typical creole, as demonstrated by her speech."


Nugent combines the stereotypical characteristics of creole language and poor
conversational skills in her description of Mrs. C as "a perfect Creole" because she
"says little, and drawls out that little"(72).

5 That only the exceptional white creole woman is worthy of marriage undercuts
the central argument of Marly that domesticity can be made to harmonize with creole








Published in 1828, over fifty years after Long's history, Mady follows Long's

formula, when it describes George Marly's visit to his partner the day after the ball. He

...catches his fair partner, with her sister, and two other creole ladies,

much to their vexation, devouring ... [from] an iron pot a sort of hodge-

podge called okra pepperpot, completely in the negro fashion,

dispensing altogether with the use of table, plates, spoons, and knives,

and forks...(211)

Moreton's 1790 version of the scene is the most graphic version. He depicts a banquet

given by a white mother for her two daughters, with the intention of finding husbands

for the two. One daughter, Miss Laura can not eat the dinner with white suitors

because she "had been that forenoon, as usual, in the cook-room, where she ate a

calabash full of substantial pepperpot; she had a necessary call backwards"(117). The

"call backwards" refers on a literal level to an attack of diarrhea and on a figurative

level to the return to the primitive ways of Africans and animals. Going into the

cook's space meant going into a space reserved for Afro-Caribbeans, eating pepperpot

meant eating Afro-Caribbean food. The result is "disgusting": the pepperpot makes her

violently ill; her dog, Yellow Legs, then consumes the result. Yellow Legs conflates

the disgust associated with diarrhea and the disgust associated with racial difference.

Yellow Legs is a figure for the woman herself, who becomes racially yellow by

adopting Afro-Caribbean cultural practices and physically yellow as her legs are likely

stained by diarrhea. Her behavior of running outdoors to defecate makes her

additionally like the dog and like Afro-Caribbeans who were compared to animals.

Moreton finds the sisters unworthy of marriage but he is sufficiently attracted to

them to go skinny dipping with them after dinner to receive their "wanton kisses"(l 17-

18). He thus treats them much in the way English men treated Afro-Caribbean women


society and slavery.








- with repulsion and desire.
This formulaic description of white creole women always concludes with the

assertion that they are unfit wives and mothers (of English men). Long laments,

"how unfit they are to be companions of sensible men, or the patterns of imitation to

their daughters! How incapable of regulating their manners, enlightening their

understanding, or improving their morals!" (2:279). Stewart contends that white

women must be removed from the West Indies all together ( An Account 164). Marly

and Moreton (110-111) simply do not consider the average white creole women as

candidates for marriage.

On one hand, this portrayal of creole white womanhood contributes to the
construction of English women. In an analysis of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre (1847),

Jane Austen's Mansfield Park (1814), Maria Edgeworth's Belinda (1801), Mary Hay's
Emma Courtney (1796) and Smith's Wanderings of Warwick (1794), Jocelyn Stitt
argues that the West Indies posed a threat to the English domestic family. This threat

was usually expressed through concern about intermarriage between English and West
Indian whites. In Belinda, domestic order is only achieved when the hero and heroine

Clarence Hervey and Belinda reject creole partners for marriage and choose each other.

Similarly, Rochester must free himself of his dark, drunken, insane, ill-educated, and

violent creole wife, Bertha Mason before he can marry Jane, the model of domestic

virtue.

Yet, white creole women's failure to be ladies has implications for the empire:

As the producers of Englishmen and as their tutors in English culture, English women,
their bodies, and their cultural whiteness were essential to the imperial project. The

physical disgust with which English writers describe white creole women indicates that

there is no middle ground. If the white woman cannot fulfill her imperial role, then she

must be the opposite of that ideal: not the pinnacle of refinement but the nadir of








disgust. Englishness, whiteness, and English control over the empire seem thus to be
absolutes. A woman is white, English, and bourgeois, or she is not white. The focus

on the body may reflect the fact that white women's bodies were central to the

production of Englishness. A contamination of the white woman's body signaled the

contamination of the imperial body politic. Long draws this connection when he
blames Jamaica's failure to become an independent white nation on white Jamaican

women's failure to be appropriate wives.26

The most important aspect of white womanhood in the West Indies is that the
position of wife was coded as white and opposed to the position of mistress or
concubine which were defined as belonging to Afro-Caribbean women. These roles are
defined through what I call the "colonial romance" of the Great House: the illicit

relationship between the female slave and the male master. In so doing, it illustrates the

interdependence of these racially defined womanhoods. The romance is the basis for
the stereotypes of white and Afro-Caribbean women. In the romance, the white man

(husband) rejects the white woman (his wife) in favor of a brown (possibly black)
woman. The white woman is so jealous that she beats the brown woman incessantly.
The cycle is a vicious one because the white woman's lack of attraction leads her to

lose her mate to a brown woman, and, as a result of her ensuing jealousy, she becomes





6 Long's logic is that education would produce marriages, which produce a larger
white population. The larger white population would foster a sense of patriotism;
whites would want to stay on the island rather than to return to England (vol. II: 279).
To this end Long suggests that the state sponsor white women's education "Can the
wisdom of legislature be more usefully applied, than to the attainment of the these
ends," asks Long, "which, by making the women more desirable partners in marriage
would render the island more populous, and residences in it more eligible; which would
banish ignorance from the rising generation restrain numbers from seeking these
improvements, at the hazard of life, in other countries; and from unnaturally reviling a
place which they would love and prefer, if they could enjoy it"(vol. 2: 279).







a masculinized sadist. This renders her yet again undesirable.2" In most English texts

this "romance" is echoed in the portrayal of brown women as sexually desirable and

white women as objects of scorn.

The second volume of Smith's Letters of a Solitary Wanderer (1800), The

Story of Henrietta illustrates how English discourse defined the position of wife as

belonging to white women while identifying the role of concubine as the domain of
Afro-Caribbean women. The novel stands at a nexus of sentiment and slavery, of

domestic and anti-slavery fiction. Henrietta's identity as a white and therefore

sentimental woman depends on a strict racial segregation of bodies and identities. It

suggests, much as the pro-slavery writer Stewart does, that there can be no true white
women in Jamaica because Jamaican society constantly places white women in

positions appropriate to women of color and thus compromises their racial identity. A

Jamaican white raised and educated in Europe, Henrietta represents the group of white

creoles English writers felt might escape the moral and cultural evils of the West Indies

and be the domestic and social equals of English women.28 On returning to Jamaica,

Henrietta faces a series of threats to her womanhood: (1) the compromise of her racial

identity by living in her father's home where no distinction of rank is made between her

and her Afro-Caribbean half-sisters; (2) the marriage her father arranges with a vulgar,

lower class white, Mr. Sawkins; (3) the abduction and marriage to an enslaved black
man, Amponah; and (4) the abduction and marriage to one of the maroon leaders,

where she would be one among several wives. Each of these would place her in the


The jealousy of white women is repeatedly documented. For instance, Cynric
Williams recounts buying a woman slave in order to remove her from her white
master's lechery and his white wife's jealous sadism (317-18). In "AIR -what care I for
Mam or Dad, J.B. Moreton records the story of a black woman reaping her mistress's
jealous blows for bearing a child the woman falsely believed to be her husband's (154).

28 Long, Edwards, even Moreton comment that creoles educated and resident in
England can potentially escape the taint of creole culture.








position of a woman of color. She perceives each proposal for "marriage" as a death

threat; that is, a complete destruction of her identity qua white domestic woman.9 In

this period, English women commonly compared arranged marriage to slavery

(Ferguson 19). Henrietta heightens the stakes; for her, marriage to a man unequal in

sentiment and fortune is both slavery and death.30 She refers to herself as the future
"slave" of Sawkins (61) and calls her marriage a "bill of sale, for what else can I call it?

He has been used to purchase slaves, and feels no repugnance in selling his daughter to

the most dreadful of all slavery!"(76) For Henrietta, arranged marriage constitutes

death. Rather than a wedding, she imagines "a funeral will be the festival, if there is

any; for I can die"(101).

To escape the slavery and death of arranged marriage, Henrietta accepts the

offer of her servant Amponah to lead her to safety at another plantation. When he

attempts to take her in his arms and proposes "I no slave now...Missy, there be no

difference now; you be my wife"(303) she prepares to commit suicide by throwing

herself over a precipice. Her action reflects that marriage to a slave would constitute

the death of her identity as a white woman. She is saved by the shots of maroon

soldiers, who kill Amponah, and bring her to the camp of their general. There she



Sussman makes the point that Smith places Henrietta in the position of Afro-
Caribbean women and thus deconstructs the distinction between black and white
women. She writes, "Henrietta's lament [about her arranged marriage] seems to
construct an unavoidable equality between herself and enslaved women an equality
not, as abolitionists would claim, between their domestic sentiments, but rather
between their similarly disempowered positions in a patriarchal culture. As Henrietta's
words make clear, if a white woman becomes the subject of physical force, her body
becomes virtually indistinguishable from a slave's" (263).
30 Denbigh considers Henreitta a desirable partner because, as he explains, "our
fortunes, our condition of life, and our ages, all seemed to unite in making an union
between us desirable to both parties" (15). Sawkins, a "dependent" and the nephew of
a "low woman" is an affront to Henrietta as a husband because he is of a lower social
and economic class (66-7).








faints when she learns that she is to become one of the wives of the Maroon general, a

position indistinguishable from that of women of color. Her loss of sensibility in a

physical sense signals the threat being a wife in a polygamous marriage posed to her

identity as a white, moral, domestic woman. Smith's novel defines any type of
sexuality outside of Christian marriage as fatal to white femininity. If Henrietta had had

sex with Amponah or the Maroon General and not killed herself her fiance would have

considered her as good as dead. Denbigh laments, "I could determine to abandon her,

though I were sure to find her disgraced and undone. I could die with her (for I

knew she never would survive the horrors I dreaded for her) I could die with her, if

to live with her were denied" (115).

Her father's household poses perhaps a more fundamental threat because it

makes no distinction between Henrietta, the white legitimate daughter and the
illegitimate Afro-Caribbean daughters. The Afro-Caribbean women see nothing

incorrect with the household. Henrietta complains of the insensibilityy to their

situation"(57-8). That the women's presence literally colors the entire house is

suggested by a syntactical slip in Henrietta's description of the home: "Do you know,

Denbigh, that there are three young women here, living in the house, of colour, as they
are called, who are, I understand, my sisters by half blood" (57 Smith's italics). In her

sentence, the phrase "of colour" logically modifies sisters, but its proximity to "house"

communicates the underlying reality for Henrietta and for domestic discourse: no house

can contain illegitimate Afro-Caribbean women without being a house of color. And

no English woman can live in a colored house.

Smith's narrative is important because it illustrates that English/white

womanhood is defined through its opposition to brown and black womanhood. It is
not so much that brown women are concubines but that concubinage is racially brown,

not so much that white women are wives, but that Christian marriage and domestic








womanhood are white. It asserts a principle that even pro-slavery texts, like Stewart's

end in espousing: the exigencies of slavery and creole society exclude the possibility of

a genuine domestic white womanhood in the West Indies; only in England can women

be white.

The only texts to contradict this image of creole women that I've found are

Mary Prince's narrative and Mrs. Henry Lynch novel for young adults, The Cotton

Tree: or Emily. the little West Indian, a Tale for Young people. (1847). Prince

represents a spectrum of white women, ranging from sadistic slave owners to

victimized wives and daughters. Lynch's novel presents a positive image to the

negative stereotype. Published in the same year as Bronte's novel and written by the

daughter of a West India planter, Lynch's text has an almost uncanny parallel to Jane

Eyre, but in Lynch's text, the moral protagonist is a young white creole woman sent to

school in England. Like Jane, she is ridiculed. Jane's cousins torment her because she

is poor. Emily's schoolmates torture her on the grounds that she has a creole accent

and that she is associated with slavery. Jane is tutored to accept God and not to be

discontent by the motherless Helen who dies tragically of tuberculosis; Emily is tutored

by an orphan named Jane Lucille in the same religious virtues that Jane learns from

Helen. Jane Lucille like Helen dies of tuberculosis. Creole Emily ends the novel by

converting her recalcitrant father to piety and becoming a devoted wife and mother -

both achievements parallel Jane's conversion of the recalcitrant Rochester and her

happy ending in marriage and motherhood. The significant difference is that whereas
Bronte depicts the white creole Bertha as the antithesis of Jane's model femininity,

Lynch's text presents the white creole as the model of English domesticity. Lynch

depicts her character carefully to refute the negative stereotype of white creoles as

uncultured sadists, but she does not appear to challenge the principles of domestic

discourse except in arguing for an inclusion of upper class white creole women into the







category of domestic womanhood.


Brown Women

The depiction of Afro-Caribbean women both brown and black -- is

prominent in English discourse because the plantation economy depended on enslaved

women's fertility to supply the labor force and because Afro-Caribbean women were

the site of the fundamental contradiction between colonial ideology which condemned
inter-racial sex and colonial practice which institutionalized it. As a result of this

conflict between ideology and policy, English male writers represent Afro-Caribbean

women in strikingly ambivalent and conflicted terms: as the most desirable and the

most reprehensible of women.3



~ In tying the ambivalence of colonial discourse to the conflict between colonial
ideology and colonial policy, my argument parallels Robert Young's assertion that
colonial ambivalence derives from the fact that colonialism produces the desire for
inter-racial sex and that desire constitutes a threat, a "nightmare" for colonialism. On
one hand, Young argues, the European theories of race were based on a moral
hierarchy in which European culture was defined as civilized and therefore superior and
the colonial world is defined as uncivilized and therefore inferior (94). Metropolitan
identity and superiority the very justification for its exploitation and colonization of
its empires relied on its cultural and racial difference from colonized people. Yet, as
Young describes it, colonialism is a veritable machine for producing desire for inter-
racial sex. "Nineteenth-century theories of race," he explains, "did not just consist of
essentializing differentiations between self and other: they were also about a fascination
with people having sex interminable, adulterating, aleatory, illicit inter-racial
sex"(181). In this Young argues colonialism inevitably produced inter-racial classes of
people whose racial and cultural hybridity undermined the sharp racial and cultural
distinctions on which European identity and superiority depend. "In that sense," writes
Young, "it was itself the instrument that produced its own darkest fantasy the
unlimited and ungovernable fertility of "unnatural unions"(98). As a result of this
conflict, "the races and their intermixture circulate around an ambivalent axis of desire
and aversion: a structure of attraction, where people and cultures intermix and merge,
transforming themselves as a result, and a structure of repulsion, where the different
elements remain distinct and are set against each other dialogically"(19). I differ frorr
Young in seeing specific historical institutions as productive of this ambivalence, in
particular, concubinage.








White women writers, who were most often long-time residents of the West

Indies, tended to depict brown women in particularly negative terms; their attitude

probably reflects the fact that brown women constituted a direct threat to white

women's social and economic status. In her defense of the plantocracy, Mrs.

Carmichael defines brown women as people who set out to destroy domestic virtue:

their goal in life is to seduce white men into non-marital sexual relations in order to

extort money from them. "To allure young men who are newly come to the country, or

entice the inexperienced," she wrote, "may be said to be their principal object"(71).

Carmichael comments that "their constitutional indolence is so great, that it may

prevent their employing the powers of their mind" and that "there is such a total

want...of decency in the way they dress that they always appeared to me very

disgusting" (74).32

In families in which the white male had both a white wife and an Afro-

Caribbean mistress, white and brown women competed directly for the family's wealth

and the man's attentions (Mair 253-5). These individual contests were mirrored in the

social structure. Brown women took the place white women occupied in England.

They were the de facto wives, house managers, the daughters, the nurses, the

confidantes of white men. They proved themselves eminently skilled at the very tasks -

- being wives, mothers, and caretakers that defined white middle class womanhood.

If they were providing these skills and services, what besides the legal distinction of

marriage defined white women's role?

Brown women could accrue financial and social status monopolized by white

women in England. There is an important exception. Whereas white women forfeited



32 Yet Carmichael also claims that "among coloured females, marriage is not very
general; but many of them, although not bound by the ties of matrimony, do live
otherwise respectably with those who maintain them"(71). The contradictions in
women's texts, however, tend to be much less marked than those in men's writing.








their property and legal identity with marriage under English law until the end of the
19th century, brown women, who did not marry, could retain their own property. As a

result, they were able to break the racial hierarchy which made race coterminous with

class. Their social and economic upward mobility produced both a middle and an

upper class of Afro-Caribbeans. Because browns could petition for the status of

whites, brown women and their families complicated racial identity, unlinking the status

of whiteness from phenotype and blood (Brathwaite 169-70; Mair 423; Sturtz 2).33

Mair writes, "Admission to at least some of the rights of citizenship through private

Acts of legislation was one of the strongest incentives to mulatto women to strive after

liaisons with whites, to recommend a similar course to their daughter, and in the

process to reaffirm how favoured they were above others in the society" (423-4)."
Such women were persons of authority and importance to the white establishment

(Mair 441) men and women whose wealth, dress, carriages might outshine those of
the white plantocracy and even the governor at public events (Stewart An Account

303; Mair 422). Though upper class brown women might look indistinguishable from

an upper class white woman, possessing the same skin color, accent, clothing, and

dress, they in fact were products of social practices antithetical to the English domestic

household and family structure inter-racial non-marital sex and female headed brown


3 Mair writes, for instance, that "in 1783, 42 coloured persons received Acts of
Privilege, entitling them to "the same rights and privileges with English subjects, under
certain restrictions..." The majority of petitioners seem to have been mulatto women,
though some white men and one black woman also succeeded in petitioning (Mair
423).

3 In an effort to protect the white planter class and its hold political and economic
power, colonies granted Afro-Caribbeans fewer legal rights, especially in terms of
inheritance. In Jamaica, for instance, an 1763 law limited to 2,000 pounds the amount
of money and property white men could will to their inter-racial children. That the lal
was repealed in 1813 reflects the resistance among planters to this limitation it
reflects their desire to give their property to Afro-Caribbean domestic partners and
children. The privilege acts existed even during the period the 1763 law was in place.








households. In showing that the performance of English bourgeois culture did not

necessarily reflect domestic virtue or European identity, the legally white Afro-

Caribbean woman undermined the racial hierarchy of English domesticity.

As an illustration of brown women's social status, Mair cites Reverend Bickell

wrote in 1826: "I have known some married ladies pay visits to the kept mistresses of

rich men, who were not relatives, though they would not look upon a more respectable

woman of the same colour, who might be married to a brown man"(Mair 423; Bickell

105). Respectable white ladies sometimes were godmothers to the children of inter-

racial unions(Stewart a View 175). Brown women of the great house could even claim

intimate audience with a Governor's wife (Nugent 65,66,68,78,83). These social

relations between white and brown women may belie the animosity so carefully

constructed in English texts.

Because the Great House myth represented brown women almost exclusively as

the mistresses of planters, it focused on precisely those figures who most clearly

embodied the danger creolization posed to English discourse the physically brown

but culturally white wealthy class of Afro-Caribbeans. In this way, English discourse

heightened the threat brown women posed to the English hegemony in the West Indies.

Between 1770-1838, only a small percentage of brown women would have qualified as

white. Brown women, in fact, occupied almost all social levels of Jamaican society,

from indigents to school teachers, shopkeepers, and wealthy proprietors. The majority

of inter-racial children were the children of white employees, however, not of large-

scale proprietors.

In the West Indies, marriage thus became the last distinction between the white

planter's wife and the legally white, Afro-Caribbean mistress of the planter.3" The


35 The greatest legal discrimination against "freed coloureds" was probably that they
did not have the same rights to give evidence in court as whites (Brathwaite 170).
They also were not able to get exception from the deficiency law, as white men were.








legitimacy matrimony gave to a woman and her children provided a social boundary

between "whites" and wealthy "free coloureds" a last means of distinguishing white

from non-white.

Yet as employees, the majority of white males were barred from marriage both

by hiring policy and the paucity of their wages. Instead, bookkeepers and overseers

were expected to have an Afro-Caribbean woman on the estate see to their domestic

and sexual needs.3 According to Mrs. Carmichael, for instance, married men were not

as a rule hired as bookkeepers (Carmichael 63). Stewart condemns the policy on the

grounds that it undercuts white political and social control. "The wretched policy is

indeed unaccountable," he asserts, "particularly when it is considered, that... [it]

inevitably leads, or contributes to lead, to an order of things in the colonies very

different from present" (A View 191).

Yet this practice threatened their racial identity Carmichael refers to white

men with Afro-Caribbean mistresses as "white negroes" (59). Lady Nugent's

description of how creole society destroys white men's virtue is typical of English

historical narratives in its scorn for white working men:

It is extraordinary to witness the immediate effect that the climate and

habit of living in this country have upon the mind and manners of
Europeans, particularly of the lower orders. In the upper ranks, they

become indolent and inactive, regardless of everything but eating,


This law required plantations maintain one white man per every ten slaves. White men,
and after 1813, brown men could pay a fee to avoid hiring so many whites. However,
all women were required to abide by the law. This Mair suggests is why so many
women went to the cities rather than plantations, where the money could be made with
fewer than ten slaves and the deficiency laws were not in effect. It was a law meant to
keep power in white male hands (Sturtz 10).

36 In the post-emancipation period in Jamaica, for instance, bookkeepers were
assigned a woman worker on estate as a concubine. She was paid by the estate, a false
task being assigned to her in the estate books (Bryan The Jamaican People 75).








drinking, and indulging themselves, and are almost entirely under the

dominion of their mulatto favourites. In the lower orders, they are the

same, with the addition of conceit and tyranny; considering the negroes

as creatures formed merely to administer to their ease, and to be subject

to their caprice. (131)

Stewart tells a similar tale:

The young tyro in vice and profligacy yields at length to their baleful

influence, after a short and ineffectual resistance. He now can drink,

wench, and blaspheme, without a sigh or blush! He sports a sable

mistress. In short, his mind soon becomes a chaos of licentiousness,

indecency and profanation; while his constitution and person

proportionably suffer by the excesses to which they instigate him. (An

Account 197-8)

The plantation system thus placed the newly arrived bookkeeper in a no win situation.

It allotted him an Afro-Caribbean woman as concubine and then told him he was no

longer quite European because he had sex with and kept house with a non-white

woman. Yet all white men in the West Indies found themselves in a position similar to

that of bookkeepers. They found themselves in a situation in which there were very

few white women and many women of color, in which marriage required wealth and

commitment and concubinage required neither.37



In Stoler's model, metropolitan discourse produced poor, immoral whites through
the system of barrack concubinage and then vilified as sub-European. In English
discourse on the West Indies wealthy white men were often described in equally
negative terms as their employees. English opinion held that planters were sexually
immoral and economically irresponsible (Holt 87). Anti-slavery missionary literature
contains descriptions of planters in the same negative terms planters used to described
Afro-Caribbeans (Hall 212). The conflict between the middle class and the
aristocracy/plantocracy this conflict and contradiction within English discourse on the
West Indies.






The pattern is actually much larger. In order to succeed in West Indian society,
white employees had to assimilate a number of practices which defined them as

immoral and culturally inferior. They needed to speak creole languages to communicate

with their workers; they needed an Afro-Caribbean woman if they were to have clean

laundry and sex; they needed to be willing to administer physical punishment to

participate in Estate discipline; they needed to define themselves as white in terms of a

set of material achievements. Yet when they had assimilated these practices they were

defined as sexually immoral, ill-spoken, brutal men, social climbers who cared only

about luxury and material goods "a Tribe of Fungi" in Lanagan's words.

Stoler cites concubinage as an important example of how metropolitan

discourse produced immoral colonial identities as part of the process of defining

metropolitan bourgeois identity. In the East Indies, the concubines were arranged for

by employers. Inter-racial concubinage was the official policy of the Dutch colonial
government (Stoler Race and the Education of desire 180). Yet the employees, their

concubines, and their children were defined as inferior, a threat to the domestic order of

metropolitan Holland and thus, not quite white. In the West Indies, a similar practice

was followed but not officially acknowledged.

This metropolitan condemnation of sexual practices institutionalized and
sanctioned in West Indian society fostered the striking ambivalence that characterizes

men's depictions of brown women. For example, Moreton first warns his readers

against hiring a brown mistress on the grounds that "mongrel wenches from their youth

up are taught to be whores," and likely to be overpriced and diseased. Yet in the next
moment, Moreton advises white men to seek out brown women as sexual partners:

... as there are many better than others among the tawny race, if you

chance to meet an agreeable young woman, who upon enquiry (do not
credit her own words) you will find was not much prostituted, if you








please and humour her properly, she will make and mend all your

clothes, attend you when sick, and when she can afford it will assist you

with anything in her power, for many of them are good-natured. (131)

For Moreton brown women are absolutely to be avoided and absolutely to be sought;

they are diseased and they are excellent healers. They are acquisitive and they are very

generous.

A similar ambivalence characterizes Bryan Edwards' account of brown women.

Because he sought to secure a future for white hegemony in Jamaica, Edwards

vehemently opposed the unions of brown women and white men. "The accusation

generally brought against the free people of Colour," he writes, is the incontinency of

their women; of whom, such as are young, and have tolerable persons, are universally

maintained by White men of all ranks and conditions, as kept mistresses. The fact is

too notorious to be concealed or controverted"(bk. 4, ch. 1:21). Yet, he asserts that

"the unhappy females here spoken of, are much less deserving reproach and

reprehensions than their keepers" (bk 4. Ch. 1:22) because they had so many domestic

virtues,

In their dress and carriage they are modest, and in conversation

reserved; and they frequently manifest a fidelity and attachment towards

their keepers, which if it be not virtue, is something very like it. The

terms and manner of their compliance too are commonly as decent,

though perhaps not as solemn, as those of marriage; and the agreement

they consider equally innocent; giving themselves up to the husband (for

so he is called) with faith plighted, with sentiment, and with

affection.(Bk IV 23)

Rejected as wives by white men, these women, Edwards argues, had no choice but to







enter into the immoral institution of concubinage.3" He asserts that
Thus, excluded as they are from all hope of ever arriving to the honour

and happiness of wedlock, insensible of its beauty and sanctity; ignorant

of all Christian and moral obligations; threatened by poverty, urged by

their passions, and encouraged by example, upon what principle can we
expect these ill-fated women to act otherwise than they do?(Bk. IV 22)

Though he admits "that this system ought to be utterly abolished," he is left

asking, "but by whom is such a reform to be begun and accomplished?" (bk. IV 23).

For Edwards, there is no solution to the problem of concubinage. Otherwise put, there

is no solution to the creolization of womanhood represented in the brown women's

assimilation of British womanhood.
The guiding force in Long's description of brown and also black women is his

desire to end miscegeny in order to foster a white Jamaican nation. He described inter-

racial liaisons as goatishh embraces" and saw all women of color as "common

prostitutes" (vol.2 327). The most striking characteristic of Long's description is his
assertion that brown women are sterile because they are the product of two species."

He asserts that, "some few of them have intermarried here with those of their own

complexion; but such matches have generally been defective and barren. They seem in

this respect to be actually of the mule-kind, and so not capable of producing from one



3 "No White man of decent appearance," he Edwards writes "unless urged by the
temptation of a considerable fortune, will condescend to give his hand in marriage to a
mulatto! The very idea is shocking"(22).

3 Despite the fact that Long is often cited as representative of colonial discourse,
his strong white nationalism and his scientific articulation of polygenist theory of race
were almost anomalous in English discourse on the West Indies. His political position
correlated with his scientific theory of race. He asserted that Africans were not of the
same species as whites, but rather inhabited an liminal category between orangutans
and whites.








another as from commerce with a distinct White or Black"(vol.2 335).4 Any children

produced in brown-brown marriages must, Long reasons, result from the woman's

infidelity with a man of another race. In defining brown women as sterile, Long deploys

race science to support his political desire for white Jamaican nationhood.

Even Edward Long expresses a fundamental ambivalence toward brown

women. Long claims that brown women are "well-shaped" and "well-featured," but
"grow horribly ugly" by the age of twenty five. On one hand, "their behavior in public is

remarkably decent." On the other hand, they are "lascivious" and "affect a modesty

they do not feel." On one hand they are very caring and generous "excellent nurses,"

who "do many charitable actions, especially to poor white persons." On the other hand,

Long maintains that "the mulatta" is very cunning in deceiving the white man into

thinking she loves him; she appears to be jealous, but in fact has her own "favourites"

and steals the white man's money (331-34). She may be generous and charitable, but

she is also extravagant, spending "all the money they get in ornaments, and the most

expensive sorts of linen"(vol.2 335).

Colonial society pressured white men both to refuse and to accept women of

color as lovers. The men react against the conflicting pressures by expressing

alternately exaggerated praises or condemnations. The dynamic mimics that of a

seesaw. One extreme result is the inversion of the racial hierarchy of women which is


40 Robert Young includes Long in the category of "straightforward polygenist"
because he asserted the sterility of inter-racial people (18). Long actually only asserts
that inter-racial people are sterile if mated with each other; if they mate with whites or
blacks, they are fertile. This question of sterility is absolutely central to the polygenist
argument because the ability to mate and produce defined the boundaries of the
species. To prove that Africans were not human, polygenists had to assert that they
were sterile. Since they showed evidence of being fertile, racial theorists, like W.F
Edwards, George Gliddon, and Josiah Nott, refined the theories of straightforward
polygenists like Long, by asserting that inter-racial populations became gradually
weaker and sterile over a period of generations (Young 18). This was an assertion not
so easily proved incorrect as Long's.







the foundation of English domestic ideology.
In his 1823 Tour through the Island of Jamaica Cynric Williams inverts the

English racialized hierarchy of womanhood, by defining brown women as the ideal to

which white women must aspire. He describes his brown woman companion as

exceeding European standards of beauty. She is, for instance, whiter than white creole

women: "Diana...was a Quadroon, with a complexion very little darker than the

European; nay, much fairer than any of the faces of men long resident in the tropics.

Her skin was clear and glowing with a tint, though a very faint one, of the rose in her

cheeks."4 Though her hair reminds him of her African heritage, he sees that African

heritage as a model for European beauty, "her hair was dark brown, by no means black,

though there was something in the contour of it that reminded me of her African origin;
still it was not woolly, but rather a mass of small natural curls, such as I have often seen

imitated by the ladies in England." He compares his "Diana" to two beauties of

classical heritage, Medici's Venus and Cleopatra. Williams writes "though, perhaps,
taller than the Venus de Medicis, her figure was more slender and not less graceful.

There was a sweetness and benignity in her countenance, that...made me think of the

impression which Caesar might have felt at the first sight of the beautiful

Cleopatra"(54). Williams describes her in terms of not English but of classical models

of beauty. Classical beauties held respect in England because of the esteem for Greek

and Roman cultures, but they made poor models of domestic virtue. Venus was

promiscuous, Cleopatra a bride outside of wedlock and from North Africa, and Diana

cavorted in the wild, unyoked by marriage or the duties of motherhood. Nonetheless if

we compare Diana with the white women Williams describes, she is clearly the lady.

Monk Lewis similarly places brown women above European women when he remarks


"' Even the rose tint in her cheeks marks her as more European than white creoles
who are remarked in Stewart, Long, and Edwards, as having a pallor in their cheeks --
never having pink cheeks.








that Mary Wiggins reminded him of "Grasini in 'La Vergine del Sole,' only that Mary

Wiggins was a thousand times more beautiful"(69).
For Williams, brown women have so much become the measure of womanhood

that he condemns white women when they fail to meet standards set by brown women.

Williams stays at an inn near Bath in the Parish of St. Thomas, owned by a white

woman named Mrs. White and her unmarried daughter. Everything is wrong. The

building is dilapidated; the roof leaks. The daughter can't sing. Parodying the daughter

who sings to show off her talent, she sings to hide the squawks of the chicken her

mother is trying to kill. The food is meager and inedible. The mosquitoes and the bed

are unbearable. In contrast, brown women were renowned for their skill as inn

keepers, a business in which they held a virtual monopoly in the 19th century West

Indies (Kerr passim). M.G. Lewis claimed "inns would be bowers of paradise, if they

were all rented by mulatto ladies, like Judy James"(63). Mrs. White and her daughter's

failure is defined by their failure to live up to the standard brown women had set as

innkeepers, cooks, and comforters. Williams's anecdotes indicates that brown women

can be desirable even when they are not upper class, but white women can only be

desirable if they are upper class. Mrs. White's failure as an innkeeper marks the

barriers within creolization. Brown women can take the place of whites, but white

women can't take the place of brown women and retain respect.


Black Women

A similar ambivalence characterizes white men's descriptions of black women.

However, because the vast majority of slaves were black, black women's sexuality was

perceived as central to the production of labor and the economic status of the West

Indies. In most slave societies in the British West Indies, the enslaved population did

not reproduce itself and planters relied on the slave trade to maintain their work force.








This caused a particular anxiety once England abolished the slave trade in 1807 when

planters became exclusively dependent on enslaved women's bodies for their workers.

In respect to the economic health of the plantation system and those who profited from

it in England, enslaved women constituted the crucial group of Caribbeans.
Anti-slavery writers deployed domestic ideology to argue that slavery must be

abolished because it deprived enslaved women of their proper domestic role as wife and

mother. A planter converted to anti-slavery, George Riland, is typical of anti-slavery

writers in his focus on marriage and his criticism of British West Indian failure to

legally recognize slave marriages:
But fresh evidence of the abject condition of our colonial bondsmen is at
hand. What is their state with regard to marriage? Even the

demonology of Africa, and the foul polytheism of Asia, recognize that

connubial bond, which, in Christian colonies, is disowned and violated.

At this hour the marriage of slaves is protected by no legal sanction!
(117)42

Riland bases his argument against slavery in his Memoirs of a West India

Planter (1837) on the power of blacks' domestic sentiment as spouses and as parents. In

his effort to convert his readers to anti-slavery, he describes how a black enslaved
woman's maternal love converted his father, a West Indian planter, to an anti-slavery

position. Riland's father buys an enslaved woman but leaves her young son on the
auction block. The mother cries in anguish. When the planter returns home, he


2 Slaves could marry in the dissenting churches but these marriages were not
recognized by law. Anti-slavery missionaries viewed marriage as a central goal and
saw their campaign to bring marriage to slaves as part of their campaign against
slavery. Mary Ann Hutchins, an English Baptist missionary during the period of
apprenticeship, asserts, "now here remark, that if religion has done nothing else, it has
taught the people to live morally, and shun the abominable state of open concubinage,
which was before the universal custom..." Hutchins' parishioners so equated marriage
with christianity that they called themselves "the married family" (3/29/1836).








discovers that his daughter is very ill and hears his white wife utter the same cry of a

mother's love he heard the enslaved mother cry on the auction block. The black

woman's maternal love made her in the eyes of Riland's father a woman like his wife

and thus a human being. Riland senior quickly saves his own child and returns to buy

the enslaved woman's son. The unification of mother and child transforms the mother

from an anguished and useless worker into a contented and diligent servant. The story

illustrates both that Afro-Caribbeans are human by right of their domestic feelings and

that the slave system will profit if it allows slaves to exercise those domestic feelings.43

The English anti-slavery movement deployed the image of the enslaved mother

separated from her child on the auction block to move white English women to identify

with slaves and to join the fight against slavery (Sussman 239). Mary Prince's

description of her mother's pain and anguish at her children's sale serves as an example

of this image as does Pringle's decision to supplement her account with a description of

a slave auction in the Cape of Good Hope (51-52). Riland's scene participates in that

discursive strategy."

Despite their apparent embrace of black women as "sisters," anti-slavery

writers believed that European culture was inherently superior to slaves' cultures.

Other races might be brought closer to equality with English people if they could be


The book is structured around a reunification of a father and son separated by
slavers in Africa. The father's and son's joy at finally uniting further illustrates that
blacks have domestic sentiment and therefore are like whites and ought not to be
enslaved.

As Ferguson, Sussman, and also Catherine Hall argue this "sisterhood" between
free English and enslaved black women was hierarchical (Sussman 238; Ferguson 5/91;
Hall 214). Texts like Smith's The Story of Henrietta illustrate how English women
racialized domesticity ideology in order to maintain their cultural and moral superiority
to their enslaved, black sisters. English anti-slavery activists and writers deployed their
domestic sisterhood with enslaved women to legitimate their participation in the public
sphere of imperial politics, to allow them to enter the ranks of imperial British citizens
along side English men (Sussman 239/280-2; Ferguson 5-6).








brought to assimilate English culture particularly domestic culture, marriage,

monogamy, and maternal love. Emancipation combined with Christian education and
morality, they argued, would transform the primitive African and sexually corrupted

enslaved population into a diligent, rural proletariat living in married households (Hall

211; Bush 18-19; Holt 53). In fighting for emancipation, the anti-slavery movement

sought to establish married households based on a gendered division of labor and a

desire to accumulate wealth to support its women and children ( Holt 77-78). 4

The anti-slavery writers thus placed slaves in a category of potentially domestic

and industrious people by portraying them as the victims of slavery. They accepted

Afro-Caribbeans only in so far they would assimilate domestic ideology." When
emancipation did not noticeably increase the marriage rate, English middle class

opinion swung against Afro-Caribbeans and towards the scientific racism and anti-black
rhetoric of writers like Thomas Carlyle and James Anthony Froude. The contradiction

with regard to Afro-Caribbean women in anti-slavery writing was immanent in the

discourse, becoming explicit after emancipation.

For pro-slavery writers, however, black women and the question of racial and
cultural creolization posed an immediate challenge. To counter anti-slavery's



45 Holt cites the speech of a Jamaican special magistrate delivered to apprentices
which links the goals of middle class marriage and the desire to accumulate
commodities. "In order to obtain these, the comforts and necessaries of civilized life,"
he advised "you will have to labour industriously for the more work you do, the more
money you must obtain, and the better you will be enabled to increase and extend your
comforts"(Holt 77). Wives would stay home to look after men's "household affairs,"
so that men could work harder and more cheerfully, assured "of finding every thing
comfortable when [they] get home"(Holt 78). The men will need to work hard for their
housewives, who now will "require their fine clothes for their chapels, churches, and
holiday"(Holt 77).

46 Sussman writes, that in "assimilating the African woman entirely into the
categories of English domesticity," the anti-slavery movement, "made her accessible to
abolitionist sentiments, but it erased her cultural specificity"(284).








accusation that slavery destroyed Afro-Caribbeans' domestic morality and therefore

prevented slaves from physically reproducing themselves, pro-slavery writers

maintained that black women's lack of domestic virtue their promiscuity, prostitution,

abortion, and venereal disease caused the low birthrate. They describe black women

as physically grotesque and diseased, and, at the same time, they depict black women as

sexually desirable.

Bryan Edward's account of black women illustrates this ambivalence. Edwards

discusses black women in two chapters, one on enslaved "negroes," the other on "the

Mulattoes and native Black of free Condition." In the first, Edwards describes black

women in uniformly negative terms, in order to support his larger argument in favor of

the slave trade. Edwards initially attributes the low birthrate to the disproportionately

high number of male slaves, which was exacerbated by the black practice of

polygamy.47 Polygamy, in turn, sets in motion a series of practices which worsen the

birth rate, including, a "shocking licentiousness and profligacy of manners in most of

their women; who are exposed to temptations which they cannot resist." In turn this

promiscuity causes abortions and venereal disease two immoral practices which

directly lower the birth rate. Edwards suggests that slaves "hold chastity in so little

estimation, that barrenness and frequent abortions, the usual effects of promiscuous
intercourse, are very generally prevalent among them." In addition, promiscuity makes

enslaved women bad mothers another domestic taboo: "To the same origin may be

ascribed that neglect, and want of maternal affection towards the children produced by



'4 Edwards uses polygamy as evidence that blacks are inherently immoral and that
the anti-slavery campaign to fashion them into Christians and married couples is
absolutely impractical. He asserts that "the practice of polygamy, which universally
prevails in Africa, is also very generally adopted among the Negroes in the West Indies;
and he who conceives that a remedy may be found for this, by introducing among them
the laws of marriage as established in Europe, is utterly ignorant of their manners,
propensities, and superstition"(Bk 4: 147).








former connections, observable in many of the Black females"(148).48
Thus, as diseased and promiscuous, black women are not only the antithesis of

the English domestic woman, they are physically undesirable. Yet, Edwards inserts

Isaac Teale's "The Ode to the Sable Venus," which celebrates the charms of African

women into his discussion of freed blacks on the grounds that they "differ but little

from their brothers in bonds"(26) whom he has already described in negative terms.

The poem, however, clearly does not reiterate the image of black women as diseased

prostitutes. Rather it represents "the character of the sable and saffron beauties of the

West Indies, and the folly of their paramours, are portrayed with the delicacy and

dexterity of wit, and the fancy and elegance of genuine poetry"(26).49 This poem seems

both to elaborate the stereotype of the Afro-Caribbean woman as seductress expressed

so clearly by Mrs. Carmichael and to deconstruct that stereotype, attributing desire to

the white male not the black woman and exploring the social and political threat posed

by inter-racial sexuality.

"Ode to the Sable Venus" and the lithograph that accompanies it depict one

African woman's experience of middle passage in ways that invert history (Illustration



'S Even in this section of his representation of black women, Edwards makes two
contradictory claims. First he asserts that blacks' inherent nature makes it impossible
for them to assimilate English standards of domesticity (147). His claim that blacks can
never be domestic conflicts with his larger argument for the slave trade, which asserts
that the trade is necessary in order to bring more women to the West Indies and thus
create an equal number of men and women. This parity of the sex would work against
polygamy. "Men of reflection," concludes Edwards, apprizedd of the fact that such
disproportion between the sexes exists among the Negroes, will draw the proper
conclusions from it, and agree that an abolition of the slave trade will not afford a
remedy"(149).

49 Robert Young brings together Edwards' comments on "women of colour" (brown
women) and the "Ode" as if the "Ode" were talking about brown mistresses. Though
Edwards himself includes "saffron" women in his description of the poem's subject,
logically the poem is about African women, not inter-racial women. I also take the
poem's author from Young (152).








#1, Appendix). Whereas African women were transported to Jamaica in slave ships,

the Sable Venus is carried to Jamaica in a sea shell chariot by Poseidon, who holds the

flag of the British empire. African women arrived as slaves, not goddesses and queens.

They belonged to African cultures, not classical myth and Italian painting. The narrator

of the "Ode" is a white man who desires that a black woman dominate him. Though he

addresses his Sable Venus with "I seek, and court thy gentle reign," in Jamaica in 1765,

white men owned black women as slaves, and governed them brutally or gently, as they

saw fit.

The poem also inverts the traditional English representation of black women.

No longer is she either an animal or diseased prostitute, but the goddess of love, who

has the devotion of all European men in Jamaica, "the prating FRANK, the

SPANIARD proud// the double SCOT, HIBERNIAN loud// And sullen ENGLISH

own"(capitalized as in the original).50 Edward's Sable Venus is not just a Roman

goddess. In describing her as the monarch of the East and West Indies, and much of

the rest of the world, the narrator presents the Sable Venus as the queen of the British

Empire. The "Ode" repeatedly emphasizes her position as a ruler. Not only does the

narrator "court her reign" but all the above mentioned men have transferred allegiance

to her "throne." She is sovereign not just over Africa or Jamaica, but over the world:

her "sceptor sways" "from East to West, o'er either Ind'." Like the British Empire, hers

is one on which the sun never sets, "the blazing sun that gilds the zone, Waits but the

triumph of thy throne,// quite round the burning belt." The lithograph reinforces her

British sovereignty by showing Poseidon bearing the British flag as he pilots the shell

chariot towards Jamaica.

Thus, the poem inverts not only West Indian reality but the world political and racial



5s I agree with Carolyn Cooper that white men's exuberant praises of black women's
beauty are oppressive, objectifying, violating, and sometimes threatening (23).








order. Representing an African woman as an imperial leader of the British empire

brings the colonial order of 1765 into confusion. If a queen is ruler of an Empire, then

her country must be the sovereign nation of that empire. In the context of the "Ode"

this means that the Sable Venus represents not the British Empire, but an African

Empire, which has the same powers as the British. As leader of a large and powerful

African empire, the Sable Venus poses a formidable threat to the British Empire and

the racial hierarchy which upheld it.

I suggest that in figuring the Sable Venus as the Empress of an African version

of the British Empire, the "Ode" expresses anxiety over the ramifications of white men's

sexual relations with black women, and women of colour more generally. Edwards

introduces the poem by explaining that it depicts white men's "folly." The poem may

reiterate the scornful image of the white man who loses his senses and his racial status

by succumbing to the charms of an Afro-Caribbean woman, but its attention to empire

suggests that even in jest, inter-racial sexuality has far reaching political significance.
The Ode's praise of black women also condemns the logic of Edwards' History.

Teale follows the line of pro-slavery rhetoric and does not represent black women as

chaste wives. The narrator professes his allegiance not to a single black woman, but to

them all: "Try ev'ry form thou canst put on// So staunch am I, so true"(33). Yet he
differs from pro-slavery rhetoric in that he locates the sexual desire in the white men,

who gather from all over the island to meet Sable Venus on her arrival to Jamaica. He

does not place the responsibility for sexual desire, promiscuity, or domestic disorder on

black women. In placing the desire for inter-racial and non-marital sex in white men,

the "Sable Venus" undercuts the backbone of the pro-slavery argument that black

women (and men) are the source of domestic and sexual disorder. Since Teale portrays

white men as the source of sexual and moral disorder, black women can not be held

responsible for the low birthrate which Edwards argues in his earlier chapter is caused








by black promiscuity.

The poem also asserts an equivalence between black and white women they

are both Venuses. The narrator of the poem refers to the sister of the Sable Venus as

Botticelli's Venus and asserts that the two sisters are identical but for color "both

just alike, except the white, No difference, no none at night." But the illustration of

the poem refuses this equivalence. By depicting the Sable Venus as immodest and

almost masculine in her strength, it asserts a difference and inferiority in respect to the

Medici Venus. Where the Italian model has a curved and oval shaped stomach and

abdomen, the Sable Venus has a more square, flat, abdomen with strongly defined

muscles. Similarly her thighs appear muscular and strong. In these muscular and

square depictions of the Sable Venus' body, the lithograph differs explicitly from the

poem's description of the Sable venus, which repeatedly notes her softness and

emphasizes her femininity: "the pleasing softness of [her] sway" "soft was her lip as

silken down," "Her reign is soothing, soft, and sweet." The lithograph also departs

from Botticelli's model in depicting the Sable Venus's in an immodest pose. Botticelli's

Venus attempts to cover her breasts. The Sable Venus makes no such attempts. The

poem claims that she rules the world, but the lithograph engraves chains around her

neck, wrists and ankles. These may be tribal bindings, but in the context of the middle

passage, the bindings resemble chains. In short, the lithograph undercuts Teale's

representation of the Sable Venus identical to a European woman; it refuses to portray

the black woman as the white woman's equal. Instead it gives the reader an image of a

more brazen woman, a woman in bonds, which concurs with the dominant English

tradition of representing black women as visibly less feminine and moral than white

women.

Edward Long attempts to contain the threat black women posed to white

hegemony by denying their humanity. He placed Africans in the same genus as








humans but in a lower species, between man and the orangutan. He is famous for

claiming that male orangutans have sex with African women: "Ludicrous as the opinion

may seem," he wrote,"I do not think that an oran-outang husband would be any

dishonour to an Hottentot female, for what are these Hottentots?... In many respects

they are more like beasts than men..."(Vol. II364). As further evidence of the likeness

of orangutans and Africans, Long asserts that "both races agree perfectly well in

lasciviousness of disposition"(370). Long's strategy is to discount black women as a

threat to the racial hierarchy in the West Indies by claiming that black women are not

human; as another species they can not destabilize a human racial order. Long's

weakness is not the contradiction within his argument but the fact that he has no

plausible support for his assertions." Thus the need to exploit black women's labor, to

control their sexuality, and to repress the threat their power poses to the social and

racial hierarchy leads pro-slavery writers either into a logical impasse as Edwards or

obviously untrue statements as Long. Black women remain in these texts both sites of

contamination and of desire, however much that desire may be mocked as it is in the

"Ode to the Sable Venus."


The Question of Sovereignty
Underlying the concern over sexuality and domesticity in English discourse is

the concern over political power. In the case of the East Indies, Stoler finds that

"racialized others of mixed-blood and creole origin and the suspect sexual moralities,

ostentatious life-styles, and cultural hybrid affiliations attributed to them were

productive of a discourse on who was appropriate to rule"(l 19). In the case of the

West Indies, English discourse sought to assert the superiority of the English


5 Moreton is probably making a jibe at Long's Orangutan theory when he
comments that he sees nothing in the claim that Afro-Caribbeans are closer to monkeys
than humans.








bourgeoisie in respect to West Indian economic and political power by producing a

stereotype of the white creole male as morally and intellectually incompetent.' Wylie

Sypher supports this interpretation by arguing that negative caricatures of West Indians

in English literature derive from the enormous increase in West Indian planters' wealth

from the 1730s to the end of the 18th century, which the English middle class

experienced as a threat. He comments that "the West-Indian was upsetting the social

order in England, and John Bull resented the sugar-planter as strongly as he did the

nabob"(504). In the early 19th century, the West Indian lobby still had significant

power in parliament, much of which it lost in the 1832 Parliamentary reform (Holt 29).
Thus for late 18th- century and early 19th -century middle class writers, the West

Indian plantocracy was still a force to be reckoned with. Accordingly English writers

tended to emasculate white creoles by depicting them as unable to control their money

or themselves. White creole men's failure as imperial citizens is the counterpart of

white creole women's failure as imperial wives. One explicit example of the English

construction of the West Indian male as unworthy of political power of manhood

itself is Edgeworth's description of Mr. Vincent." Mr. Vincent is a portrayed as a



52 It focused on white West Indians because these were the only West Indian men
who held political power in England.

s3 Edgeworth's Belinda portrays another creole male, Mr. Hartly in similarly
unmanly terms: he elopes with a 16 year-old English woman and, under social pressure,
deserts her with a child. Later in the novel his obsessive search for his daughter shows
him to be insane. Charlotte Smith's The Story of Henrietta defines white West Indian
males as unworthy of political power by describing its two creole male protagonists as
either unreasonable tyrants or feminized and africanized men. The elder Maynard,
Henrietta's father is "despot on his own estate," who "imagined he might exercise
unbounded authority over every being that belonged to him"(11). His tyranny results
from the institution of slavery, which taught him as a young child that he was superior
to his enslaved servants; as a result he has no tolerance for equality or reason. His
tyranny over his younger brother whom he treated as a slave contributes to that
brother's excessive sentimentality and domesticity. The younger brother becomes
feminized, devoting himself exclusively to his children's upbringing and deserting the








chivalrous though not brilliant knight. But he is guided by his feelings "a good
heart"- rather than reason (423). He is the inverse of the rational man, who might lose

his power of reason in moments of passion. Mr. Vincent's "most virtuous resolves were

always rather the effect of sudden impulse, than of steady principle. But when the tide

of passion had swept away the landmarks, he had no method of ascertaining the

boundaries of right and wrong"(439). His inability to know right from wrong leads him

to gamble away his fortune, a flaw which saves Belinda from having to marry him and
which occasions the revelation that Mr. Vincent is not "master" of himself.

When Vincent gambles away his fortune, Hervey follows him to his lodgings to

prevent him from suicide by explaining that his fortune can be retrieved. Vincent,

however, demands that Hervey leave. Hervey takes charge of the situation, asking
Vincent to be a man: "command yourself for a moment, and hear me; use your reason,

and you will soon be convinced that I am your friend." Vincent refuses on the grounds,
"I am not master of myself"(432); that is because he is not "masculine" like Hervey.

Since Vincent can not be master of himself it is clear that he has no right to be master

of Belinda, which is why Lady Delacourt thanks all those who helped expose Vincent's

gambling and thus save Belinda from having Vincent as her "lord and master"(451).

The political lesson is that mastering slaves leaves the creole man unable to master
himself and that if the creole is fit neither to master himself nor his woman, he is also

unfit to govern his country.

In Jane Eyre, Bronte portrays the creole Richard Mason as yet more unable to





public world of finance and society. He ends his life as a hermit, communing with the
spirit of his dead son in Jamaica's Maroon territory, clothed in the fabric of slave's
clothing and speaking the language of Maroons. The hero, Denbigh, concludes that it
would be impossible to reintegrate him into society. He is too feminine and too African..








master himself than Vincent.5 Mason's lack of power and command "repels" Jane;

she complains, "there was no power in that smooth-skinned face... no firmness in that

acquiline nose... there was no thought on the low, even forehead; no command in that

blank, brown eye (167). Through his lack of"power," "firmness," and "command,"

Bronte constructs Mason as the negative opposite, the "antipodes" of the ideal of

British, domestic masculinity represented by Rochester.5s In contrast, Rochester is, as

Jane perennially calls him, "master." Jane desires Rochester because his features "quite

mastered [her], that took [her] feelings from [her] own power and fettered them in

his" (my italics 153). Rochester's masculinity, his decisiveness, and power make Jane

desire him as a husband, but it also makes him capable of governing. In these novels

the only men qualified to be masters, husbands, and rulers are English men, who have

learned the importance of domestic values without losing their power to command.


Conclusion

By defining creole cultural practices as immoral and inferior to English ones, English

discourse deployed the rhetoric of domestic ideology to lessen the threat creolization

posed to the racial hierarchy which secured English imperial rule. Domestic ideology

negotiated the contradiction between colonial ideology, which denied racial mixing and

the colonial practice, which required it. But, in its desire to limit the threats posed by

creolization, English discourse obsessively documented the creolization of Caribbean

women. Domestic rhetoric depicted Afro-Creole women in such ambivalent terms that

it revealed the contradictions within English discourse, often disclosing a society in


4 Sue Thomas makes a similar argument about Bronte's portrayal of Richard
Mason as effeminate ("The Tropical Extravaganza" 5).

ss Jane can only explain Rochester's friendship with Mason with "the old adage that
extremes meet.'" Rochester reinforces his superiority to Mason by explaining that he is
kind to Mason because of the "dog-like attachment he once bore me"(269).







which white women were the antithesis of English ideals of womanhood. Afro-

Caribbean women, especially brown women were the most desirable and the most
cultured, not white women. In assimilating English culture and attaining the legal

status of whites, brown women exposed the instability of whiteness, unlinking the

correlation between race and class the Great House myth sought to maintain.

Though domestic ideology did not eliminate the inter-racial interaction of creole
societies, it did limit the threat posed by inter-racial sex. It fashioned Christian

marriage and legitimate birth as further barriers between privileged and unprivileged

people, as the foundation for the West Indian hierarchies of class and color that

replaced the English hierarchy of class and race. By representing West Indian men and

women as unworthy partners in marriage and politics, English discourse not only
legitimate English rule in the West Indies, it sought to secure English middle class

political power in England during a period in which the wealth and political power of

the West Indian plantocracy threatened middle class social standing and middle class

political campaigns for the abolition of the slavery and for free trade.







Chapter 3: English Literary Masters and the Black Amazons of their
Imagination: the Destabilizing Presence of Afro-Caribbean Women in late 19th-
century English Travel Narratives

"The question in every colony is, what sort of men is it rearing? If that can not be
answered satisfactorily, the rest is not worth caring about." (James Anthony Froude
The English in the West Indies 221)

With the post-emancipation importation of indentured labor from Asia, the

demographic composition of the West Indies changed, but the logic of English

discourse remained the same in its depiction of the region and its inhabitants. English

writers continued to argue that West Indians did not merit political rights because they

lacked industry and morality. English writers continued to employ domestic ideology

to justify not only colonial rule but the power of a tiny local white elite over the vast

majority of Afro-Caribbean and Asian Caribbean peasants and laborers.

Charles Kingsley's description of the Trinidadian capital Port of Spain

illustrates the tactics late 19th-century English writing employed in constructing the

West Indies as a place of domestic and sexual pathology. Kingsley had apparently

desired to travel to the Caribbean for many years (Colloms 314), but on arriving in

Port of Spain, he was overcome by the stench of open sewers and city life a stench

he attributed to the breaking of "laws of cleanliness and decency" and associated with

the first figures he sees -

Negresses in gaudy print dresses, with stiff turbans ... all aiding to the

general work of doing nothing: save where here and there a hugely fat

Negress,...sells, or tries to sell, abominable sweetmeats, strange fruits,

and junks of sugar-cane, to be gnawed by the dawdlers in mid-street,

while they carry on their heads everything and anything, from half a

barrow-load of yams to a saucer or a beer-bottle. (Kingsley 88)

Kingsley describes black women in contradictory terms. They are lazy and obese but







possess "superabundant animal vigour and ... perfect independence." The positive

valence of the vigour is counteracted by its animal nature and its application in the

service of prostitution. And it turns out that "perfect independence" is for Kingsley an

oxymoron. Independent women can not be perfect because women ought to be wives

dependent on their husbands. Kingsley is impressed with black women's "physical

strength and courage," but this strength terrifies him, leading him to think of "stories

of those terrible Amazonian guards of the King of Dahomey, whose boast is, that they

are no longer women, but men." It leads him to conclude that "there is no doubt that,

in case of a rebellion, the black women of the West Indies would be as formidable,

cutlass in hand, as the men (33).

This amalgamation of conflicting characteristics becomes intelligible when we

realize that Kingsley has defined black women as the inversion of middle class English

femininity. Together black women's indolence, independence, prostitution,

childlessness, and filth form a complete inversion of the chaste and economically

dependent English wife and mother, who labors with pious industry to keep her

family clean, orderly, and nurtured.

For Kingsley, black Trinidadian women are so prominent that it is only "when

you have ceased looking even staring at the black women and their ways, [that] you

become aware of the strange variety of races which people the city" (89 my italics).

After its black female sexuality, Trinidad is defined both by the strangeness of its races

and of its racial variety. After blacks, Kingsley, sees a "coolie Hindoo" "a clever,

smiling, delicate little woman, who is quite aware of the brightness of her own

eyes"(89). But Indian marriage practices, Kingsley tells us, are tantamount to slavery

and Indian men's jealous passion results in the murder of women.

This over-early marriage among the Coolies is a very serious evil, but

one which they have brought with them from their own land. The girls







are practically sold by their fathers while yet children, often to wealthy

men much older than they. Love is out of the question. But what if the

poor child, as she grows up, sees some one, among that overplus of

men, to whom she for the first time in her life takes a fancy? Then

comes a scandal: and one which is often ended swiftly enough by the

cutlass. Wife-murder is but too common among these Hindoos; and

they cannot be made to see that it is wrong. (223)56

Thus, Indians, like Afro-Caribbeans, transgress the English mores of marriage.

English culture defined its superiority partly on the basis of its proper treatment of

women Indian patriarchy proved itself inferior by its inhumane practice of arranged

marriage. Indian men's inability to control their passion signified their lack of English

manliness. Kingsley imagines black women wielding cutlasses in rebellion and Indian

men wielding cutlasses in jealous rage. Both images act as testimony to the gender

chaos of the region and to the danger of that chaos. Finally, Kingsley describes

Chinese Trinidadians, who so transgress the complementary system of gender roles

that only the initiated can distinguish the men from the women: "whether old or young,

men or women," he complains, "you cannot tell, till the initiated point out that the

women have chignons and no hats, the men hats with their pig-tails coiled up under

them. Beyond this distinction, I know none visible"(90). With exception of the white

and light elite, Kingsley's West Indies is a racially, and ethnically divided society, in



56 Froude articulates a fuller version of the stereotype of Indo-Caribbeans: "they
save money, and many of them do not return home when their time is out, but stay
where they are, buy land, or go into trade. They are proud, however, and will not
intermarry with Africans. Few bring their families with them; and women being
scanty among them, there arise inconveniences and sometimes serious crimes"(73-4).
Froude stresses their passion: "The coolies have the fiercer passions of their Eastern
blood."(76). The stereotype of Indians as thrifty and separate from Afro-Trinidadians
is important because it lived into the 20th century and fostered division between Indo-
Trinidadians and Afro-Trinidadians.







which each group proves its political incompetence through its lack of masculinity,

femininity, and Christian marriage.

Though the focus on domesticity remains constant between the pre- and post-

emancipation periods, the stakes and assumptions of English discourse on the West

Indies changed in significant ways. With planters' loss of power after emancipation,

English discourse shifted its focus from white to black men, who, with freedom, had

received the right to vote (albeit with a sizable property qualification) and had become

by far the largest block of potential voters in the region. Instead of illustrating how

white creole men lacked masculinity, Kingsley and his contemporaries argued that

black men did not deserve the vote because they lacked English masculinity. Browns

had been granted the franchise in most islands in the early 1830s, and once joined by

blacks, their political power grew stronger. Holt writes that, "during the first two

decades of the post abolition era, every [Jamaican] governor predicted that brown and

black power was imminent"(217). Blacks and browns were a strong force in the

Jamaica Assembly in the years between emancipation and the Morant Bay Rebellion in

1865 when direct rule was imposed on Jamaica (Holt 218-221). In Dominica, "the

group of coloured families, the Mulatto Ascendancy, kept control of the legislature for

two generations until they were finally defeated by the introduction of Crown colony

rule" at the turn of the century (Honychurch 128 )." Fear of the implications of black

and brown political power coincided with the planning of a new political order in the

British empire. By the 1850s, England wanted to make a distinction between white

(and thus adult and male) colonies like Australia, and those non-white colonies it





We should note that Dominica is the only country in the West Indies in
which Afro-Caribbeans had such control over local political institutions during the
19th century (Honychurch 128).







treated as female and dependent, like the West Indies and India (Holt 235).58 The

question was no longer whether to free Afro-Caribbeans from slavery, but whether to

give the West Indies and thus black men political autonomy. This concern with black

men accounts in large part for the discursive focus on black women.

With the aftermath of emancipation, English public opinion shifted from an

optimistic cultural racism to a determinist scientific racism. Unlike John Stuart Mill

and abolitionists who had seen racial difference as a matter of culture, a difference that

could be eradicated through education, racial theories of the late 19th century

explained racial difference and hybridity in terms of biological degeneracy (Stepan

97). In the post-emancipation period, English discourse translated the pre-

emancipation narrative of the English man's moral corruption in the tropics into

scientific terms. The West Indies brought white men to the same excesses of alcohol

and sex but now these resulted in a physical degeneration that was both inescapable

and transmitted to future generations (Stepan 103). Theories of degeneracy held that

freedom was an unnatural and detrimental state for blacks, causing them to physically

and morally degenerate by contracting venereal disease and consumption and perhaps

eventually dying out all together (Stepan 97-101). English discourse on the

anglophone Caribbean employed gender as the index of this basic inequality and

inherent difference between races. Hall explains that

emancipation, for the missionaries meant black entry into manhood, for

masculinity in their world meant freedom from dependence on the will

of another. To be subject meant a loss of male identity, whereas for

women one form of subjectivity, that of the female slave dependent on



5 The gendering of this division is articulated in British policy maker, James
Stephens' speech, when he states, "We emancipate our grown-up sons, but keep our
unmarried daughters, and our children who may chance to be ricketty [sic], in
domestic bonds"(cited in Holt 235)







her master, was ideally exchanged for another, that of the freed woman

on her husband. (237)

Emancipation, however, did not bring a large increase in the marriage rate. When

freed people did not marry and women did not become economically dependent on

men, emancipation appeared to give the same privilege of independence to West

Indian women as it did to West Indian men. Emancipation granted West Indian

women many of the symbolic trappings of manhood. West Indian women's manhood

became the crux of English arguments against political autonomy for the region. In

the logic of English discourse, women's masculinity, independence, and equality with

men could only deprive West Indian men of their masculinity because English ideas of

manhood were based on the principle that men were independent individuals, who

exercised control over others: "The male head of household who voted, therefore

spoke for and represented his dependants, whether wife, children or servants.

Individuality thus implies mastery over things and people" (Hall 257). If Afro-

Caribbean men could not exercise authority over their women, then, by English

definitions, they were not men at all. This logic helped to justify English writers'

vision of black men as inadequately masculine. Thus, black women's masculinity

became the center piece of late-nineteenth century arguments for direct colonial rule

of the West Indies.

Carlyle's "Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question" (1849 later retitled

"The Nigger Question") is one of the first and most powerful texts to articulate this

new position on the West Indies (Hall 270). It reflected and influenced English

discourse though it was not a description of the anglophone Caribbean. Rather,

Gikandi argues, it was a means of working through the many pressures that faced

England "the crisis of industrialism, problems of poverty... the looming threat of

Chartism," the European revolutions of 1848 (60). Carlyle displaced England's




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CREOI.lZING WOMANHOOD: GENDER AND DOMESTICITY IN EARLY ANGLOPHONE CARIBBEAN NATIONAL LITERATURES A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Cornell University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the DeglCC of Doctor of Philo s ophy by Leah Reade Rosenberg January 2000

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C 2000 Leah Rosenberg

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BIOGRAPIDCAL SKEICH Leah Rosenberg received a B.A. in classics from Johns Hopkins University in 1986. She studied Gennan romanticism on a Fulbright Fellowship in Munich in 1987 and stayed there to complete a project in creative writing with a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship in 1987. She received an M.F.A. in fiction from Brooklyn College in 1991 and studied at the University of the West Indies. Mona Campus in 1997_ She begins teaching in the Department of English at Grinnell College in the fall of 1999. ... III

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for my parents. Carrou Smith-Rosenberg and Chacles Ernest Rosenberg and The University of the West Indies and The National Library of Jamaica IV

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS "Creolizing Womanhood" is the product of universities and libraries in the United. States and the Caribbean. It is based on archival material available only in the Caribbean. where I was able to conduct research with the generous suppon of Cornell UniversiEy. the Andrew Melton Foundation. and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation I am very conscious of the limited funding available for graduate students at the University of the West Indies. The economic dynamics of research and publication callan scholars in the U.S. like myself to find means of counteracting the imbalances between Caribbean and U.S. academic institutions, of developing ongoing relationships with faculty and libraries in the Caribbean, and of working in these relationships to strengthen the Caribbean institutions that make our work possible. In particular, I would like to thank Victor Chang, who invited me as a visiting student to the Department of Literatures in English at University of the West Indies (U.W.L) in Jamaica, and whose g!!nerosity as a host greatly contributed to my work and well-being. Other U.W.L faculty gave me invaluable help in Trinidad. Kenneth Ramchand and Bridget Brereton and in Jamaica. Velma Pollard, Maureen Warner Lewis. Patrick Bryan. and Glen Richards. I would like to thank Nadi Edwards in particular for taking time from his hectic schedule to read my work. as well as James Robertson for his never ending help in negotiating the National Library and Archives. I must also thank the staffs of the West Indies Collection at the UWI library in Mona and in St. Augustine. and at the National Library of Jamaica.., where I became a virtual resident I am indebted to the National Archives of Jamaica and of Trinidad and Tobago, the National Heritage Library of Trinidad and Tobago, the Jean Rhys Collection at the Special Collections Department at the University of Tulsa, the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections and interlibrary loan services of Cornell University Libraries. [would like to acknowledge Lennox Honychurch for his v

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generosity and trust in pennitting me to use Phyllis Shand Allfrey's papers. As executor of Alfred Mendes literary estate, Michele Levy has given me copi.es of Mendes's unpublished work. xeroxes of her own research, and answered my endless questions about Trinidadian. My committee, Nathalie Melas, Molly Hite, and Anne Adams allowed me the freedom and provided the support for me to find a subject and method of analysis of my own. Viranjini Munasinghe helped me to articulate my arguments in the chapters on Trinidad. Elaine Savory and the readers for The Jean Rhys Review gave me invaluable feedback for my chapter on Rhys. Karen McRitchie spent many hours in solving my crises of fonnatting. I could not have completed this dissertation without the help of my friends, who commented on drafts, suggested sources, improved my ideas, and sometimes fed and housed me. In particular. I would like to thank. Jen Hill for her patient and fast editoriaJ assistance. Mary Hanna's hospitality enabled me to complete my research in Jamaica. Over the past two years, she has contributed important ideas to both my chapter on de Lisser and my chapter on Rhys and has helped me in my work in immeasurable ways. I am aJso deeply indebted to Carla Boyer, Jani Scandura., Hugh Stevens, Estelle Tarica, and Keith Williams for their academic and moral support. I am greatly indebted to Lawrence George Hutson, whose love and generosity. taught and nurtured me for the first two years that I worked on this dissertation. My greatest debt is. of course, to my family, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, Charles Ernest Rosenberg. Jessica Marion Rosenberg, Alvia Golden, Drew Faust. and Claudia Koonz, who have helped me, often at significant sacrifice to their own work. Finally. I want to express my deep gratitude to Brian Carl Robison, who has given me love. shelter. and. most importantly. hope that wil1last me for a long time to come VI

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter I ; lntroduction Chapter 2 : "The Place where Pandora fill'd her box" : Creole women and the RaciaJization of Domesticity Chapter 3 : English Literary Masters and the Black Amazons of their Imagination : the Destabilizing Presence of Afro-Caribbean Women in late 19thc entury English Travel Narratives Chapter 4 : Black Matriarch and White Witch : Herbert de Lisser's
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Chapter 1: Introduction "Creolizing Womanhood" was inspired by Rhonda Cobham's observation that women were the central protagonists of Jamaican literature from 1900 to 1950, the period in which national politics and trade unions developed in the British West Indies CThe Creative Writer" i95-247). With few exceptions, this observation holds true for the entire region. Yet, as Cobham points out, as soon as nationalism became entrenched and West Indian literature gained international visibility with the emergence of writers like V.S Naipaul and George Lamming in the 1950's women disappeared from the center stage of literature and became subordinate players in the West Indian literatures afnation building. Creolizing Womanhood" argues that one reason for nationalist literature s subordination of women and its general masculinist nature from the 1 950s to the 1970s was the writers' need to radically diverge from the protonationaJist lite raN res of 1900-1938, which in making women prominent had emasculated Afro-Caribbean men in much the same ways that English colonial discourse had at least since the 18th century The main project of this dissertation is to explicate the contemporary political significance of protonationaJist representations of gender. What did Herben de Lisser s representation of the white slave mistress, Annie Palmer, as a voodoo priestess and domineering nymphomaniac mean to the lamaican readers of his 1929 White Witch afRose Hall? How did this portrait participate in de Lisser's anti-labor pro-capitalist political agenda articulated through his editorship of the conservative Daily Gleaner and his affiance with the ruling class? How did Trinidadians, residents of the impoverished barrack yards and of the wealthy merchant and planter homes, read the comic and sexualized images of the black working class women of 'Yard Fiction" published in Trinidad and The Beacon between 1929 and 1933? How did yard fiction and the other fiction published in these magazines participate in the larger and very I

PAGE 23

ambivalent political agenda ofIhe Beacon? And finally. how are we to read the early work of the exile lean Rhys in relation to her contemporaries who published in the Caribbean? Can her deep concern with creole women's sexuality and respectability be seen as sharing with de Lisser and the Beacon group a point of reference in English discourse on the West Indies as wen as the project of critiquing that discourse? De Lisser, the Beacon grouP. and Rhys took their stock characters the black yard woman. the seductive brown woman, and the sadistic or sexually deviant white woman from English travel accounts and novels afthe West lndies, written during two specific periods, the rise of the English middle class and the debate over slavery between 1774-1838 and the crisis of English imperial identity and the rise of scientific racism in the second half of the 19th century I These early twentieth-century Caribbean writers also share a complex engagement with the English middle class ideology of domesticity of the late 18th and 19th centuries Whether they embrace it as de Lisser did. flaunt and repudiate it as the The Beacon group did, or critique its racialized construction as Rhys did, protonationalist anglophone Caribbean writers consistently represented Caribbean national identities in respect to an English conception of domestic womanhood Their appropriation of English representations of Caribbean women and domestic ideology is made more complex by the significant role West Indian women played in English ideology of domesticity Starting at the end of the 18th century, English discourse on the West Indies, deeply embedded in domestic ideology, employed images of Carib beans in general and Caribbean women in particular to define the West Indies as a place lacking domestic virtue and therefore lacking the manhood I These periods leave out Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre (1847) even though I include that novel in my discussion of English discourse The representation of West Indians in the novel mirrors the rhetoric of women anti-slavery writers; that is, Jane Eyre expresses an anti-Slavery position in the post-emancipation period 2

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and virtue necessary for political autonomy. How could anglophone Caribbean writers of the early twentieth century fashion a positive image of the nation while basing their literature on negative stereotypes of creole women and a domestic ideology that denied political legitimacy and masculinity in particular to the entire region? And yet., how could they do otherwise if their models of literary and political thought were British? Because of the complexity of the relationship between English and protonationalist anglophone Caribbean writing,. I approach the representations of gender in these early Caribbean texts along two lines of inquiry. First, I examine anglophone Caribbean writers'complicated appropriation and transformation of both English representations of Caribbean women and of English domestic ideology Second.., I explore the political implications of these appropriations for the Caribbean societies in which they were produced How does the focus on women and sexuality inherited from English domestic discourse effect protonationalist West Indian literature's ability to represent the majority working class population as politically competent or powerful? How does this focus shape the literature's representation of the nation as creole; that is, as a nation composed of multiple ethnic groups? I find that proto nationalist writers redefine the core terms of English discourse on the West Indies by shifting the definitions of race and domestic virtue My findings are consistent with Simon Gikandi's analysis of 19th century anglophone Caribbean texts, in which he argues that colonized writers were able to resist colonial discourse by defining its central terms while writing within the conventions of colonial discourse (xviii). De Lisser, for instance, employs Engish representations of creole women and ideas of domesticity to redefine the whiteness of the Jamaican upper class to include Middle Eastern immigrants and select light-skinned Afro-Caribbeans Yet in appropriating characters from English discourse. early anglophone Caribbean writers also appropriated the logic of class and race oppression. Perhaps the most significant 3

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example is de Lisser's and The Beacon's transformation of the figure of strong black women, so prominent in English travel narratives oflate nineteenth century, notably Froude's The EnSlish in the West Indies (1888) and Charles Kingsley's At Last a Christmas in the West Indies (1871) In these texts, English writers were struck -both amazed and deeply horrified by the sexual and economic independence of black working women. Their focus on black women is significant because their economic independence as market women, their prowess in carrying heavy objects (particularly on their heads) are some afthe clearer inheritances from West African cultures. English travel writers translated these African cultural practices, already adapted to the Caribbean, not only as transgressions of English Cef1?ininity but as evidence of the lack of proper manhood in the region English v.'fiters typically presented Afro-Caribbean women's sexuaJ and economic independence as evidence of West [ndian men's lack of manhood This lack of manhood in tum was used to argue against West Indian self government. Ifmen could not rule their women, Froude contended, how could they rule their own country? Using similar images of black working women, anglophone Caribbean protonationaJist writers feminized and depoliticized the workin g class, producing an image of working class Caribbeans as unworthy of political power much in the same way that English writers had argued against the political rights of the region as a whole We gain much from placing the later anglophone Caribbean nationalist writers' assertion ofa masculine national identity and political competence in the context of the historical emasculation of African and Asian Caribbeans both by English discourse and by protonationalist writers To claim political autonomy was tnus almost necessarily a gendered act. Thus a nationaJist claim meant a tum away from the early literature in 2 In West African cultures women were responsible fOl" selling at market and for the task of carrying. 4

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which women were not only the protagonists but in which their prominence correlated with a combined denial of black political rights and masculinity Belinda Edmundson's Making Men (1999) supports this hypothesis Edmundson bases her analysis of both male nationalist writers and contemporary Caribbean women writers on her observation that Caribbean male writers shared a deep investment in English Victorian culture, and that their model both for literary production and nationhood relied on an English conception of masculinity -the English gentleman that is. "for the English the idea of nation was esentially tied to the idea of masculinity. such that Caribbean men would have to prove themselves the masculine equals of the Englishmen who currently dominated the imperiallandscape (8) Creolizing Womanhood" derives its title from Edward Kamau Brathwaite s conception ofcreolization as the sociaJ and cultural interaction of people from Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas that has produced and defined an g lophone Caribbean societies. for Brathwaite, creolization is both acculturation, "the process of absorpti o n of one culture by another and interculturation.. "a process ofintennixture and enrichment" (Brathwaite Contradictory Omens II). And it is the process of making the intermixtures of these cultures "native" to the Caribbean. A pidgin language is a simplified mixture of languages shared by two groups of people who have separate mother tongues. Creole languages are formed from a number of languages, primarily West African and European, but these languages are the mother tongue(s) for their respective countries "Creolizing Womanhood explores these processes of creolization in the case of literature and in the case of ideas of womanhood; it explores the process through which anglophone Caribbean literature and womanhood emerged out of an integration and transfonnation of cultural practices from England Africa, and the Caribbean It ana1yses how these become defined as therefore creole and national. finally, it analyses the political implications of these new creole literatures and 5

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womanhoods on the process of creolization within anglopbone Caribbean (proto) nations during the first four decades of this century. "Creolizing Womanhood" contributes to theories of creolization in Caribbean studies and to theories ofhybridity in postcolonial studies. By addressing the role of gender, ethnicity, and class, it complicates or extends the model ofblacklwhite" creolization Brathwaite puts forward in The Development of Creole Society in Jamaic;a (1971) and CootradictOlY Omens (1974).1 My analysis of early twentieth-century fiction illustrates that creole societies made strong distinctions in tenns of ethnicity class, and gender. and that these categories were so intertwined in the process of creolization -both in literature and in social divisions that one can not separate them or discuss creolization effectively without reference to their intersections The intertwined nature of race, class, and gender is reflected in English descriptions of the racial mixing of the West [Odies as a process that radically reorders almost all categories ofEngiish social order: race, gender, sexuality. and class English texts attempted to contain this disorder by describing creole societies as governed by a race and class hierarchy that fixed white people at the top -a mythic image referred to in chapter two as the "Great House." Yet English texts still describe white women as not only African in their cultural practices but also masculine Lower class whites Bryan Edwards warns us. assume a familiarity with upper class wrutes shocking to English men Wealthy and independent Brown women problematize race, class, and 1 Here Brathwaite defines creolization was '
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gender distinctions by exhibiting the wealth and culture associated with English white womanhood and the social and economic independence associated with white masculinity. In the conclusion of Contradjctoty Omens, Brathwaite alludes to the challenge contemporary multi-ethnic societies posed to his theory of creolization, writing that The entire notion of creolization has been based on the assumption that it is a process that relates to dominant and sub-dorninant groups. This does little to explain andlor account for the action between equal subordinates: lateral creolizarion: the
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As these examples indicate, [ view creolization in the early 20th century anglophone Caribbean as a process of breaking down but also of remapping barriers of race, ethnicity, and class -a process in which gender and representations of women in particular played a critical role. In playing close attention to the power and gender dynamics of creolization and in seeing creoliza.tion as process which has not created egalitarian societies., my work closely follows that of Natash a Barnes and Shalini Puri. Barnes, for instance. criticizes Caribbean historians, Edward Kamau Brathwaite and Franklin Knight for valuing the inter-racial sexuality of plantation society as evidence of social exchange without fully acknowledging the relations of domination which governed enslaved women's sexual relations with white men (49-51). Similarly Puri criticizes dominant theories of creolization, particularly those of Brathwaite and Walcott, for not taking into consideration the power relations that shaped creolization. in particular in relation to Indoand Afro-Trinidadians (20-21). Pun argues that approaches to hybridity, particularly. multicultural corporate capital and scholars of [he academic left, such as Romi Bhabha, Gloria Anzaldua, and Antonio Benitez-Roja displace the issue of equality and the politics ofhybridity onto a poetics of hybridity (puri 12-13; Barnes 49-51 and 176). This close attention to specific in >i:ances of creolizations contributes to the field of postcolonial studies by examining the theoretical concept ofhybridity In particular, my dissertation examines one historical instance of hybridity as Bhabha theorizes it in "Signs Taken for Wonders" and links this analysis of colonial discourse to his contention in the introduction of The Logrtjon ofCulrure that interstitial identities have the power to redefine collective identities and alliances In Taken for Wonders. Homi Bhabha proposes that colonial discourse necessarily produces "hybridity" by exponing its tene; and practices to colonies, where they are appropriated and transfonned by the colonized. These transformed versions of colonial discourse 8

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necessanly undermine the absolute difference between colonizer and colonized and challenge the authority of colonial discourse In the instance Bhabha explores, the translation of the English bible to India, the Indians who adopt the Bible do not purposely undercut its authority Rather they construe it in a way that makes sense to them as vegetari&:!s and as people who are denied knowledge and privilege by a Brahmin elite However, in so doing they significantly alter Britain's conception of Christianity The translated Bible in concert with this Indian application of it constitute Bhabha's hybridity In this model, the colonized people resist the Bible. but Bhabha does not attribute to them conscious agency, asserting that Resistance is not neressarily an oppositional act of political intention It is the effect ofan ambivalence produced within the rules of recognition of dominating discourses ... (10) Early anglophone Caribbean writing constitutes an instance ofBhabha's hybridity in that West Indian writers appropriated the form of the novel and short stOI)' as well as the domestic ideology and scientific racism from English culture They applied and interpreted these as they saw fit in the context of early twentieth century Jamaica, Trinidad, and Dominca. Yet unlike the Indian convens, protonationalist writers ex:plicitly challenge the colonial discourse even as they appropriate it. Their ability to do so recalls Bhabha s discussion of late twentieth-century African American artist Rene Green and writer Toni Morrison. in which he argues that people who inhabit in-between or interstitial identities have the ability to challenge and dislodge categories of identity like race and gender and to construct new identities and It is in the emergence of the interstices the overlap and displacement of domains of difference that the intersubjective and collective experiences of natiolllless, community interest, or cultural value are 9

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negotiated. How are subjects fonned 'in-between', or in excess of; the sum of the 'parts' of difference (usually intoned as race/class/gender, etc)? (2) 10 Though not poised at the edge afthe miUenium as the artists Bhabha addresses, the angiophone Caribbean writers I address were interstitial figures between upper and lower classes and between colonialism and nationalism. They wrote interstitial texts that imbricated European, African, and Caribbean cultural traditions They lived in interstitial societies, defined almost since European conqest as a quintessential site of hybridity. Their resistance to colonial discourse and their deployment of it against the working classes indicates the value of joining Bhabha's two projects -the analysis of colonial discourse and that of anti-colonial or postcolonial discourse. It is not sufficient to investigate the impact of hybridity on colonial discourse and the metropo!e ; we must also investigate the impact of hybridity on the shaping of new national identities and societies and integrate .the projects of colonial discourse analysis and the study of postcolonial society and culture. In the case of the early 20th century anglophone Caribbean, gender is a critical category of analysis for this project. The class politics of literature -the intellectuals' critique of the upper class and their ambivalence towards the working class --became articulated through the prominent representation of working class women and women s sexuality more generally Consciously writing national but not yet na ti onalist literature, early anglophone Caribbean writers inhabit another arena of hybridity that of the space between colonialism and independence. In studying the complexity and complicity of this period, "Creolizing Womanhood" contributes to the current project in postcolonial studies of complicating older visions of the relationship between colony and metro pole,

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II and of the transition between colonialism and leela Gandhi describes trus trend as a recognition that "the anti-colonial perspective neglects to acknowledge the corresponding failures and fissures which trouble the confident edifice of both colonial repression and anti-colonial retaliation"(124). Rarely," she writes "did the onslaught of colonialism entirely obliterate colonised societies So, also far from being exclusively oppositional, the encounter with colonial power occurred along a variety of ambivalent registers"(l25}. This is certainly the case in the British West Indies where independence resulted from progressive government reform rather than violent revolutions. "Creolizing Womanhood" participates in this project by examining the deep ambivalence intellectuals had about English colonialism and about working class political rights during this period of transition It delineates the continuities and discontinuities between colonial d i scourse and protonationalist writing, which in tum helps us to map the continuities and discontinuities between colonialism and nationalism These in tum help us to understand the complex hierarchy of race, class. etlmicity, and gender that still governs the anglophone Caribbean nations Again, "CreoJizing Womanhood" demonsbates that gender is a critical lens for the investigation ofhybridity in the transition from colonialism to nationalism West Indian intellectuals negotiated their role during this transition in terms of gender They both asserted and doubted their masculinity, while tending to produce emasculating representations of the working classes. Further, the significance of domestic ideology to 19th century English nationalism and colonialism is reflected in the fact that Jamaica and Trinidad claimed manhood as an essential process of claiming nationhood The first task of"Creolizing Womanhood" is to establish and explicate what [ 4 Dominica did not become an independent nation until 1978, so the 1920s may not constitute such an intennediary period though they like the larger islands participated in the West Indian Federation 1958-[962. (Check dates)

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will call the English discourse on the West indies. From the late 18th century into the 20th:, England produced a specific discourse on the West Indies, one that consistently portrayed the West Indies as an inversioo "ofEnglish domestic order and virtue The depiction shifted from a moral narrative in the pre-emancipation period, 1770-1838 to a scientific narrative in the late 19th century without significantly shifting the logic underlying the argument that the West Indies needed colonial rule because it lacked domestic virtue This discourse on the West Indies was articulated through a body of apparently disparate texts travel narratives, memoirs, novels, colonial reports and was imbricated in the systems of economic, political, and physical power exerted o n colonized people who though deeply disempowered resisted. participated in, and shaped the discourse 12 In insisting that colonized and enslaved Caribbeans played a role in English discourse. I differ from Said s conception of orientalism, which I have taken as a part of departure for understanding English discourse on the West Indies Said is famous for arguing that the "brute reality" of people living in the "Orient"was in some respects unrelated to the European discourse that represented the "Orient"(5) Though English discourse certainly strove to define and control the West Indies through a complex interaction of ideas. texts, and institutions Caribbeans many cultural practices, their "brute" physical strength, their numbers, their sexuality their articulateness among other things all contributed to English discourse -if only as a motivation for English discourse to redefine these practices as inferior and these strengths as weaknesses Representations of the West Indies in English domestic discourse contributed to the construction of a metropolitan bourgeois identity and the codification of the flaws and inferiority of the English aristocracy and working classes. English colonialism didn't merely record and define (middle class) England as virtuous and the West [ndies as immoral; it produced England as a place of domestic order and virtue in part by

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producing the West Indies as a place of aberrant domestic practices white male employees were often, for instance, allotted A.fro-Caribbean concubines; slaves had no legal right to marry In seeing English discourse on the West Indies as linked at a fundamental level to an English ideology of domesticity, I am echoing the findings of scholars of colonial discourse. In Imperial Leather. Anne McClintock argues that the cult of domesticity was a crucial, if concealed, dimension of male as weU as female identities ... an indispensable element both of the industrial market and the imperial enterprise" (5). Similarly Ann Stoler "treat[s] bourgeois sexuality and racialized sexuality not as distinct kinds .. but as dependent constructs in a unified field" and argues European concern with domesticity is directly linked to fears of the threat empire posed to the domestic household (97) She argues, as [ do, that colonial discourse did not just represent the colonial subject as sexuaUy transgressive, it produced sexual transgression, particularly through the concubinage system that required most white employees to have non-white partners and punished them, their partners. and their children by denying them full membersrup in a white and respectable class_ Similarly supportive of my argument is her contention that metropolitan constructions of colonial identity were constitutive of the ostensibly European, bourgeois discourses on sexuality through which the bourgeois subject was fonned in the 19th century (Stoler 97-100). The consistency within late 18th-century and early 19th-century English discourse on the West Indies results from the fact that all texts held the same fundamental imperial principles that domestic virtue was a sign of politicaJ worthiness and that the goal aflabor policy in the West Indies was to produce a system in which planters maintained control over labor. These principles created continuity in an otherwise agonistic discourse produced through the metropolitan struggle between 13

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the pro-slavery lobby and the anti-slavery movement, between aristocrats allied with the plantocracy and the English middle class between mercantile and free trade capitalism 14 Yet the discourse is fundamentally ambivalent when examined through the lens of gender. This ambivalence is expressed most explicitly in its representation of Afro Caribbean women. who are depicted alternately as the most desirable of women and the most repulsive. Their transgressions ofEngtish domestic ideals of womanhoo d provide the strongest evidence for arguments in support of colonial rule while their industry, beauty, and independence reveal the inva1idity of those arguments [0 seeing English discourse on the West lodies as fundamentally ambivalent and focused on sexuality, my project appears to mirror Robert Young' s central argument in Colonial Desire Like Young. I hold that colonialism produces a deeply ambivalent sexual desire for colonial subjects and that this desire constitutes a nightmare for Europe because it produces inter-raCial people who undennine the purist definitions and hierarchies of race which legitimated European imperial power. However. Youn g bases his work almost exclusively on a body of European theories and therefore finds the cause oftbis ambivalence within these theories. In contrast., I maintain that specific material practices in the colonies constitute part ofEhe discourse and help to explain the ambivalence which characterizes it In understanding colonialism as a discursive system, in which power is exerted and resisted, llike Said, am grounding my analysis in a Foucaultian model of discourse However, [ use tenn "ideology" in order to isolate the conflict within the discourse that I see as causing the ambivalence towards Afro-Caribbean women. By ideology. I refer to the set ofaniculated values and nonns of behavior that the English middle and upper classes used to legitimate their claim to power in Britain and its colonies I view this ambivalence about Afro-Caribbean women as resulting in large part from a conflict

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between the Englishjustification of imperial power based on an idea of white, European supremacy and the de facto practice of racial integration that characterized English colonialism in the Caribbean To be an imperial power, England had to espouse a belief in racial purity. Because it undercut the idea cfraciaJ purity and hierarchy. the de facto practice of racial integration in colonialism necessarily threatened both English identity and English power. In the second chapter, "'The Place where Pandora fill'd her box" : Creole women and the Racialization of Domesticity ,"l suggest that English domestic ideology articulated in novels, travel narratives. and histories written in the late 18th and early 19th century (1770-1838), the set ofheliefs about proper gender roles and sexual behavior, played a critical role in negotiating the conflict between England s need to engage in colonialism in order to be a strong nation and the threat racial integration in the colonies posed to English nationaJ identity English domestic ideology defined racial and cultural interaction as illegitimate; it provided the moral logic for the laws which restricted the economic and political rights of illegitimate people. tt thus limited the threat the de facto policy of coloniaJ integration posed to white hegemony in the colonies and to the metropolitan ideolOgy of racial purity and supremacy. Yet it aJso produced a striking ambivalence in English texts, particularly those written by white men These texts produce heightened negative and positive depictions of AfroCanobean women in response to the conflicting pressures of coloniaJ ideology that defined Afro-Caribbean women as abject and coloniaJ practice that defined Afr o Caribbean women as the appropriate partners for white men In the third chapter, "English Literary Masters and the Black Amazons of their Imagination: the Destabilizing Presence of Afro-Caribbean Women in late 19th-century English Travel Narratives,'" I argue that English writing after emancipation continued to deploy domestic ideology to legitimate English rule in the West Indies and continued 15

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16 to express a deep ambivalence towards Afro Caribbean women Travel narratives by prominent English intellectuals Anthony TroUope, Charles Kingsley James Anthony Froude and W P Livingstone focused on the Canbbean's strong black women and found in their independence and "masculinity" proof of black men's femininity and incapacity for political power. At the same time., their admiration of black women' s strength and independence undercut their claims for blacks' laziness and uLtimately their arguments for direct colonial rule In the fourth chapter, Black Matriarch and White Witch : Herbert de Lisser s 'Nationalism and the Politics of Race and Class in Jamaica," I begin my analysis of anglopbone Caribbean writers appropriation of English discourse on the West Indies Herbert de Lisser is one of the first and most powerful people to write self-consciously Jamaican literature He redeployed English arguments that b l a cks were essentially incapable of domestic virtue in such a way that strengthened the already existing s o cial hierarchy that divided Jamaicans along racial economic and moral lines a hierarchy in which which dark-skinned, unmarried. unskilled Jamaicans remained as large pool of exploitable labor for the wealthier lighter, married upper classes Further, he used the rhetoric of English domesticity to foster the integration of Jews and immigrants from the Middle East into the category of the white ruling class De Lisser strove to creolize" Eng lish domesticity, presenting Jamaica s identity as a modern nation based on domestic virtue However, just as Afro-Caribbean women defied the racial categories of 19th century English writing, they also reveal the inconsistencies in de Lisser's construction ofthe upper class elite and ultimately undennine hi s construction of the new white ruling clas s. In contrast, the intellectual group around The Beacon whose work I address in chapters five and six. attacked the bourgeoisie and the colonial hierarchy of race and color by attacking domestic ideology particularly its late 19th-century manifestation

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in "Victorianism Their stories illustrated that bourgeois restrictions on sexuality produced degeneracy Incest and adultery were products of colonial restrictions of white female sexuality and the exclusion of non-whites from the class of people the upper class could many. Their work argued that Victorianism's domestic morality transformed the processes of creolization cultural and sexual-into perverse, violent and degenerate practices While it strove to break down the social hierarchy by attacking its ideology. The SMcon's choice ofsaategy limited the magazine's ability to be representative of creole society It excluded much of the Afroand lndoTrinidadian classes, who fought for sociallegitirnacy on the basis of their respectability To be an effective oppositional force, the magazine needed significant contributions from all ethnic groups; their choice to attack respectability made that a social impossibility. This opposition to respectability also restricted vision of the creole nation to the sphere of sex and morality Where later writers Samuel Selvon and V S Naipaul portray Trinidad's creole society as characterized by a struggle between Africans and Indians over national culture. Alfred Mendes and C .L.R. James produce images of sexualized inter-racial figures whose cultures become reduced to their sexual desirability Such a vision ultimately reflects an ambivalence towards the integtation of Afro-Trinidadians and Indo-Trinidadians into po s itions of political power, as is indicated by The Beacon's strident arguments against universal suffrage The Beacon s ambivalence about tbe Indo-Trinidadians' integration into national culture is illustrated in Mendes s horror at the Afro-Indo-Trinidadian annual festival for the La Divina Pastora, at Siparia lronicaUy. The Beacon s strategy of attacking respectability resembles de Lisser's pro-
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Metropolitan Discourses and the Construction of Creole Identity in Jean Rhys's Black Exercise Book," I argue that Rhys's private journal engages in a dual critique of English domestic ideology and Freud's theory of seduction and female masochism. I read her description of her childhood both as a critical rewriting of Jane Eyre and of Freud's Dora. Rhys draws comparisons between her experiences of being beaten and seduced and Afro-Caribbeans' experiences of being flogged and sexually violated. as slaves. In so doing her account illustrates the critical importance of the history of race and empire to the middle class conceptions of the nuclear family and marriage -conceptions which are the foundation for b o th Bronte's novel and Freudian psychoanalysis Rhys's Exercise Book ilIusbates that psychoanalysis takes the nuclear family as a universal norm and disregards the ways in which domestic ideology has historically defined marriage and legitimacy as white and metropolitan Though Rhy s reiterates aspects of English colonial discourse, her construction of creole womanho o d deconstructs the racialization of key subject positions in Caribbean "mythology"particularly the idea that inter-racial women are mistresses and that all Afro-Caribbean women stand outside of wedlock and domestic virtue If the myth of the Great House with its white planters, brown mistresses, and black field w o rkers, is one of the central myths in perpetuating racialized politics in the anglophone Caribbean. then Rhys s deconstruction of the racialized femininities of the Great House contributes to reconceiving national and creole identities on less fixed racial terms In addressing both Bronte and Freud, Rhys s engagement with domesticity significantly differs from both de Lisser's and The Beacon's. Further, Rhys lived and published in England Her work belongs to the modernist canon; its form often differs significantly from other Caribbean writers, particularly in its rejection of a linear narrative As a writer in exile, her work stands at a significant remove from the daily politics of her homeland. Dominica This is in sharp contrast to de Lisser s novels and 18

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The Beacon which were very much embedded in the daily politics of their countries. They were published as pan ofjournaJistic projects and were written by men who were or who became significant political players Finally. as the daughter of an expatriate government officer and member ora planter family. Rhys had deep historical roots in plantation cuLture as a white creole that most other white writers I examine simply did not have, with the possible exception of Jean de Boissiere. 19 Thus Rhys s narrative techniques, her biography, the venue and the reception of her work distance her from the other anglophone Canbbean writers active in the 1920's and 1930's Yet, placing her work beside that of de Lisser, C.L R. James, and Alfred Mendes illustrates that Rhys s near obsession with white creole women s sexuality particularly with their rejection as legitimate wives, participates in a broader pattern of concern among anglophone Caribbean writers of her generation Nearly all anglophone Caribbean writing of this early period was deeply concerned with the conflict between the English ideal of womanhood and Caribbean femininity Nearly all defined creole identity in relationship to the question of marriage and domesticity. In insisting on the importance of these early texts to understanding the following generation of writers like V.S Naipaul and George Larn...'11ing. "Creolizing Womanhood" participates in the current trend of remapping the angJophone Caribbean literary canon. The contradictions I focus on --the fact that this early generation of writers both resisted colonial discourse and redeployed aspects of colonial discourse to undercut the black. working class struggle for political power -are precisely what have led scholars to exclude most proto-nationalist literature from their scholarship and from anthologies of West Indian literature. Many scholars will, no doubt, contradict me, arguing that this literature has been overlooked because it is badly written, as Donnell and Welsh phrase it euphemistically, "somewhat embarrassing and naive" (14). Yet. I would submit that these artistic shortcomings are often linked to a political and

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20 cultural conflict: the desire to write authentically Caribbean literature in an Empire in which Victorian English literature remained the dominant literary model. This political contradiction was embodied in the fonn of early Caribbean literature. For instance, the failed and tortuous plot of Thomas MacDennot's One Brown Gjrl and -(I909) is structured as a romance in which two or three elite women ought conventionally -to end the novel married. Instead, their lives become consumed by a campaign to save one Afro-Can1>bean woman from sexual temptation., a goal for which they are willing to sacrifice their own happiness and the lives of highly valued, weU-to-do white men These marriage plots are abandoned but remain in the novel partly constructed, like the many unfinished homes in the Caribbean whose naked cement blocks and steel cable testify to unfinished plans The novel ends with the resolution of one of perhaps ten plots, no marriages, and the death of most white male protagonists. As what may have been the first in a projected series ofoovels for which there was neither the funding nor perhaps the time to complete. MacDennot's only full-length novel is very much like those many houses; its incompleteness is its final fonn. Yet, if this is a failure, it is intriguing in that it revea1s much about the negotiations Caribbean culture made before it produced writers like Kamau Brathwaite, Erna Brodber, or Merle Collins, whose work integrates Afro-Caribbean subject matter and cultural form Yet, the anglophone Caribbean literary canon that provided the foundation for contemporary Caribbean studies had little space for these intriguing failures. The canon was established by scholars in London. the intellectuals of the newly independent countries of the Anglophone Caribbean men like Kenneth Ramchand, who participated in the Caribbean Artists Movement in the 1960s and 1970s and who worked with West Indian writers of the 19S0s boom like NaipauI, Lamming, and Andrew Salkey. With the very significant exception of Naipaul, West Indian literature of this movement focused on predominantly Afro-Caribbean experience. Writers

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challenged not only English c olonialism's denial of Caribbean culture. but a conservative literary establishment in the Caribbean In Jamaica. the conservative literary establishment was embodied in J E Clare McFarlane' s literary history of the Caribbean which cherished Victorian English literary culture and rejected creole as a. langua g e unworthy of literature (Donnell and Welsh 12) Thus the anglophone Caribbean literary canon established in the 19705, necessarily assumed a sharp break: between English and anglophone Caribbean writing It presumed an almost categorical opposition between Victorian English culture and Caribbean nationalism, while privileging texts that could be seen as fitting into a tradition of resistance against colonialism and racism, texts which had a clear place in a progression towards nationalism This political and cultural progression was perceived Jargely in racial (enns. Thus, texts which focu sed on whites were often not included in the canon witness Brathwaite s famous rejection of lean Rh ys as a Caribbean write r on the grounds that white creoles in the English and Fren c h West Indies have separated themselves by too wide a gulf and have contributed too little culturally, as a 21 group, to give credence t o the notion that they can, given th e present s tructure, meaningfully identity or be identified with the spiritual world on this side of the Sargasso Sea" (Contradictory Omens 38). The depiction of Afro-Caribbean characters, particularly from the working class or peasantry, and the inclus ion of creole language became markers of a text's Caribbeanness To a certain eKtent, this strategy was effective In Claude McKay s writing, for instance, the representation of Afro Caribbeans and the use of vernacular language correlates with an anti-racist, anti colonial, pro-labor politic s and the project of expressing both a Jamaican national and a diasporic identity.s 5 One could,l suspect.. argue that McKay's work is included in the canon because it is of higher literary quality than the work of MacDennot or de Lisser This may be a contributing factor, but it is not the only factor

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However, in other cases, the representation of black characters does not correlate with nationalist or clearly anti-racist politics, but such texts are still included in the canon. This is the case with de Lisser's first two novels Jane's CaCMf (1914) and Susan Proydleigh (1915) and with some Trinidadian yard fiction. In these texts, the representation of black women rearticulaies the late nineteenth century colonialist argument that black men lack the masculinity necessary for political autonomy While de Lisser published roughly twenty novels, only the two novels with" black protagonists are included in the literary canon .6 Similarly, the Beacon group produced two genres of6ction, yard fiction about Afro-Cadbbeans. and, what I call, fiction of white degeneracy. The two genres functioned together to critique the colonial bourgeoisie, and to legitimate middle class intellectuals, yet the literary canon has only preserved yard fiction In both the case of de Lisser' s enormous literary corpus and the diverse body of fiction produced by the Beacon group, the political significance of the writing only becomes clear when viewed as a whole. The canon s selective inclusion of texts has obscured the writers' broader political agenda Until the 1990s, there existed basically only two studies devoted to this early literature, Cobham's dissertation. "The Creative Writer and West Indian Society : De Lisser actually published four novels and one short story with black protagonists : "The Story of the Maroons" (1899) Jane s Career (1914), Susan Proudleigh (1914), Jamaica Nobility (1926) which is really a long short story, and Myrtle and Money (1941) which is a sequel t o Jane Neither Jamaica Nobility nor Myrtle and Money were ever printed as books both appeared only in the magazine, Planters' Punch and "The Story of the Maroons" is only available in the 1899 Jamaica Tjmes. These would have been much less accessible than Jane s Career which was published in book form in England and in Jamaica Jane's Career is the first of de Lisser's novels and the one with the most hints of respect for his black heroine It is thus a logical choice for canonization SUSH" Proydleigh is mentioned as worthy by Mervyn Morris and has been analyzed in Rhonda Cobham s dissertation. There has been little further work on it. De Lisser's The White Witch of Rose hall, a novel about whites, has received some acclaim but trus is partly a result of its role in popular culture and the Jamaican tourist industry. 22

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23 Jamaica 1900-1950-(1981) and Reinhard Sander?s Trinidad Awakening (1988). Now, however, a growing number of scholars are working on early anglophone Caribbean writing Ironically, Ramchand. who formulated the idea that the Caribbean was "life without fiction" prior to the 1940's, has been one of the major figures in collecting early Caribbean writing from newspapers and literary magazines Selwyn Cudjoe has reprinted early Trinidadian novels, A.RT Webber's Those that Be in Bondage (1917) and Philip Maxwell's Emmanuel Appadoca (1854). Alison Dormell and Sarah Welsh made a strong effort to reshape the canon by including many early and obscure texts in The Routledge Reader in Caribbean Literature (I 996). Two biographies were recendy published of early women writers, Delia Jarrett-Macauley's The Ljfe crUDa Marson and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert's Phyllis Shand Nlfrey: A Caribbean Life. which includes previously unpublished short fiction by AIlfrey. In addition., Michele Levy has recently edited a collection of AJfred Mendes s short stories and wiil soon publish his autobiography WhY. if there is such an abundance of neglected literary texts from this period, have [ focused on three of the better known writers and institutions Herbert de Lisser, the Beacon group, and Jean Rhys? Rather than to produce a comprehensive guide to proto-nationalist literature, I have sought to shape a hypothesis by analyzing three oCthe most powerful or visible figures of this period In my discussion of Jamaican literature, I chose to focus on Herbert de Lisser because as author ofrougttly twenty novels, several non-fiction books on Jamaica, and editor of Jamaica's most widely read daily paper, The Gleaner from 1903 to 1944, he was probably the single most powerful figure in establishing a local literature in Jamaica. However, in focusing on de Lisser, I have omitted several important writers on the grounds that they exerted less influence on the development of Jamaican literature in Jamaica ; McKay, MacDermot, Una Marson, and McFarlane. In a comprehensive literary study, I would

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24 include material from MacDennot's efforts to foster Jamaica literature, the short story contests in The Jamaica Times and his series ofloca1 fiction. "The All Iamaica Library (1903-1909), in which his two works, Becka Buckra Baby and Qne Brown Girl andare particularly important. In addition, an extensive analysis of black middle class writers Claude McKay I .E. Clare Mcfarlane. and Una would be necessary to a broader study. Though he lived most ofrus life in exile, McKay was the first Jamaican to publish books of verse in creole, Songs ofJamaica (1912) and Coostab Ballads (1912). McFarlane and Marson were central figures in the Jamaican literature establishment from the 1930's to the 19605. McFarlane was president of the Jamaica Poetry League and author of what may be the first literary history of Jamaica. A Literature in the Making (1956) and editor of the first anthology of Jamaican poetry, Voices from Summerland (1929). Marson wrote two of the first Jamaican plays to be perfonned in Jamaica and four books of poetry; she was the first Jamaican woman to found and edit ajoumal, The Cosmopolitan (1929-31), and develop and host a SBC radio program, "Caribbean Voices" which supported many of the writers who came to define the West Indian literature of the 19505 and 1960s. McKay' s "When I Pounded the Pavement" (1932) reveals English colonialism s use of domestic ideology to suppress Afro-Caribbean political rights and masculinity with a brutality and clarity striking in comparison to all other literary texts I have read from this period. This rejection of domesticity seems to contrast with Marson and McFarlane who propound propriety Yet in fact all three writers struggle with domesticity and English cultural models all three produce conflicting images of nation and sexuality McKay s novel Banana Bottom (1933) suggests thatlamaican

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national identity is founded in marriage and privileges English culture .7 Una Marson celebrates Jamaican folk culture and decries the constraints of middle class domesticity on women in her play. pocomanja (1938), yet the play ends with the admonition that middle class women must renounce that folk culture along with its sexual freedom in order to many aIJ,d gain their place in the middle class J E Clare McFarlane wrote a number of lengthy poems -Bratrice (1918), Daphne (1931), and The Magdalen (1957) -on the value of black women's chastity and criticized Marson for her expression of sexual desire in poetry Yet he published (and republished in several forms) a book-length argument, Sex and Christianity in support of polygamy -a practice English domesticity defined as the antithesis of virtue and the epitome of the evils of African culture. Though Marson and McFarlane may have failed to create the nationalist literature of the 1950s, their work: is essential to understanding the negotiation between English and Afro-Caribbean cultures that was necessary to the 25 emergence ofthat literature In the case of early Trinidadian literature, I focus on The Beacon because it has been traditionally identified as the institution that brought together literary and political national movements in Trinidad Because The Beacon has been preserved in the anglophone Caribbean literary canon in such a reduced form I have felt it important to extend the scholarship by considering the relationship between the fiction and non fiction. between the literature on whites. Afro-Caribbeans. and Indo-Caribbeans In focusing on The Beacon I have omitted a number of fascinating but obscure 1 McKay's Banana Bouom is heavily invested in English Victorian culture It depicts the Jamaican nation as a marriage between an English-educated black woman and a black male peasant, orchestrated by the figure of cultural authority, the English gentleman, Squire Gensir (Edmondson 73). Edmondson writes, for instance that "it is his political philosophy that accounts for his inclusion in both the West Indian and African American canon,. despite African American puzzlement at his English attitudes'(74}.

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romance novels: A.R.F. Webber's Those that Be In Bondage (1911) and Yseult Bridges's Questing Hean (1934) and Creole Enchantment (1936) In choosing the genre of domestic romance, Webber and Bridges rearticulated the coloni2.list sentiment concomitant with the genre a centra! concern with marriage, a racialized conception 26 of domesticity and womanhood, and the idea that only well-to-do or educated people can be protagonists Despite the generic Englishness of their texts, both Webber's and Bridges's novels illustrate that adapting the romance plot to the ethnic and racial politics of Trinidad and Tobago necessitated fundamentaUy altering the form perhaps most significantly. heroines are no (onger virgins until marriage In omitting these romantic novels, I have omitted an important contrast with The Beacon, since one of The Beacon' 5 revolutionary moves was to abandon the romance as a plot. In so doing, it rejected the much of the conservative ideology implicit in that form When the goal of fiction and image of the nation was no longer the sexual union of lovers, addressing issues of class and representing the majority became possible. Although it was published after WWII and thus falls outside the period of my study, Seepersad Naipaul's short stories and journalism constitute another significant contrast to The Beacon. The Beacon includes no fiction written by Indo-Trinidadians; its fiction represents Indo-Trinidadians with the same ambivalence with which English discourse depicted Afro-Caribbean women either as objects of extreme desire or extreme repulsion. Naipaul' s text sidesteps many of the contradictions which characterized The Beacon perhaps because he wrote for lodo-Trinidadians and participated in their debates in the 1930's and 1940's over religion and culture (9) Webber's novel is the most dramatic in this respect:. requiring an incestuous love and ultimately the marriage of first cousins, the abandonment of priesthood.. the burning of cathedrals, and gender reversal in order for the two lovers to unite and then they can only do so in England, outside of their homelands, Trinidad, Tobago, and Guyana Webber's novel also provides the most extensive literary representation in this period of the sexual politics and violence involving Indian women on plantations

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27 NaipauJ's depiction afthe Indo-Trinidadian community does not privilege women as yard fiction does But it does place Indian women in positions of significant power vis a-vis the protagonist. Gurudeva, whose life and narrative are framed and shaped by the entrance and departure of women. Though its criticism of physical violence towards women may seem to repeat the inflammatory images through which English discourse presented arranged marriage as a form of slavery, Naipaul criticizes botb the system of arranged marriage and the Americanization of Indian women which resulted from the U S presence in Trinidad during WWll. That this larger group of writers also foreground women and sexuality and negotiate national identity in teons of domesticity supports my hypothesis that protonationalist writers express their ambivaJence towards independence and majority rule through a focus on women. particularly black, working class women. That Seepersad Naipaul, a later, Indo-Trinidadian writer, deviates from the protonationalist model I propose may point to the historical specificity of the model. My argument pertains to the primarily white and light class of intellectuals of the early 20th century, who stood in between colonial and nationalist rule, people who had a precarious, if also powerful, position in each Ultimately, the protonationalist focus on femininity and the nationalist focus on masculinity illustrate the importance of gender to the inter-related projects of colonialism and nationalism in the anglophone Caribbean A Note on Tenns 1 gth-and I 9th-century English discourse divided the British West Indies into three major racial categories, of which there were subdivisions : "Negroes," "Mulattoes," and "Whites" "Negroes" were divided between those born in Africa and creoles born in the West Indies; and occasionally into tribes or nations, ulbo" or "Coromantee." "Mulattoes" or "Coloureds" were a visibly inter-racial class, often

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28 subdivided into finer distinctions for instance, mustee, mustiphini, quadroon. Whites were divided between European-born and creoles, and between a wealthy cultured class and a poor, uneducated class. Further distinctions were made among Europeans and near whites For instance. in the 18th century Jews did not enjoy fuUlegaI rights; in the early twentieth century, Trinidadian Portuguese were "'off-white." Jamaicans who look white but have non-white relatives are sometimes referred to as Jamaican whites as opposed to white Jamaicans. I employ a variety of raciaI terms, most frequently black, brown. and white, respectively, to refer to these three groups. I use Afro-Caribbean and much less frequently Afro-Creole to denote all Caribbeans of African descent, usually in situations in which English discourse is reacting to all non-whites and non-Asians in the colonies. I use these rather than the English tenns not because they are still in current usage in the anglophone Caribbean and are less directly embedded in the English colonial discourse than negro" and mulatto Yet we must note the inability of these terms to adequately represent creole populations. De Lisser for example. creates a category of white that includes immigrants from the Middle East and browns who are wealthy, and light enough not to too visibly shift the English definition of whiteness. In that case, I have used the phrase the light elite. In Trinidad, the douglas people of combined Indian and African descent --clearly complicate the term Afro-Caribbean because they are both Afro-and Asian Caribbean. Despite these many shan-comings, the tripartite division black, brown.., white has proved necessary to my analysis not only because English discourse articulated this division, but because each group had a different history of political rights. In Jamaica., Trinidad, and Dominica, wealthy browns had political rights in the early 1830s in contrast to most blacks who first got the vote with universal suffrage in 1944. Voting rights were also tied to property requirements; thus, the franchise was almost

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29 never a right based on color or race alone The social stratification was so strong that property requirements could effectively function as racial exclusionary laws For black Jamaicans political authority, even cultural authority is much more recently gained than for brown Jamaicans and thus has a different significance And it is for this reason and the power of the Great House myth that endowed each of these racial identities with a particular social, economic, and moral place that the tenns, however, problematic remain in my analysis When I began writing this dissenation, I used the term anglo phone Canobean to refer to the region in contradistinction to "West Indian." which has been seen as problematic because it is an English (mis)construction of geography and identity However, in sections about English discourse, I use the term, West Indies because I am discussing precisely that English invention the West Indies Finally. I would like to explain the tenns I use to refer to class because is s ues of class are central to the chapters on Jamaican and Trinidadian literature I use the term bourgeoisie to refer to the mostly urban class of merchants whose interests detennined colonial policy In the early 20th century. merchants had such large investments in plantations that the rustoricaJ split between the two groups had been considerably reduced In addition. an elite class of planters and merchants were using "whiteness to foster solidarity across ethnic differences British, French Spanish (refer to this combined group of planters and merchants as the ruling class or upper class, occasionally as the elite. because the colonial government acted in their interests, and they held significant power over government policy as members of the legislative council. This category excludes small-scale planters and small and middle -scale merchants In Jamaica. de Lisser tries to unite petit bourgeoisie -Middle Eastern and Chinese retailers with the established bourgeoisie of white creoles, many of whom were Jewish In Trinidad at the same time period, the white bourgeoisie was struggling

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against the petit bourgeois Middle Eastern shopkeepers and there was not yet a unification of these two classes (Singh Race and Class 101-104) I use the tenn middle class in the context afthe ang(ophone Caribbean to refer to clerks civil servants office workers, teachers, non-white ministers, and smaller scale business men and planters The majority of this class assimilated the English bourgeois ideology of respectability that defined the colonial bourgeoisie 30

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Chapter 2: "The Place where Pandora flU'd her box": Creole women and the Racialization of Domesticity The Dunghill of the Universe, the Refuse afthe whole Creation, the Clippings of the Elements, a shapeless Pile of Rubbish confusd > ly jumbl'd into an Emblem of the Chaos, neglected by Omnipotence when he fonn'd the world into its admirable Order ... The Place where Pandora filled her box. (Ned Ward A Trip to Jamaica with a True Character of the People and Island (1700) 13). It's true, indeed he had caught her tripping at Jamaica, but that he thought was not s o much the fault of the woman as afthe climate. believing that cursed malevolent planet which predominates in that island and so changes the constitution of its inhabitants that if a woman land there as chaste as a vestal, she becomes in forty-eight hours a perfect Messalina. and that 'tis as impossible for a woman to live at Jamaica and preserve her virtue as for a man to make ajoumey to Ireland and bring back his honesty (W.P. Jamaica Lady (1720) 110) From the 18th into the 20th century, English histories, travel accounts, memoirs and novels produced a consistent image of the British West Indies as an inversion of English domestic and gender order, a place where men slipped into femininity, women into masculinity, whites became African, and Africans started to look white Imbricated with legal, economic, religious and social institutions these texts constituted a colonial discourse on the West Indies less elaborate, more conflicted but otherwise similar to Said's conception of orientalism Underlying this representation was the question of political sovereignty The West Indies did not merit political sovereignty because it lacked England's domestic virtue; its men did not merit suffrage because they lacked the Englishman's masculinity. English discourse undercut West Indian claims to sovereignty by representing West Indian society as governed by large plantations an image that has come to be known as the "Great House. In this Great House vision of the West Indies, a social hierarchy pertained in which class and race were cotenninous and fixed.' Whites were 9 I have taken the phrase "Great House" from Lucille Mathurin Mair. An indication of the model s importance is that two important historical works have chosen to challenge it. Mair's in many ways definitive "A Historical Study of Women in Jamaica, 31

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by nature of their whiteness always wealthy but morally degenerate the men unfaithful husbands, the women undesirable and infertile. Inter-racial people, usually referred to as "Mulattoes," were always skilled and household workers, best knovm for their sexually promiscuous and unmarried women, lovers typically of the master, "mulattoes" were by definition the children of illicit unions between master and slave. Blacks stood always at the bottom, unskilled workers, oversexed and prone to venereal disease and polygamy.10 English discourse was thus a profoundly domestic discoursebased on the structure of the planter's home, particularly the sexuality of its resideflts Historians of the independence era have consistently challenged the Great House image by documenting the diversity of slave societies in the anglophone Caribbean. Brathwaite contends that of the roughly 30,000 whites in Jamaica in 1820, only 1,189 were men of significant wealth and propeny (134). Whites were divided by class and by nationality, white West Indian communities included English., Scots, Irish, Sephardic Jews, and Europeans. Most white maJes were employees, bookkeepers and overseers. The majority of white women were middle and lower class, smaH-scale proprietors, teachers, and seamstresses. Though the majority of inter-racial people were a product of non-marital relations between white men and Afro-Caribbean women, a significant number may well have resulted from legally married partners or from white women and Afro-1655-1844" emphasizes the power of the image of the Great House in disseminating the idea that there was "a unifonn white way oflife and that it was wealthy" and dedicates herself to revealing the falseness of that image as it pertained to women (192). to [ employ the term brown to refer to the recognized inter-racial population, comprising the many categories slave owners and English writers devised to delineate color.

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33 Caribbean men. II Beckles reminds us that though the offspring of a white man and an enslaved Afro-Caribbean woman would be born a slave, the children of white women and enslaved men would be born free These unions of white women and enslaved men were not, Beckles asserts, as infrequent as conventional history has led us to believe (7) Though most '''blacks were enslaved, they did not work exclusively on large scale plantations, but in a wide variety of enterprises from salt production to the Royal Navy as the narratives of Mary Prince and Olaudah Equiano recount. In contrast to the static racial hierarchy presented in the Great House image, West Indian societies were defined by the processes of creolization -the interaction of Europeans and Africans (and in certain colonies Amerindians) In The Deyelopment of Creole Society in Jamaica 1770-1820, Kamau Brathwaite finnly asserts the power of creolization. claiming that the single most important factor in the development of Jamaican society was not the imported influence of the Mother Country or the local administrative activity of the white elite, but a cultural action material, psychological and spiritual based upon the stimulus/response of individuals within the society to their environment and as whitelblack. culturally discrete groups to each other.(296) Numerous creole cultural forms developed in the 17th and 18th centuries: syncretic, creole religions like obeah and myal, creole languages derived from varieties of English dialects and African languages creole music, creole carnivals, cuisines, couture, and modes of thinking Creole sexual and domestic practices produced inter-racial people II Brathwaite's research shows that a number, though not a great number, of legal marriages occurred between whites and near-whites. Whites seem to have exchanged whiteness for economic security and near-whites to have exchanged wealth to secure whiteness because Jamaican law made anyone at fifth remove from their African heritage legally white (Brathwaite 148-9)

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34 Yet few if any creole cultural practices were accepted as legitimate.12 Though a significant number of inter racial people gained freedom, wealth and even political power, this did not at first radically challenge the colonial status quo. The process of creolization in the anglophone Caribbean has tended to rebuild social barriers even as it deconsuucted them, reproducing the hierarchy of the slave plantation in social hierarchies of color, class, and ethnicity. Yet, paradoxically creoliution offered the promise offieedom and the redistribution of wealth and privilege. Inter-racial people threatened colonial hierarchy because they pointed to the instability of English identity -the anxiety that even for the European-born. the Indies was transfonnative of cultural essence, social disposition, and personhood itself. ... 'Europeanness' was not a fixed attribute. but one altered by environment, class contingent, and not secured by birth"(Stoler Race and the EdUcation of Desire l04).iJ On one hand English identity was by definition white, ostensibly tied to birth in England and to ancestry On the other hand, Englishness was defined culturally -through the assimilation of bourgeOis domestic culture; "what sustained racial membership was a middle-class morality, nationalist sentiments, bourgeois sensibilities, normalized sexuality, and a carefully circumscribed milieu' in school and home" (Stoler Race and the Education of Desire 105) That some inter racial creoles were better educated, could speak more proper English, converse in a more cultured fashion and dress with more sop histication than many white creoles fundamentally destabilized the conception of whiteness in the West Indies. Thus, inter racial people challenged racial categories, and ultimately undermined the English 12 Inter-racial sex was characterized by inequality -the slave status of the woman, the freedom and sometimes proprietorship of the male Syncretic religions were often fOrbidden, as were some fooos of creole music; creole language was seen as a bastardization ofEnglisb; creole food was often described as slaves' food. 13 Stoler is referring to the East Indies, but the same holds true for the West Indies.

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principle that Europeans were culturally distinct and superior to non-whites -a principle on which rested the justification of Empire. Their wealth also challenged the economic and political domination oftbe planter class The anxiety over this challenge is reflected in the Jamaica Assembly's 1763 vote to limit the amount afmohey brown children inherit to 2000 pounds. 35 Follow Brathwaite, I suggest that this domestic discourse with its Great House" vision was a discourse about creolization. I borrow from Ranajit Guha's reading of colonial discourse as a -prose of counter-insurgency." [am not anaJyzing Guha's subject, English discourse's denial of Indian political agency and organized resistance. But I share with Guha the awareness of having only accounts written by colonizers as sources ofinfonnation about colonized people. Like him. I suggest that these texts distort the reality but that we can extract a significant amount of infonnation from them if we identify their code. During the Santa! revolt. English discourse denied the agency and power of Indians; in the West Indies, it denied the power of creolization. In India. English documentation of disobedience and revolt were i ndices of organized resistance When an English colonial writer points to a West Indian practice with moral and cultural disgust, we can look at that practice as a probable instance of creolization. For instance, they define white women in lenns of their "negro" practices, by which they mean their creole language dress, and eating habits. They define brown women by their "white" habits, their taste for European dress and their successful performance of the role of white wife l4 This focus on creolization is important because it indicates that domestic discourse developed. in relation to creolization., and that domesticity was deployed as a strategy to limit the threats creolization posed to English identity and English control in l4 My reading of creolization here follows Brathwaite's chapter "Creolization" (The Development of Creole Society 296-305).

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36 the West Indies Creolization was colonial policy on the ground; domesticity was colonial ideology [suggest that the strongest purpose afthe domestic ideology in English discourse on the West Indies was to negotiate this conflict between the imperial ideals of domestic virtue and racial purity and the colonial practice of producing multiracial cultures and people. is In Britain's Caribbean colonies, inter-racial concubinage was vinually institutionalized Domestic discourse provided social mores that barred inter-racial marriage and legal codes that restricted the right of illegitimate children, the children afinter-racial couples, to inherit and thus to attain the political economic, and social power to challenge the colonial hierarchy. This chapter is devoted to a critique of English discourse on the West Indies because it played a central role in proto-nationalist writing in the anglophone Caribbean. in particular its representation of creole women 1 focus on the central female figures of the "Great -the sadistic white woman slave owner, the seductive brown mistress of the slave master, and the strong. masculine black woman worker These women arrived in the novels of Thomas MacDermot and Herbert de Lisser, C L.R. James and Jean Rbys heavy with the baggage of their role in colonial discourse. its negation of West lndian cultural and political legitimacy I focus on the two periods of English discourse which most influenced early anglophone Caribbean writing: (1) 1770-1838 -the period which fashioned the image IS Stoler claims that metropolitan discourse produced the immorality of the colonies and that this immorality rendered colonials inferior to the metropolitan middle class The immorality of colonials functioned to define metropolitan bourgeois identity (Stoler 97-100). I agree that English discourse produced West Indian immorality. Yel, I read the threat posed by colonial practices more in temlS of a conflict between colonial ideology and policy than does Stoler. England was able to deploy domestic ideology as a means of articulating metropolitan identity and defining it as a superior England engaged in colonialism to produce new markets and more capital ; the price of colonialism was interaction with non-Europeans, ultimately a creolization of English identity and a loss of English control over Empire This was not a price England's bourgeoisie could acknowledge.

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of the Great House in a profusion of texts produced by the debate over slavery and the concern over the wealth and power afthe plantocracy; and (2) 1860-1906, the period which produced the figure of the masculine and independent black woman as a sign of the Caribbean's lack afreal manhood an image born of a crisis in English identity articulated in a variety of travel narratives and monographs by prominent English literary men. most notably Anthony Trollope. Charles Kingsley. and James Anthony Froude. The depiction of the West Indies shifted from a moral narrative of what Catherine Hall calls "cultural racism" in the first half of the 19th century to a biological narrative based on scientific racism in the second ; the message, however, remained the same : the British West Indies was devoid of the English masculinity and therefore in need. of Englishmen In English texts written about the West Indies in the late 11th century and early 18th century many of the individual elements of the later discourse existed In Ned Ward s A Trip to Jamaica (1700) and in the anonymous Jamaica Lady (1720). for instance, Jamaica is represented in many of the same ways that it is in me latter part of the 18th century ; as a place which destroys women's chastity, a place where white creoles are only superficially feminine and brown women are the mistresses of white men. Early historical texts, Richard Ligon's A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbadoes (1673) and Hans Sloane s A Voyage to the Islands (1707) represent Africans as naked and polygamous These descriptions paraUel19th century English complaints that slaves eschewed clothing and practiced polygamy. But it was only in the late 18th century that these elements were configured into one fixed representation of the West Indies which racialized domestic virtue, rendering white and English womanhood synonymous with one another and with sexual virtue, while defining brown and black women as inherently sexually immoral and leaving the wrote creole woman as a racial and moral in-between character --physically white but morally and 37

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38 culturally brown or black. From 1770 to the early 18405, the debate over slavery was the motivating force in producing English texts on the West lndies. As a result, English discourse itself was strongly divided between texts written in defense of slavery and those written in support of emancipation To illustrate the consistency of English discourse and its construction of the Great I analyse the representation of creole women in roughly fifteen texts of this period, including histories travel narratives, and novels, some anti-slavery, some pro-slavery, some written by women, others by men. [include five historical accounts, Edward Long's History of Jamaica (1774), Bryan Edwards's The HistoO'. Civil and Commercial gfthe British Colonies in the West Indies (1798), and J Stewart's An Account of Jamaica and its Inhabitants (1808) and State of the Island of Jamaica (1823). These are all written by a politically and economically powerful class of men, who stood in-between the category of creole and English. They were long-time residents of Jamaica., often of established, wealthy planter families, but born and educated in England. During the 18th and 19th century, these are the only group of whites to articulate West indian nationalism or sentiments approaching it. They are the closest approximation we have to a white creole voice. Yet without exception they all espouse English domestic discourse and thus define the West lndies, particularly its women, as lacking though their lack of English virtues and accomplishments. I consider four travel narratives by English men, the first two well-known and oft-cited, J.B. Moreton's Manners and Customs ofthe West Indja Islands (1790) and Monk Lewis's Journal ofa West India Proprietor published in 1834 but based on two sojourns in the island in 1815-16 and 1817 The remaining two are less well known., Cynric Williams's A Tour Throu/i:h the Island ofJamaira froID the Western to the

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Eastem End in the Year 1823 and George Riland's Memoirs ofa We.-India Planter (1837). 1.B Moreton presents himselfas having worked in Jamaica as a bookkeeper; he write s a whimsical guidebook to the island for bookkeepers, giving them practical tips about sex:. and women as well as an abundance of salacious anecdotes. Monk Lewis. an absentee landlord, writes a journal of daily events on his plantation that focuses almost exclusively on Afro-Caribbeans He and Moreton both include poetry, song s from slaves ; Lewis. in particular, records Afro-Caribbean ol'1ll tradition. describing the woman story teller and recounting her Anansi tales rn Cyruic Wtlliams's a c count, we see slavery as a series of comic love encounters. Riland s text is an anti-slavery tract, written by a man who was himself a planter. All three present themselves as critical of slavery and yet all three participate in slavery. I refer to four travel narratives by women : Lady Nygent s Journal Mrs. CA. negro population ofthe West Indies (1833), The Youthful Female Mis sionary A Memo i r of Mary Ann Hutchins (1840) and Mrs. Lanagan's Antigua and the Antjguans (1844) The wife of governor Nugent in the first years of the 1 9 th century Maria Nugent was the embodiment of Engli s h domestic womanhood in Jamaica Her diary records her attempts to bring Christianity and domestic virtue t o the government slaves and her dismay at the failure of creoles of al1 colors to attain English coltura] and moral standards Though weU-versed in anti-slavery literature and prepared to condemn slavery, Nugent finds that slaves are not badly treated. Carmichael a long time re s ident orSt. Vincent and Trinidad, and Lanagan. a long time resident of Antigua, are stro ng supporters of the plantocracy and defenders of slavery In contrast., Mary Ann Hutchins' letters fonn a Baptist anti-slavery text, describing the life ofa young wife and missionary in !amaica during the last years of apprenticeship and the first year of emancipation 39

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40 These histories and travel narratives were widely available in England and influenced novelists. Sypher asserts that however far-fetched representations of West Indians in English literature may seem, they are usually based on historical accounts ; he lists Long and Moreton as two of the most influential (Sypher 50S) Charlotte Smith cites extensively from Bryan Edwards's history in The Wanderings ofWarwjck; some scholars suggest that Charlotte Bronte had read Nugent's journal which was printed privately in 1839 (fhomas "The Tropical Extravagance" 4; Nugent ix); L ong's description of white creole women seems to be a blueprint for Bronte's Bertha Mason in Jane Eyre. So close or closed is the relationship between fictional and historical texts, that Stewart employs a scene from Smith's novel The Wanderings of Warwick as historical evidence of the character of white creole women in his 1808 ACCQunt of Jamaica I consider three novels in the tradition of women' s anti-slavery writing Charlotte Smith's Wanderings of Warwick (1794) and The Letters oCa Solitary Wanderer (1800), Maria Edgeworth's Belinda (1801), and Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre (1847). These contrast weak and immoral West Indian characters to strong and moral English figures with the result of defining English manhood and w o manhoo d as superior I include two novels written from a West Indian perspective : the pro-slavery novel, Marly anonymously published in 1828, and Mrs. Henry Lynch s The Coton Tree ( 1847) Both counter English discourse by portraying the West Indies as a moral and cultured society Despite the disparity in gender, political position, and genre, these books present a surprisingly consistent image ofthe West Indies. The continuity in the discourse arises from the shared investment in English rule in the colonies and in domestic virtue as a justification for colonial rule. r borrow my model and understanding of domestic ideology from Catherine

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.. 41 Hall's White Male and Middle Class Domesticity and anti-slavery were linked middle class projects, both campaigns of the evangelical Clapham sect, which exercised great influence over English politics and social practices. [t was largely through domesticity that the middle class defined itself as different and superior to other English classes, the aristocracy and the working class The ideal of domestic womanhood restricted women to the "private sphere," to their homes and to the two defining roles of womanhood : mother and wife. Economic dependence was absolutely essential to domestic womanhood. Accordingly. women were to be chaste until marriage, unaffected. religious, submissive, self-sacrificing, and nurturing In Hall s description, the domestic woman was "naturally more delicate, more fragile, morally weaker, and aU this demanded a greater degree of caution. retirement. and reserve"(85-6). Men were allotted the public sphere, action, reason, and economic power. With "grandeur, dignjty and force," men were to rule and protect family and nation. Women were to domesticate or "regenerate" the family and nation (Hall 86). Central to domestic ideology and to the definition of the middle class was a new and strengthened divide between gender roles "between men and women, between public and private"(HalI 95-6) Thus, when the West Indies is criticized for its weak men and unfeminine women, it is being criticized for its failure to meet an English, middle class standard of domesticity. The Great House I. White Women Represented with prominence greatly disproportionate with their numbers white creole women are depicted from Long to Bronte, and Moreton to Smith, as the wives of wealthy planters -women who were by definition poor imitations of bourgeois femininity Their failure to be English ladies and their consequent loss of

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42 white womanhood illustrated the instability of whiteness, indicating the extent to which whiteness was a function of culture, not phenotype or genetics. The slim demographic data we have indicates that the failure of white creole women to "pass" as English ladies may have as much to do with class as it does with their creole identity. Wealthy white women had the highest rate of "absenteeism" in Jamaica; they were the least likely category of whites to live on the island (Mair 192). Many white women were small-scale planters and business owners. In 1817 in Barbados, white women made up 50% of slave owners of properties with less than ten slaves. In 1815 in St. Lucia white women were 48% of slave owners with less than ten slaves (Beckles 8). As married women's property legally belonged to their husbands, these statistics are evidence of the large number of independent white women participating in the colonial project as entrepreneurs and small planters, not as dependent wives_ But they were clearly not wealthy, and many were poor. The local vestries gave jobs, pensions, and passages to England to poor white women in order to avoid the spectacle of their visible poverty (Mair 208-9) Thus, most white women simply did not have the financial wherewithal to secure the education and material possessions that would give them the linguistic and cultural skills, the clothing or the leisure to be real English gentlewomen. Because English discourse on the West lndies viewed whiteness as synonymous with upper class position, there was no legitimate category for wrote women of lesser means despite their majority. Unable to pay for the education to free themselves from the telltale signs of creole culture, these women lost their unquestioned right to whiteness. Thus, creole identity for white women meant an inextricable combination of class, race, and geographical status. Both pro-slavery and anti-slavery texts made their case against white creole women by arguing that the brutality of slave society and the contagious nature of

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43 African culture rendered white women unsuitable as wives because they could not nurture and educate English men .16 Charlotte Smith's The Wanderine;s of Warwick (1796) provides a prototypical depiction afthe brutal while slave mistress.17 In Smith's novel, a young British lieutenant, "Jack," arrives early on his wedding day and glimpses his beloved Miss Shaftesbury. a Jamaican, administering a flogging to a young woman Jack explains to his companion., Warwick, that, My fair, my gentle Marianne, whom I have seen weep over fictitious distresses of a novel. and shrink from the imaginary sorrows of an imaginary heroine, walked with cool but stately steps before two old negro women who dragged between them a mulatto girl aften or eleven years old, while another stout negro woman followed with the instrument of punishment in her hand which I soon found was [0 be applied to the unfortunate little creature, who while one of the old monsters bound her and another endeavoured to stop her mouth, pLeaded as well as she could for mercy to her "dear Missy" and pleaded in vain (53-54) 1& Charlotte Sussman makes this same point in her discussion of Smith's novel : "Abolitionists. as well as pro-slavery advocates, feared that exposure to such scenes, in which a white woman came face to face with the cruelty imposed on black bodies would ruin both the female capacity for compassionate suffering and the lines between familiar relations and economic relations Neither group imagined that domestic virtue could withstand the pervasive cruelty of Jamaican slave culture, but proponents of slavery thought the threat could be contained, while abolitionists argued that the danger to femininity was ineradicable and mortal" (268) 11 Other writers who depict white creole women in stereotypical terms as cruel and violent to slaves include : Charlotte Bronte, Thomas Pringle Cynric Williams, and Lady Nugent. In Jane Eyre, Rochester tells Jane that Bertha was unreasonable and violent with her servants. Cynric Williams describes a white woman's jealous wrath at a brown woman (317). Lady Nugent writes of one creole family. "as for the ladies. they appear to me perfect viragos; they never spoke but in the most imperious manner to their servants, and are constantly finding fau)t"( I 07)

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44 As a result, Jack leaves without a word, never to speak to Miss Shaftesbury again, much less to marry her though the loss of her fortune will restrict him to a working life (53 -55). In having her slave flogged, particularly in appearing "to enjoy [he spectacle," Miss Shaftesbury revealed the falseness of her femininity. II In his Account of Jamaica and its Inhabitants (1808) and A View of the past (1823), Stewart explains that" ... the woman accustomed to the exercise of severity soon loses all the natural softness of her sex"(View 172) Being raised from early childhood to "lord over" another human being leads her to view corporal punishment as normal and to lose her feminine qualities of "humanity" and "benevolence"; these losses in turn negate her other feminine virtues as Stewart writes. "without these, even beauty, wit, and accomplishments. would lose half their charms"(An Account 161-2) "Lording over" or being "master" oC:other human beings is for Stewart essentially unfeminine. "Being Master" was masculine. The loss of femininity Stewart describes, constitutes, in the binary gender system of domestic ideology, a masculinization of white creole women That both pro-slavery and anti-slavery tem depict women slave owners as pathological suggests that English writers perceive the position of master as inherently inappropriate for women in domestic ideology." Since anti-slavery discourse held that I' Sussman analyses this scene at length, focusing on the falseness of Miss Shaftesbury's femininity demonsuated in her lack of sentiment. In the anti-slavery movement women are supposed to be inspired by the mistreatment of slaves portrayed in books to act against slavery; that is, their sentimental response to slavery should elicit anti-slavery action (Sussman 272). In this scene, the white creole proves herself insensible to sentiment. Sentimental novels do not produce or nourish a feminine sensibility in Miss Shaftesbury Slavery, the novel suggests, has destroyed that sensibility ., In The MasteJy of Submission, John Noyes discusses the conflation or slippage European discourse made in the late 19th century between white women, who had authority over servants in the colonies and white women dominatrixes wielding whips over men in the metropo(e In her article on de Lisser's The White Witch of Rose Hall,

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slave owning was morally wrong and detrimental to all slave owners, gender ought nOt to have mattered. However, even in anti-slavery writing, there is something especially disconcerting about the female slave owner, which makes her very existence a 45 perversion. In his appendix to Mary Prince's slave narrative, Thomas Pringle., secretary of the Anti-slavery society, chooses the image of the white woman slave owner as the quintessential image of slavery'S evil. fu descnbing this Brazilian slave owner as a sadistic prostitute, who beats her young female slave with such fervor that she does not notice that her blouse has fallen to reveal her breasts (prince 1(3). Pringle conflates sexual license, physical cruelty, and a lack of sensibility The multiplication of vices suggests an exaggerated antipathy towards the woman qua slave owner.10 This choice suggests to me that for as well as pro-slavery texts, women's power over other human beings is represented as perverse or pathological because women's power is a threat to patriarchy If white creole women are undesirable first because they transgress gender boundaries. they are urunarriagable in the second instance because they transgress raciaJ boundaries. Although all creoles spoke creole., ate of creole food, and probably shared other creole cultural practices, English writers define the creole culture as "negro" or "Aiican .,,21 In so doing, they vilify creole culture, rendering it an antithesis to the Lizabeth argues that the woman plantation owner, Annie Palmer, disrupts the patriarchal power simply by virtue of being the master of large plantations and she must be vilified and then destroyed to restore the patriarchal order. Both Noyes's and Paravisini-Gebert's arguments point to intolerance of women in the role of master. I think that a similar phenomenon occurs in English discourse during the early 19th century. 20 It is also Significant that statistically most slave owners were men. We might note that slaves were particularly important property for white women, who could not so easily inherit land as their brothers, 21 As there is today, there was probably a linguistic continuum. People spoke at different levels of this continuum and interspersed different levels of creole speech

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superior English culture Stewart, for instance, maintains that white women's "involuntary imitation" of Afro-Caribbean servants led them to acquire "the very manners and barbarous dialect of the negroes" and thus to "exhibit much of the Quashiba"(160).21 The stereotypical portraits were almost formulaic, always defining white creole women by their creole language, culinary, and dress habits, as well as their poor conversation skills. From the point of view of domestic ideology and the English middle class, "Africa.nization" rendered white creole women unfit for marriage. However, from the point of the historian of creolization, the africanized white woman, Stewart' 5 "Quashiba," is a creolized woman. White creole women may have the facade of English culture, but if caught at home. they will be found transgressing racial boundaries in any number of cultural areas: space, dress, food. and all other aspects of deportment. 21 Edward Long's description probably served as a blueprint for later writers, whose accounts become almost formulaic. If deprived of English models, Long explained, white creole women are prone to acquire the language and habits of their Afro-Caribbean servants. Long gives an inventory of the ways they constitute the binary opposite of the English ideal of domestic womanhood: white Jamaican women are often found in indecent clothes of slaves, "awkwardly dangling [their] arms with the air ofa negroe-servant, lolling almost the whole day upon beds or settees, her head muffled up with two or three handkerchiefs, her dress loose. and without stays They eats slaves' food and dispense with civilized habits of tables and silverware "At noon," Long describes white creole women -as employed in gobbling pepper-pot, seated on the floor, with her n Quashiba was the stereotyped. racist name of a woman slave; its counterpan for male slaves was Quashee. 13 Even Mrs. A.c. Carmichael, who defends white creole women, describes them as unable to engage in cultured conversation, but she attributes this to overwork, not the assimilation of African culture (39). 46

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47 sable hand-maids around her. In the afternoon, she takes her siesta IS usuaL ... When she rollzes from slumber, her speech is whining, languid, and childish (vol. II 279). When she s older, Long continues the white creole will be so embarrassed. by her intellectual weaknesses that she will refrain from speaking in public "Lapsus linguae" is the phrase, Marly's hero uses to refer to a creole woman's slips into creole He, for instance, finds his creole dance partner "a lively-good tempered girl though only half educated, and rather too much of Ihe negro Once on his puttin g a question to her, when she was off her guard, she returned by way of answer, 'Him no savey, massa She caught herself in a moment. and endeavoured to laugh it off, but it would not do"(my italics 210). Marly's observation that his partner is "rather too much of the negro" makes clear that he defines creole language as black ; anyone who speaks it as blackened by it. Lady Nugent observed "the creole language is not confined to the negroes Many of the ladies., who have not been educated in England. speak a sort of broken English, with an indolent drawling out of their words, that i s very tiresome if not di s gusting"( 131) .2" Marty's creole partner is explicitly contrasted with the upper class English educated heiress. Mis s M'Fathom, whom Marly is destined to marry The narrator conveys the excellence ofM'Fathom's linguistic and conversational skills by an implicit comparison with the stereotypical monosyllabic creole. He comments "she not only did not fall off in conversation, nor detract from the prepossessing opinion we are led to grant beauty"(119) She is the appropriate wife for Marly because she is the opposite of the typical creole, as demonstrated by her speech U U Nugent combines the stereotypica1 characteristics of creole language and poor conversational skills in her description of Mrs C as "a perfect Creole" because she "says tittle, and drawls out that Iittle"(72) lS That only the exceptional white creole woman is worthy of marriage undercuts the central argument of Marly that domesticity can be made to harmonize with creole

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48 Published in 1828. over fifty years after Long's history, Mad), follows Long's fannula, when it describes George Marly's visit to his partner the day after the ball. He ... catches his fair partner, with her sister, and two other creole ladies, much to their vexation, devouring .. [from] an tron pot a sort of hodge-podge called okra pepperpot, completely in the negro fashion., dispensing altogether with the use of table, plates spoons, and knives and forks .. (211) Moreton's 1790 version of the scene is the most graphic version. He depicts a banquet given by a white mother for her two daughters, with the intention of finding husbands for the two. One daughter, Mlss Laura can not eat the dinner with white suitors because she had been that forenoon., as usual. in the cook-room, where she ate a calabash full of substantial pepperpot; she had a ne c essary call backwards"( 117) The call backwards" refers on a literal level to an attack of diarrhea and on a figurative level to the return to the primitive ways of Africans and animals. Going into the cook' s space meant going into a space reserved for Afro...caribbeans eating pepperpor meant eating Afro-Caribbean food The result is "disgusting": the pepperpot makes her violently ill; her dog, Yellow Legs then consumes the result Yellow Legs conflates the disgust associated with diarrhea and the disgust associated with racial difference. Yellow Legs is a figure for the woman herself, who becomes racially yellow by adopting Afro-Caribbean cultural practices and physically yellow as her legs are likely stained by diarrhea Her behavior of running outdoors to defecate makes her additionally like the dog and like Afro-Caribbeans who were compared to animals. Moreton finds the sisters unworthy of marriage but he is s ufficiently attracted to them to go skinny dipping with them after dinner to receive their "wanton kisses"(11718) He thus treats them much in the way English men treated Afro-Caribbean women society and slavery

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with repulsion and desire. This formulaic description of white creole women always concludes with the assertion that they are unfit wives and mothers (of English men) Long laments "how unfit they are to be companions of sensible men, or the patterns ofimitation to their daughters! How incapable of regulating their manners, enlightening their understand i ng. or improving their morals! (2: 279) Stewart contends that white women must be removed from the West Indies all together (An Account 164) Marly and Moreton (110-111) simply do not consider the average white creole women as candidates for marriage On one hand, this portrayal of creole white womanhood contributes to the construction of English women. In an analysis of Charlotte Bronte's hoe Eyre ( 1847) Jane Austen's Mansfield Park (1814) Maria Edgeworth's Belinda (180 I). Mary Hay's Emma Coyanev (1796) and Smith' s Wanderings ofWacwjc k (1794), Jocelyn Stitt argues that the West Indies posed a threat to the English domestic family This threat was usually expressed through concern about intennarriage between English and West Indian whites In Belinda domestic order is only achieved when the hero and heroine Clarence Hervey and Belinda reject creole panners for marriage and choose each other Similarly, Rochester must free himself of his dark, drunken, insane. ill-educated, and violent creole wife Benha Mason before he can marry Jane the model of domestic virtue Yet, white creole women' s failure [0 be ladies has implications for the empire : As the producers of Englishmen and as their tutors in English culture, English women, their bodies, and their cultural whiteness were essential to the imperial project. The physical disgust with which Engl i sh writers describe white creole women indicates thai there is no middle ground. If the white woman cannot fulfill her lmperial role, then she must be the opposite of that ideal : not the pinnacle of refinement but the nadir of 49

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disgust Englishness, whiteness, and English control over the empire seem thus (0 be absolutes. A woman is white, English, and bourgeois, or she is not white. The focus on the body may reflect the fact that white women's bodies were central to the production of Englishness A contamination of the white woman's body signaled the contamination of the imperial body politic Long draws this connection when he blames Jamaica s failure to become an independent white nation on white Jamaican women's failure to be appropriate wives .26 50 The most important aspect of white womanhood in the West Indies is that the position of wife was coded as white and opposed to the position of mistress or concubine which were defined as belonging to Afro-Caribbean women These roles are defined through what I call the "colonial romance of the Great House: the illicit relationship between the female slave and the male master. In so doing, it illustrates the interdependence of these racially defined womanhoods The romance is the basis for the stereotypes of white and Afro-Caribbean women In the romance, the white man (husband) rejects the white woman (his wife) in favor ofa brown (possibly black) woman. The white woman is so jealous that she beats the brown woman incessantly The cycle is a vicious one because the white woman's lack of attraction leads her to lose her mate to a brown woman, and, as a result of her ensuing jealousy, she becomes 26 Long s logic is that education would produce marriages, which produce a larger white population. The larger white population would foster a sense of patriotism; whites would want to stay on the island rather than to return to England (vol. 11: 279). To this end Long suggests that the state sponsor white women's education "Can the wisdom oflegislature be more usefully applied, than to the attainment of the these ends," asks Long, "which, by making the women more desirable panners in marriage would render the island more populous, and residences in it more eligible; which would banish ignorance from the rising generation restrain numbers from seeking these improvements at the hazard of life, in other countries; and from unnaturally reviling a place which they would love and prefer, jfthey could enjoy it"(voL 2 : 279).

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a masculinized sadiSL This renders her yet again undesirable .27 In most English texts this "romance" is echoed in the portrayal of brown women as sexually desirable and white women as objects of scorn The second volume of Smith's Letters ora Solitary Wanderer (1 SOO), I.b.e: Story QfHenrierta illustrates how English discourse defined. the position of wife as belonging to white women while identifying the role of concubine as the domain of Afro-Caribbean women. The novel stands at a nexus of sentiment and slavery, of domestic and anti-slavery fiction. Henrietta's identity as a white and therefore sentimental woman depends on a strict racial segregation of bodies and identities It suggests, much as the pro-slavery writer Stewart does, that there can be no true white women in Jamaica because Jamaican society constantly places white women in positions appropriate to women of color and thus compromises their racial identity A Jamaican white raised and educated in Europe, Henrietta represents the group of white creoles English writers felt might escape the moral and cultural evils of the West Indies and be the domestic and social equals of English women.2 On returning to Jamaica. Henrietta faces a series of threats to her womanhood : (1) the compromise of her racial identity by living in her father's home where no distinction of rank is made between her and her Afro-Caribbean half-sisters; (2) the marriage her father arranges with a vulgar, lower class white, Mr. Sawkins; (J) the abduction and marriage to an enslaved black man, Amponah; and (4) the abduction and marriage to one of the maroon leaders, where she would be one among several wives Each of these would place her in the 17 The jealousy of white women is repeatedly documented. For instance, Cynric Williams recounts buying a woman slave in order to remove her from her white master's lechery and his white wife's jealous sadism (317-18). [n" AIR. -what care I for Mam or Dad, J.B. Moreton records the story oCa black woman reaping her mistress's jealous blows for bearing a child the woman falsely believed to be her husband's (154) 11 Long, Edwards, even Moreton comment that creoles educated and resident in England can potentially escape the taint of creole culture. 51

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position of a woman of color. She perceives each proposal for "marriage" as a death threat; that is, a complete destruction of her identity qua white domestic woman.29 In this period, English women commonly compared arranged marriage to slavery (Ferguson 19) Henrietta heightens the stakes; for her, marriage to a man unequal in sentiment and fortune is both slavery and death.lO She refers to herself as the future "slave" ofSawkins (61) and caUs her marriage a "bill of sale, for what else can I call it? He has been used to purchase slaves. and feels no repugnance in selling his daughter to the most dreadful of all slavery!"(76) For Henrietta, arranged marriage constitutes death. Rather than a wedding, she imagines "a funeral will be the festival if there is any ; for I can die"(IOl}. To escape the slavery and death of arranged marriage, Henrietta accepts the offer of her servant Arnponah to lead her to safety at another plantation. When he attempts to take her in his arms and proposes -"I no slave now ... Missy, there be no difference now; you be my wife"(303) -she prepares to commit suicide by throwing herself over a precipice Her action reflects that marriage to a slave would constitute the death of her identity as a white woman. She is saved by the shots of maroon soldiers, who kill Amponah, and bring her to the camp of their general. There she U Sussman makes the point that Smith places Henrietta in the position of AfroCaribbean women and thus deconstructs the distinction between black and white women. She writes, "Henrietta's lament [about her arranged marriage] seems to construct an unavoidable equality between herself and enslaved women an equality not, as abolitionists would claim, between their domestic sentiments, but rather between their similarly disempowered positions in a patriarchal culture. As Henrietta's words make clear, if a white woman becomes the subject of physical force, her body becomes virtUally indistinguishable from a slave's" (263). 30 Denbigh considers Henreitta a desirable partner because, as he explains, "our fortunes, Qur condition of life, and our ages, all seemed to unite in making an union between us desirable to both parties" (15). Sawkins, a "dependent" and the nephew of a "low woman" is an affiont to Henrietta as a husband because he is ofa lower social and economic class (66-7). 52

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53 faints when she learns that she is to become one of the wives of the Maroon general, a position indistinguishable from that of women of color. Her loss of sensibility in a physical sense signals the threat being a wife in a polygamous marriage posed to her identity as a white, moral, domestic woman. Smith s novel defines any type of sexuality outside of Christian marriage as fatal to white femininity [fHenrietta had had sex. with Amponah Of the Maroon General and not killed hersel( her fiance would have considered her as good as dead. Denbigh laments, "I could detennine to abandon her though 1 were s ure to find her disgraced and undone. I could die with her (for I knew she never would survive the hOITors I dreaded for her) I could die with her, if to Live with her were denied" (lIS). Her father's household poses perhap s a more fundamental threat because i t makes no distinction between Henrietta, the white legitimate daughter and the illegitimate Afro-Caribbean daughter s. The Afro-Caribbean women see nothing incorrect with the household Henrietta complains of the insensibility to their situation"(57-8) That the women s presence literally colors the entire house is suggested by a syntactical slip in Henrietta's description of the home: Do you know, Denbigh. that there are three young women here, living in the house of c%ur, as the y are called,. who are, I understand, my sisters by half blood (57 Smith's italics) In her sentence, the phrase of colour" logically modifies sisters, but its proximity to house" communicates the underlying reality for Heruietta and for domestic discourse : no house can contain illegitimate Afro-Caribbean women without being a house of color. And no English woman can live in a colored house Smith's narrative is important beca1Jse it illustrates that English/white womanhood is defined through its opposition to brown and black womanhood. It i s not so much that brown women are concubines but that concubinage is racially brown not so much that white women are wives, but that Christian marriage and domestic

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54 womanhood are white It asserts a principle that even pro-slavery texts, like Stewart's end in espousing: the exigencies of slavery and creole society exclude the possibility of a genuine domestic white womanhood in the West Indies; only in England can women be white. The only texts to contradict this image of creole women that I've found are Mary Prince's narrative and Mrs. Henry Lynch novel for young adults, The Conon Tree" or. Emily. the liule WfCS! Indian. a Tale for Young people. (1847). Prince represents a spectrum of white women, ranging from sadistic slave owners to victimized wives and daughters. Lynch's novel presents a positive image to the negative stereotype. Published in the same year as Bronte's novel and written by the daughter ofa West India planter, Lynch's text has an almost uncanny parallel to Jane Eyre but in Lynch's text, the moral protagonist is a young white creole woman sent to school in England. Like Jane, she is ridiculed. Iane's cousins tonnent her because she is poor. Emily's schoolmates torture her on the grounds that she has a creole accent and that she is associated with slavery. Iane is tutored to accept God and not to be discontent by the motherless Helen who dies tragically of tuberculosis; Emily is tutored by an orphan named Jane Lucille in the same religious virtues that Jane learns from Helen. Jane Lucille like Helen dies of tuberculosis. Creole Emily ends the novel by converting her recalcitrant father to piety and becoming a devoted wife and motherboth achievements parallel Jane's conversion of the recalcitrant Rochester and her happy ending in marriage and motherhood. The significant difference is that whereas Bronte depicts the white creole Bertha as the antithesis of Jane's model femininity, Lynch's text presents the white creole as the model of English domesticity Lynch depicts her character carefully to refute the negative stereotype of white creoles as uncultured sadists, but she does not appear to challenge the principles of domestic discourse except in arguing for an inclusion of upper class white creole women into the

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category of domestic womanhood. Brown Women The depiction of Afro-Caribbean women both bro'WTl and black is prominent in English discourse because the plantation economy depended on enslaved women's fertility to supply the labor force and because Afro-Caribbean women were the site of the fundamental contradiction between colonial ideology which condemned inter-racial sex and colonial practice which institutionalized it. As a result of this conflict between ideology and policy, English male writers represent Afro-Caribbean women in strikingly ambivalent and conflicted terms: as the most desirable and the most reprehensible of women. 31 11 In tying the ambivalence of colonial discourse to the conflict between colonial ideology and colonial policy. my argument parallels Robert Young s assertion that colonial ambivalence derives from the fact that colonialism produces the desire for inter-racial sex and that desire constitutes a threat, a "nightmare" for colonialism. On one hand, Young argues, the European theories of race were based on a moral hierarchy in which European culture was defined as civilized and therefore superior and the colonial world is defined as uncivilized and therefore inferior (94). Metropolitan identity and superiority -the very justification for its exploitation and colonization of its empires relied on its cultural and racial difference from colonized people. Yet, as Young describes it, colonialism is a veritable machine for producing desire for inter racial sex. '''Nineteenth-century theories of race," he explains, "did not just consist of essentializing differentiations between self and other: they were also about a fascination with people having sex interminable, adulterating, aleatory, illicit inter-racial sex"(ISl). In this Young argues colonialism inevitably produced inter-racial classes of people whose racial and cultural hybridity undermined the sharp racial and cultural distinctions on which European identity and superiority depend. uIn that sense," writes Young, it was iuelfthe instrument that produced its own darkest fantasy the unlimited and ungovernable fertility of uMaturaI unioos"(98) As a result of thi s conflict, "the races and their intennixture circulate around an ambivalent axis of desire and aversion: a structure of attraction, where people and cultures intermix and merge transforming themselves as a result, and a structure of repulsion, where the different elements remain distinct and are set against each other dialogically"(19) I differ frorr Young in seeing specific historical instibJtions as productive of this ambivalence, in particular, concubinage. 55

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White women writers, who were most often long-time residents of the West Indies, tended to depict brown women in panicuJarly negative their attitude probably reflects the fact that brown women constituted a direct threat to white women's social and economic status In her defense of the plantocracy, Mrs Carmichael defines brown women as people who set out to destroy domestic virtue : S6 their goal in life is to seduce white men into non-marital sexual relations in order to extort money from them. "To allure young men who are newly come to the country, or entice the inexperienced," she wrote, "may be said to be their principal object"(71) Cannichael comments that ""their constitutional indolence is so great, that it may prevent their employing the powers of their mind" and that there is such a total want .. ef decency in the way they dress that they always appeared to me very disgusting" (74).32 In families in which the white male had both a white wife and an AfroCaribbean mistress, white and brown women competed directly for the family's wealth and the man's attentions (Mair 253-5). These individual contests were mirrored in the social structure. Brown women took the place white women occupied in England They were the de facto wives, house managers, the daughters, the nurses, the confidantes of white men. They proved themselves eminently skilled at the very tasks -being wives, mothers, and caretakers that defined white middle class womanhood If they were providing these skills and services, what besides the legal distinction of marriage defined white women's role? Brown women could accrue financial and social status monopolized by white women in England There is an important exception Whereas white women forfeited 32 Yet Carmichael also claims that "among coloured females, marriage is not very general; but many of them, although not bound by the ties of matrimony, do live otherwise respectably with those who maintain them"(71}. The contradictions in women's texts, however, tend to be much less marked than those in men's writing

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57 their propen.y and legal identity with marriage under English law until the end ofthe 19th century, brown women, who did not many. could retain their own property. As a result. they were able to break the racial hierarchy which made race cotenninous with class Their social and economic upward mobility produced both a middle and an upper clas s of Afro-Caribbean s Because browns could petition for the status of whites, brown women and their families complicated racial identity, unlinking the status of whiteness from phenotype an d blo o d (Brathwaite 169-70 ; Mair 423; Sturtz 2) )) Mair writes, Admission to at least some of the rights o f citizenship through private Acts oflegislation was one of the strongest incentives to mulatto women to strive after liaisons with whites, to recommend a similar course to their daughter, and in the process to reaffinn how favoured th ey were above others in the society" (423-4) .l4 Such women were persons of authority and importance to the white establi s hment (Mair 441) men and women wh ose wealth, dress, carriages might outshine those of the white plantocra c y and even the governor at publi c events (Stewart An Account 303 ; Mair 422) Though upper class brown women might look indistinguishable from an upper class white woman., possess ing the same skin color, accent, clothing, and dress. they in fact were products of social practices antithetical to the English d o mestic household and family structure inter-racial non-marital sex: and female headed brown 33 Mair writes, for instance, that "in 1783,42 coloured persons received A c ts o f Privilege, entitling them to "the same rights and privileges with English subjects, under certain restrictions ... The majority of petitioners seem to have been mulatto women, though some white men and one black woman also succeeded in petitioning (Mai r 423). 14 In an effort to protect the white planter class and it s hold political and economic power, colonies granted Afro-Caribbeans fewer legal rights, especially in tenos of inheritance In Jamaica, for instance, an 1763 Jaw limited to 2,000 pounds the amount of money and property white men could will to their inter-racial clUldren That the 1a, was repealed in 1813 reflects the resistance among planters to this limitation it reflects their desire to give their property to Afro-Caribbean domestic partners and children The privilege acts existed even during the period the 1763 law was in place

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households In showing that the performance of English bourgeois culture did not necessarily reflect domestic virtue or European identity the legally white Afro Caribbean woman undennined the racial hierarchy of English domesticity As an illustration of brown women' s social status, Mair cites Reverend Bickell 58 wrote in 1826: have known some married ladies pay visits to the kept mistresses of rich men, who were not relatives, though they would not look upon a more re s pectable woman of the same colour, who might be married to a brown man"'(Mair 423 ; Bickell lOS) Respectable white ladies s ometimes were godmothers to the children of inter racial unions(Stewart a View 175) Brown women of the great house could even claim intimate aud ience with a Governor's wife (Nugent 65,66,68,78,83). These social relations between white and brown women may belie the animosity so carefull y constructed in English texts Because the Great House myth represented brown women alm ost exclusively as the mistresses of plante r s it focused o n pre c isely those figures who most clearly embodied the danger creolization posed to English discourse the physically brown but culturally white wealthy class of Afro-Caribbeans. In this way, English discourse heightened the threat brown women posed to the English hegemony in the West Indies Between 1770-1838, only a small percentage of brown women would have qualified as white Brown women, in fact, occupied almost all social levels of Jamaican society from indigents to school teachers, shopkeepers, and wealthy proprietors. The majority ofinter-racial children were the children of white employees however, not oflargescale proprietors In the West Indies, marriage thus became the last distinction between the white planter's wife and the legally white, Afro-Caribbean mistress of the planter .1S The lS The greatest legal discrimination against "freed coloureds" was probably that they did not have the same rights to give evidence in court as whites (Brathwaite 170) They also were not able to get exception from the deficiency law, as white men were

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legitimacy matrimony gave to a woman and her children provided a social boundary between "whites" and wealthy "free coloureds" -a last means of distinguishing white from non-white Yet as employees, the majority of white males were barred from marriage both by hiring policy and the paucity of their wages. Instead. bookkeepers and overseers were expected to have an Afro-Caribbean woman on the estate see to their domestic and sexual needs .36 According to Mrs. Carmichael, for instance, manied men were not as a rule hired as bookkeepers (Carmichael 63). Stewart condemns the policy on the grounds that it undercuts white political and social control. "The wretched policy is indeed unaccountable." he asserts, "particularly when it is considered. that ... [it] inevitably leads, or contributes to lead, to an order of things in the colonies very different from present" (A View 191). Yet this practice threatened their racial identity Carmichael refers to white men with Afro-Caribbean mistresses as "white negroes" (59). Lady Nugent's description of how creole society destroys white men's virtue is typical of English historical narratives in its scorn for white working men : It is extraordinary to witness the inunediate effect that the climate and habit of living in this country have upon the mind and manners of Europeans, particularly of the lower orders. In the upper ranks, they become indolent and inactive, regardless of everything but eating, This law required plantations maintain one wrute man per every ten slaves. White men, and after 1813. brown men could pay a fee to avoid hiring so many whites However all women were required to abide by the law. This Mair suggests is why so many women went to the cities rather than plantations, where the money could be made with fewer than ten slaves and the deficiency laws were not in effect. It was a law meant to keep power in white male hands (Sturtz 10) J6 In the post-emancipation period in Jamaica, for instance, bookkeepers were assigned a woman worker on estate as a concubine She was paid by the estate, a false task being assigned to her in the estate books (Bryan The Jamaican People 75) S9

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drinking, and indulging themselves, and are almost entirely under the dominion of their mulatto favourites In the lower orders, they are the same, with the addition of conceit and considering the negroes as creatures formed merely to administer to their ease, and to be subject to their caprice (131) Stewart teJ[s a similar tale : The young tyro in vice and profligacy yields at length to their baleful influence., after a short and ineffectual resistance He now can drink. wench, and blaspheme, without a sigh or blush! He sports a sable mistress In shan, his mind soon becomes a chaos oflicentiousness, indecency and profanation; while his constitution and person proportionably suffer by the excesses to which they instigate him (Ao. Account 197-8) The plantation system thus placed the newly arrived bookkeeper in a no win situation It allotted him an Afro-Caribbean woman as concubine and then told him he was no longer quite European because he had sex with and kept house with a non-white woman. Yet all white men in the West Indies found themselves in a position similar to that of bookkeepers They found themselves in a situation in which there were very few white women and many women of color, in which marriage required wealth and commitment and concubinage required neither.31 60 31 In Stoler's model, metropolitan discourse produced poor, immoral whites through the system of barrack concubinage and then vilified as sub-European. In English discourse on the West Indies wealthy white men were often described in equally negative tenns as their employees. English opinion held that planters were sexually immoral and economically irresponsible (Holt 87) Anti-slavery missionary literature contains descriptions of planters in the same negative terms planters used to descnoed Afro-Caribbeans (Ha11212) The conflict between the middle class and the aristocracy/plantocracy this conflict and contradiction within English discourse on the West Indies

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61 The pattern is actually much larger. [n order to succeed in West Indian society, white employees had to assimilate a number of practices which defined them as immoral and culturally inferior. They needed to speak creole languages to communicate with their workers; they needed an woman if they were to have clean laundry and sex; they needed to be willing to administer physical punishment to participate in Estate discipline; they needed to define themselves as white in terms of a set of material achievements. Yet when they had assimilated these practices they were defined as sexually immoral, ill-spoken., brutal men, social climbers who cared only about luxury and material goods -"a Tnoe of Fungi" in Lanagan's words. Stoler cites concubinage as an important example of how metropolitan discourse produced immoral colonial identities as part of the process of defining metropolitan bourgeois identity. In the East Indies, the concubines were arranged for by employees Inter-racial concubinage was the official policy of the Dutch colonial government (Stoler Race and the EdUcation ofdesjre 180). Yet the employees, their concubines, and their children were defined as inferior, a threat to the domestic order of metropolitan Holland and thus, not quite white. In the West Indies. a similar practice was followed but not afficiaUy acknowledged. This metropolitan condemnation of sexual practices institutionalized and sanctioned in West Indian society fostered the striking ambivalence that characterizes men's depictions of brown women. For example, Moreton first warns his readers against hiring a brown mistress on the grounds that "mongrel wenches from their youth up are taught to be whores," and likely to be overpriced and diseased Yet in the next moment, Moreton advises white men to seek out brown women as sexual partners : ... as there are many better than others among the tawny race, if you chance to meet an agreeable young woman, who upon enquiry (do not credit her own words) you will find was not much prostituted, if you

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please and humour her properly, she will make and mend aH your clothes, attend you when sick, and when she can afford it will assist you with anythin g in her power, f o r many of them are good natured (131) F o r Moreton brown w o men are absolutely to be avoided and ab s olutely to be sought; they are diseased and they are excellent healers They are acquisitive and they are very generous. A similar ambivalence characterizes Bryan Edwards account of brown women 62 Because he sought to secure a future for white hegemony in Iamaica. Edwards vehemently opposed the unions of brown women and white men "The accusation generally brought against the free people of Colour, he writes, "is the incontinency of their women; of whom, such as are young and have tolerable persons are universally maintained by White men of all ranks and cond i tions as kept mistresses The fa c t is too notorious to be concealed or c ontroverted"(bk 4, ch l :21) Yet, he assens that the unhappy females here s poken of, are much less deserving reproach and reprehensi o ns than their keepers" (bk 4 Ch 1 : 22) because they had so many domestic VlrtUes, In their dress and carriage they are modest, and in conversation reserved ; and they frequently manifest a fidelity and attachment towards their keepers which if it be not virtue is something very like it. The terms and manner of their compliance too are commonly as decent, though perhaps not as solemn, as those of marriage ; and the agreement they consider equally inn o cent; giving themselves up to the husband (for so he i s called) with faith plighted, with sentiment, and with affection.(Bk IV 23) Rejected as wives by white men, these women, Edwards argues, had no choice but to

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enter into the inunoral institution of concubinage. 31 He asserts that Thus, excluded as they are from all hope of ever arriving to the honour and happiness of wedlock, insensible of its beauty and sanctity; ignorant of aU Christian and moral obligations ; threatened by poverty, urged by their and encouraged by example, upon what principle can we expect these iU-fated women to act otherwise than they do?(Bk. IV 22) Though he admits "that this system ought to be utterly abolished he is left asking, "but by whom is such a refonn to be begun and accomplished?" (ble.. IV 23) For Edwards, there is no solution to the problem of concubinage Otherwise put, there is no solution to the creolization of womanho o d represented in the brown women's assimilation of British womanhood. The guiding force in Long's description of brown and also black women is his desire to end miscegeny in order to foster a white Jamaican nation He described inter racial liaisons as "goatish embraces" and sawall women of color as "common prostitutes" (vol.2 327). The most striking characteristic of Long's description is his assertion that brown women are sterile because they are the pmduct of two species.J? He asserts that "some few of them have intermarried here with those of their own complexion; but such matches have generally been defective and barren. They seem in this respect to be actually of the mule-kind, and so not capable of producing from one 31 "No White man of decent appearance. he Edwards writes "unless urged by the temptation of a considerable fortune., will condescend to give his hand in marriage to a mulatto! The very idea is shocking"(22). Jg Despite the fact that Long is often cited as representative of colonial dis c ourse his strong white nationalism and his scientific articulation of polygenist theory of race were almost anomalous in English discourse on the West Indies. His political position correlated with his scientific theory of race He asserted that Africans were not of the same species as whites, but rather inhabited an liminal category -between orangutans and whites. 63

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64 another as from commerce with a distinct White or Black"(voI.2 335).40 Any children produced in brown-brown marriages must, Long reasons, result from the woman's infidelity with a man of another race In defining brown women as sterile, Long deploys race science to support his political desire for white Jamaican nationhood Even Edward Long expresses a fundamental ambivalence toward brown women. Long claims that brown women are "well-shaped" and "well-featured," but "grow horribly ugly" by the age of twenty five. On one hand., "their behavior in public is remarkably decent." On the other hand, they are "lascivious" and "affect a modesty they do not feel." On one hand they are very caring and generous "'excellent nurses," who "do many charitable actions, especially to poor white persons.'" On the other hand. Long maintains that "the mulatta" is very cunning in deceiving the white man into thinking she loves him; she appears to be jealous, but in fact has her own "favourites" and steals the white man's money (331-34). She may be generous and charitable, but she is also extravagant, spending "all the money they get in ornaments, and the most expensive sorts oflinen"(voI.2 335). Colonial society pressured white men both to refuse and to accept women of color as lovers The men react against the conflicting pressures by expressing alternately exaggerated praises or condemnations. The dynamic mimics that of a seesaw. One extreme result is the inversion of the racial hierarchy of women which is .0 Robert Young includes Long in the category of "straightforward polygenist" because he asserted the sterility of inter-racial people (18). Long actually only asserts that inter-racial people are sterile if mated with each other; if they mate with whites or blacks, they are fertile. This question of sterility is absolutely central to the polygenist argument because the ability to mate and produce defined the boundaries of the species. To prove that Africans were not human, polygenists had to assert that they were sterile. Since they showed evidence of being fertile, racial theorists, like W.F Edwards, George Gliddon, and Josiah Nott, refined the theories of straightforward polygenists like Long, by asserting that inter-racial populations became gradually weaker and sterile over a period of generations (Young 18). This was an assertion not so easily proved incorrect as Long's.

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the foundation of English domestic ideology In his 1823 Tour throYSh the Island of Jamaica. Cynric WiUiams inverts the Engli s h racialized hierarchy of womanhood, by defining brown women as the ideal to which white women must aspire. He descnoes his brown woman companion as 65 exceeding European standards of beauty She is, for instance, whiter than white c re o le women : "Diana.. .. was a Quadroon, with a complexion v e ry little darker than the European ; nay, much fairer than any of the faces afmeo long resident in the tropics Her skin was clear and glowing with a tint, though a very faint o ne, of the rose in h e r cheeks ... 41 Though her hair reminds him of her Afiican heritage he sees that African heritage as a model for European beauty, "her hair was dark brown, by no means bla ck., th ough there was something in the contour of it that reminded me of her African orig in ; s till it was not woolly but rather a ma ss of small natural curls, s uch as I have often s een imitated by the ladies in England He compares his "Diana t o two beauties of classical heritage, Medici's Venu s and Cleopatra.. William s writes "though, perhaps, taller than the Venus de Medicis, her figure was more s lender and not less grac eful. There was a sweetness and benignit y in her countenance, that ... made me thi n k of the i mpres s ion which Caesar might ha v e felt at the first s ight of the beautiful Cleopatra"(54). Williams describes her in terms of not English but of clas si cal mod e l s of beauty Classical beautie s held re s pect in England becau s e of the esteem for Greek and Roman cultures, but they made poor models of domest i c virtue Venus was promi scuous. Cleopatra a bride outside of wedlock and from North Africa. and Diana cavorted in the wild, unyoked b y marriage or the duties of m o therhood Nonetheless i f we compare Diana with the white w o men William s des c ribes, she is clearl y the lad y Monk Lewi s similarly places brown women above European w o men when he remarks U Even the rose tint in her cheeks marks her as more European than white cre oles who are remarked in Stewart, Lon g, and Edwards, as having a paUor in their cheeks -never having pink cheeks

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that Mary Wiggins reminded him of "Grasini in 'La Vergine del Sole,' only that Mary Wiggins was a thousand times more beautifuI"(69) 66 For Williams., brown women have so much become the measure of womanhood that he condemns white women when they fail to meet standards set by brown women. Williams stays at an inn near Bath in the Parish ofSt. Thomas, owned by a white woman named Mrs. White and her unmarried daughter. Everything is wrong. The building is dilapidated ; the roof leaks The daughter can't sing. Parodying the daughter who sings to show offher talent:. she sings to hide the squawks afthe chicken her mother is trying to kill The food is meager and inedible The mosquitoes and the bed are unbearable In contrast, brown women were renowned for their skill as iM keepers, a business in which they held a virtual monopoly in the 19th century West Indies (Kerr passim). M.G. Lewis claimed "inns would be bowers of paradise, if they were all rented by mulatto ladies, like Judy James"(63). Mrs. White and her daughter's failure is defined by their failure to live up to the standard brown women had set as innkeepers, cooks, and comforters Williams's anecdotes indicates that brown wome n can be desi rable even when they are not upper class, but white women can only be desirable if they are upper class. Mrs White s failure as an innkeeper marks the barriers within creolization. Brown women can take the place of whites, but white women can't take the place of brown women and retain respect. Black Women A similar ambivalence characterizes white men's descriptions of black women. However, because the vast majority of slaves were black, black women's sexuality was perceived as central to the production of labor and the economic status of the West Indies In most slave societies in the British West Indies the enslaved population did not reproduce itself and planters relied on the slave trade to maintain their work force

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67 This caused a panicular anxiety once England abolished the slave trade in 1807 when planters became exclusively dependent on enslaved women's bodies for their workers In respect to the economic health of the plantation system and those who profited from it in England, enslaved women constituted the crucial group of Caribbeans Anti-slave;ry writers deployed domestic ideology to argue that slavery must be abolished because it deprived enslaved women of their proper domestic role as wife and mother. A planter converted to anti-slavery, George Riland, is typical of anti-slavery writers in bis focus on marriage and his criticism of British West Indian failure to legally recognize slave marriages: But fresh evidence of the abject condition of our colonial bondsmen is at hand. What is their state with regard to marriage? Even the demonology of Africa., and the foul polytheism of Asia, recognise that connubial bond.. which, in Christian colonies, is disowned and violated. At this hour the marriage of slaves is protected by no legal sanction! (117)" Riland bases his argument against slavery in his Memoirs ofa West India Planter (1837) on the power of blacks' domestic sentiment as spouses and as parents In his effort to convert his readers to anti-slavery, he describes how a black enslaved woman's maternal love converted his father, a West Indian planter, to an anti-slavery position Riland's father buys an enslaved woman but leaves her young son on the auction block The mother cries in anguish When the planter returns home, he 4:2 Slaves could marry in the dissenting churches but these marriages were not recognized by law. Anti-slavery missionaries viewed marriage as a central goal and saw their campaign to bring marriage to slaves as part of their campaign against slavery. Mary Ann Hutchins, an English Baptist missionary during the period of apprenticeship, asserts, "now here remark, that if religion has done nothing else, it has taught the people to live morally. and shun the abominable state of open conCUbinage, which was before the universal custom Hutchins' parishioners so equated marriage with christianity that they called themselves "the married family" (3/2911836)

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discovers that his daughter is very ill and hears his white wife utter the same cry of a mother's love he heard the enslaved mother cry on the auction block The black woman's matemallove made her in the eyes ofRiJand's father a woman like his wife 68 and thus a human being. Riland senior quickly saves his own child and returns to buy the enslaved woman's son. The unification of mother and child transfonns the mother from an anguished and useless worker into a contented and diligent servant. The story illustrates both [hat Afro-Caribbeans are human by right of their domestic feelings and that the slave system will profit ifit allows slaves to exercise those domestic feelings u The English anti-slavery movement deployed the image afthe enslaved mother separated from her child on the auction block to move white English women to identifY with slaves and to join the fight against slavery (Sussman 239). Mary Prince's description of her mother's pain and anguish at her children's sale serves as an example of this image as does Pringle's decision to supplement her account with a description of a slave auction in the Cape of Good Ho' pe (51-52) ruland's scene participates in that discursive strategy ."" Despite their apparent embrace of black women as "sisters." anti-slavery writers believed that European culture was inherently superior to slaves' cultures Other races might be brought closer to equality with English people if they could be "3 The book is structured around a reunification of a father and son separated by slavers in Africa. The father's and son's joy at finally uniting further illustrateS that blacks have domestic sentiment and therefore are like whites and ought not to be enslaved. "'" As Ferguson, Sussman. and also Catherine Hall argue this "sisterhood" between free English and enslaved black women was hierarchical (Sussman 238; Ferguson 5/91 ; HaH 214) Texts like Smith's The St0'Y of Henrietta illustrate how English women racialized domesticity ideology in order to maintain their cultural and moral superiority to their enslaved. black sisters English anti-slavery activists and writers deployed their domestic sisterhood with enslaved women to legitimate their participation in the public sphere of imperial politics, to allow them to enter the ranks ofimperiai British citizens along side English men (Sussman 2391280-2 ; Ferguson 5-6).

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brought to assimilate English culture particularly domestic culture, marriage, monogamy. and matemallove. Emancipation combined with Cbristian education and morality, they argued, would transfonn the primitive African and sexually corrupted enslaved population into a diligent, rural proletariat living in married households (Hall 211; Bush 18-19; Holt 53). In fighting for emancipation. the antislavery movement sought to establish mamed households based on a gendered division of labor and a desire to accumulate wealth to support its women and children (Holt 77-78). 4S 69 The anti-Slavery writers thus placed slaves in a category of potentially domestic and industrious people by portraying them as the victims of slavery. They accepted Afro-Caribbeans only in so far they would assimilate domestic ideoiogy .'6 When emancipation did not noticeably increase the marriage rate, English middle class opinion swung against Afro-Caribbeans and towards the scientific racism and anti-black rhetoric of writers like Thomas Carlyle and James Anthony Froude The contradiction with regard to Afro-Caribbean women in anti-slavery writing was immanent in the discourse, becoming explicit after emancipation. For pro-slavery writers, however, black women and the question of racial and cultural creolization posed an immediate challenge. To counter anti-slavery's "5 Holt cites the speech of a Jamaican special magistrate delivered to apprentices which links the goals of middle class marriage and the desire to accumulate commodities. In order to obtain these, the comforts and necessaries of civilized life," he advised "you will have to labour industriously for the more work you do, the more money you must obtain, and the better you will be enabled to increase and extend your comforts"(Holt 77). Wives would stay home to look after men's "household affairs." so that men could work harder and more cheerfully, assured of finding eve[)' thing comfortable when [they] get home"(Holt 78). The men will need to work hard for their housewives, who now will "require their fine clothes for their chapels, churches. and holiday"(Holt 77). 46 Sussman writes, that in "assimilating the African woman entirely into the categories of English domesticity," the anti-slavery movement, "made her accessible to abolitionist sentiments, but it erased her cultural specificity"(284).

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accusation that slavery destroyed Afro-Caribbeans domestic morality and therefore prevented slaves from physically reproducing themselves, pro-slavery writers 70 maintained that black women's lack of domestic virtue their promiscuity, prostitution abortion. and venereal disease caused the low biI1hrate They describe black women as physically grotesque and diseased. and, at the same time they depict black women as sexually desirable. Bryan Edward's account of black women illustrates this ambivalence Edwa:-ds discusses black women in two chapters, one on enslaved "negroes," the other on uthe Mulattoes and native Black of free Condition In the first., Edwards describes black women in uniformly negative terms in order to support his larger argument in favor cf the slave trade. Edwards initially attributes the low birthrate to the disproportionately high number of male slaves which was exacerbated by the black practice of polygamy 4' Polygamy in turn, sets in motion a series of practices which worsen the birth rate, including, a "shocking licentiousness and profligacy of manners in mo s t of their women; who are exposed to temptations which they cannot resist." In tum this promiscuity causes abortions and venereal disease -two immoral practices which directly lower the birth rate Edward s suggests that s laves "hold chastity in so little that barrenness and frequent abortions. the usual effects o f promiscuous intercourse, are very generally prevalent among them n In addition, promiscuity makes enslaved women bad mothers another domestic taboo : "To the same origin may be ascribed that neglect, and want of maternal affection towards the children produced by '" Edwards uses polygamy as evidence that blacks are inherently immoral and th a t the anti-slavery campaign to tashion them into Christians and mamed couples is absolutely impractical He asserts that "the practice of polygamy, which universally prevails in Africa.. is also very generally adopted among the Negroes in the West Indies; and he who conceives that a remedy may be found for this., by introducing among them the laws of maniage as established in Europe, is utterly ignorant of their manners, propensities, and superstition"(Bk 4 : 147)

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71 former connections. observable in many afthe Black females"CI48) .n Thus, as diseased and promiscuous, black women are not only the antithesis of the English domestic woman, they are physically undesirable. Yet. Edwards inserts Isaac Teale's "The Ode to the Sable Venus," which celebrates the charms of African women into his discussion of freed blacks on the grounds that they "differ but little from their brothers in bonds"(26) whom he has already described in negative terms. The poem, however, clearly does not reiterate the image of black women as diseased prostitutes. Rather it represents "the character of the sable and saffron beauties of the West Indies, and the folly of their paramours, are portrayed with the'delicacy and de",'1erity of wit, and the fancy and elegance of genuine poetry"(26) ,' This poem seems both to elaborate the stereotype of the Afro-Caribbean woman as seductress expressed so clearly by Mrs. Carmichael and to deconstruct that stereotype, attributing desire to the white male not the black woman and exploring the social and political threat posed by inter-racial sexuality "Ode to the Sable Venus" and the lithograph that accompanies it depict one African woman's experience of middle passage in ways that invert history (Illustration ",I Even in this section of his representation of black women, Edwards makes two contradictory claims First he asserts that blacks inherent nature makes it impossible for them to assimilate English standards of domesticity (147) His claim that blacks can never be domestic conflicts with his larger argument for the slave trade, which asserts that the trade is necesscuy in order to bring more women to the West Indies and thus create an equal number of men and women This parity of the sex would work against polygamy. "Men of reflection," concludes Edwards, "apprized of the fact that such disproportion between the sexes exists among the Negroes will draw the proper conclusions from it, and agree that an abolition of the slave trade will not afford a remedy'(149). "" Robert Young brings together Edwards' comments on "women of colour" (brown women) and the "Ode" as jfthe "Ode" were talking about brown mistresses. Though Edwards himself includes "sa.ffron" women in his description of the poem's subject, logically the poem is about African women,. not inter-racial women. I also take the poem's author from Young (152).

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72 #1, Appendix) Whereas African women were transported to Jamaica in slave ships, the Sable Venus is carried to jamaica in a sea shell chariot by Poseidon who holds the flag of the British empire. African women anived as slaves, not goddesses and queens. They belonged to African cultures, not classical myth and Italian painting The narrator of the "Ode" is a white man who desires that a black woman dominate him Though he addresses his Sable Venus with "I seek, and court thy gentle reign," in Jamaica in 1765, white men owned black women as slaves, and governed them brutally or gently, as they saw fit. The poem also inverts the traditional English representation of black women. No longer is she either an animal or diseased prostitute, but the goddess oflove. who has the devotion of all European men in Jamaica. "the prating FRANK., the SPANIARD proudl l the double SCOT, HlBERNlAN loudl l And sullen ENGLISH own"(capitalized as in the original) o Edward's Sable Venus is not just a Roman goddess. In describing her as the monarch of the East and West Indies, and much of the rest of the world the narrator presents the Sable Venus as the queen of the British Empire. The "Ode" repeatedly emphasizes her position as a ruler. Not only does the narrator "court .her reign" but all the above mentioned men have transferred allegiance to her "throne She is sovereign not just over Africa or Jamaica., but over the world: her "scepter sways" "from East to West, o'er either Ind'." Like the British Empire, hers is one on which the sun never sets, "the blazing sun that gilds the zone, Waits but the triumph of thy throne,!/ quite round the burning belt." The lithograph reinforces her British sovereignty by showing Poseidon bearing the British flag as he pilots the shell chariot towards Jamaica. Thus, the poem inverts not only West Indian reality but the world political and racial so I agree with Carolyn Cooper that white men's exuberant praises of black women's beauty are oppressive, objectifYing, violating, and sometimes threatening (23)

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order. Representing an African woman as an imperial leader of the British empire brings the colonial order of 1765 into confusion If a queen is ruler of an Empire., then her country must be the sovereign nation arthat empire. In the context of the "Ode" this means that the Sable Venus represents not the British Empire, but an African Empire, which hOJ,S the same powers as the British. As leader of a large and powerful Afiican empire, the Sable Venus poses a formidable threat to the British Empire and the racial hierarchy which upheld it 73 I suggest that in figuring the Sable Venus as the Empress of an African version of the British Empire, the "Ode" expresses anxiety over the ramifications of white men's sexual relations with black women. and women of colour more generally Edwards introduces the poem by explaining that it depicts white men's "folly The poem may reiterate the scornful image of the white man who loses his senses and his racial status by succumbing to the ehanns of an Afro-Caribbean woman. but its attention to empire suggests that even in jest, inter-racial sexuality has far reaching political significance The Ode's praise of black women also condeITUlS the logic of Edwards' Hjstory Teale follows the line of pro-slavery rhetoric and does not represent black women as chaste wives. The narrator professes his allegiance not to a single black woman. but to them ail : "Try ev'ry fonn thou canst put onll So staunch am I, so true"(33) Yet he differs from pro-slavery rhetoric in that he locates the selCUal desire in the white men, who gather from ail over the island to meet Sable Venus on her arrival to Jamaica He does not place the responsibility for sexual desire promiscuity, or domestic disorder on black women. In placing the desire for inter-racial and non-marital sex in white men, the "Sable Venus" undercuts the backbone of the proslavery argument that black women (and men) are the source of domestic and sexual disorder. Since Teale portrays white men as the source of sexual and moral disorder, black women can not be held responsible for the low bin:hrate which Edwards argues in his earlier chapter is caused

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by black promiscuity. The poem also asserts an equivalence between black and white women they are both Venuses The narrator of the poem refers to the sister of the Sable Venus as Botticelli's Venus and asserts that the two sisters are identical but for color "both just alike, except the white, No difference, no none at night II But the illustration of the poem refuses this equivalence. By depicting the Sable Venus as inunodest and almost masculine in her strength, it asserts a difference and inferiority in respect to the Medici Venus. Where the Italian model has a curved and oval shaped stomach and abdomen, the Sable Venus has a more square, fiat, abdomen with strongly defined muscles Similarly her thighs appear muscular and strong. In these muscular and square depictions of the Sable Venus' body, the lithograph differs explicitly from the poem's description of the Sable venus, which repeatedly notes her softness and emphasizes her femininity : nthe pleasing softness of(ber] sway" "soft was her lip as silken down," "Her reign is soothing, soft. and sweet." The lithograph also departs from BotticelH's model in depicting the Sable Venus's in an immodest pose. BotticelJi s Venus attempts to cover her breasts. The Sable Venus makes no such attempts. The poem claims that she rules the world, but the lithograph engraves chains around her neck, wrists and ankles These may be tribal bindings, but in the context of the middle passage the bindings resemble chains. In short, the lithograph undercuts Teale's representation of the Sable Venus identical to a European woman; it refuses to portray the black woman as the white woman's equal. Instead it gives the reader an image of a more brazen woman, a woman in bonds, which concurs with the dominant English tradition of representing black women as visibly less feminine and moral than white women. Edward Long attempts to contain the threat black women posed to white hegemony by denying their humanity. He placed Africans in the same genus as 74

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75 humans but in a lower species, between man and the orangutan He is famous for claiming that male orangutans have sex with African women: "Ludicrous as the opinion may seem," be wrote. "I do not think that an oran-outang husband would be any dishonour to an Hottentot female, for what are these Hottentots? ... In many respects they are more like beasts than men ... "(Vol. II 364) As further evidence of the likeness of orangutans and Afiicans. Long asserts that "both races agree perfectly well in lasciviousness of dispositionlt(370). Long's strategy is to discount black women as a threat to the racial hierarchy in the West lndies by claiming that black women are not human ; as another species they can not destabilize a human racial order. Long's weakness is not the contradiction within rus argument but the fact that he has no plausible support for his assertions SI Thus the need to exploit black women's labor, to control their sexuality, and to repress the threat their power poses to the social and racial hierarchy leads pro-slavery writers either into a logical impasse as Edwards or obviously untrue statements as Long. Black women remain in these texts both sites or contamination and of desire, however much that desire may be mocked a s it is in the "Ode to the Sable Venus." The Question of Sovereignty Underlying the concern over sexuality and domesticity in English discourse is the concern over political power. In the case of the East Indies, Stoler finds that "racialized others of mixed-blood and creole origin and the suspect sm{aJ moralities, ostentatious life-styles, and cultural hybrid affiliations attributed to them were productive ofa discourse on who was appropriate to rule"(I 19). In the case of the West Indies, English discourse sought to assert the superiority of the English 51 Moreton is probably making ajibe at Long's Orangutan theory when he comments that he sees nothing in the claim that Afro-Caribbeans are closer to monkeys than humans.

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76 bourgeoisie in respect to West Indian economic and political power by producing a stereotype of the white creole male as morally and intellectually incompetent 52 Wylie Sypher supports this interpretation by arguing that negative caricatures of West Indians in English literature derive from the enonnous increase in West Indian planters' wealth from the 17305 to the end afthe 18th century, which the English middle class experienced as a threat He conunents that "the West-Indian was upsetting the social order in England, and John Bull resented the sugar-planter as strongly as he did the nabob"(504) In the early 19th century, the West Indian lobby stiU had significant power in parliament, much of which it lost in the 1832 Parliamentary refonn (Holt 29) Thus for late 18thcentury and early 19th -century middle class writers the West Indian plantocracy was still a force to be reckoned with Accordingly English writers tended to emasculate white creoles by depicting them as unable to control their money or themselves White creole men's failure as imperial citizen s is the counterpan of white creole women s failure as imperial wives One explicit example of the English construction of the West Indian male as unworthy of political power -of manhood itself, is Edgeworth's description of Mr. Vincent .53 Mr. Vincent is a portrayed as a n It focused on white West Indians because these were the only West Indian men who held politica1 power in England n Edgeworth's Belinda portrays another creole male, Mr. Hanly in similarly unmanly tenns: he elopes with a 16 year-old English woman and, under social pressure, deserts her with a child Later in the novel his obsessive search for his daughter shows him to be insane. Charlotte Smith's The Story of Henrietta defines white West Indian males as unworthy of political power by descnoing its two creole male protagonists as either unreasonable tyrants or feminized and afiicanized men The elder Maynard Henrietta's father is "despot on his own estate." who "imagined he might exercise unbounded authority over every being that belonged to himM(ll). His tyranny results from the institution of slavery, which taught him as a young child that he was superior to his enslaved servants ; as a result he has no tolerance for equality or reason His tyranny over his younger brother whom he treated as a slave contnoutes to that brother's excessive sentimentality and domesticity The younger brother becomes feminized, devoting himself exclusively to his children's upbringing and deserting the

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77 chivalrous though not brilliant knight. But he is guided by his feelings -"a good heart"-rather than reason (423). He is the inverse of the rational man, who might lose his power afreason in moments of passion. Mr. Vincent's "most virtuous resolves were always rather the effect of sudden impulse, than of steady principle But when the tide of passion had swept away the landmarks. he had no method of ascertaining the boundaries of right and wrong"(439) His inability to know right from wrong leads him to gamble away his fortune, a flaw which saves Belinda from having to marry him and which occasions the revelation that Mr. Vmcent is not "master" of himself. When Vincent gambles away his fonune, Hervey follows him to his lodgings to prevent him from suicide by explaining that his fortune can be retrieved. Vincent, however. demands that Hervey leave. Hervey takes charge of the situation, asking Vincent to be a man : "command yourself for a moment, and hear me; use your reason, and you will soon be convinced that [ am your mend." Vincent refuses on the grounds, "[ am not master ofmyself'(432); that is because he is not "masculine" like Hervey Since Vincent can not be master ofhimsel( it is clear that he has no right to be master of Belinda, which is why Lady Delacourt thanks all those who helped expose Vincent's gambling and thus save Belinda from having Vincent as her "lord and master"(451) The political lesson is that mastering slaves leaves the creole man unable to master himself and that if the creole is fit neither to master himself nor his woman, he is also unfit to govem his country In Jane Eyre, Bronte portrays the creole Richard Mason as yet more unable to public world of finance and society He ends his life as a hennit, communing with the spirit ofrus dead son in Jamaica's Maroon territory, clothed in the fabric of slave's clothing and speaking the language of Maroons The hero Denbigh, concludes that it would be impossible to reintegrate him into society. He is too feminine and too African ..

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master himself than Vincent.:H Mason's lack of power and command "repels" Jane; she complains, "there was no power in that smooth-skinned face ... no firmness in that acquiline nose ... there was no thought on the low, even forehead; no command in that blank., brown eye (167). Through his lack of "'"power, "firmness," and "command," Bronte constructs Mason as the negative opposite, the "antipodes" of the ideal of British,. domestic masculinity represented by Rochester .55 In contrast, Rochester is as 78 Jane perennially calls him, "master Jane desires Rochester because his features "quite mastered [her], -that took [her1 feelings from [her] own power and fettered them in his" (my italics 153) Rochester's masculinity, his decisiveness, and power make Jane desire him as a husband, but it also makes him capable of governing. In these novels the only men qualified to be masters, husbands, and rulers are English men, who have learned the importance of domestic values without losing their power to command Conclusion By defining creole cultural practices as immoral and inferior to English ones, English discourse deployed the rhetoric of domestic ideology to lessen the threat creolizarion posed to the racial hierarchy which secured English imperial rule. Domestic ideology negotiated the contradiction between colonial ideology, which denied racial mixing and the colonial practice, which required it. But, in its desire to limit the threats posed by creolization, English discourse obsessively documented the creolization of Caribbean women Domestic rhetoric depicted Afro-Creole women in such ambivaJent tenns that it revealed the contradictions within English discourse. often disclosing a society in '4 Sue Thomas makes a similar argument about Bronte's portrayal of Richard Mason as effeminate ("The Tropical Extravaganza" 5). ss Jane can only explain Rochester'S friendship with Mason with "the old adage that extremes meet. '" Rochester reinforces his superiority to Mason by explaining that he is kind to Mason because of the "dog-like attachment he once bore me"(269)

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which white women were the antithesis of English ideals of womanhood. AfroCaribbean women., especially brown women were the most desirable and the most cultured. not white women. In assimilating English culture and attaining the legal status of whites, brown women exposed the instability of whiteness, unlinking the correlation between race and class the Great House myth sought to maintain. 79 Though domestic ideology did not eliminate the inter-racial interaction of creole societies, it did limit the threat posed by inter-racial sex It fashioned Christian marriage and legitimate birth as further barriers between privileged and unprivileged people, as the foundation for the West Indian hierarchies of class and color that replaced the English hierarchy of class and race By representing West Indian men and women as unworthy partners in marriage and politics, English discourse not only legitimated English rule in the West Indies, it sought to secure English middle class political power in England during a period in which the wealth and political power of the West Indian plantocracy threatened middle class social standing and middle class political campaigns for the abolition of the slavery and for fI ee trade.

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Chapter 3: English Literary Masters and the Black Amazons of their Imagination: the Destabilizing Presence of Women in late century English Travel Narratives "The question in every colony is. what sort of men is it rearing? If that can not be answered satisfactorily, the rest i s not worth caring about." (James Anthony Froude The English in the West Indies 221) With the post-emancipation importation of indentured labor from Asia. the demographic composition of the West Indies changed. but the logic of English discourse remained the same in its depiction of the region and its inhabitants. English writers continued to argue that West Indians did not merit political rights because they lacked industry and mOrality English writers continued to employ domestic ideology to justify not only colonial rule but the power of a tiny local white elite over the vast majority of Afro-Caribbean and Asian Caribbean peasants and laborers. Charles Kingsley's description of the Trinidadian capital Port of Spain illustrates the tactics late 19th
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8J possess "superabundant animal vigour and ... perfect independence." The positive valence of the vigour is counteracted by its animal nature and its application in the service of prostitution. And it rums out that "perl'ect independence" is for Kingsley an oxymoron. Independent women can not be perfect because women oUght to be wives dependent on their husbands. Kingsley is impressed with black women' s "physical strength and courage," but this strength terrifies him. leading him (0 think of "stories of those terrible Amazonian guards of the King of Dahomey, whose boast is. that they are no longer women, but men." It leads him to conclude that "there is no doubt that. in case of a rebellion, me black women of the West Indies would be as formidable, cutlass in hand, as the men (33), This amalgamation of conflicting characteristics becomes intelligible when we realize that Kingsley has defined black women as the inversion of middle class English femininity. Together black women's indolence, independence, prostitution, childlessness. and filth fonn a complete inversion of the chaste and economically dependent English wife and mother, who labors with pious industry to keep her family clean, orderly. and nurtured. For Kingsley, black Trinidadian women are so prominent that it is only "when you have ceased looking even staring at the black women and their ways, [that] you become aware of the strange variety of races which people the city" (89 my italics). After its black female sexuality. Trinidad is defined both by the strangeness of its races and of its racial variety After blacks, Kingsley, sees a coolie Hindoo" -"a clever, smiling, delicate little woman, who is quite aware of the brightness of her own eycs"(89). But Indian marriage practices, Kingsley tells us, are tantamount to slavery and Indian men's jealous pasSion results in the murder of women. This over-eany marriage among the Coolies is a very serious evil. but one which they have brought with them from their own land. The girls

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are practically sold by their fathers while yet children, often to wealthy men much older than they. Love is out of the question. But what if the poor child as she grows up, sees some one, among that overplus of men, [0 whom she for the first time in her life takes a fancy? Then comes a scandaJ: and one which is often ended. swiftly enough by the cutlass. Wife-murder is but tOO common among these Hindoos; and they cannot be made to see that it is wrong. (223)56 Thus, Indians. like AfrcrCaribbeans. transgress the English mores of marriage English culture defined its superiority partly on the basis of its proper treatment of women Indian patriarchy proved itself inferior by its inhumane practice of arranged marriage. Indian men's inability to control their passion signified their lack of English manliness. Kingsley imagines black women wielding cutlasses in rebellion and Indian 82 men wielding cutlasses in jealous rage. Both images act as testimony to the gender chaos of the region and to the danger of that chaos. FinaIly, Kingsley describes Chinese Trinidadians, who so transgress the complementary system of gender roles that only the initiated can distinguish the men from the women: "whether old or young, men or women:' he complains. ''you cannot tcli, till the initiated point out that the women have chignons and no hats, the men hats with their pig-tails coiled up under them Beyond this distinction, I know none visible"(90). With exception of the white and light elite, Kingsley's West Indies is a racially, and ethnically divided society, in 56 Froude articulates a fuller version of the stereotype of Indo-Caribbeans: ''they save money, and many of them do not return home when their time is out, but stay where they are, buy land. or go into trade. They are proud, however, and will not intermarry with Africans. Few bring their families with them; and women being scanty among them, there arise inconveniences and sometimes serious crimes"(73-4). Froude stresses their passion: "The coolies have the fiercer passions of their Eastern blood."(76) The stereotype of Indians as thrifty and separate from Afro-Trinidadians is important because it lived imo the 20th century and fostered division between Indo Trinidadians and Afro-Trinidadians.

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which each group proves its political incompetence through its lack of masculinicy. femininity. and Christian marriage Though the focus on domesticity remains constant between the pre-and postemancipation periods. the stakes and assumptions of English discourse on the West Indies changed in significant ways With planters loss of power after emancipation. English discourse shifted its focus from white to black men, who, wilh f!Cedom. had received the right to vote (albeit with a sizable property qualification) and had become by far the largest block of potential voters in the region. In s tead of illu s trating how white creole men lacked masculinity. Kingsley and his contemporaries argued that black men did not deserve the vote because they la c ked English masculinity_ Browns had been granted the franchise in most islands in the early 18305 and once joined by blacks, their political power grew scronger. Holt writes that. "during the first two decades of the post abolition era. every [Jamaican] governor predicted that brown and black pow e r was imminent"(217) Blacks and browns were a strong force in the Jamaica Assembly in the years between emancipation and the Morant Bay Rebellion in 1865 when direct rule was imposed on Jamaica (Holt 218-221). In Dominica, "the group of coloured families. the Mulatto Ascendancy, kept control of the legislature for two generations until they were finally defeated by the introduction of Crown colony rulc" at the turn of the century (Honychurch 128 ). S7 Fear of the implications of black and brown political power coincided with the planning of a new political order in the British empire. By the 1850s, England wanted to make a distinction between white (and thus adult and male) colonies like Au s tralia, and those nonwhite colonies it 51 We should note that Dominica is the only counny in the West Indies in which Afro-Caribbeans had such control over local political institution s during the 19th centul)' (Honychun:h 128). 83

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treated as female and dependent. like the West Indies and lndia (Holt 235).s8 The question was no longer whether to free Afro-Caribbeans from slavery, bm whether to give the West Indies and thus black men political amonomy. This concern with black men accounts in large part for the discursive focus on black women. With the aftermath of emancipation, English public opinion shifted from an 84 optimistic culcuraJ. racism [0 a determinist scientific racism. Unlike John Stuart Mill and abolitionists who had seen racial difference as a matter of culture, a difference that CQuid be eradicated through education. racial theories of the late 19th cenrury explained racial difference and hybridiry in [enns of biological degeneracy (Stepan 97). In the post-emancipation period. English discourse translated the preemancipation narrative of the English man's moral comlption in the tropics into scientific terms. The West Indies brought white men to the same excesses of alcohol and sex but now these resulted in a physical degeneration that was both inescapable and transmitted to future generations (Stepan 103). Theories of degeneracy held that freedom was an unnatural and detrimental state for blacks, causing them to physically and morally degenerate by contracting venereal disease and consumption and perhaps eventually dying out all together (Stepan 97-101). English discourse on the anglophone Caribbean employed gender as the index of this basic inequality and inherent difference between races Hall explains that emancipation, for the missionaries meant black entty into manhood. for masculinity in their world meant freedom from dependence on the will of another. To be subject meant a loss of male identity, whereas for women one form of subjectivity. that of the female slave dependent on 58 The gendering of this division is articulated in British policy maker. James Stephens' speech. when he states, "We emancipate our grown-up sons, but keep our unmarried daughters. and our children who may chance to be ricketty [sic]. in domestic bonds"(cited in Holt 235)

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her master, was ideally exchanged for another, that of the freed woman on her husband. (237) 85 Emancipation. however, did not bring a large increase in the marriage rate. When freed people did not marry and women did not become economically dependent on men, emancipation appeared to give the same privilege of independence to West htdian women as it did to West Indian men. Emancipation granted West Indian women many of the symbolic trappings of manhood. West Indian women's manhood became the crux. of English arguments against political autonomy for the region. In the logic of Engli s h discourse, women's masculinity. independence. and equality with men could only deprive West Indian men of their masculinity because English ideas of manhood were based on the principle that men were independent indiv iduals. who exercised control over others : "The male head of hous ehold who voted. therefore spoke for and represented his dependants, whether wife, children or servants. Individuality thus implies mastery over thing s and people" (Hall 257) If AfroCaribbean men could not exercise authority over their women. then. by English definitions. they were not men at all. This logic helped to justify English writers' vision of black men as inadequately masculine Thus, black women's masculinity became the center piece of late-nineteenth century arguments for direct colonial rule of the West Indies Carlyle's "Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question" (1849 later retided "The Nigger Question") is one of the first and most powerful texts to aniculate this new pos ition on the West Indies (Hall 270) It reflected and influenced English discourse though it was not a description of the anglophone Caribbean Rather, Gikandi argues. it was a means of working through the many pressures that faced England -"the crisis of industrialism, problems of poverty ... the looming threat of Chanism," the European revolutions of 1848 (60). Carlyle displaced England's

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disorder onto West Indian blacks (Gikandi In so doing, he channeled English people's resentment about conditions in England from English authorities to the Caribbean peasantry, who, as recipients of English colonial support, Carlyle saw as responsible for England's economic ills. Carlyle describes blacks as the recipients of the tropical soil's natural abundance, having neither the need to work nor the desire to acquire wealth. He describes black creoles as Sitting yonder with their beautiful muzzles up to the ears in pumpkins, imbibing sweet pulps and juices; the grinder and incisor (eeth ready for ever new work. the pumpkins cheap as grass in those rich climates; while the sugar-crops rot round them uncut, because labour cannot be hired, so cheap are the pumpkins; and at home we are but required to rasp from the breakfast-loaves of our own English labourers some s light "differentia] sugar-duties." and lend a poor half-million or a few poor millions now and then, to keep that beautiful state of matters going on. (350) This state of affairs had to change, Carlyle argued. The West Indians had to work because worle: was the duty of all men. Emancipation had been a mistake. Blacks were wrought in their very biology to be servants, as whites were to be masters (Hall 270-72). Compulsion was thus necessary to make blacks work Carlyle's argument that the fertility of Caribbean soil made work virtually unnecessary for the Afro-Carlbbean peasantry derived from pro-slavery tracts published in the 1820s and early 1830s ( Hall 27 J) Both Marly (1828) and Cynric Williams (1826) articulate this argument-59 S9 The narrator of Mar l y assens that the land can be cultivated with almost no labor and that as a result Caribbeans are lazy: "Without fear of contradiction, this is the principle cause of indolence and want of exertion, which unifonnly displays itself in the character of the inhabitants of such tropical countries, there being no stimulus of adequate strength, among an uncultivated race. sufficient to excite them to farther exertion, than that of procuring a mere subsistence"(69, see also 92-3). 86

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In 1826. Williams was already worried about the fecundity of Caribbean soil and the perceived superior nutritional value of tropical produce. When we reflect on this. it becomes a serious matter for the whites to think of emancipating their slaves; -a few hours work. daily, for only a few weeks in the year. would enable a negro to bring up a family. though blacky would rather his wife. or wives. should work for him, while he smokes his pipe.(224) In portraying the Afro-Caribbean women as the workers and the man as a parasite. Williams connects Carlyle's emphasis on the lazy black man and the late 19th-century deployment of industrious black women as a index of black men's indolence. Born out of the economic, political, and social crises of England and melded to an image of pro-slavery propaganda, Carlyle's depiction of the West Indies bore no resemblance to the anglophone Caribbean reality of a peasantry striving to preserve their family units, fighting for access to land, and freedom from inadequate wages (Brereton "Family Strategies" 160; 180-1). But. "it is precisely in his dismissal of what we understand [0 be facts. and his contempt for rational argument, that his discourse becomes one of the most important cultural documents of the mid-Victorian period" (Gikandi 65). Carlyle's image of Afro-Caribbeans as lazy and immoral became the foundation for a variety of prominent travel narratives, most notably those of Anthony Trollope, Charles Kingsley, and lames Anthony Froude.60 I employ these travel narratives to illustrate the role of Carlyle's rhetoric and of 60 See Gikandi's excellent discussion of Carlyle's essay and its relation to Froude and Kingsley in Maps of Englishness chapters 2 and 3. Also, we should note that Kingsley and Froude participated in Carlyle's campaign to defend Governor Eyre in the debate over his brutal oppression of the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica. See also Catherine Hall's "Competing Masculinities: Thomas Carlyle, John Stuart Mill and the Case of Governor Eyre" (chapter 10 of White Male and Mjddle class,) 87

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88 the image of independent black women in late 19th-century arguments for continued colonial rule in the West Indies Anthony Trollope's The West Indies and the Spanish Main (1859) contends that the political future of the West Indies lies in the hands of its inter-racial population His "theory ... is this: that Providence has sent white men and black men to lhese regions in order th a t from them may spring a race fitted by intellect for civilization" (75). Despite hi s disparagement of white planters as an aristocracy whose time has passed and whos e laziness is responsible for the poor condition of the colonies (65), Trollope defines blacks in Carlylean [enns, asserting that "the negro's idea of emancipation was and is emancipation not from slavety but from work"(92) Like Trollope. Kingsley views racial hybridity in positive tenns. In At Last! A Christmas in the West Indies (1871), 01arles Kingsley argues for the political competence and domestic propriety of the local white and inter-rac ial elite. His text even presents an inter-racial couple, a Scottish man and an Afro-Caribbean woman, as a model for white settlement in the i sland. This is significant because it suggests an equality and exchange ability of white and inter-racial womanhood anathema to preemancipation discourse. Kingsley was a social refonne r who ostensibly sought not to find fault in the Oribbean but explore how England might learn from West Indians' health and Simplicity He was also th e son of a white creole 6 1 H owever. none these factors prevented him from parroting Carlyle's assumption that black Caribbeans were lazy. James Anthony Froude was an established English hi s torian known more for style than accuracy. Having already published Oceana (1886) about England's relation to its pacific colonies, Froude was well known and resented in colonies for his imperialist stance by the time he wrote The Engli s h in the W est Indies in 1888 In it. 61 Mary Lucas, Kingsley's mother was born in the West Indies and, of course, educated in England. "Her father, Judge Nathaniel Lucas, came of a line of sugar plantation owners in Barbados, and when the West Indian sugar trade declined, the judge retired to England"(Colloms 15).

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he seeks to inspire a new spirit of English imperial manhood by illustrating how England has failed in its administration of the West Indies. Although he maintains that all West Indians white, brown. black, and Asian are politically incompetent, he focuses his argument on proving that the black majority is essentially morally inferior and therefore will need perpetual direct colonial rule. Two books of this period. W.P. Livingstone's Black Jamaica (1899) and Sydney Olivier's White Capital and Coloured Labour (1906) had a particularly strong impact on the development of Jamaican writing and conceptions national identiC}'. Originally sent to Jamaica as the Official Report to lhe Legislative Council. Livingstone was editor of Jamaica's Daily Gleaner from 1890 to 1904; afterwards he had a long career in English journalism (Dunnett). Following Froude's argument, Livingstone dismisses colonial whites and browns as morally degenerate and focuses on the inferior moral status of blacks. Like Froude. he calls for prolonged strong and direct colonial rule in Jamaica. 61 Olivier. a member of the Fabian Socialist society since the early 1880s, was colonial secretary of Jamaica from 1900-1904 and governor from 1907-1913 (Holt 333). He had tremendous influence over Thomas MacDermot and Herbert de Lisser. the central figures in the emergence of Jamaican national literature. His book offers a radical critique of colonialism, arguing that it was driven by economic gleed and exploitation, Yet, underlying his vision was the same domestic ideology and cultural racism that was the foundation for many texts. I briefly mention Winifred James's The MutberlY Tree (1913) because it expresses an early 20th-century British 62 However. unlike Froude, who sees blacks as perpetually immoral. Livingstone sees blacks as moving towards morality and political competence. They must, however. be led to morality by a ''patronizing'' direct English rule in order to protect them from the corrupting influence of colonial whites and browns. Livingstone contends that blacks progress slowly each generation; his ostensibly positive view of blacks functions as a ploy to argue against constitutional reforms that would give more power to the local elite. 89

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90 feminist vision of Afro-Caribbean women' s sexual and economic independence. This series of English books about the West Indies are of critical importance to the study of early anglophone Caribbean literature becau s e they were published just prior to and during the emergence of national literatures in the anglophone Caribbean. When West Indian intellectuals began to wrest from England the power of representing "the West lndies," Kingsley. Froude, and Livingstone were the men from whom they grasped that power When these texts were published. anglophone Caribbean newspapers were filled with debates. letters of outrage, and critiques. Intellectuals responded in public lectures. Through these debates, middle class anglophone Caribbeans negotiated and articulated national and regional identities. J J. Thomas's book-length critique of Froude. Froudacirv (1889) originated in essays written f o r a Grenada paper. Even as Caribbean intellectuals raged against the specifics of their writing, Carlyle. Trollope. Kingsley and Froude stood as models for anglophone Caribbean writers. Belinda Edmondson argues that Caribbean writers from the radical C.L.R. James to the conservative V.S. Naipaul emulated Victorian English culture and particularly the figure of the man of letters with his mastery over the literary tradition (40-41). Because the figure of the "black" woman is by far the most prominent and consistent image in both English discourse of this period and emergent West Indian literatures. I make it my focu s.6 3 The first thing we should note is that ''the black woman" melded class and race identity. The phrase "black woman" refers to working class and peasant Afro-Caribbean women, who were defined by their physical strength and their manual labor as coal and banana porters, market women, washer women, 63 Late 19th-century writers pay much less attention to white and brown women. These images correlate with author's view of hybridity and of the ability of the local elite to govern.

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maids. and cooks (Dlustrations #2-4. Appendix). Though brown women, Indian women, and Chinese women also fonned part of the working and peasant classes in the 19th century, they are not included in descriptions of strong, independent Caribbean women. Rather. Asian women are described in specific ethnic stereotypes and brown women were stereotyped during this period either as dainty objects of male desire or as entrepreneurs, typically inn keepers. Froude and Li vingstone use the word black not simply (0 denote color but to assert Afro-Caribbeans' essential inferiority and radical difference from Europeans. It is significant that English writers fixated on independent black women because black women's careers as market women, their economic independence, theh practice of carrying heavy loads (particularly on their head) are very likely cultural practices retained from Africa and adapted to conditions in the New World.64 That English discourse focused on market women suggests that English discourse honed in on the specifically African elements of West Indian culture. In (his instance, English discourse seems to have focused on a site of creolization, the making of the African gender roles part of Caribbean culture. This Africanness was antithetical to Englishness. Women's economic independence challenged British culture. English writers gazing and writing through the lens of domestic ideology could only see these African practices as evidence of the primitiveness of Afro-Caribbeans. As Kingsley's description of Port of Spain indicates, black women were the 64 Sidney Mintz and Richard Price contend that West African kinship and gender roles did influence West Indian kinShip patterns and gender roles though these were also influenced by the specific conditions in the West Indies. They see the market woman and women's economic independence as a likely inheritance from West Africa and cite Brathwaite and Herskovits as other scholars who do so. The matrifocality of West Indian families is much more difficult to trace to West Africa. They conclude that '"the generation of separate and independent economic risk structures within a single family may be considered characteristically West African and Afro-Caribbean, as opposed to European or North American"(79) 91

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first and most prominent aspect of the West Indies in English discourse of this period On his arrival in the West Indies, at the port in St. Thomas. Trollope's first encounter i s with a black woman. He recounts that 92 ..... as I put my foot on tropical soil for the first time. a lady handed me a rose, saying. "That's for love, dear ." [took. and said that it should be for love. She was beautifully, nay elegantly dressed. Her broad brimmed hat was as graceful as are those of Rudy or Brighton. The well -starc hed skirt of her muslin dress gave to her upright figure that look of easily compressible bulk. which ... has become so sightly to our eyes Pink gloves were on her hand "That's for love, dear." Yes it shall be for love; for thee and thine, if [can find that thou deservest iL What was it to me that she was as black as my boot, or that she had come to look after the ship's washing? (8) By calling her a lady and prai si ng her taste, Trollope at first hides the woman's race and class, and thu s leads the reader to believe that Trollope is in fact speaking to a person an Engli s hman would recognize as a lady. Such concealment was necessary for Victorian England because it defined blackness and working class status as antithetical to taste and the stams of lady As soon as Trollope describes her as "black as my boot," he has placed her outside the class of equals Yet despite his dismissive, even insulting tone Trollope does not, in fact, fully dismiss working class black women from the class of respectable and worth people TroJlope's decailed account of the encounter, the fact that it occurs just as he arrives, that he leaves the question unanswered. all signal the fundamental importance of working class. Afro..Caribbean women to English discourse on the West Indies in second half of 19th century. Trollope and the authors who follow him, KingSley, Froude and Livingstone attempt to negotiate an answer to his question what d i fference does race, class, and cultural

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difference make to womanhood? Do black women deserve the Englishman's love? Perhaps the most humorous and yet telling example of this negotiation is Trollope's account of Sally, who worked as a chamber maid: "r shall never forget that big black chambennaid." be writes. how she used to curtsy to me when she came into my room in the morning with a huge tub of water on her head! That such a weight should be put on her poor black skull-a weight which I could not liftused to rend my heart with anguish But that. so weighted. she should think that manner demanded a cunsy! Poor, courteous, overburdened maiden! "Don't, Sally; don't. Don't curtsy," I would cry. "Yes, mass," she would reply, and curtsy again, ab. so painfully! The tub of water was of such vast proportions! It was big enough for me to wash in! (175) Trollope is having great fun with this scene -with the preposterousness of Sa1ly being a "maiden." But underlying the laughter is the very serious recognition that Sally is much stronger than Trollope. He tells us first that he could not lift the tub himself and then that "it was big enough for [him] to wash in" which gives one the image of Sally lifting TroUope and the bath above her head, an image which makes Sally the adult and Trollope lhe child, Sally the man and Trollope the woman. The image inverts what oUght to be the power dynamics between the English man of letters and his chambennaid. It suggests that Afro-Caribbean working women might have had the power to reverse power relations in certain respects and thus to undennine the racial hierarchy that served as a foundation for the English Empire. Sally's attempts at genteel behavior seem incongruous because she has great physical strength and a body that defies English definitions of refinement both in its blackness and in its "bigness." But it is precisely for these reasons that working women like SaIly forced English 93

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writers to confront and renegotiate English definitions of gender and moralic.y that were strictly coded in terms of race and class. but were presented in these U'avel narratives as universal standards of beauty and morality The English (male) writers implicitly judge black. women by the English. white, middle class standard of womanhood. Gikandi's contends "what makes black. women so suiking to these authors i s that even as stereotypes and fetishes they are 'naturally' posited against the Victorian doxology of women"(112). English men's texts do not unambiguously assert the superiority of white femininity This is of critical significance since white womanhood defined the height of hUman civilization in imperial ideology. To reevaluate me s uperiority of white femininiry. was to reevaluate the ideal of domestic womanhood. which stood at the heart of English colonialism.63 Livingstone most clearly articulates how late 19th-century texts deployed English concepts of femininity and morality. Claiming that "it is usual to take the nature of the sex-relation as an index of the morality of a primitive people ," Livingstone announces that Jamaicans are primitive, that morality is the standard by which such people are judged. Livingstone's "Sexrelation" correlates to what we might call gender roles_ Livingstone defines black Jamaicans as having an "immoral 6J Gikandi further comments that these images bring English writers to "reflect on the condition of the imprisoned Victorian woman," and cites Kingsley as evidence: '''The Negro women are, without doubt, on a more thorough footing of equality with the men than the women of any white race'''(112). I aglee with Gikandi that ultimately Froude,Kingsley, and Trollope bring definitions of English domestic womanhood into question. But I don't think it is as simple as his method of quotation suggests. Wben Kingsley writes that sentence, it is part of h is argument that the equality between Afro..Caribbean women and men is a threat to English order and evidence of the "radical alterity" and absolute inferiority of "blacks, Kingsley brings his own argument into question when he expresses ambivalence towards women's independence. seeing in i t both admirable sttength and the promise of political chaos_ Thus. the serious questioning of English slandards is not usually on the surface of the text. 94

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95 sex-relation" because they lack the "modern system" of gender: "virile manhood" and "womanliness." The most significant instance of their "immoral sex-relation" is the equality of women and men. Thus the test of morality was explicitly a test of the extent to which black Jamaicans assimilated the middle class English ideal of separate and complementary gender roles, roles historically constructed in racial terms by contrasting middle class English with anglophone Caribbean gender practices. In this sense, Livingstone's project is tautological. asserting that blacks are black. that the people whose behavior defined immorality during slavery in fact continued to do so. Livingstone explicitly links the moral to the political by asserting a causal connection between gender disorder, sexual excess, and political rebellion. He sees, for instance, a causal correlation between the fact that the Parish of St.Thomas had (he asserted) the highest rate of illegitimacy and that it was the site of me Morant Bay Uprising. Morant Bay signified for Livingstone the absolute opposite of political order --Afro-Caribbeans taking violent action against white political insticutions and killing white people. Dlegitimacy went hand in hand with this type of political disorder. Froude's portrayal of Afro-Caribbean men's laziness and Afro-Caribbean women's independence and strength participate in a political logic similar to Livingstone's. Like Livingstone he finds colonial whites and browns incompetent and advocates strong English colonial rule. Borrowing from Carlyle's image of Caribbean abundance, Froude holds that blacks exist outside of culture and time in a West Indian Garden of Eden. They live surrounded by most of the fruits which grew in Adam's paradise oranges and plantains, bread-fruit. and cocoa-nuts, though not apples. Their yams and cassava grow without effort, for the soil is easily worked and inexhaustibly fertile. The curse is taken from nature, and like Adam again they are under the covenant of innocence. (49)

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These "innocents" who do not even have the conception of sin much less of industry and political science are clearly inappropriate candidates for political autonomy. If there were democratic refonns. Froude argues, these completely unprepared. amoral people would rule the West Indies If blacks govern, he asserts, all civilization, order, and decency will cease: "if left entirely to themselves. they would in a generation or two relapse into savages .. For Froudc. there are only two options. either the English rule the British West Indies. or blacks willlcl it fall "into a state like that of Hayti, where they eat the babies, and no white man can own a yard of land"(56). For Livingstone, Morant Bay serves as the scare image of the evils that occur when blacks take pOlitical power; for Froude and many others of his generation. it is "Hayti." England must put in place a colonial government along the lines of the English administration in India [f not, black people rule and English order will be abominated, mothers will eat rather than care for their children, Satan will be worshipped rather than God.. and white men will have no rights (88,90-91,99).64 Froude's system, however, is distinctly gendered Black men's laziness forces black women into industriousness and independence "If black suffrage is to be the rule in Jamaica," he concludes, "I would take it away from the men and would give it to the superior sex .. They would make a tolerable nation of black amazons, and the babies would not be offered to Jumbi"( 198) The statement is no feminist manifesto Women's suffrage could be no more than a cruel jok.e for Froude. Rather, it is an assertion of the absolute inappropriateness of black masculinity; it is an argument against self-government. Because blacks' ostensible refusal to marry correlated with the destruction of law and order. marriage had a very particular significance for Livingstone and Froude. 6' Froude specifically mentions that Haiti "has revived the old idolatry of the Gold coast, and in the villages of the interior ... they sacrifice children in the serpent's honour after the manner of their forefather's" (183). 96

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97 It comes then as no surprise that blacks refusal to many is fonnulaic in these English texts. Each text links women's refusal to marry with black men's lack: of English middle class masculinity -their failure to work hard and to take responsibility for their women and children. Livingstone claims that Black women felt that, "to be married was. to a woman, to become a slave, and slavery. with its dark associations and slavety was yet but a stone's throw in the past"(46-7). Kingsley claims that "the Negro woman has no need to marry and make herself the slave of a man, in order to get a home and subsistence"(33). Froude asserts that women "prefer" the harsh manual labor of coaling ships to marriage which "they would regard as legal bondage." "If they were wives," he explains ... their husbands would take [their wages] from them and spend it in rum. The companion who is not wife can refuse and keep her earning for her little ones" (198). The English feminist, Winifred James asserts that Jamaican women refused. marriage because "as long as they are not married the man works for her. and ifhe doesn't she is free to get rid of him and have one who does. But directly they many it is a generally understood thing that she will have to keep him"(I03). There is thus a complete consensus. But, ironicaJly, the consensus is not that blacks ought to many. but that they ought to avoid marriage because black men pervert marriage into slavery. Black men were incapable of being responsible patriarchs; the British West Indies was politically and morally ineducable. Kingsley concludes his discussion of black women and maniage by declaring: "Independent she is, for good and evil; and independent she takes care to remain; and no schemes for civilizing the Negro will have any deep or pennanent good effect which don't take note of, and legislate for this singular fact"(Kingsley 33). In an ideological system that grants political rights only (0 patriarchal societies, in which men are independent and women

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98 dependent. Kingsley's assertion constitutes a call for perpetual colonial rule.6S Yet, even as they defined Afro-Caribbeans as beyond the hope of masculinity and political power. English men's admiration for black women's strength and freedom undercut the very foundation of their argumenL There is a symmetry between the socia1 and economic independence of black women and their physical freedom from the constraints of English bourgeois clothing. Both f[eedoms should in Livingstone's schema connote the inferiority of black women to white women. Yet Livingstone s description is simply too positive for this to be the case. One of the most interesting spectacles [0 be seen in Jamaica is the procession of black women and girls, loads on head, swinging, with upright graceful carriage, along the green lanes and highways of the interior. They wear no corsets, and buckJe up their skirts to give their limbs perfect/reedom. A robust, active. and independent class, they appear unconscious of any hardship in the arrangement (the economic responsibility for their children) which transfers to them so large a part of the burden of life. (220 my italics) Here both economic and physical freedoms appear "perfect" rather than perverse. Livingstone's admiration for the women's independence becomes more explicit as he continues the passage. claiming that freedom gives them a certain power, apart from sex, over the men. which in the circumstances is perhaps essential. It would seem that nature has 6,: In contrast, James, who wished to refonn English patriarchy. claimed that "the attitude of mind of the Jamaican negress with regard to marriage is a distinctly advanced one" (103). For James, Jamaican family patterns. which she describes as equal free love relationships, provide fodder for a feminist critique of English marriage. For the English, she concludes there were "many lessons to be learnt from the negroes in their domestic relationship" (104). Like her male counterparts. she is concerned with English culture. not with anglophone Caribbean women.

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counterbalanced the weakness of their sex by supplying them with a constitution stronger even than the male. The one drawback is a tendency to neglect giving proper attention to the duties of maternity and the responsibilities of the household. Nevertheless there is a visible disposition among the men to treat them with greater courtesy and tenderness.(220-21 ) 99 On one hand Livingstone's purpose in this passage is to drive home his argument that black men are so worthless that women are better off not marrying They are so worthless that nature has found it "essential" to talee away their manhood and [0 give it to women. granting women not only the male role of bceadwinning but men's physical strength as well. But having painted Jamaica as the very inverse of English order, Livingstone's picture ought [0 be ugly, dangerous, or ridiculous. But we do not see the violence of Morant Bay. Rather Livingstone shows an image of beautiful strong women. The women are beautiful and physically powerful. beautiful and black, "petfect" and yet unmarried mothers Under Livingstone's "modem system" of gender. none of these conjunctions should be possible. Froude's description of women in Barbados expresses a similar admiration of black women's power. They work. harder than the men and ace used as beasts of burden to fetch and carry, but they carry their loads on their heads and thus from childhood have to stand upright with the neck straight and finn. They do not spoil their shapes with stays. or their walk with high-heeled shoes. They plant their feet firmly on the ground Every movement is elastic and rounded. and the grace of body gives. or seems to give, grace also to the eyes and expression. (Froude 119) Froude lists here only advantages of women' s economic independence their

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100 beautiful and strong posture, their freedom from the constraints that "spoil" middle class European women's bodies. their inner and outer "grace." Both Froude and Livingstone reiterate the colonial stereotypes of black women that they don't marry, that they w ork harder than th ei r men but the unmanning of black males results no t in a condemnation of black women or blacks as whole, but rather in a list of criticisms of the Engli s h model of domestic womanhood. By embodying their beauty and power. even as they constitute the antithesis of the ideals of white womanhood, black women success fully chal leDge the English model against which me men judge them the model which made black men inferior and the colonies unworthy of political autonomy. As if in realization of the threat hi s admiration poses to England's hierarchy of woman hoods. Froud e ends hi s d escri pti o n b y attempting un successfully to rescind it.., "Poor things! it cannot compensate for th eir colour ... thei r prettiness, suc h as it is, is shalt-lived. They grow old early, and an old negress i s always hideous" (Froude 119). (Froude borrows this last claim from Edward Long. ) Froude's atte nt ive admiration of Afro-Caribbean women lea ds him to directly attack the pro-slavery, Carlylean myth that Afro-Caribbeans are lazy and that their lazines s is responsible for the planters' economic failures. rn Dominica, Froude is clearly s mitten by the two maids who work in the administrator's residence. Similar to TroUope in his awe of Sally's strength, Froude's a dmiration seems to result from the fact that they are stronger than he i s and have the self-confidence t o mak e fun of him Froud e describes that on his arrival, "two tall handsome black girls seized my bags, tossed them on their heads, and strode off with a light s tep in front o f me, cuningjokes with their friends; [ following, and my mind m isg iving me that [was m yself the object of their wit"(l44). In contrast to pro-slavery tracts, which inevitably complain that blacks were such poor servants that an employer needed three or four to do the work: of one English se rvant, Froude marvel s that so few s ervants accomplish the work of the

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101 island administrator's entire residence -"it consisted of two black girls -a cook: and a parlour maid. who did everything' and 'everything: I am bound to say, was done well enough to please the most fastidious nicety"(t47) On inquiring as to their wages. he is shocked. In no pan of the globe have I ever seen household work done so well by two pairs of hands .. __ I asked in wonder what wages were paid to these black fairies. believing that at no price at all CQuid the match of them be found in England. I was informed that they had three shillings a week each, and 'found themselves; i.c. found their own food and clothes. And this was above the usual rate, as government House was expected to be liberal.(l48) His shock at the paucity of their wages leads Froude to begin to critique Carlyle's and the planters' assertion that blacks' refusal to work had destroyed the sugar economy. He comments perhaps wryly that "the scale of wages may have something to do with the difficulty of obtaining labour in the West Ind i es. I could easily believe the truth of what I had been often told. that free labour is more economical (0 the employer than slave labor"(148) Further attention to women's wages brings Froude (0 a harsher criticism of Carlyle and the plantocracy Back in Jamaica, Froude is the guest of another colonial officer. a Colonel J. who reiterates the "complaint .. that the blacks would not work. for wages more than three days in the week, or regularly upon tho s e." Colonel J., however. does admit that Afro-Caribbeans refuse wage labor in preference for "cultivat(ing] their own yams and sweet potatoes .. that they did work one way or another at home." Here. Froude identifies with Afro-Caribbeans, claiming that ''there was nct much to complain or' if Afro-Caribbeans were industrious. Comparing black s and English, Froude asserts that ''the blacks were only as we do. We, too, only work as

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102 much a we like or as we must, and we prefer working for ourselves [0 working for others"(212). The "blacles" and the English become one category the planters and Carlyle fall outside of the community of reasonable peopJ e.66 When Colonel J. inform s Froude that he could pay only a shilling to a woman for porting luggage almost fifty miles in a day_ Froude is outraged and concludes that "with such material of labour wisely directed. whites and blacks might live and prosper togeth e r; but even the poor negro will not work when he is regarded only as a machine to bring grist t o the master's mill" (221).61 Froude's decision to side with Afro.Caribbean s against Carlyle and the planters myth is short-lived in his text, but it is significant. Froude has divorced political rightness from Carlyle and from whiteness even though his central thesis is that only English whites can rule. Black women then are powerful not only as workers. but as figures that destabilize English discourse. Yet even the exposure of the planters' abusive labor policy does not effectively change Froude's underlying political argument. Froude is, after all, arguing that West Indian s. including planters, are incompetent to rule Only a newly invigorated English colonial rule can pur the colonies in order. Thus, the figures of black women destabilize late 19th-cenrury discourse by challenging the superiority of the white, English model of domestic womanhood. In challenging white women's superiority, this vision of bla c k women may question the racial hierarchy on which the English Empire was based Second. the economic exploitation of black women in English accounts reveals that labor policy, not black laziness, was (in pan) responsible for th e West 66 A similar splitting of race and allegiance occurs when white baptists define planters as savage, an act whose re-racing of identity Hall claims was "terrifying" (Hall 212). 67 Holt uses this passage to comment on Froude's contradiction of his main argument (314).

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Indian economic failure. The failure of Livingstone and Froude's attempt to reassert English dominance makes sense when we remember that the very reason that they write is that Englishness is in crisis. Afro-Caribbean women destabilized the racialization of domesticity in the late 18th century; with both English and West Indian economic systems in crisis in the second half of the 19th century, they destabilize English discourse yet more strongly. 103 Gikandi argues that "'the black woman is a particularly revealing site for [imperial fantasies, desires. and anxieties]" because "her body is the standard conceptualization of the strangeness of the other. the doubleness of its attraction and revulsion; as the most radical figure of alterity, the black woman is the space in which theories of blackness are constituted and reformulated" (Ill). Rhonda Cobham argues that Livingstone and men like him were ambivalent about "black women" because they combined industry, which English Victorian culture defined as the best of values. with unmarried sexuality activity, "promiscuity," which it defined as the worst of all possible activities for women ("The Creative Writer" 195). Both these interpretations help to make sense of English men' 5 ambivalence towards AfroCaribbean women. Ironically, it is not so much black women's absolute difference as their uncanny similarities that trip up writers' colonialist arguments. When considered in abstract tel111S. the sexual freedom and economic independence of black women resemble white male privilege except that Livingstone and Froude seem to attribute yet more independence and more sexual freedom [0 black women than they themselves were allowed. The principles are familiar but their embodiment in black women is disconcerting because as. Gikandi writes, black women ought to be figures of the most radical alterity. Further, black women's physical strength is a sign not of middle class masculinity but of working class masculinity. It shames not only black men but the

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104 English writers It is a strength TrolIope. Livingstone, Froude, and Kingsley all lacked as they were not manuallaborcrs Afro-Caribbean women' s superior physical power raises the issue that middle class masculinity lacked physical strength .68 The image of the strong black woman is so powerful thar there seems [0 be no way to represent Afro-Caribbean women without destabilizing the concept of Engli s h womanhood. I mention this because the most explicitly radical text in English discourse on the West Indies of this series, Olivier's White Capital and Coloured T abour. fails to question the raciaJized nature of morality and womanhood I suspect.. because it does not describe Afro-Caribbean women at all. As a result it inserts an unquestioned Victorian belief in the superiority of white femininity into a c lass critique of colonialism Olivier writes in order to debunk the idea of colonialism as "White Man's burden and argues that Europeans colonize for economic gain, not t o improve the lives of others. He proposes that inter-racial colonies be integrated and racial prejudice and division be eliminated i n order to avoid rebellion and to improve society. Olivier believed that inter-racial people possessed the best of each race, that all races were equal, but each had its specific talents In the development of an inter racial foetus, for instance. the black cells would accomplish what they do best while the white cell s would accomplish their strengths The resulting human being would be the best of both. Yet, this argument against racial division existed within a hierarchy of races. Olivier held that Christianity and many aspects of European culrure were by definition more advanced than African religion and aspects of African eulture. In order [0 fully partiCipate in a parliamentary government, blacks needed t o "advance" in 68 This point might well complicated and elaborated by comparing English men's fascination with working black women with me sexual significance of blackness and working class womanhood for middle class English men See Anne McClintock's analysis of the relationship between Arthur Munby and Hannah Cullwick (chapters 2 & 3 of Imperial [ uther>.

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\05 their knowledge of European government, education. and technology. Women of color play no role at all in Olivier's argument, but white women are key because Olivier believes that white women's highly developed sensitivity constitutes human's greatest advance in cultural development; Olivier writes,"the white races are now, in fact,. by far the further advanced in effecrual human development"(37); by "effectual human development" Olivier refers to the heightened emotional sensitivity of the English ideal of domestic womanhood; white women are a a high point of cultural achievement from which any racial deviation constirutes a step "backWards." (Oddly this step "backwards" recaUs Moreton'S description of the uneducated white creole woman's fall backwards into culturaJ blackness that [ mentioned in the previous chapter.) As a result of their elevated position in social evolution. white women ought not to mare with non-whites despite Olivier's general approbation for inter-racial sex_ He argues, "it would be expedient on this account alone that [white women's) maternity should be economized (0 the utmost. A woman may be the mother of a limited number of children, and our notion of the number advisable is contracting: it is bad natural economy, and instinct very potently opposes it. to breed backwards from her" (37-8). Olivier's scientific racism his belief in the essential superiority of "Western" culture undercuts his own Challenge to colonialist doctrine, which claims that the basis of European colonialism is economic not moral and political superiority_ His idealization of white womanhood most explicitly exposes the limits of Olivier's challenge to racial hierarchy_ Domesticity remains a cennl justification for classifying non-whites as inferior to whites; white women remain the last bar between "the races_" The contrast with Froude's and Livingstone's ambivalent texts raise the question: Would Olivier have been able to maintain such a clear hierarchy of womanhood had he examined anglophone Caribbean women in this 1906 text?

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106 [n these first two chapters, I have outlined 18th and 19th century English images of creole women in this detail because they had enormous influence on the first generations of anglophone Caribbean writers. The sadistic white woman and the seductive brown woman of the pre-emancipation period appear almost unchanged in historical novels like de Lisser's The White Witch of Rose Hall; the sexually aberrant and violent white woman also surfaces in C.L.R. James's Minty Alley, but more clearly in Trinidadian fiction about the degeneracy of the white upper class. The seductive mistress of lhe pre-emancipation period becomes transformed into a the sexy brown woman of yard fiction, like Alfred Mendes's Black Fauns. The strong black woman is, however. by far the most prominent figure in anglophone Caribbean fiction of the pre-1950 period. What did it mean for emergent national literatures in the anglophone Caribbean to embrace so ambiguous a figure, one so fully complicit in colonialist arguments against nationalism and at the same time so subversive of those arguments and of the foundational principles of English superiority? What roles could strong black women, seductive brown women, and sadistic white women play in new literary visions of the nation? These questions structure following chapters.

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Chapter 4: "Black Matriarch and White Witch: Herbert de Lisser's CNationalism' and the Politics of Race and aaS5 in Jamaica." Caught in the transitional space between colonial discourse and nationalist rhetoric, Herbert de Lisser was one of the first West Indians to wrest the power of representing the West lJ:tdies from English writers An Afro-Caribbean c ritical of En glis h colonial government. de Lisser was nevertheless chosen by the English elite for this task.. The English editor of The Daily Glepner, W. P Livingstone, apparently recommended that de Lisse r take his place in 1904 (Roberts 109) In an effort to foster Jamaican culture, Sydney Olivier then governor, encouraged de Lisser to write his first novel, Jane (I913), which is dedicated to Olivier. De Lisser did not, however, simply reiterate either the theories of Livingstone or Olivier. Indeed he thoroughly attacked Livingstone's Black Jamaica in a series of editoriaJs, and although he employed some of Olivier s Fabian sociaJist rhetoric, he never accepted his underlying critique o f colonialism as a fonn capitalist exploitation In both his journalism and novels hc went on to appropriate and transform different threads of English discourse. playing them against each other and applying them to local history and legend in order to construct an image of Jamaica in which the local elite held economic and political power The central figures ofms roughly twenty novels are re-visions of the female protagonists of English discourse on the West Indies : the sadistic white woman.., the seductive brown woman and the strong black woman. The most common plot of his novels reworks the colonial romance, the rivalry of white and Afro-Caribbean women for white men's love and money. As editor of Jamaica's most widely read newspaper, The Daily Gleaner, prolific novelist, member of the Board of Governors of the Institute of Jamaica. and the person who first successfully marketed Jamaican literature in Jamaica, de Lisser was one of the most influential figures in the development of Jamaican print culture 107

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108 between 1900 and 1938.69 He also wielded significant political power as editor of The Gleaner and as secretary of the Jamaica Imperial Association (nA). Because Ibg Gleaner held a virtual monopoly in the daily news market, de Lisser held a vinual monopoly in manufacturing opinion among Jamaica's literate population (Roberts 110).70 As secretary of the 1lA, he served as a type of "trade ambassador to England, negotiating with the English government on behalf of Jamaican merchants and planters (Roberts 113)." A self-taught, light Afro-Caribbean man oflittle means, he used his novels as well as his position as editor and ambassador" to shape a new "white" ruling class and to make himself one of its most powerful members From the Story ofthe Maroons" published in 1899 to the last of his novels published in the early 19405. de Lisser's writing participated in this consolidation and redefinition of the local elite by appropriating and deploying domestic discourse to limi[ 6!1 De Lisser was editor of The Gleaner from 1904-44 Between 1910 and 1937, selVed on the Board of Institute of Jamaica for twenty-two years of which he was chainnan for seventeen, roughly from 1922 to 1937 (Roberts Ill). He was largely responsible for raising the funds for the library of the West India Reference Library, now the National Library of Jamaica and for [he science museum, now known as the Institute of Jamaica 70 The Gleaner was the only daily in continuous circulation between 1918-38. Other dailies, The Telegraph., The Mail The Chronicle, and Standard were in operation only for several years at a time (Carnegie 162). De Lisser held an extreme amount of power over opinion making even though The Gleaner did publish some columnists who opposed de Lisser in the 19305 (Carnegie 175). 11 Top planters and merchants led by Arthur Farquharson formed the nA in 19 t 7. De Lisser selVed as its secretary from its establishment until his death in 1944 The purpose of [he JlA was to support the West India Committee, to build up Jamaica's image in England, and to secure trade and subsidies for Jamaica mostly in sugar, bananas, and rum (Roberts 112-3)

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and shape the process of creolization in Jamaica.. n By appropriating colonialist arguments that "blacks" were essentially incapable of domestic virtue and Christian marriage, de Lisser's texts justified the exclusion of dark Jamaicans from positions of political. economic, and social power and legitimated their continued exploitation by local and foreign capitalists In this way, de Lisser deployed domesticity to check the political and economic process of creolization in relation to Afro-Caribbeans In contrast, he represented the local elite as united through their assimilation of English domesticity and, thus, his domestic rhetoric fostered the process of creolization within the white and near-white middle and upper class, consolidating it as a distinctly Jamaican elite class united against labor. At the beginning of his career de Lisser identified himself with a brown elite, which he argued was the most important, the most domestically virtuous class in the colony Refuting Livingstone s attack on the morality ofthe brown elite, de Lis ser 12 In claiming a continuity in de Lisser's work I am going against the tradition of dividing de Lisser's work into two types : (1) his first two novels Jane (1913) and Susan proydleigh (1915). social dramas about black protagonists, which have been in the West Indian literary canon and (2) his rustorical romances about whites and browns which have been excluded as derivative and racist Rhonda Cobham is the only critic I've read who resists this division and Ramchand's chronological explanation of it. She points to de Lisser's anti-black stance in 1900, tong before the publication oUane in 1913 and his return to black characters in its 1941 sequel Mya1e and Mone.y. Cobham argues that critics have been deluded in reading de Lisser's satire of class and color consciousness as a critique of the system She holds that his satire ridicules without critiquing, that he has respect only for those of his characters who have the canniness to rise in the system, who have his values and abilities In short, that self-interest was the major motivating factor in shaping de Lisser's fict ion ('"The Creative Writer" 225). [n claiming a continuity between his early and later works, I follow Cobham's lead, but [ modify it in that I see that although de Lisser always opposed black political rights, he did shift to the right as he became more associated with a white rather than a brown elite. As he shifted right, Olivier'S work had less and less influence in de Lisser's fiction. 109

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wrote The colored class who range in position from small peasant proprietors to large wealthy landowners, from small shopkeepers to being merchants, form a third section of the West Indian community Taken as a whole they are the most powerful of the three classes of people in the West Indies (Jamaica Times 22 September 1900 : 9) However, by the time he starts editing and writing planters' Punch in 1920 de Lisser has ceased to identify himself with a "coloured elite, and has dedicated his political and literary work to the interests of a white and near-white elite This white elite consisted ofa diverse group -the loogestablished Jewish merchants and 110 industrialists, old white creole planter families newly immigrated middle Eastern retail store owners office workers, expatriate government officials and the managerial class of the United Fruit Company. (0 so doing de Lisser expands an English definition of whiteness to include Jews and Middle EaStern immigrants 7J De Lisser never explicitly states the extent to which this class included Afro-Caribbeans. but the fact that de Lisser himseifwas Afro-Caribbean and that his novel Haunted represents the lamaican plaotocracy as admirable leaders who are inter-racial, though nOt visibly so indicates that de Lisser s ruling class must have embraced light Afro-Caribbeans who met his standards in class culture and politics. (neluding Afro-Caribbeans had great p o litical significance because it shifted the political position of the white elite which had 7) The teon, Middle Eastern immigrants may appear peculiar or awkward. It refers to a group of people, who mostly now identify themselves as Lebanese and whom early literature consistently refer to as "Syrians ." This confusion has arisen from the fact that at the tum of the century when the majority offamilies emigrated to the British West (ndies the geographic territory now divided into the nation states of Lebanon and Syria had oot yet been thus divided It would therefore be incorrect to refer to the Shoucair or Mahfood families as Lebanese in 1920s

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I I I historically attempted to draw very strict lines between itself and the brown elite .1 He thus fostered a political alliance between whites and browns against blacks which helped to construct a larger, more powerful alliance of employers against the working class Significantly it articulated that class opposition in (eoos of race. 7$ In de Lisser s project. domestic discourse defined white Jamaicans as moral and non-white Jamaicans as immoral In so doing. it coded class positions in moral and racial terms and thus functioned in de Lisser's work: much as it had in English discourse on the West Indies To shape the national identity of Jamaica in the image ofrbis small, diverse, and changing elite de Lisser constructs a number of negative others peasants, workers. English bureaucrats He draws his arguments and figures trom conflicting threads of colonial discourse most notably Froude and Olivier. Because the position of this class so unstable, the negative others he constitutes are unstable .-thus the peasant is sometimes lazy and sometimes an exploited worker. While this instability and contradiction is most evident in his early journalism, de Lisser's later novels continue to contain conflicting ideologies .76 Rather than see a consistency of genre and n Bryan describes the whites as a caste that feared and excluded browns; he writes, "it is difficult to escape the conclusion that white society conducted itself as something of a caste This can be explained by their existence in a predominantly coloured society and the consequent need for "mutual protection' against 'combustible' coloured people" (119) 7j [suggest this despite de Lisser's scorn for brown politicians in many of his novels as well as in Jamaican politics De Lisser opposed politicians who opposed his elite Near-whites who sided with the black majority or who lobbied for a more democratic fonn of government could not be included in his fold 76 His novels' obsession with monstrous figures may reflect the troubling and troubled nature of this class It suggests that the local elite is a monstrous hybrid that needs to define hybrids yet more monstrous than itself to claim legitimacy There are few monsters surpass de Lisser's supernatural figures -the white witch of Rose HaJl, who is a murderess and voodoo priestess, the Martinican sisters who worship the devil and transform into 14

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II? sentiment in de Lisser' s work as Cobham does or a definite shift from a Fabian sociaJist position in Jane's Career to a near white near nationalist position in his later work a s Ramchand does, 1 suggest that there is both consi s tency and a political shift to the "right or "white As d e Li sser' 5 elite becomes less and les s explicitly Afr o -Caribbean the elements of Fabian s ocialism fade and the Froudian logi c bec o mes more prominent. My project in thi s chapter is to illustrate de Lisser s appropriation of ewe figures fr o m English domestic di scourse on the West lndies and their deployment in his representati o n of Jamaica as a nation dominated by a virtuous and m odem elite First I explicate de Li sser's deployment of domestic ideology and his tran s formation of the figure of the strong black woman in his early j o urnalism and his first novel. Jane (I913), later published as Jane s Career (1914) (Illustration 5 Appendix). In de Lisser s first novel, he presents an image of Jamaica s future as a m odem, middle clas s nation by transforming the stro ng black woman of Froude and Livingstone int o a canny black woman, who is willing to give up economic and sexual independence for s o cial upward mobility Her path is of course. throu g h marriage The sec o nd half of the chapter examines how de Lisser deploys the English stereotype of the sadistic and Africanized white woman slave owner to liber ate the planter class from it s asso ciation with the brutality of s lavery and t o obfuscate the political agency of Afr o -Caribbeans in the largest Jamaican slave revolt, the Baptist War 1831. Strong Black women in de Lisser s Early Journalism :" As an elite Jamaican who supported colonialism administrated by a local elite and the total disenfranchisement of black Jamaicans, de Lisser was caught between the strong imperialist rhetori c of Frau de and Livingstone and the Fabian socialism of foot, upright crocodi les, and the countless obeah women wielding ghosts and supernatural cats.

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Olivier. He could embrace neither fully. He contested Froude's and Livingstone's dismissal of the local elite as politically incompetent. but often espoused Froude's definition of blacks as innately inferior in order to justifY further oppression of the working class. He embraced Olivier's theory of the superiority of racial hybrids yet rejected Olivier's principle that alI colonized people had the ability to govern if educated De Lisser at times also propounded Olivier's more socialist critique of colonialism as a fonn of capitalist exploitation, partly as a means of refuting Livingstone's arguments against creole whites and browns and partIy because he revered Olivier. The result is a deeply contradictory discourse -a discourse centered, as colonial discourse was, on the question ofmoraJity, sexuality, and the figure of the independent black woman 113 In a 1899 Jamaica Times article, "How Kingston Lives and Moves and has its Being." de Lisser espouses Froude's assertion that black women are hardworking and black men are lazy in order to take an even harder line against the working and peasant classes Yet at the same lime, he parodies Froude. showing that contrary to Froude's assertions, English expatriates are not the best leaders of the country. De Lisser literally retraces Froude s steps in a scene from The English in the West Indies in which Froude falls in with a group of women walking to market in Kingston. Froude becomes incensed because he sees that women are waJking with heavy baskets of produce on their heads, while men ride donkeys, carrying nothing. He describes, "women plodding along with their baskets on their heads, a single male on a donkey [0 each detachment of them. carrying nothing. like an officer with a company of soldiers. Foolish indignation rose in me ... "(263). He becomes so engrossed in argument with carriage driver over the men's failure to better assist their women that both men lose their way and spend hours trying to find Froude's host in Cherry Gardens The rigors of this detour bring Froude to question his dedication to imposing domesticity on black

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114 women. "Vainly," he laments, "I repented army unnecessary philanthropy which had been the cause cfthe mischief; what had I to do with black women, or white either for that matter?" (2657) In How Kingston Lives," de Lisser describes a similar scene of market women., each ofwhorn carrie[d] a large basket filled to over-flowing with the produce of their land (Jamaica Times 19 August 1899 : 5) Unlike Froude. de Lisser does not lose his way, nor he does repent his strategy of undercutting black men's power. Rather he outdoes Froude not only in navigation, but in the extent to which he emasculates black Jamaican men Like Froude. de Lisser contrasts the market women's industry with the indolence of black males. but the males in de Lisser's account are "young boys" each of whom carries only a piece of sugar cane. De Lisser is outraged, claiming that "compared with the women's, their burden is unconscionably light, one is at a loss to account for their presence; even the canes do not justify it ." De Lisser questions their very need to exist in the marketing proceSs : "They cannot be said. either. to serve as protectors to the others of the gentler sex., for the ladies look well able to protect themselves In fact, for the present, at least, their presence is inex:plicable ." While he good-humoredly gives money to the women, he considers the prospect o f giving the young men money ridiculous Froude attacks grown black men for being lazy but fairly consistently describes young men or boys as exceptionally capable, ingenuous, and brave. n That is, Froude allows young Caribbean men to be men. De Lisser does not. This may reflect the fact that the local elite needed to deny the power of the working class yet more than England did as they profited directly from its labor The intensity of de Lisser's attack on black masculinity, however, may be a n Perhaps the two most notable instances in The English in the West Indies are the Trinidadian youth., who alone knows how to catch a crawfish and the young Dominican, who survives an intense storm. all alone on a boat at sea (84 and 158).

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115 function afhis mimicry In stepping into froude's footsteps on the way to market in employing strong black women to emasculate black men, de Lisser mimics Froude s masculinity and his discourse His exaggeration is a function of his mimicry Froude is cons tructing Eng1ish masculinity as strong by contrasting it to black Jamaican masculinity De Lisser is asserting the strength afrus light Afro-Caribbean masculinity by contrasting it with black Jamaican peasant masculinity Because he is relatively closer to black peasants than Froude in the hierarchy of ra c e, he must be relatively more harsh in his criticism of black men At [he same time, he contrasts his skill in navigating local geography to Froude's. and, by extension his superior skills in tocaJ leadership To show himself superior to Froude. de Lisser deploys the figure of the independent black woman from Froude s own discourse By portraying the market women as begging money from him de Lisser significantly alters Froude s depiction of the black women For Froude Kingsley, and Livingstone, black women are Amazons"; their independence and freedom are "perfect For de Lisser black women are stronger than black men.. but their beggir.g places him in a position of domination and indicates that they are not as independent as he Published in 1900, within a year of How Kingston Lives de Lisser's s ix month series of editorials on Marriage argues that extreme low wages cause low productivity, not blacks' laziness As a result, he contradicts his earlier representation of black Jamaican men as lazy and superfluous The text is, however, absolutely contradictory In it, he asserts the essential inability of black Jamaicans to assimilate English domestic culture. At the same time he espouses Olivier's proposal that Jamaica needed economic, not exclusively moral reforms This conflict suggests that de Lisser s dismissal of black Jamaican equality dates from as early as 1900 and that does not result from his alliance with the white elite starting in the late 1910's.

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116 De Lisser's contradictions result in large part from his effort to refute Livingstone's Black Jamaica. in partic ular his dismissal of the local elite as morally cOmJpt and politically incompetent and his assertior. that the political future of Jamai ca belongs to black Jamaicans. Livingstone argued that the lo cal elite had been so immoral and SO politically ignorant that it had conupted the black population Only England could bring blacks into moral practices and political competence. Livingstone's talk of black progress towards morality was really only a way of justifying continued direct English rule a means of countering calls for increased representation in government. Livingstone's book used the divide and conquer principle of colonialism effectively In s tead, of throwing out his argument as ridiculous and defending all Jamaicans de Lisser attacked blacks in order to assert his own propriety and political competence and that of the local elite The result was perfect for Livingstone who wanted to perpetuate direct colonial rule and had no intention of England granting universal suffrage for possibly hundreds of years That he uses domesticity to divide and conquer is another example of how domesticity worked in English d isco urse to thwart an egalitarian fonn of creolization Counterin g L ivingstone's accusation that the lo cal elite had morally corrupted black Jamaicans de Lisser holds that Africans brought an essential immOrality with them on slave ships from Africa, where, he asserted. people are so immoral that they have perverted marriage itselfinto a fonn ofslavery. lI Echoing Froude, De Lisser 11 De Lisser achieves an odd shifting of terms : slavery did not make Africans immora l ; Africa made marriage into slavery There wives are merely co mmodities -who can be bough[, l en[, prostituted De Lisser's motivati on for ponraying blacks as essentially immoral is to defend the local elite against Livingstone's attack on their rights to political power and position De Lisser thus asserts, "It is a mischievous lie to declare ... that they were taught to be immoral in these islands during slavery If this were true, then it would follow that the people of West Afiica must be a moral people since they have not, like their more unfortunate brothers, been brought to the West Indies and been

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117 writes:"r simply contend that in the majority of cases the people, break no moral law furthey know of none" (7 July 1900 : 9).79 From de Lisser's perspective black Jamaicans could never evolve to the moral state of whites and browns, but they could learn, if properly taught, to imitate marriage and domestic virtue. A black man, he holds, could be an admirable imitator when well taugh!," but could not become moral simply by going through the ritual of a wedding: "in the present state of their mental and moral culture the mere marrying of the people of the West Indies would have no pennanent effect" (25 August 1900: 9). The best Iamaica could do was to bring black Jamaica into a semblance or mimicry of domestic virtue Therefore de Lisser claims Livingstone's "beliefin marriage as a universal panacea" is ludicrous He asks : "Get the people to marry and the problems that perplex us will work: themselves out, but will they? The idea is to me an absurdity" (7 July 1900:9) Borrowing a program ofrefonn from a recent public lecture by Olivier de Lisser espouses a materia1ist critique of domesticity as colonial policy in the West Indies. He inverts Livingstone's assertion that marriage will bring socia1 and economic development to Jamaica, by arguing that economic and social opportunity will bring marriage -"morality comes with progress"(7 July 1900 : 9) What black Jamaicans need. de Lisser argues. is higher wages, more access to land a strong peasant proprietor class, compulsory basic and agricultural education, good roads. alld the social influence" of the local elites and Europeans. Thus, ironically. de Lisser's essays entitled Marriage" more frequently discuss social and economic reforms than marriage Wages, property rights. education literally take the place of "Marriage" and domesticity in de Lisser's vision of Jamaica's future taught to be inunora1" (30 June 1900:9). 79 Compare to Froude's assertion that black West Indians "cannot be said to sin because they have no knowledge ofa law. and therefore they can commit no breach of the law"(49).

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Whereas Froude holds that black Caribbeans are essential l y lazy because the soi l miraculously provides th eir food, de Lisser now asse rt s "it is not true either that the Negro cares for nothing save his ease, and is content to live upon next to n o thing 118 It is my conviction that the love of wealth is pretty strongl y developed in the Negro and my opini o n i s that he will work pretty well to secure it"(25 August 1900 : 9) The answer t o Jamaican's laziness," de Lisser argues, i s to give people access to land and a wage that will allow them t o accumulate wealth .....[t i s evident.., ., h e writes ..... that no sound industrial system can exist in the Wes t Indies on a plan which places the vast majority of the labouring classes in the position ofrnere la b o urers ." Worker s aren t lazy they are underpaid and not always paid at a1l. He concludes, u l hold that the Negro would make a better lab ou rer on the estate if he were better paid, and so the charge of being hopeles s l y lazy should n o t obtain against h i m (8 Se ptember 1900: 9 ) There is no way t o see unity in de Lisser's text In order t o cou nter Livingstone's attack on the local elite de Lisser unite s (or cob b les to ge th e r ) arguments from radically contradictory thread s of English discourse The Froudian and tlte Fabian arguments collide. In de Lisser's text., blacks are both an essentially immoral race i n c apable afmanhood and an ex ploited class of workers whose raciSt employers d e prive them of manhood b y deprivin g them of a livin g wage and blamin g low productivity on racial stere o type rather than exploitativ e lab o r practices. As a result, de Lisser' s stance on Marriage r emain s ambiguous at the end of his six months series On one hand he seems to accept the notion that English domesti c practices constitute the pinnacle of civilization and o ught t o be its standard th is i s after ali a tenet of Frau de, Livingstone and Olivier But at the same time, de Lisser ridicules the imponance of marriage and d o mesticity in th e quest t o improve Jamaica., pani c ularl y its majority black population How then do we read the fact that de Lisser places marriage in the center of all ofms n o vels Is each n ov el another proof that

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119 ordinary Jamaicans can never achieve real" marriages ? Is this why so many of his heroines rely not on love and domestic sentiment but on obeah. voodoo, and mone y to catch their men? This is the case in The White Witch aCRose Hall, POltergeist? Haynted. The Crocodiles. The Riyals. The Sins grlhe Children. Is de Lisser's focus on women and marriage which he has defined as outside the reach of black Jamaica -JUSt a great joke about Jamaica's inability t o marry and t o evolve? Jane De Lisser's first novel, Jane (1913), brings the strong, but primitive black woman of Froude and Livingstone s narratives into the process of building Jamaica as a modern nation ,lO To advance Jamaica. de Lisser appears to propound exactly the policy he ridiculed in 1900 -the marriage plan De Lisser's black peasant w o man exchanges her se:rual and economic independence in order to gain material and social status as a wife and mother. If the working class chooses marriage over trade un i ons de Lisser suggests, Jamaica will become a modem nation through the assimilation of English middle class values : domesticity, industry, and capital accumulation_ IL Despite their economic dependence on men in marriage, black women in de Lisser' s novel function as they had in tbe work of Kingsley Livingstone, and Froude to highlight black men's lack of masculinity To briefly summarize Jane Burrell is born into a peasant family and sent to Kingston at fifteen to become a domestic servant_ She quickly runs away to become a 10 Jane appeared in serial form in The Gleaner and as a single volume in Jamaica_ It was revised for publication in England and titled Jane's Career in 1914. II In her analysis of Jane's Career, Natasha Barnes argues that de Lisser represents urbanization as a gendered experience, in which modernity for women consists of marriage and becoming a consumer (100)

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120 worker in a labeling factory Jane's parents and village elder send her offwith the command that she abstain from sex until marriage Yet Kingston teaches Jane that marriage is beyond the reach of young. working women who are dependent on male lovers to supplement their wages lovers, who have no interest in marriage Jane, however, succeeds in marrying Trapped by her poverty into becoming the mistress of her supervisor at the factory Jane manipulates the one skilled worker in the yard Vincent Broglie, into becoming her man and later her husband To do so, Jane must persuade VUleent to abandon the labor union in exchange for a domestic union with her. The novel opens by illustrating the importance of chastity and marriage to lane's parents and the village elder Daddy Buckram Daddy Buckram instruclS Jane in the importance of chastity as part of the riruaJ of her migration from the village to the city Kingston," he says, "is a very big an' wicked city an' a young girl like you, who de Lord has blessed wid a good figure an' a face. must be careful not to keep bad company"(14) Her mother then backs up the injunction against pre-marital sex by telling Buckram,. "We bring her up decent an' respectable ; she know dat her fader an' me married long before she born; so dat ifshe go to Kingston an' disgrace herself now she will has to lie down on de bed she meek for herselr (15) n FinaJly, her father reiterates the point, "Keep you'selfup when y u is in Kingston an' dont' aJlow any of those Kingston buoy to fool you up"(5). De Lisser immediately reveals that these instructions have little connection to reality by illustrating that non-marital sex is the norm for young country women For de Lisser, the Jamaican countryside is economically and domestically backward, III Here de Lisser indicates and probably ridicules the peasant morality That the claims to have been married before Jane's birth indicates that she and her husband had set up house and probably had other children before marrying, then (and still) a standard practice among Jamaican peasantry

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121 populated by women who have no interest in marriage and men who want only sex. It is a culture that Jamaica must overcome in order to be a modem nation. U In the village he writes "'no one over twelve years of age could pretend innocence, and no one did" (21). Describing how Jane sleeps in one room with all her siblings and her parents, de Lisser reproduces the English stereotypical representation of the one-room peasant house as a site of immorality 1-1 But it is the village women who most stridently oppose morality, they laugh at Jane's de(ennination to marry and counsel her to find a "fiiend" to supplement her wages. In filct at each stage of Jane s "career" women give the same advice ; the domestic servant at her first job with Mrs. Mason, the women in the yard where she lives, and (he factory workers all advocate taking a lover This is largely because IJ De Lisser's constructs this image using both Olivier s socialist vision of colonialism as a fonn of capitalist exploitation and Froude' s conception of the West Indies as an Eden of immorality De Lisser first tells us that most working men have emigrated from the countryside to go to Central America and Cuba for higher wages or to the banana parishes within Jamaica. Global capital has thus dislocated families and gender relations But the emigration of men enables de Lisser to portray Jamaican peasant villages as populated by Froude' s strong women and indolent men. He explains that Jane' s village "of about a hundred souls there were not more than thirty men and boys ; many of these were of the Don Juan type, and not a few held firmJy to the principle of a plurality of temporary wives. The women did most of the work in the fields" (20) The picture reminiscent ofFroude's depiction of Jamaica rapidly becomes an even closer imitation ofFroude as we see in a passage just three pages later, Everything. man and beast alike, moved slowly in the village The intense heat, the vast stillness of dreaming mountains and distant sky, the warm heavy scented breeze. the little effort that was required to support life, all tended to make indolence seductive and activity a curse"(23-4) Thus, de Lisser both explains the economic circumstances -low wages, migration., for which people can not be held responsible, but then fits these particular historical circumstances into Froude's timeles s vision of tropical and primitive black life. 1-1 This trope was perhaps most memorably employed by Governor Eyre who told protesters just prior to the Morant Bay Rebellion that they needed houses with separate sleeping areas, not land, wages protection by the law, and infrastructure (Holt 273).

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wages are low and job security non-existent so women can not be economically independent. Men are necessary as an economic "back force" according to factory workers or to free one from the slavery of work, as some peasant and servant women explain .15 122 De Lisser contrasts the modem factory women who want to work in order to improve their social status with peasants and domestic servants who see work as slavery and want to escape it entirely The factory women use men as a "'back up," not as a means out oflabor altogether whereas Sa.rah. the servant in Mrs Mason's house. and the village women desire a man s support to free them from having to work at aU. De Lisser clearly looks down on these women because he represents them as referring to work as "slavery" not as an opportunity to accumulate wealth He is arguing tbat economic security brings morality t o a working class with middle class aspiration s, but that economic security without those inspirations. brings sexual license In the village, Celestina can be sexually free and need not even hide it because her mother owns land, which she will inherit. Her security allows her sexual freedom without social censure We could read the role of sex in these women's lives as an illustration of de Lisser's Fabian-inspired claim in "Marriage" that the economic conditions of the working class must improve before marriage can playa meaningful role in black Jamaicans' lives. Jamaican working women and men will treat sexual relations as economic transactions until they have a living wage Sathyra. Jane's short-time roommate in the yard exemplifies the pragmatism women have about sex and men She tells Jane in no uncertain tenns that the purpose of sexual relations is to extract as IS Independence can also bring women to immorality in the upper classes -that is, in the retrograde planter class, not in the contemporary upper strata. In The White Witch of Rose Hall, Annie Pa1mer can openly have a lover because she owns several estates See my discussion of Annie Palmer later in this chapter.

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I?' much money from the man as possible :"Who getten married now? De best t'ing a gurl can do, when a young man want to be friendly with her is to "eat him out' as much as she can?" (144). Jane escapes both the immorality of the peasant life and of the yard because she has the attributes of the English domestic ideal: sexual purity, industry, honesty, the ambition to rise in social and economic terms., a desire for marriage, and a love of children. Unlike most other peasant girls, she is decent" by which de Lisser means she doesn't engage in sexual activity. De Lisser suggests that Jane's superior morality derives from her European ancestry by juxtaposing Jane s vigorous assertion of her morality with the comment; "Jane was darker, strongly built and robust, but her features, the nose especially, hinted at some white ancestor" (27). De Lisser seems no less attached to physiognomy than Livingstone. who claimed that the features of black Jamaicans had become increasingly like those of European s because black Jamaicans had become increasingly moral (223).16 In his fiction de Lisser consistently presents people s facial features as accurately defining their inner character. Though white ancestry does not make all de Lisser's characters mora l it is quite likely that de Lisser sees that one white ancestor as a grounds for Jane's moral and intellectual superiority Her whiteness may contribute to her industry and domestic sensibility. Even her exploitative first employer, Mrs. Mason must admit that Jane is an honest and hard working servant (127). In addition Jane has a particular devotion to children ; she earns loyalty and respect in the yard by caring for other women s children when they are at work. However, her middle class aspirations in respect to her own children make her not only unique, but a laughing stock among her peers, as the following scene between Jane and an unmarried mother in the yard reveals : 81i He was not referring to inter-racial people but to black people whose features he felt had improved in direct correlation with their improved moral pracuce s.

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"EfI had any children," said [Jane1, "you know what 1 would like? I would like to have a nice little house, wid about two room, quite new and pretty; an' 1 would like about four children. I doan't t'ink I care for any more, for y'u see, if you have plenty, them will give y'u a lot of boderation, but if you have just t'ree or four. you can look after them well. Then I would like me house to have some nice furniture, like what Miss Mason, de lady I was workin' wid when I first came to Kingston, did have. I would wash de children two times every day. in de morning an' in de evening, an' when them grow big I would tie them hair wid blue ribban an' teek dem to school every day, an' every Sunday I would send them to Sunday schooL When people see them, them would ask, 'Who children is that'?' an' somebody might say: 'Dem is Miss Burrell children.' By this time, now, I am one side earin' de whole thing ; an you can guess how 1 feel please an' proud! I would dress whenever 1 go out, an'l woun'r allow one of my pickney to go out into de street witout boots. When them get big, I would teach them to learn de piano --" She was interrupted by the laughter of her listener. "You fly high, said the latter, "you' head really big! Y'u want piano too! "Why notT' Asked Jane half apologetically, but swiftly coming back to earth a gain. 'Why can't we black people have piano too?.-' (168) 124 Jane can not fully conceive of marriage as evidenced by the fact that even in her fantasy she calls herselfMiss Burrell" when a mother. Her fantasy nonetheless demonstrates that Jane has the desire for the middle class ideal ofmatemallove and for the material wealth which accompanied it in domestic discourse: a larger house, nice furniture, proper clothing, the piano De Lisser suggests a link between domesticity and the

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125 modem market economy by describing Jane's enthusiasm for the market When Jane first arrives in Kingston, she is miserable because her employer abuses her, but the market -aIL the goods, higglers, trolley cars filled her with unspeakable delight" she views the ability of women to aggressively participate in that market as a sign of superiority Jane s desire to s ucceed in this market. which we can read as the modem. market economy. is inseparable from her desire for marriage Both reflect he r desire for upward social mobility ; both are signs of assimilation of English middle class values De LisseT suggest s that Jane is not alone but part of a "new generation of Jamaica peasants" whose desire to rise had the potential to transfonn the colony into a modem nation : they had learnt to read and write ; they were fond of dressing on Sundays; and, if they still worked in the fields they did not like it They were all f o r
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"transfonned In her white muslin dress with her hair done up with ribbon s wearing high-heeled shoes and looking as though she had been born to entertaining guests, Jane is not very like the little girl we have seen sitting mute and frightened as she drove into Kingston with Mrs. Mason. She is not much like girl we saw sharing apartments with Sathyra She looks very much to-night as if she has 'kept herself up' ... She has the lover she cares for, and in the other room lies "'the kid" .. (243). 126 Does de Lisser present this as an illustration of black Jamaicans ability to appear moral without actually being moral? That he places her morality in a present contrary-Ia-faci condition --she "looks very much ... as ifshe has 'kept herself up" -suggests that she appears rather than is moral. On the other hand, her success in domestic love and possessions suggests that marriage is super'fiuous as she herself claims, when she points out to one guest at her the child s first birthday. I not lookin for that title (244) [s de Lisser suggesting that all this fuss over the marriage sacrament is unnecessary? De LisseT s representation of Jane' s wedding is farcical, showing that domestic sentiment has no bearing on working class and lower middle class marriage. Jane marries not out of Christian [ave and devotion, which she already has. but as a result of Vincent's drunken whim and the "desire to do something new and daring, s omething that should make him a marked man among his acquaintances for quite a long time" (245) Jane desires to marry for the social status it will give her and because it will allow her to put all those who humiliated her in their place. primarily her former employer. Mrs. Mason In fact. she has her banns announced in Mrs. Mason's church just so Mrs. Mason will know. She times her arrival at her wedding to maximize

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people's admiration, and the novel ends when Mrs Mason's nieces congratulate Jane and her cup was full of joy. 127 Vincent feels that his wedding is his chance to become a real man. a gentleman De Lisser has already satirized Vincent as the woman of the household, by showing that Jane in no uncertain terms i s the decision-maker in the h o use Now he makes Vincent's lack of manhood and that ofrus peers yet clearer Vincent's friends decide that in order to appear a man at his wedding Vincent must smoke a cigar -"'He was n o smoker, yet that mattered n othing to his friends ." De Lisser frames Vincent's performance of manhood in politica1 terms by describing his mends' decision in favor of the cigar as a "vote": "the majority of these [Vincent's friends] had decided putting it to the vote as it were, that it would never do for him to go to be married as th o ugh he were a boy and not a man. and this way of considering t he matter had eventually detennined him to sacrifice personal comfon to the exigencies of a manly appearance" (253) Here, de Lisser sugge s t s that the working class and the lower middle class are not real men, but that they employ marriage and domesti c virtue as a way of performing or mimicking real masculinity. They are, however not men If given the right to vote. they would vote on inconsequentiaJ matters. measures that give them appearance of manhood rather than manhood itself This correlates with de Lisser's opposition to universaJ suffrage and rus support of franchise only for the upper middle and upper classes, wruch was the law in Jamaica in 1913 Thus, Jane's domestic partnership with Vincent on one hand does illustrate the potential of the peasant class to assimilate middle class vaJues and to ascend in the race. class hierarchy But the marriage itself illustrates the limitations of that ascendence ; these are the limitations of imitation. Jane and Vincent remain flawed performances of femininity and masculinity, but these performances, as de Lisser suggests in Marria ge" constibJte improvement for Jamaica and the best he expects from the lower and lower

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128 midd le classes De Lisser's model for upward mobil i ty, however has serious implications for labor He essentially appropriate s Froude's strategy of portraying Jamaican black women as strong in order to show that their men are weak and employs it to d isc redit organized labor (Cobham-Sander .... The Creative Writer" 208). In de Lisser's Jamaica, the domestic union takes the place of the labor uni on When Jane meets Vincent h e is deeply involved in organizing a strike among comp osi t ors Meanwhile Jane i s being pressured by her supervisor, Mr. Curden. to bec o me his kept mistre ss and fear s that h e will fire her ifshe refuse s. She sets out to "court" Vincent as a means of escaping Mr. CurdeD She succeeds by convin c ing Vincent that th e s trike will fail -de Li sser has portrayed the union as a fiasco organized b y a foreign s peculator and fue l ed b y unemployed members who are too lazy to work. Sed uced by what appears t o be Jane's disinterested affe c t ion, Vincent resolve s to keep his job i n order to be able t o support Jane, so that she can put Curden in his place Later Vincent makes this exchange of the trade uni o n f o r the domes t ic union explicit, I was so disgusted with that low fellow Curden that I th o u ght 1 would teach him a thin g or two, and the only way t o do that was not t o give up me job for when a man out of j o b in this country it better him dead!" (242). Thus, de Lisser s modem Jam aica and the sociaJ upward mobilit y which characterizes it is founded on a rejection of o r ganized labor and the emasculati o n of working class and peasant men. who are represented eithe r as absent or weaker than women. Despite her economic dependence as wife, Jane retains her power over m en Des pite her integration into marriage and the middle class Jane emasculates Afro Caribbean men Vincent rather pointedly does not gai n manhood through marriage and the mas tery of his wife, as he ought according to English d is c ourse. Unlike Vincent., who bends to Jane's opinion. Jane is unequivocally strong; she gets herselffrom

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peasant poverty, through domestic service., out of sexual exploitation in the factory and into a middle class marriage Once married she dire c ts her husband's career. Jane's domination over her boss and husband functions much as the strength and 129 independence of the woman coal porters function in Froude's narrative, to testifY to Afro-Caribbean men's unworthiness ofpoliticaJ rights Yet, unlike Froude's women, whose physical labor and primitive innocence argue for the inferiority of Jamaica vis -a vis England. Jane's career ofupwani mobility is evidence of Jamaica's modernity Himself a propagandist for Jamaica abroad, de Lisser presents Kingston not as a site of sexual corruption, but as a place that transforms the peasant into a modem, middle class woman But Jane is clearly not the amazon ofFroude's and Kingsley's imaginations De Lisser contains Jane's power and that of Afro-Caribbean women in significant ways First, he makes them economically dependent on men either as lovers or as wives Second, he denies her conscious agency. He keeps Jane unable to articulate and understand her own emotions and to plan When Mrs Mason, Jane's first employer convinces Jane's mother that her daughter deserves Mrs Mason's punishing hand de Lisser comments that Jane and "her mother had in a way, become strangers This she felt more than thought; for such a proposition she never w o uld have been able to fonnulate clearly in her mind"(77) Jane remains similarly unaware of her own successful strategies in negotiating with her boss about being his mistress.11 She only distrusts the trade union movement because she is too ignorant to understand the 11 Glyne Griffith also remarks that de Lisser refuses lane the "possibility offonnulating the proposition to use the term in Foucault's sense, in her own voice and out of the workings of her own mind"(28) He writes that, "metaphorically, the narrative functions like the imperialist, fixing the peasant character in a static twilight of'otherness. '" (28) The only difference in my argument is that I am saying that de Lisser isn't passive in his re-iteration of the imperialist othering of Jane., but rather he deploys in the interest of the colored elite

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leader's speeches not because she is insightful. Jane's Career undercuts the political potential of the working class by rendering Jane un-self-conscious and the trade union movement corrupt, while he legitimates the classes of employers and carves out a role for the intellectual male as the spokesperson for the female gendered nation. 130 In Jane's Career, de Lisser represents social upward mobility as a concomitant rise in class and color Jane marries a lighter-skinned man, who succeeds in his business In the novel's 1941 sequel, Myrtle and Money, Jane's daughter marries a yet lighter man and inherits a large banana business from her uncle. Yet these women can rise only by internalizing middle class values about marriage, color, and social hierarchy. Jane opposes labor rights, dominates her servants, and remains oblivious [0 the 1938 uprising, which is significant because nationalism grew out of trade unionism in the anglophone Caribbean. Thus, rather than reading Jane as a novel which celebrates black Jamaican women's power, I read it as about the cooptation of the working classes into Jamaica's racial and class hierarchy. Yet de Lisser's model has serious implications for the ruling class and for definitions of race; for de Lisser, the upper strata must always be inter-racial, always tied to the black peasantry. Myrtle enters the upper strata not by virtue of her social ambition and chastity alone. Though she marries a very light man, she inherits her capital from her mother's brother who was born into the same peasant poverty Jane escaped He went to Panama and returned to become a very successful planter. It is his black" and "uneducated" money which provides the capital for Myrtle's rise in class. In order for this money to become part of the "Society," however, it needs to become educated, lighter, and legitimate. Thus. the uncle does not leave his fortune to his illegitimate black son, but to his legitimate, lighter, polished niece. This is another contradiction in de Lisser's ideology. On one hand, he represents blacks as essentially immoral due to their "race." On the other hand, he shows that Jamaica's elite is

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13 I directly related to that black peasant class The only way I see to align these two positions is through Olivier's disc'Jssion of racial integration Olivier argued for racial imegration in colonial societies and for inter-racial sexual pannerships on the grounds that inter-racial people received the best attributes of each race If de Lisser were following Olivier's the inter-racial mixing that enables Jane and Myrtle s ascent in the social hierarchy would constitute a combined biological and ethical improvement Such a view would legitimate the rule of de Lisser s local elite Yet de Lisser also ridicules Mr. Burrell for giving his money to Myrtle rather than to his illegitimate son. This suggestS that de Lisser also has scorn for the system he has established. for the class and color consciousness that allowed the elite to retain power. He brings Jane to the success of marriage only to make fun of her for succeeding in the teons he has set out. Black Jamaicans can only be poor imitations of white women, de Lisser suggests, which meshes with his assenion in 1900 that black Jamaicans can at best imitate English domestic culture In the period leading up to emancipation., 1780-1838 English discourse deployed domesticity to limit the danger of inter-racial sexuality by limiting the right s of illegitimate children, the children of white men and Afro-Caribbean women. De Lisser deploys domesticity in a similar way to limit the dangers posed to the elite by the working classes In de Lisser s model for Jamaica's future the working class assimilates middle class values of domesticity and upward mobility In choosing domesticity the working class attempts to imitate the elite rather than challenge its power. In de Lisser' s Jamaica, domesticity translates the English racial hierarchy into a social hierarchy based on color and class distinctions Although de Lisser articulates the domestication of working and peasant classes in such a way that emasculates brown and black men, the social change he recommends has serious implications for women's economic status. The 1939 Royal Commission

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investigating the labor uprisings in the British West Indies proposed a solution similar to the model de Lisser proposes in Jane They suggested fostering morality-marriage and nuclear families as a means of relieving the intense poverty resulting from the Great Depression. It meant removing women from the paid work force and giving the jobs to men This resulted in the increased feminization of poverty and an increase in women s economic dependence on men It did not increase the rate of J_ marriage Like the Royal Commission Report, de Lisser s model for Jamaica s future is fundamentally patriarchal and disempowering to women It sets the stage for the patriarchal rhetoric of nationalism. The White Witch In order to illustrate how de Lisser deployed domestic ideology to foster creolization among the middle and upper classes, [ would like to tum to de Lisser s most popular romance The White Witch aCRose Hall and its role in Planters' Punch The White Witch appeared in the 1929 issue of Planters' Punch the annual Christmas magazine, in which de Lisser published one of his novels almost every year from 1920 to 1944. De Lisser used the magazine as a showcase for representing and consolidating an ethnically diverse ruling class In Planters Punch, this upper strata constituted all of Jamaica Planters' Punch erased the reality that in 1929 Jamaica was roughly 98% black and brown, that 70% percent of the popUlation was illiterate, that Kingston was glutted w i th unemployed. and underemployed people as a result of extreme urbanization and world depression, that II The effects Royal Commission s report on women is the main topic of Joan French's "Colonial Policy Towards Women After the 1938 Uprising : the Case ofJamaica" and of several chapters in French and Honor Ford Smith's Women. Work and OrganizatioD in Jamaica 1900-1944: "Housewifisation after 1938 : Factors and Precedents"(288-316) and "The 1943 Census : The Statistical Ejection of Women from the Labour Force" (317-327).

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133 these masses of people lived in one-room houses." The era ofP1amers' Pynch was the era when Trench Town and the Dungle developed with their intensely impoverished and potentially violent yard life, when workers and unemployed people rose up in the protests of 1938 De Lisser s white and wealthy Jamaica was such an extreme distortion of reality for the vast number of Jamaicans that we might see it as a turning upside down or an inversion of Jamaican social history To create this image, de Lisser presents the Jamaican upper and middle classes as a type of local royalty, equivalent to the British ruling class Planters' Pynch divides Jamaica into apparently discrete race groups organized into a hierarchy with the multinational, light merchant and planter class at the top. The grouping unites the historically divided merchant and planter classes : the unification reflects the historical trend in the early 20th century in which merchants were becoming increasing invested in plantation agriculture particularly bananas (Bryan The Jama i can People 71). The magazine embodies and represents this hierarchy in its illustrated articles on women from different racial and ethnic and class groups. However de Lisser includes articles and photographs only of upper strata white men Black Jamaican men appear only in historical articles as if they belonged only to the past. Chinese men make no appearance Rural laborers and thus neither urban nor weaJthy Jamaicans of [ndian descent are completely absent. De Lisser places white women and domesticity marriage and hostessing at the center of Planters' punch partly as a reflection of the significance of marriage and 19 In 1911, white "had declined as a percentage of total population, from 2.29 percent in 1891 to 1 88 per cent 1911. On the other hand, the coloured (brown) popUlation had increased by 33.8 per cent and the black population by 28.9 per cent between 1891 and 1911" (Bryan (17). This trend continued.

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134 domesticity to Jamaica s white caste.90 It was through marriage and the discrimination against illegitimate children and non-marital sexual partnerships that the whites retained their identity and power, they employed marriage and legitimacy to exclude browns White women's domesticity, chastity and monogamy secured the legitimacy and whiteness of the caste Patrick Bryan explains that the white "caste" used marriage to define itself and maintain is boundaries and that only white women maintained the marriage and domesticity; white upper class men had multiple families (The Jamaican People 122). It is in this context that [read the prominence of white upper class women in the journal of the upper class. The center piece of de Lisser s strategy is the British figure of the woman as empire builder," the imperial yet domestic English woman, who brings English domesticity --Christian marriage, home hygiene to the colonies. Each cover page ofPlanrers' Punch features one such English w o man, perhaps best illustrated by the 1930-1 issue entitled "A Woman as Empire Builde r" which featured the p o rtrait of the Viscountess Marie Willingdon (Illustration 6, Appendix) Photo e ssays on Jamaica's elite women filled the first pages of each issue. In the 1929 issue a portrait of the Duchess AthoU, secretary of Education under Baldwin, appears on the front page followed by "'Some Jamaica Mothers, Miss Jamaica, n and "The Mayfair Promenader s"' (lIIustrations 7-10, Appendix). Lady Atholl exhorts "Jamaica ladies" to "build the empire" by bringing morality and public health to "native women of Jamaica." For Athol! Jamaica's women are divided into two camps: "Jamaica Ladies" British women temporarily located in 90 In "The Mynle Bank Hotel and Jamaica s Upper Class 1914-1945, E l izabeth Pigou-Dennis documents the centrality of white women t o the definition and daily practice of Jamaican upper class life For a funher discussion, see also her dissertation, "The Social History of the Upper and Middle Classes in Jamaica between 1914 and 1945 PhD diss University of the West Indies, Mona, 1996

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135 Jamaica and "Native Jamaican women," who are clearly not white not weahhy but are the objects of the Jamaica ladies' c haritable auentions. Thus. she overlooks the possibility that there are l a dies who are native [0 Jamaica. In so doing, she appears to deny the very existence of the Jamaican upper class de Lisser represents Yet, he uses her oversight as a means of eliding the difference between the emergent Jamaican upper classes and the Engli s h upper class. His project appears to be (Q make Jamaica' s "best" women on a par with England s "besf' women as a means of placing Jamaica s upper class men on a par with Eng land's. To place white Jamaican "ladies on a par with English ladies, de Lisser must strongly distinguish them from all other Jamaican women. whi c h he does in the English tradition by racializing respectable womanhood; wives. mothers, charity workers are white "Some Jamaican Mothers for instance eliminates the of Jamaica s mothers brown, black. and Asian women; Miss Jamaica" considers only upper class white women After the stories on white" women de Lisser introduces an article on Afro Caribbean women, entitled The Dancing Girl of Old -And of To-
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136 and colonialism. In the 1929-30 issue, De Lisser writes a story specifically on Chinese women, which signals his inclusion of assimilated Chinese at the margins of his Jamaica (Illustrations 13 & L4, Appendix). He accompanies these photOgraphs of Chinese women doctors, musicians, and clerks with a strong argument for the potential inclusion of assimilated and wealthy Chinese Jamaicans into the respectable classes based on the professional and cultural gains made by Chinese women. That the Chinese have yet to fully arrive is clear from the fact that no Chinese men are featured in the magazine and by the fact that the Jamaica's Chinese Ladies" are presented separately from the "Jamaica Ladies" of Duchess AthaU's address .. J\.n increasing number of advertisements for Chinese businesses appear in Planters Punch which probably indicates that Chinese Jamaicans participate in Planters Punch both as advertisers and as readers. Their presence in the magazine reflects the growing economic success of Jamaican Chinese and a sense that they have the potential (0 be integrated into the elite The 1930-1 issue includes a parallel article entitled Ladies in the Working World" which ostensibly celebrates the entrance of women into careers traditionally held by men (25) Increasing numbers of middle class women were working as stenographers and clerks in Jamaica, but these were traditional jobs for women as are de Lisser s examples hairdressing, nursing teaching However the article functions to include middle class light and white women in Planters' Pun c h society, but at a distance from the real ladies" who occupy the first pages Many ads -especially for Issa's clothing store targeted women office workers Ironically in highlighting the increasing numbers of working class women in the labor force, the article hides the large-scale removal of working class women from the labor force which seems to have

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begun even before the 1939 Royal Commission report I De lisser completes his portrait of the white elite by inserting small portraits and articles about elite men interspersed in the fiction and other essays Typical cameos praise the diligence culture. and capital of Jamaica's "leading men" ; for instance. the Myers, of Myers rum ; the Lindos who are major planters as well as the owners of the prominent rum company Wray and Nephew, the Crum-Ewings, who owned Caymanas estate ; the Kerr-Jarrens also very large planters ; and Walter Durie 137 owner of the Jamaica Times and the Times store De Lisser praises the power of men with capital and vision" such as Cecil Lindo (Illustrati o n 15, Appendix) He names Lindo "Jamaica's chief captain of industry" because he invested capital into irrigation in the Vere sugar district De Lisser describes him as bringin g water to a dry re g ion much in the same way God determined there would be light. De Lisser however. ha s much praise for the work ethic, for men who rise by through hard work and intelligen c e It i s through these cameo stories that de Lisser signals the inclusion of Middle Eastern merchants inco his elite Though as late as 1913 in Jane, de Lisser had referred to them as "Syrian packmen," planters' punch stresses the Bricishness and Jamaicanness of Middle merchants to argue for their inclusion in Jama i can society Of Said Shoucair. d e Lisser writes "Mr Said Shoucair loves Jamaica and regards it as his home He has a s entimental attachment to Syria, which is proper and right (Illustration 16, Appendix) But as he puts it to his Jamaica friends and acquaintance s when a man has lived for a generation in a country, speaks its language easily and has succeeded there and especially when his children are born in that country and are therefore natives and members ofil, that man cannot but regard his This is a little difficult to gage because historians use the census data to determine the percentage of women in the work force and there was no census taken between 1921 and 1943. See again French and Smith (317-327) The same pattern occurred in Trinidad and Tobago, see chapter 4

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138 adopted home as his true and substantive home"(90). His article on Richard Mahfood entitled "Our New Nationals elaborates this argument by stressing Middle Eastern merchants' cultural assimilation and loyalty to Jamaica (llIustration 17. Appendix) It is through these c a meos of merchant s and planters, the portraits of their wives and daughters and the absolute absence of darker Jamaicans from their numbers. that de Lisser most clearly redefines the Jamaican racial and class categories. Here he expanded "whiteness" from an anglo-saxon-cehic definicion to include Ponuguese Jews. Middle Eastern immigrants as well as assimilated Chinese, and implicitly. light Afro-Caribbeans like himself. De Lisser s novel Haunted (1939-40), makes it quite clear that the planter class is inter racial though it may deny that heritage. In the novel, the wealthy planter -youngest scion of a Jamaican aristocratic family -is the illegitimate son of an inter-racial mother. This heritage neither impedes his virtue and strength nor his position, though the novel presents him as an innovation as a new and yet very old Jamaican aristocrat. Written in response to the labor uprising of 1938. the novel represent s de Lisser's vision of the new Jamaica -one which legitimates an inter-racial aristocracy while denying the political agency of Afro Caribbean workers. De Lisser s "Whites" or "aristocracy" were defined largely by their wealth. their political power, and their assimilation of EngliSh language and culture. nO[ by phenotype and biology although his historical accounts define and confine Black Jamaicans within a racialized and negative conception of color. In fact, de Lisser does not use the tenn "white, although the format of Planters' Pynch makes such explicitness unnecessary. His refusal to name the race ofms elite class suggests that the elite is inter-racial but not comfortably so. De Lisser ridicules brown politicians then not because of their race but because their racial position leads them to strive for political goals that conflict with those of the elite he represents

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139 It is impol1ant to realize the insularity of Planters Pynch The daughters and wives afthe upper class -of the Myers, the Lindos. the Crum-Ewings, the KeITJarrets. and Farquharsons --are the beauties and hostesses celebrated in the first pages; their husbands and fathers have their pictures and articles on tbe inner pages usually in separate issues The advertisements which suppa., the magazine are often from these same companiesffamilies -the Myers, the Issas the Shoucairs, the DeCordovas Many of the men are involved in multiple concerns or move from one major company to the next. In Worthiness in Business: the Firm ofL;tscelles de Mercado and Co.," we team that this one finn's directors, De Mercado and D'Costa also are involved in planting in the district ofVere (planters' pynch J924-5 22_5) 9 2 Further, de Mercado is director of The Gleaner, Ice makim: Company and Jamaica Marine Insurance; D Costa is director of Jamaica Mutua1 Life. In addition, both are pan owners and directors of Iamaica Biscuit Company another big advertiser in plamers Punch. Other featured families have multiple interests in business print media. and politics. This suggests that planters' punch is the organ ofa corporate locaJ oligarchy; Cobham names it the officia1 paper of the Jamaica Imperial Association (Cobham The Literary Side ofH.G. de Lisser (1878-1944)" 6). Most of the men were members of the board of directors of the Gleaner. the old, established Jewish families : Ashenheims. Levys, DaCostas, deMercado s Miihollands, Oelgados, but the oligarchy did include 92 Another example, Mr. E.A. de Pass is treasurer of the West India Committee "'interested in the Vere Estates Company and "connected with the finn of Lascelles and de Mercado"( Planters Punch 1931-327). Mr. V.C McCormack moves from the Royal Canadian Bank, to Mr Henriques, to LasceUes and DeMercado, and then to Mr. Edwin Charley a rum company (planters' Punch 1929-3048). McConnack's presence indicates that de Lisser includes both the class of owners and a class of their employees. Bryan discusses this interlocking aspect of the merchant and planter class and lists many of de Lisser's elite as members of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (The Jamaican People 71-72).

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Kennedy of Grace and Kennedy, Arthur farquarson, and the Issas (Carnegie 1 68}.'3 This oligarchy co-existed with the English colonial government and with the U S international United Fruit Company both of whose representatives were regularly featured in Planters' Punch The result is that Planters' Punch blurs the boundary between advertisements, articles, and fiction. De Lissec s articles on the history of Myers Rum and it s accomplishments differ little from the ads Myers places in Planters Punch Is Miss 140 Myers picture in the "Miss Jamaica" article not both an advertisement of the success of her father's business and a fiction of Englishness? The boundary between de Lisser s novels and the advertisements is similarly blurred. The first publication of lane explicitly mentioned in the text of the novel, Myers Rum and Machado cigars; Myers Rum held the local copyright for Triumphant SQuaiitone (de Lisser Author s N o te"). The 1928 article, Jamaica Entertains Royalty, documents the English royal family's visits to Jamaica, illustrated with a large photograph of the Myers, husband and wife escorting Prince William. on his 1924 visit to Jamaica. As the hosts of the Prince. they are his equals, the local version of him.., as they walk across King Street between Government Buildings. The Myers stand in a similar position vis-a-vis Jamaican literature As financial backers of Planters' Punch and owners of at least one copyright of de Lisser novels the Meyers's patronage of de Lisser s Jamaican literature parallels the historical role European monarchs played as art patrons but the Myers were capitalists and the national image they sponsor was that of the capitalist class. When de Lisser began to publish literature he presented corporate sponsorship as a means of making literature available to a broad spectrum of people Of 9 3 Victor Chang views de Lisser as pandering to this elite audience ; he refers to the men featured in planters punch as a Who '5 Who in Jamaica This pandering Chang argues, stunted de Lisser's growth as a writer. limiting him to the topics this elite found appealing (15-17)

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141 Triumphant Sgualitone. de Lisser tells the reader "'"it should be s tated that this book is sold at fully fifty per cent below its cost of production" ariumpbant SQualitone "Author's Note" ; BoxhiIl32). Scholars have also interpreted de Lisser's commitment to selling fiction at low cost as an effort to make local literature available to Jamaican s To thi s end, Mervyn Monis points o ut. Planters' Pyn c h sold at the then reasonable price of one shilling from 1920 to 1944 with exception of one year when it was one shilling six pen c e (18). What appeared to be de Lisser s original pro ject of using advertisers to support a local literature for the people transfonned into the pUblication of a national literature, which equated the nation with a ruling class of advertisers a national literature that functioned to advertise the advertisers at the expense of the people Thus, in de Lisser s fiction, the commod i fication o f Jamaican culture coincides with the legitimation of loc al. Jamaican capitalist exploitation of the workin g and peasant classes Planters' punc h portrayed n o t just contemporary Jamaica but al s o it s history in terms complimentary and compatible to this multinational and multi-ethni c class This becomes imponant to Jamaican literary history because of the enonnity and the comprehensive scope of de Lisser's historical and literary project Each of his historical novels focused on one significant event or movement in Jamaican history refashioning it in such a way as to legitimate thi s small local elite The m ost notab l e of these are Anacanoa (1936-7) later published as the Arawak Girl, which represents the Spanish conquest.; The White MaroOD (1938-39) which retells the Engli s h conquest of the Spanish in 1655 ; Daughter (1930 1931) which recount s the 1 760 slave uprising. known as Tacky's rebelli o n ; The Cup and the Lip (1931-2), which tells of Indian indentureship; Jamaica Nobility (1925-26) which reduces the UNIA and the Garvey movement to petty neighborhood rivalries and adultery ; and finally Haunted

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142 (1939-40), which addresses the labor uprising of 1938 .9-' In each of these novels, de Lisser employs English images of creole women to obscure the political history of the event he novelizes '5 The colonial romance creole women's struggle for the white man inevitably replaces the Afro-Caribbeans' struggle for freedom or equality. Tac"--y's rebellion is recast as Henry Morgan's daughter's love for the white deserter posing as Jamaica's notorious criminal, threefingered Jack; the 1938 Rebellion occurs in the background of a brown woman's losing battle for the affections of a white English visitor, the Morant Bay rebellion is the background for a Paul Bogle's daughter's unrequited love for a white planter, and in the White Witch, the Baptist War is the background for the deadly rivalry between a brown and a white woman for yet another visiting English gentleman. The White Witch orRose Hal! plays a key role in de Lisser s overall project because it refashions slavery by reshaping and merging Jamaica's legend about slavery. that afRose Hall, and its most powerful slave rebellion, the Baptist War of 1831. Laura Lomas makes the very important argument that the legend undoubtedly derives from the oraJ culture of slaves, and that de Lisser and others who have written versions of it erased and distorted the narratives slaves told .96 Because it is jamaica's one legend De Lisser's project began before the first issue of Planters' punch appeared in 1920. His novel on the 1865 Morant Bay uprising. Reyenge. appeared in 1919 This novel also transforms the Afro-Caribbean political struggle into the colonial romance. 95 [n the case of black Jamaican women, he works with the idea that black women and marriage are anathema to one another we see this in Jamaica Nobility, in which one couple marries as an indirect result of Garvey giving the title of "Knight of the Afiican Republic to the man. Manying has the effect of encouraging Mathilda to leave her husband for a man who takes the Garveyites' contributions and absconds to Cuba 96 This is the main thesis of Laura. Lomas's "Mystifying Mystery : Inscriptions of the oral the Legend of Rose HaU," (Journal of West Indian Literature 6:2 (1994): 70-81); she argues effectively that the story originated in

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143 about slavery; what is at stake in its refashioning is the power to represent slavery. Because early 20th-century Jamaicans defined themselves in relation to the racial hierarchy of slavery, the power to redefine race relations during slavery brought with it the power to redefine contemporary race relations. For de Lisser, it had the potential of freeing the plantocracy from its history ofbrutaJ exploitation. a history which conflicted with its claim to be Jamaica's noble aristocracy Probably as a result of its representation of slavery, the legend was a source of debate, most intensely in the late 1890's. The distortions and debates serve as a record of the negotiation process through which enslaved peoples' account of slavery became a centerpiece in the discourse of the planters and middle classes; that is a centerpiece in the discourse ortbe descendants of slave owners and tbe new class of banana agro-business men. who occupied the position of planter. In the first written account, Castello's 1868 pamphlet. Mrs. Rosa Palmer is a sexually debauched woman, who tortures her slaves. kills her husbands, breaks the rank of class to take a carpenter as a lover and is finally murdered by her "compan.ions" slaves (Castello 9). It claims as guarantee of its veracity the marble monument to Mrs. Rosa Palmer, wife of John Palmer, cus tos of St. James Parish located in the Parish Church in Montego Bay. Castello holds that the neck of the statue shows the marks of strangulation and the base blood. (In the late 1990s, one can see only a faint and natural pattern in the marble ) The legend thus figures the white woman as the slave owner, and slavery as sexual and gender transgressiveness combined with murder. However, the newspaper readership did not accept this image of slavery; many oral culture by tracing references to oral accounts in the [9th-century debate over the legend Workers on plantations during and after slavery --told ghost stories about the Great House and its inhabitants. I suspect because of their power and right to treat people cruelly This type of story is part and parcel of the institution of slavery

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144 questioned whether the respected wife of a leading official could have committed such crimes. The tension probably derives from the legend's assertion that a white upper class woman was a sadist and a "whore. Whereas this image fits with the English stereotype of white creole women as an Africanized sadist from the pre-emancipat ion period it conflicts sharply with the image of wealthy white women in Jamaica at the tum of the century. In the 1890's, the local elite not only defined itself through moral standards for female etiquette and morality more stringent than those of English middle and upper classes ; they had a strong voice in the press That Lady Blake the Governor' s wife, who served Jamaica as the embodiment of English domestic womanhood. instigated the debate over the veracity of the legend suggests the legend of Mrs. Palmer particularly troubled white women of the upper class (Alleyne 465) 9 7 The debate did not succeed in eliminating the image of the tyrannical slave mistress but it did change her identity.9B After many letters and much disagreement, the public settled on a version of the legend which held that the true villain was nOI the honorable Rosa Palmer, but an Annie Palmer wife of the heir to John Palmer a John Rose Palmer. This version is recorded in Joseph Shore's 1911 In Old Stjames probably the most lurid and most widely read account until de Lisser's 1 9 29 novel for which it serves as a foundation. In it, Shore borrows plagiarizes actually from 97 The desire to clear Mrs Palmer s name has continued. In the 19605 Glory Robertson and Geoffrey Yates did painstaking research (0 show that the legend was completely unfounded. Neither Annie nor Rosa Palmer were ever murderers or murdered -at least so far as the court records can attest 91 The tenacity of this image slavery encapsulated in the figure of a sadistic white woman maybe partially explained by the fact that it supports a male fear and opposition to women holding power traditionally reserved for men. For a further discussion of a feminist reading of The White Witch of Rose Hall, see Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert's The White Witch of Rose hall and the Legitjmacy of Female power in the Caribbean in The Journal of West Indian Literature 4:2 (1990): 25-45

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Castello to create a narrative in which the evil Annie Palmer is described as spending her nights in drunken orgies, scenes too disgusting to describe, while her days were spent in inflicting the most tyrannical cruelties and dreadful tortures upon her slaves who were alternatively the companies of her evening orgies and the victims of her morning remorse"(Castell o 9 ; Shore 49-50). Pa1mer flamboyantly transgresses ra cial, gender, and class boundaries : she sleeps with slaves and white servants, wears men s clothes, and uses obeah against her slaves .9'J 145 How does de Lisser incorporate this legend cfupper class debauchery and brutality into his vision of Jamaica as led by a cultured elite? De Lisser addressed the legend at least twice His first article appeared in the Jama i can Daily Telegraph 17 February 1912 In it. de LisseT attempts to diminish the legend's negative implicati ons for the p l antocracy by making light of it and by countering the claim that p l anters were cruel in the 1820s which is the Annie version of the Rose Hall legend was to have taken place He writes : How few legends have we in Jamaica!. .. One legend however. Jamaica has always passionately clung to It is our only one of any importance It i s the legend of Rose Hall, the story ofa woman murderer of whom we are all consummatel y proud ... We would like to say that Mrs. Palmer killed ten husbands instead of five, for crime has its greatness a s well as virtue Recent researches, however, have proved that Mrs. Rose Palmer was an exemplary woman; but, fortunately recent researches have not altogether deprived us our cherished legend De Lisser holds that the legend inaccurate because it portrays slave owners unchecked by the t823 legislation to ameliorate the condition of slaves : "How these things were In Shore's account. Palmer is killed in 1833 by her last lover, who is not a slave

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done without Mrs. Palmer being reported to the mag i stracy it is rather diffi c ult to understand; for a Slave Code limiting the right of slave owners to punish their people 146 was in force at that time. and it was by no means a dead letter." But in case the reader still believes that Mrs. Palmer mistreated her slaves, de Lisser insists that the slave owning planters were different and inferior to the planters of the 20th century whom he represents We see this in his admission, that Mrs. Palmer used obeah They (Shore and Stewart) hint, however, that her lovers were not all white men and they even suggest that she was by way of being a bit of an obeah woman Well, probably she was, knowing that obeah was more potent than the whip in those days; besides she might actually have believed in it as so many persons in superior positions did in those days Finally he concludes by denying the story the status oflegend, calling Jamaica, a young country ... with no legends ." De Lisser writes that Jamaica is not so youn g that it has no ruins which tell us of a prosperit y that has long since passed.... Rather than see slavery as inhumane institution of sexualized brutality as Castello s and Shore' s accounts suggest, de Lisser paints the slave plantatation as the source of Jamaica s grand and prosperous history The second time de Lisser address e s the legend, far from denying its existence, de Lisser appropriates the Shore's version of the legend it s approximate dates in the 1820s and 30s, the murders, the sel(, the men's clothing, and the obeah, and transforms it into The Wbite Witch aCRose Hall. In 1912 de Lisser expresses his general support of the plantocracy by lightly dismissing the tNth of the legend. In 1929 he carefully crafts the legend to complement his representation of the elite centered on the image of the white woman. [n de Lisser's version, the English gentleman hero Robert Rutherford travels incognito to Jamaica to work as a bookkeeper, as a way ofleaming the business

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147 without being coddled so that he can later take charge ofms father's estates He works on the Rose Hall Estate. owned by Annie Palmer Palmer, we learn. is the daughter of an Irish merchant and an English woman, born in England, but raised in Haiti where she was trained by a baroness in the court of Henri Christophe to be a voodoo priestess. She rul es her estates with brutality and patrols at night in a trim, black, men's suit. She successfully seduces Rutherford who never considers marriage because her sexual freedom marks her as inappropriate Meanwhile, he also begins a romantic liaison with Millicent, a free colored woman, who acts as his servant. Annie Palmer becomes jealous ofMiUicent and the two enter into a rivalry which results in Arutie's murder of Millicent through techniques of voodoo This love triangle is complicated by the overseer. Ashman, who was Annie's previous lover and tries to eliminate Rutherford out of jealousy. In revenge for Millicent's death, Takoo. her grandfather, an African obeahman, murders Annie Palmer. This murder becomes the first act of the Baptist War in 1831. the largest slave uprising in Jamaican history Disgusted with Jamaica. Robert leaves for England never to return. The White Witch was printed in its entirety in the 1929 issue of planters' Punch, but not on consecutive pages it begins on page two. following the portrait of Duchess and runs for two pages until'The Jamaica Mothers" on page four and then continues interspersed with propagandistic articles about the ruling class. How could the legend of Annie Palmer as upper class, white murderess be compatible with de Lisser s construction of white Jamaican women as paragons of domesticity and ho\' did the image of slavery as brutal fit into de Lisser's vision of planters' as enlightened. industrious businessmen? De Lisser transforms the legend in two significant ways : first. he denationalizes Annie Palmer. As a result he preserves his image of first ladies Second, by imposing the legend onto the Baptist war, de Lisser is able to discount the legitimacy of slaves' reasons to rebel as well as the political threat posed

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148 by that revolt Annie Palmer's sexual promiscuity and sadism nestle safely between the Duchess Atholl and "Some Jamaican Mothers" because de Lisser ha s simply changed the legend, and transformed Palmer from a white Jamaican woman who practices obeah to the daughter of an [rish man and English woman, raised in Haiti and tutored in VOOdOO.1C1O In Annie Palmer. de Lisser intensifies the negative characteristics English convention attributed to white creote women. Annie Palmer is yet more sadistic, more Africanized. and more masculine than 19th-century images of me white creole She does no t only flog her slaves, she is addicted to the s ensual pleasure she derives from flogging them, and she does not only flog slaves, she murders white husbands. For her culrural assimilation of African practices isn't a matter of speaking with a drawl or eating pepperpot but of working in voodoo. She takes on the male position of plantation owner, authority over slaves and employees and she wears men s clothing LOI De Lisser portrays Annie as physically mas c uline : her nose was slightly aquiline, suggesting strength of character a disposition and a 100 Here [ am indebted to the Jamaican poet Pam Mordecai, who said to me, "but Annie Palmer isn't one of us ; she wasn't Jamaican." LOL Annie s masculinity, in fact, also races her as Afro-Caribbean Annie's independence is parallel to that of Afro-Caribbean peasant women's independence that stymied Froude and Livingstone, and which de Lisser also represents in the character, Celestine in lane. It is the independent peasant woman who can chose when and if to marry as opposed to the landless and therefore dependent peasant or working woman who must have male lovers to suppon her Annie asserts mat she can act as she pleases, have lovers as she pleases. because she is the owner of large estates. Taken in by this logic, Rutherford remarks on her splendid independence" in a tone not dissimilar from Livingstone s admiration ofIamaican peasant women, Kingsley s ambivalence about black women s "perfect Independence,"or de Lisser's account of peasant women who can do as they please because they have property The fact that her independence can both shift: her racial and gender identity indicates the extent to which constructions of gender and race were imbricated

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149 will and an ability to command ... (fe 1929 17). De Lisser's Annie Palmer may be me ultimate embodiment of the degenerate white creole woman but, for Jama i ca, she is a foreign creole. 102 Denationalizing Annie Palmer brought the existing national legend into line with his own vision of Jamaica De Lisser' 5 Annie Palmer bolsters his ruling class by liberating it from the plantocracy's brutality during slavery De Lisser consistently links the cruelty of slavery specifically to Annie Palmer Rutherford repeatedly conunents that her estate alone continues brutal practices As uU1ra Lomas has commented, it is as if the cruel planter class dies when Annie dies leaving the p[antocracy of the 1920's innocent of past labor abuses (77). Thu s not only, de Lisser suggests, were the atrocities of slavery anachronistic in 1831 they were caused by an aberrant and foreign element The novel paints the 1831 uprising as a result of a love triangle and thus denies the complex and powerful political organintion of the rebellion During the Baptist War, slaves to o k over plantations with the intention of running them themselves and forcing planters off the island Roughly 20% of the slaves in Jamaica participated in the revolt, involving 226 estates and 750 square miles of p l antation (Holt 14) Finally the novel represents England and Englishmen as superfluous to Jamaican society the local elite can rule best. At key moments in the narrative when Robert gives into sensual temptation or Annie Palmer exhibits her sexuality o r her supernatural powers, de Lisser interrupts the novel and interposes illustrated articles praising individual Jamaican planters and business men. This juxtaposition expresses de Lisser s argument that the new plantocracy is noble and efficient while colonial rule, constituted by foreign-born officials serving temporary posts is a weak fonn of government When the candle blows out and leaves Robert and Annie alone 102 She was also Catholic in contrast to the lamaican elite which was Protestant and skeptical at best of Catholics.

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150 together in the dark on their first "date de Lisser inserts the story "Durie the Optimist" an account of Walter Durie s rise to success through hard work as editor of the Jamaica Times. politician, and owner of the Times dry goods store When Robert succumbs to sexual desire for Millicent and asks her to stay longer in his room at night, planters' Punch cuts to the portrait oro .K. Henriques, whom de Lisser praises for proving that "poor little Jamaican men" are as capable as English men Page sixty-nine is divided, the top half dedicated to "The Newer Kingston" a newly erected modem business building Below it, Robert confronts Annie Palmer for her revenge on Millicent, but is seduced This "Newer Kingston" with its modem merchants and planters is a model of industry and patriotism in comparison both to the old plantocracy represented by Annie Palmer and English colonial officials represented by Rutherford .,ol Though the novel incorporates both English and Afro-Caribbean cultural models it serves [0 disempower Afro-Caribbeans and to undermine English authorit y in order to legitimate [he Jamaican ruling class. De Lisser's critique of the English gentlemen Rutherford in conjunction with his celebration of Jamaican business men expresses a nationalist sentiment. He achieves this by turning 18thand 19th-century English narrative conventions designed as parts of arguments justifYing colonial rule against themselves. In de Lisser's text, they argue not for the superiority of the English man, but for his exclusion from Jamaica Most specifically de Lisser fashions White Witch of Rose Hall by appropriating and reshaping the plot of the proslavery novel, Mady (1828). In Marly. George Marly, an upper class Scotsman travels to Jamaica incognito to work as bookkeeper in order to learn the business of planting in 10] "Newer Kingston refers to the new businesses built up after the 1907 earthquake. I suggest that the "New Kingston" functions as a figure for the modem capitalist class and its culture that de Lisser wishes to see dominate Jamaica.

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lSI preparation for inheriting property orrus own in the West Indies. Rutherford arrives in Jamaica in much the same situation. Where George Marly remains the exemplary gentleman, refusing all the overtures of black and brown families to install their daughters as his housekeeper, Rutherford succumbs in each instance to women's advances Like all the English men Lady Nugent and Mrs. Carmichael describe as becoming debauched in the West Indies. Rutherford begins to have sex with the wrong women and to drink.. De Lisser explicitly plays on the English stereotype of the West Indies as a place of corruption. The morning after his first night with Annie at the Great House, when he not only slept with Annie Palmer but kissed her within eyesight of servants, Raben blames the West Indian environment: "he was secretly startled that he had so quickly succumbed to what he had heard at home were the manners and customs of this country, with a disregard of all concealments, a careless acceptance of any conditions and circumstances that might appeal at the moment, however flagrantly might be violated every principle of circumspect 1929 31). Rutherford s debauchery functions not to conderrm Jamaica and the institution of slavery as does that of the bookkeepers in English texts but to show us that Rutherford -the English man is not strong enough to withstand temptation. Marly is humiliated and exhausted by the menial labor and responsibilities of a bookkeeper, but he perfonns them counting chickens, staying up all night in boiler houses In contrast, as Annie's lover, Rutherford is relieved of these tedious responsibilities. Palmer hires an additional bookkeeper, so that Rutherford's labor becomes fully unnecessary on the Estate. Rather than rise through hard labor or refonn the labor and agricultural practices as Marly does, Rutherford ceases to produce at all-he becomes the lazy, redundant male, reminiscent in this respect of the abjected black male in de Lisser's and Froude's paradigm of Jamaica. Where Marly defines masculinity through his inconuptibility, his bravery, his honesty, his action, Rutherford

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152 is defined by his failure to act the man in Jamaica Where Marly dedicate s himself to Jamaica, settling there, devoting himself to improving agricultural and labor practices Rutherford leaves Jamaica at the first moment he can Whereas Marly's transplantation to Jamaica result s in an improvement of Jamaican society and labor and agricultural practices, Rutherford's sojourn to Iamaica illustrates that English men become corrupt in the West Indies lose their masculinity, and need to leave in order to survive. De Lisser s is a model in which Jamaica, is for Jamaicans, elite Jamaicans and English rulers had better stay home or realjze that the local elite are stronger, abler, more virtuous men De Lisser's novel is also a play on the marriage plot of English novels like Charlotte Smith s Th e Wanderings of Warwick and Charlotte Brontc s Jan e Eyre in which the English man is at first amacted t o the creole woman but then rejects her as an appropriate mate for marriage because she lacks femininity evidenced in her cruelty and cultural inferiority This is Ihe plot of The White Witch o f Rose Hall ; Rutherford becomes infatuated with Annie Palmer but does not at first consider marriage because of her sexual freedom Later his decision is reconfirmed by her cruelty and her African prac tice of voodoo. The plot of English domestic fiction functions to alert the reader to the danger creoles pose to English domesticity and to define them as inferior to English women. Annie Palmer proves to be defic i ent by English standards but not before she has proven that Rutherford is deficient by English and Jamaican standards of masculinity The failure of Rutherford and Palmer to marry casts no negative judgement on Jamaica per se, because Annie Palmer i s not Jamaican ; rather it shows us Rutherford s weakness. De Lisser's aims, it appears, to evacuate the English from the ideal of Englishness and to replace them with a local elite De Lisser is agreeing with Froude's assertion that the English have grown weak in their colonial territories but instead of making those English stronger, de Lisser suggests replacing them with the

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153 imitative, local elite. This reflects de Lisser's political stance that Jamaicans should be receive powerful positions within the colonial government positions from which they had historically been barred (Carnegie 174). De Lisser takes the focus Froude and Livingstone place on strong West Indian women as part of their arguments for direct colonial rule and employs it to argue against English administration In de Lisser's text, strong women make not Jamaican men but English men weak Annie Palmer and Millicent play the role of men in their relationships with Rutherford and thus render him effeminate. Robert is the object of Annie's desire, the object of her gaze. When she first meets Robert, she compliments his beauty in a way that objectifies him. She tells him "I thought when ( saw you a little while ago, that a man of your appearance was hardly cut out to be a book-keeper: you are very handsome Robert" (planters' Punch 192922). She invites him to dinner to spend the night, to move in with her. 104 (n asking Rutherford, who is her employee, to live as her lover in the Great House,. Annie places Rutherford in a position similar to that the brown mistress occupied as paid sexual partner in the master's home in the colonial romance The most extreme instance of Rutherford's emasculation occurs when he prostitutes himself by agreeing to remain Annie Palmer's lover in exchange for Annie s pledge to save Millicent from the voodoo she has set against her (planters' Punch 1929723) Millicent also emasculates Robert by treating him as an object of desire. Like the figure of the stereotypical brown woman from Mrs. Carmichael and Edward Long, 104 A further example : when the overseer, Annie's ex-lover, Ashman interrupts with news ofa slave conspiracy. Annie refuses to let Rutherford speak for himself. In fact. Ashman and Palmer have a whole quarrel about whether Rutherford will stay or go. Rutherford, the English gentleman, and as such, the person with greatest prestige says nothing while Asfunan asserts that Rutherford ought to leave and Arutie insists that he must stay, with a metallic imperiousness in her voice which neither man could fail to recognize" (Planters' Punch 192930).

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154 Millicent sets out to seduce him. She is so invested in attaining Raben's affection that she risks her life in a rivalry with Annie Palmer As she puts it, "the young squire must be rescued by any means" CPP 1929 34). Like the masculine Annie Palmer Millicent is the actor; de Lisser emphasizes Millicent's agency in entitling chapter four, Millicent Acts." Rather than the struggle for freedom, the women's rivalry becomes the central event of the novel and the cause of the Baptist War. It is essentially Annie's struggle to keep her white womanhood superior to and clearly distinct from Millicent's brown womanhood. Annie asserts that her fury results not from Robert's infidelity but from the fact that he was unfaithful with a brown woman that Robert has placed her, Annie Palmer, mistress of the Rose Hall Estate, on the same level as a "nigger girl." Raben in fact does place both women in the same place Not only are they both his lovers; he literally sits both of them on his lap, in parallel scenes of seduction In fact, we are led to believe through the thoughts of Robert and his fellow bookkeeper that Robert has greater affection for Millicent than for Annie In visiting the ailing Millicent, Robert felt he was performing an act of duty; anything like passion, like affection, he did not conceive to be a motive at all Burbridge took a different view. Burbridge S own opinion, mentioned to no living human being was that Millicent had won Robert from Annie Palmer, that Annie had realised i'1, and tnat these two women, different in colour, in position, in power in almost everything save a bold and defiant disposition were embarked on a deadly struggle .... "(de Lisser White Witch 142) [n the women' s struggle, Robert Rutherford becomes expendable, jnconsequential. Though the plan go awry Annie orders Rutherford's murder to

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155 prevent him from uniting with Millicent. Annie loses in the battle to preserve her distinct, superior whiteness and de Lisser seems intent on portraying the Annie and Millicent as comparable. In attempting to assert her difference from Millicent. Annie destroys her position as a white woman. First she puts hersel( as cautions her, on the same level as Millicent by engaging in a screaming match with her which almost escalates into a fist fight. Second, in order to kill Millicent, Annie uses Voodoo which links her to Haitians. people English discourse defmed as the antithesis of civilized, white Europeans. Froude, for instance, associates Haiti and Voodoo with Satan worship and the absolute inversion of civilization The rivalry between Annie and Millicent repeats the colonial romance from English discourse of the pre-emancipation period. In the romance Annie Palmer is the white woman made violent by her jealousy of the brown woman, who captures the affections of the white man and renders the white woman violent and vindicative. Just as the white women in English texts like Stewart's Account of Jamaica and its Inhabitants and Smith's The Wanderings ofWarwjck, Annie loses not only her man but her white femininity by becoming violent and sadistic. In English literature, the colonial romance functions to define both creole women and the creole family as sexually immoral ; it thus participates in the argument against the domestic virtue and political worthiness of the region. By presenting the rivalry as the cause of the Baptist War, de Lisser deploys the English trope to obfuscate the Afro-Caribbean political resistance to slavery In refusing to depict the political organization of slaves and in portraying their revolt as apolitical rage at Millicent's murder, de Lisser denies the political agency of black Jamaicans. His use of the colonial romance thus parallels its use in English discourse. Yet, the romance expresses de Lisser's specific Jamaican political goals of giving the local elite a stronger role in government and denying the political rights of the working class The rivalry

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removes key dramatic figures in Jamaican history ; the white planter woman, the Englishman, the free colored woman., and the African Obeahman Who takes the places of Robert, Millicent, and Annie? Presumably Jamaican society women and business men featured in the glossy photos of Planters Punch De Lisser actively presents both women as equal and thus breaks down the distinction between brown and white womanhood Annie fights for. For instance., he entitles the chapter in which Rutherford becomes involved with Annie and Millicent : 156 "Two Women" -giving both women the same designation. Even his sentences place the women in equivalent positions : MiUicent "had seen and loved him, just as Annie Palmer had done" (Planters' punch 1929 30) In contrast, Planters' Punch carefully segregates its women, white ladies never mix with Chinese or Afro-Caribbean women in the same article It could never entitle an article about one white woman and one visibly Afro-Caribbean woman "Two Women In comparing Annie to Millicent. de Lisser removes Annie from the category of real" white women of Planters Punch De Lisser incorporates Afro-Caribbean folk culture with much the effect that he incorporates Afro-Caribbean legend of Annie Palmer-to undercut Afro-Caribbean rights In particular, he fashions Annie Palmer by conflating of two figures from Afro creole folk culture, the Old Hige and the diablesse (djabfes) The Old Hige (in the Eastern Caribbean, the soukouyan) is an old woman who sucks the (ife blood from living people, usually children. Annie Palmer sucks the life from Millicent in a chapter de Lisser entitles the "Old Rige. n Mllicent explicitly tells Rutherford that Annie is an Old Hige and that she has sucked MIlicent's life away, leaving a bite mark on her chest. However, as the beautiful but murderous temptress of men, Annie Palmer also embodies the figure of the djabfes, which Richard Allsopp describes as
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157 hooves"(I94). She e ither kills the man or drives him crazy Annie is a finely dressed young-looking pretty woman who lures men and then kills them Her cloven hoof manifests itself in yet another figure from Afro-Caribbean folk lore the supernatural figure of the Rolling Calfwhich Palmer engenders to terrifY her slaves into submission and to demonstrate her power to her ex-lover, Ashman De Lisser's inclusion of these elements of Afro-Caribbean culture., however, does not function to legitimate that culture or Afro-Canobeans, rather they participate in de Lisser's larger historical project of undermining Afro-Caribbeans' history of organized political struggle and competence. De Lisser had a coordinated cultural. politicaJ, and economic project Through his fiction and journalism. he fashioned an image of lamajca. Through his position as editor of The Gleaner and secretary oflhe Jamaica Imperial Association, he blocked legi slation, lobbied against governors, and negotiated subsidies for p lanters. lO S His pol i tical leverage approximated a self-rule. His was, however, a self rule that opposed self rule, a cultural nationalism which opposed the establishment of a nation De Lis ser's imperialism was strategic He supported the Empire because it kept his elite in power: colonial rule blocked democratic refonns that would inevitably bring darker Jamaicans social and political power, it also supplied a model for cultural and class superiority That de Lisser's allegiance to the Empire is strategic i s indicated by the fact that he advocated Jamaica's becoming a colony of the United States in the first decade of the century when the U S was Jamaica's largest trade partner and reverted lO S For instance, de Lisser arranged that Jamaica's war comribution to England be directly reinvested in the sugar industry as subsidies for two years during WWI -a direct investment that by passed the Jamai can Legislative Council and therefore any local opposition (Roberts I (3) De Lisser is seen as quite powerful in the incessant attacks against Governor Robyn which aJmost made him resign (Carnegie 46-7). Carnegie notes that two local, radical politicians left politics because the JAI was so strong in its control (104).

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to supporting the Empire after WWI when England was again Jamaica's large trade partner 106 In Annie Palmer, de Lisser successfully appropriates and coopts both English and Afro-Caribbean models of womanhood in the cause of reshaping Jamaica in the image of his light elite. Annie Palmer does not subvert his race class schema just as white creole women did not subvert the opposition between virtuous English 158 womanhood and corrupted creole womanhood in 1 8thand 19th-century English discourse on the West Indies. But just as Afro-Caribbean women disrupted EngliSh discourse on the West Indies, they disrupt de Lisser's race and class hierarchy In both English texts and in de Lisset's Planters' punch, Afro-Caribbean women give the lie to the argument against Afro-Caribbeans as political subjects De Lisser' 5 representation of Afro-Caribbean women in Planters' punch blurs the distinctions between racial groups on which he bases his social hierarchy and the supremacy of his elite class. He relies on domestic ideology to color and class code Jamaicans: white women are wealthy, moral, and married; brown and black women have less money, are immoral, and don't many. But the reality that de Lisser faces and records in the 1929 issue of Plamers' punch defies these distinctions. The article "The Dancing Girl" appears [0 include exclusively women of color; all the illusrrations which accompany (he rext depict Afro-Caribbean women. Further, de Lisser asserts that "complexion" unites historical dancing girls with contemporary dancing girls. However, de Lisser integrates white women in the article and implicates them in the not-quite-decent, L06 Roberts writes, that it is worth noting that when sixty-five per cent. of tile Island's trade was with America (in 1912), he believed that 'the wish of Jamaica to become absorbed by the United States will grow'; but when the trend changed after World War I and commerce with the United Kingdom became paramount, H.G.D. proclaimed the absolute devotion of his counuy to Britain. In business he did not allow romance to cloud his practical judgment" (118).

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159 not-white activity of dancing The article runs on pages eleven and twelve, wim [he illustrations of set girls and the Butterfly troupe. Page thirteen is an article-like advenizemem on the benefits of life. house, and car insurance; page fourteen contains the photographs of the Mayfa i r Promenaders upper class white amateur dancing girls These white dancing girls axe a distanced appendage {O "The Dancing Girl" article and to the Afro-Caribbean dancing girls. In the 18th-and 19th centuries white women slave owners de Lisser explains. enthusiastically panicipa[e(f in the preparation of the set girl costumes providing money lending jewelry and cheering their slaves on in the competition. In the 20th century. white women play a parallel role in relation to modem Afro-Caribbean dancers De Lisser claims that Jamaican society could not accept me European practice of dancing without tights until respectable upper class white amateurs like the Mayfair Promenaders took to the stage tightless Then the Afro-Caribbean Butterfly Troupe perform bare-legged without risking their respectability De Lisser's logic is strained. his argumem improbable because he is trying t o explain a reality which fundamentally challenges the morally coded and racially divided hierarchy he has set up Jamaica. has white dancing girls the Mayfair Promenaders and they appear more sexualized and less clothed than the brown and black dancing girls In fact, there is a direct comparison between the AfroCaribbean slave women dancing as set girls and the white women dancing as slave girls. Let us compare the Bellisario 1837 illustration of the set girls meant to define black women as dancing girls with the photograph of white society women of .. the Mayfair Promenaders" performing "slave girls" in "the Dance of the Seven Veil"(lIIustrations 18 & 19, Appendix}. The set girls are fully clothed, in European dress. In contrast, the Mayfair Promenaders appear white, which signals sexual virwe, but, influenced by the development of modern dance in Europe, they expose

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160 their legs and arms. Funher, they are clothed in Western visions of the orient, costumes designed to reveal the female body. [0 suggest sexuality. Even the more contemporary Afro-Caribbean dancing (foupe is not so revealing or so sexualized as the white slave girls. Rather the Butterfly troupe wears shorts and sleeveless jackets, revealing no cleavage or belly.l07 In their sexualized slave-girl costumes. the white women exchange racial positions and moral starus with the Afro-Caribbean enslaved women, dressed in European clothing. Aware of the "'problem" the white women's near nudiey poses to his racial hierarchy. de Lisser develops an argument to explain it. He asserts thac the white women's sexy COStumes reflect an assimilation of sophisticated European dance rechniques and upper class dress habits. Middle class women were, he asserted, too afraid to wear dresses so low-cut as the aristocracy. Basing his argument on a whimsical attack on middle class imitativeness. de Lisser fails [0 address the "dancing girls" at all. who were by definition working class. De Lisser s definition of white women as ladies and dark women as dancing girls completely falls apart when de Lisser admits that the "'Bunerfly Troupe" has disbanded and we realize that although de Lisser defined darker Jamaican women as "dancing girls" in order to contrast them to respectable white jamaican women. the only active troupe of dancing girls and the only active set of "slave girls" in Jamaica at the time 1929 planters' punch was published are the white women amateurs of the Mayfair Promenade. His deployment of English colonial definitions of race becomes descabilized for much the same reason that English colonial ideology did; the slippage or blurring between the representation of women of different races reflects the social and racial blurring and slippage between race and class categories, which 107 One could argue that the cigarette-smoking Butterfly troupe represents a different. tougher, perhaps stereotypically blacker image of sexuality than the orientalized white dancers

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de Lisser's own autobiography illustrates as he was born Afro-creole and relatively poor but beV3me white and wealthy_ De Lisser became white and wealthy in large part by appropriating and manipulating domestic ideology and its ideas of race His whiteness and class status was thus a product ofrus imitative deployment of English ideology 161 "The Dancing Girl of Old -And of Today" suggests the vulnerability of de Lisser's imitation De Lisser s strategy of pre sen ring Iamaican high society as aristocrats mirrors the slaves' practice of electing queens and Icings during celebrations at Christmas In "Dancing Girls." de Lisser pokes fun at this slave practice in the following passage : Each band had a Queen, and she was the most wonderfully attired of them all. [don't know whether she was intended to represent the Queen of Beauty and Grace, or Miss Jamaica. or what but she and the rival Queen were cenainly the most conspicuous females .. each had her attendant court Her followers were dukes and duchesses earls and countesses, lords and ladies! There was hardly a commoner among them (12) But de Lisser himself nominates elite Jamaicans to the position of Miss Jamaica How different are rus nominations from those of darker, poorer Jamaicans? The difference, is not so great. yet de Lisser consistently attacks Afro-Caribbeans for imitating English positions. His novel on Garvey and the UNIA in lamaica Nobjlity (1926) is an elCtended joke about the Association's practice of designating certain members with royal titles The novel outlines the ludicrous consequences that occur when the UNIA appoints two working class Jamaicans to titled positions Nicholas Brimstone as

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"Conspicuous Potentate" and Mortimer SlimSlam a s "Knight ... 1 0 1 lo insisting on their proper titles the men lose their jobs. As a result, both men relinqui s h their claim s to their titles. In the first few pages of this heavy-handed satire, de Lisser inserts one of his customary articles on local business men However, this cameo mirrors the UNlA practice de Lisser s novel ridicules by explicitly naming the planter, Humphrey Crum-Ewing, an "ari stocrat." Someone recently alluded to Mr. Humphrey erum-Ewing as "an aristocrat He is that, of course but usually you take that fact for granted not as a matter to be specially referred to. A man of very old family, a SCQ[ch English and West Indian landed proprietor, an Eton Public School boy and a graduate of Cambridge University he is what the Spanish woul d call an hidalgo, which means the "son of someone ," which means also that such a one is somebody in his own right and person That is the kind of man we call an aristocrat in English. for manners and personality he can hardly ever lack But you have als o heard Mr. erum-Ewing alluded. to as a "democrat," and that is as true of him a s in the other designation. The best aristocrat is in these days of genuine democratic marmeT. (LO) The name of de Lisser's aristocrat., "Crum-Ewing sounds almost as silly as the purposely ridiculous names de Lisser invents for Garvey's nObility, "Brimstone" or "SlimSlam ." De Lisser's strategy of representing the local elite as royalty too closely resembles the practice he attributes to the UNlA for the similarity not to reverberate. especially when the texts are interwoven as they are in the format of Planters punch 1 0 1 Here de Lisser is lashing back at the Jamaican street singers Slim and Sam, whose songs were critical of the poverty, unemployment., and the greed of the upper classes (Sherlock 354-5) 162

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163 De Lisser may be asserting that the light elite has a right to claim royal status that the UNlA does not have; what is fitting for Crum-Ewing is ridiculous for an ordinary black man. Yet, the blurring of distinction between Afro-Caribbean and white women, between strategies for self-legitimation of the light elites and of the darker working class point to the instability inherent in de Lisser's construction of Jamaica It is de Lisser's practice of mimicry that highlights the connections between de Lisser's elite and the black Jamaican majority from whom he so tries to distinguish them. The black peasantry and slaves tum the English world upside down when they nominate themselves kings and queens at carnival. In nominating the local elite kings and queens de lisser imitates both England and the black peasantry imitating England His royal elite figure on both England and the black peasantry Presenting Miss Myers as Miss Jamaica or as an aristocrat mimics both English womanhood and Afto-Caribbean womanhood Ifwe reconside r Jane s efforts at upward mobility through domest ic aspirations, we find yet another uncomfortable parallel. In mimicking the womanhood of the English aristocracy, de Lisser's elite engages in a d o mestic imitation similar to Jane 's. yet more ambitious In his novels particularly after 1920 when he began to publish them as part of Planters' Punch de Lisser's project was to appropriate the divisive strategies of English domesticity for the benefit of the local elite. He strives to "creolize" English domesticity in the sense that he strives to make it indigenous, to render domestic virtue a sign of Jamaican national identity This is clear from his 1913 Jane in which he defined black Jamaicans as modem if they had middle class aspirations Yet creole society and the process of creolization resist the racial hierarchy of English domesticity In its bringing together of peoples of different rac ial and ethnic identity, creolization creates an environment in which racial identity is more easily re-constructed and in

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164 which the instability of race is yet more visible than in the metropole As a result, the difference between white. brown. and black womanhoods will s imply not remain s table. Further, imitating domesticity meant imitating patriarchy, and Jamaican society was profoundly ambivalent about patriarchy as is evidenced by the consistent refusal of the working and peasant classes to conform to nuclear families and male-headed households. Mimicry of English domesticity exposes the constructednes s of de Lisser s racial differences even as it reinforces those differences. Creolization resists domesticity even as domesticity limits and shapes creolization Yet these inconsistencies and bJurrings do not seem to disrurb de Lisser's grasp on political and cultural power, which does not weaken until the labor uprisings of 1938 when Alexander Bustamante and Norman Manley become the dominant p o l i tical figures in Jamaica.

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Chapter 5: Wombs of Uncertainty and Pleasure without Paternity: the Gender and Degeneracy of Trinidad's White Ruling Class ... we have only to be acquainted with contemporary literature to find ourselves to face with the fact that the Zeit Geist is one of revolt .... Since the War this revolt has been directed not so much against the Puritanism of the 16th century as against a degenerate form of it popularly known Victorianism This Victorianism ... insisted that maidens should be prim and proper, that the contours of and lines of objects s h ould be concealed by laces and embroideries .... In consequence of all this men and women have failed to see that an act is sinfu l only because of the relative position it occupies on the bench of traditional antiquated morality ... the idealization of the fair face of the Coin ofLlie indubitably tends to encourage the smug complacency of the idle rich; the unjust persecution of the prostitute who is after all only a ne cessary factor in the scheme of our social organization; the legal measure s against the thief, who is a thief simply because an infinitesimal minority is allowed to control the world's wealth (Alfred Mendes "Commentary" 21 23 m y italics) Responding to the public accusation that his fiction was obscene, Alfred Mendes reverses the charges His shon stories about working class women's sexua l practices are not obscene. he held ; rather Victorian moralit y was "degenerat e In calling Victorian ideals of sexuality degenerate. he inverts the moral logic of domestic ideology and European theorie s of degeneracy Thi s was the strategy oppositional Trinidadian writers chose for attacking the colonial bourgeois ie in the late twent i es and early thirties They appropriated English dis course's obsession with sexuality race and gender. But rather than targeting non-whi tes, they dep icted a Trinidad in whic h all racial, ethnic, and class groups transgressed English standards of domestic vinue The Afro-Caribbean working class fonned sexual partnerships without marrying ; the bourgeoisie married but committed adultery and incest ; indoTrinidadians had arranged marriages, and Chinese men kept mistresses and deale opium Of these howe ver, Trinidad writers defined. only the bourgeoisie with its incest, adultery. and pederasty as degenerate Afro-Trinidadians and Indo-Trinidadians, whom Victorian bourgeois ideology defined as degenerate, Trinidadian writers portrayed as humorous and natural -not degenerate Yet these middle class writers did not render the working and 165

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peasant classes as political agents, leaders of a future nation Born out of the contradictions and ambivalence of colonial discourse, written by marginalized middle class intellectuals caught between the ruling class they attacked and the masses 166 towards whom they felt deep ambivalence, fannulated in a multi-ethnic and ethnically divided colony during the twilight years of empire, early Trinidadian literature produced multiple and contradictory images of the emergent nation; writers rearticulated the logic of English colonialism even as they strove to supplant it To explore the political significance of domestic ideology, what Mendes calls "Victorianism," in the development of Trinidadian literature, this chapter examines two politicized literary journals Trinidad (1929-30) and The Beacon (1931-33). C.L.R. James and Alfred Mendes published a literary journal Trinidad, which only had two issues, Christmas 1929 and Easter 1930 A year later, Albert Gomes continued the Trinidad s project with the publication of a literary and political journal, The Beacon (1931-33) These are often seen as the moment of the integration of the political struggle to achieve independence and the creation of a national literature in Trinidad"(Carby 41) The Beacon "shook and shocked the island into an awareness of values which had been taboo to its people Most importantly it forced Trinidad to debate issues of race openly As a result, Mendes writes that "the magazine went into every nook and cranny of the island and was read and shared by all classes, races, and church people Its impact was so rousing that its monthly appearance was eagerly looked forward to" (Mendes "Writing Trinidad" 92-3) Strongly influenced by Soviet Communism, The BeBcon reprinted a number of articles from the corrununist press, banned in Trinidad, including essays by Stalin and Gorky. Yet like de Lisser's nationalist project in Planters' Punch, The Beacon was dedicated to defining Trinidad national identity through historical essays about important political figures and events as well as through editorials and debates about current political issues

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167 This early national literature emerged and flourished just as the world depression hit Trinidad, 1929-32 The depression brought a steep fall in the price of the island's major export crops cocoa and sugar and intensified the chronic unemployment, low wages, malnutrition, disease, urbanization. inadequate and unhealthy housing and homelessness The journals constituted a reaction to the economic crisis but were shaped by the fact that writers expressed their critici s m of the local ruling class through a flamboyant rejection of domest i city In its critique of domesticity. The Beacon and Trinidad produced two genres of what I call anti domestic fiction The first,. yard fiction, which has become part of the Anglophone Caribbean literary canon, focused on impoverished Afro-Trinidadian urban women It illustrated that the alliance of the colonial govenunent and local elite economicall y exploited the working classes to such an extent that it made the middle class ideals of chastity and marriage virtually impossible The second. which r call "fiction of wh i te degeneracy," has largely been forgotten in literary history; it depicted an upper class made degenerate by its own colonial and racist ideologies, particularly by the taboo on inter racial sex and the exoticization of the racial other. This chapter analyses the critique of colonialism and the Trinidadian bourgeoisie in the "fiction of white degeneracy" ; the following chapter addresses the politics of race and class in yard fiction. focusing on the question ofhybridity Both chapters examine the ways in which the anti-domestic critique both enabled and limited Trinidad writers criticism of colonialism and vision of Trinidad as a nation The Beacon's focus on women and sexuality enabled a critique of coloniali s m on several levels : (1) a refutation of colonial discourse's definition of Carib beans as unworthy due to their transgression of domestic standards of sexual and gender behavior; (2) an attack on the local ruling class's claim to superiority based on a critique of race; and (3) an exposure of capitalism's international exploitation of the

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168 working classes in Europe and the colonies. However, this focus on women and sex also limited the efficacy of The Beacon's critique Its flaunting of transgressive sexual practices alienated much of the Indoand Afro-Trinidadian middle classes, panicuiarly women, whose social standing depended on respectability The focus on transgressive sexual practices thus inhibited multi-ethnic participation in the anti-colonial campaign. Secondly, it prevented the literature from challenging the division between the Afro and lndo-Trinidadian working classes. Trinidad and The Beacon : The Social Context In the diversity of its writers and its material, The Beacon embodied the particular process of"creolization" that defined Trinidadian national identity. The white-black process of creolization was significantly altered by the introduction of Indian indentured laborers between 1845 and 1911. For nearly three quarters ofa century, Indians served as a semi-enslaved labor force, displacing Afro-Caribbeans from the land and forcing down wages. In the early 1930s, Indo-Trinidadians were roughly one-third of the population. In 1946, Indo-Trinidadian were 35% of the population, Afro-Trinidadians 47%, whites 2.7%, Chinese 1%, and "Syrians" 2% (Singh "Conflict" 229). But the white minority controlled the political and economic power and continued to do so by manipUlating the strong divisions between Afroand Indo-Trinidadians. In the first decades of the 20th century, this white minority was a newly united ruling class composed of French, British, and Spanish whites French creoles had controlled wealth and sugar in Trinidad in the late 18th century During the 19th century, the English government had usurped French control of sugar and imposed English language and other cultural practices (Brereton 46-9 ; Singh Race and Class 1-2). Portuguese were rapidly assimilating into the classification of whiteness. They were, however, not considered legally white until 1946. Segal

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169 employs the Portuguese to illustrate that Trinidadian groups were largely defined by their social role when they entered the colony Though they appeared white, Portuguese were defined as "off-white" and associated with Afro-Caribbeans because they had come to Trinidad as laborers and become small shopkeepers, stereotypicaHy as Mendes describes in Pitch Lake for Afro-and Indo-Trinidadians (Sega183-84) They were then subject to similar derogatory statements about moral and cultural inferiority as were Afro-Trinidadians and Indo-Trinidadians Thus, both French and Portuguese creoles had histories of marginalization, but distinctly different histories Both magazines grew out of a multi-racial group of intellectuals, originally centered around C.L. R. James, Alfred Mendes and Mendes's extensive and shared library The Beacon group was comprised of members of the middle class of almost all ethnic and national groups, but the majority of its writers and its editor were white creoles and expatriates It is, however, significant that many writers came from marginalized groups within the white dasses Although it did regularly include the writing of British expatriates like Beatrice Greig and Alistair Scott the editor and financier, Albert Gomes, as well as its most prolific fiction writer, Alfred Mendes, were both Portuguese creoles; Ralph and Jean de Boissiere were both staunch critics of colonialism and French creoles. The most frequently published expatriate writer was Beatrice Greig who was herself oppositional -a feminist who campaigned for women s right to work outside of the home The journal may thus be seen as a coalition of intellectuals from a variety of marginalized groups, who were distanced from each other and yet fairly united in their opposition to both the bourgeoisie and the working classes The central role Portuguese creoles played in the journal may in pan explain the journal's anti-domestic strategy of critique Portuguese creoles were discriminated against for their moral and cultural inferiority When Mendes and Gomes rage against

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the constraints of Victorian culture, they may be protesting both the principles of domestic ideology and the fact that that ideology was used to marginalize Portuguese creoles. Yet Portuguese creoles were not barred from educational and economic 170 opportunities as were Afro-Caribbean Trinidadians Mendes' father was a large-scale successful merchant on personal tenns with the governor. Gomes's family was also successful in business and funded The Beacon. That Portuguese creoles more frequently protest the cultural snobbery of the upper class than its economic exploitation may reflect the fact that they were primarily discriminated against in a cultural rather than an economic arena Though The Beacon defined itself as radical because it brought together of segregated groups, its very transgression of race and class boundaries suggested how effectively Trinidad society made those divisions. 109 Beacon-related functions were one of the few, if the not the only occasions on which members could meet as equals (Sander 29). The social divisions represented the disparate economic and intellectual opportunities available to different groups. These differences in opportunity apparentl y caused a certain amount of resentment among Afro-Caribbean intellectuals. Years later James s tone sounds almost bitter in noting, "We had to go whereas Mendes could go to the United States and learn to practice his writing because he was white and had money But we had to make our money" (James 75) Afro-Trinidadians had to emigrate because intellectual career opportunities for blacks were virtually non-existent whereas the white members could find lucrative employment in Trinidad Black writers could not and those who did like Ralph Mentor who became a prominent union organizer and C.A Thomasos a politician were the first generation to do so (Sander 19). Afro-Trinidadian male writers, thus, had a different personal reason to protest the 109 Gomes wrote, for instance, tbat '''Beacon-ism signified a distaste for the divisive humbug which was tbe worst feature of the outer society" ("The Beacon" Kraus Bibliographical Bulletin 21 (August, 1977), 158-159 cited in Sander 28)

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171 bourgeoisie than white writers. who did not suffer such racial discrimination in education and careers. These divisions were complicated by the journal' s contradictory position on class. The Beacoo presented the working class as the class which embodied the nation, and. at the same time, it did not support universal suffrage As Mendes explained, The BP!1!con was a contradiction, a multi-ethnic middle clas s endeavor for worIcing class rights that inevitably expressed its own middle class b i as : "We were contradictions in terms OUf background was too deeply embedded in us [0 overcome the growth of our intellect from adolescence onwards, so that we still unconsciously hankered after what was behind us ..... ("The Turbulent Thirties in Trinidad" 73) The Beacon is a fusion of literature, political and social commentaries, written by Trin i dadians English, Soviet, Indian, and U S citizens It embodies the process of creolization in its fonn as it did in its writers ethnic diversity Individual issues composed of conflicting opinion and disparate genres. The Beacon fostered opposition Gomes explain s, The policy of the magazine was really the absence of one, for although the editorial notes reflected more or less my own views in all other sections contributors of most riotously conflicting views coexisted. if we wrote something attacking some aspect of church policy and a defender appeared who was prepared to state his views in writing, these views were published The same privilege was granted to any other person. from whatever section of vested interest in the community, who wished to do likewise Thus controversies, always the best boost to circulation were frequent. When they did not occur spontaneously we deliberately engineered them (cited in Sander 31; Maze of Colour 22) The conscious multiplicity and ambivalence of the image of Trinidad produced by the

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172 journal at times enabled a sharper and more comprehensive criticism of colonialism At other times, it exposed the limitations of the journal's critique by revealing writers' opposition to working class rights and their ambivalence about the cultures of the African diaspora. The Fiction of White Degeneracy Over twenty of the roughly sixty stories in the Beacon portray the white upper and middle classes In them. planter s wives have sex with their Indian servants upper class whites commit incest, characters graphically describe contraceptives, gay men seduce upper class youths or redirect their readers' gaze in homoerotic and socially disruptive ways It is fiction meant to outrage an upper class that defined itself through a hyperbolic mimicry of Victorian sexual mores, an upper class with a strong Roman Catholic component with its own c odes for sexual behavior By representing it as adulterous, incestuous, diseased, and homosexual, The Beacon s critique shows the elite transgressing every aspect of the domestic ideal of womanhood and manh o od insisting that the elite committed all the moral sins of which it accused the working classes and that no moral barrier separated rich from poor, white from black To attack the colonial bourgeoisie, The Beacon marries a late 18th-century English narrative about white creole immorality to a late 19th-century European discourse of white degeneracy in the tropics Essentially rendering the early narrative of moral corruption sex, rum, and indolence -in scientific tenns, English theories o f degeneration held that tropical climates caused white races to degenerate William Ripley s The Races of Euroge 1899 argued that the white man turned to drink and sex as the physiological result of tropical climate (Stepan 103). "With alcoholism," Stepan writes "went sexual exces s and vicious habits' caused a subtle 'surexcitation of the sexual organs from the heat In the presence of a servile and morally underdeveloped

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113 native population, the result was sexual immorality on the part of whites The appetites in general were over stimulated and over indulged, which caused indolence (lOJ} In addition to excessive sexuality and alcoholism, prostitution criminality, homosexuality, and incest were signs of degeneracy The Beacon's critique of English discourse on the West Indies lies first in its application to Trinidadian local politics Beacon writers deployed English discourse to depict the local elite as degenerate when the local elite had traditionally employed English discourse to justifY its supremacy in the colony English discourse defined the less powerful distant colonial "other" elite as degenerate The Beacon depicts the most powerful group the ruling class as having all the characteristics of degeneration that European discourse attributes to the colonized : sexual promiscuity, adultery, incest pederasty inter-racial desire Second, they translate the discourse of race science to one of class and social critique They ponray the Trinidadian ruling class as rendering itself degenerate by imposing unnatural sexual prohibitions and racial segregation on society The journal thus refigured English discour s e in order to critique both it and the l o cal elite. Alistair Scott' s "Brotherly Love epitomizes this redeployment of the European discourse on degeneracy by illustrating that the upper class drives itself to incest through its extreme control and denial of white female sexuality In SCott s story Philip. a 23-year-old white creole increasingly views his sister as an object of sexual desire Scott presents Philip s incest as a reacti o n to rum and black women --two classic elements in theories of white degeneracy Of the two, the more powerful is the sight of two black women "looking at him inquiringly on the street. He found them "horrible," but their appearance and, implicitly their sexuality, lead him to think of his sister "'smoking a cigarette lazily and reading a book when he got home. He defends against this instinctual connection between his sister and sex:ualized black women by

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174 assening her almost absolute difference from them: "He marveled that these ugly, wandering creatures that bad passed him should be women just like she was a woman He thought of her trim little figure her delicate complexion, and wondered if she could have similar feeling to these others"(IO}. But Philip's effort fails; his association of black women and his sister tums out to be correct. Both black and white women have been out at night, and both are sexual When Philip returns home his sister, like the black women, is out on the town. She returns in a sexy evening dress and drunk He says to ber, "It isn't right for you to to go about like this .. "(ll}. He means it isn't socially and morally acceptable for her to go out on the street because it makes her equivalent to the black women and, thus, sexually available. In spite or perhaps because of her behavior. he is drawn to her physically and the story ends with them going hand and hand to bed. For a colonial bourgeoisie that stereotypes black women as oversexed and white women as chaste. it is difficult to grant the white woman sexuality without attributing to her the illicit sexuality associated with black women. Underlying the racist ideology are pragmatic questions of maintaining racial hierarchy. Control over white women's sexuality guaranteed the whiteness that legitimated the elite's elevated position in colonial society. White women's sexual purity was key to the legitimacy both of the local elite and of the Empire. As Anne McClintock writes. "controlling women's sexuality, exalting maternity and breeding a virile race of the empire-builders were widely perceived as the paramount means for controlling the health and wealth of the male imperial body politic, so that, by the tum of the century sexual purity emerged as a controlling metaphor for racial. economic and political power"(47) By keeping white female sexuality within the family, Philip reveals the consequences ofth.is concern over racial purity. The incest in the story is both literal and figurative. The story illustrates that colonial ideology and sexual practice can result

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175 in incest The only way to keep the race pure is to confine the white woman to the family Philip tells his sister that "It isn t right for you ... to go about like this but when she asks why. he can only respond, [ don't know"(III4 : 11-12) The family and [he house are metaphors for (he white class itself The incest of the white ruling class derives from its refirsal of racial mixing, its refusal of cre o le society Scott's image of the white ruling class is an image of degenerate incest cau s ed by racist colonial ideology and practices Although Brotherly Love" employs white women to criticize the ruling class, (he story also critiques (he construction and constriction of white womanhood insisting on (he reality of white women's seruality and (he need to accept it while hinting at the high cost of constructing black women as the sexual and therefore immoraJ women in soc i ety Like "'Brotherly Love," Mendes's "Beodheo" sugge s ts that the elite s incestuousness and promiscu ity result from the racialized sexual constraints of colonial ideology and elite practice It indicates that white insistence on class and ethnic stratification articulated through insistence on white white marriages corrupts the very things that justified the ruling class hegemony : whiteness, legitimacy and marriage In Mendes's story, a white planter Henry Lawrence pensions off his Indo Trinidadian lover of roughly twenty years, in order to many a white English woman At nineteen, his bride Minnie Lawrence, is roughly half her husband's age, but the same age as Boodhoo, her husband's son by his mistress This woman" plays a pivotal role but remains unnamed Lawrence works long heurs leaving his wife home Lonely and often afraid of the envirerunent, which she experiences as sinister s he i s grateful for the protection ofBoodhoo, who is a servant in the house They begin a violent. sexual relationship Minnie becomes pregnant Seedheo's mother infonns

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Minnie ofBoodhoo' s parentage and of her relationship with Heruy After attempting suicide, Minnie dies in childbirth, presumably from the stress of not knowing whose child she is bearing The story ends with Henry holding a bJue-eyed, blond child in his anns.I)O 176 "Boadheo" illustrates that marriage in the planter class is fundamentally unstable and false. The husband spends his marriage preventing his wife from finding out that he has had a mistress and a son, (and perhap s that he is continuing that relationship) The wife spends her time trying to hide her adulterous relationship The husband doesn't suspect his wife because he's too busy trying to hide his sexual past from her, the wife doesn't suspect her husband s past because she's too busy trying to hide her adultery. By sleeping with her husband s inter racial son, Minnie Lawrence conveys the message that the white woman can not be counted on to guarantee either the legitimacy or the whitenes s of the children of the ruling class; her s is, the story reveal s a "womb of uncertainty." We do not know ifher child is white or inter-racial, legitimate or illegit i mate. child or grandchild. Minnie dies becaus e she has failed to perform the only task colonial society set out for her : to guarantee the racial purity and legitimacy of the heirs to the ruling class and to maintain the social distinctions between races and classes In other words, the white woman when defined by ber role as guarantor of the purity and legitimacy of the ruling class -is a false and unnecessary element of c olonial society Tbe story offers a more complex: critique of gender and ethnicity in colonial LIO Michele Levy reads the fairness of the child as an assurance that it is the legitimate son of Henry (7) Minnie does have sex: with her husband before she sleeps with Boedhee. Yet, since eye color is a recessive gene and genetics sufficiently complex:, the child's paternity is still uncertain. The most important factor is the doubt of paternity; that is, the issue is less whether this particular child is Henry Lawrence's tban the possibility that it might not be.

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171 Trinidad if we read it as are-configuration ofehe gender and race roles of coloniaJist narratives. At first, Minnie's infidelity and inter-racial desires seem a simple repetition of the 18th and 19th century assertion that the West Indies corrupted English womanhood which we see in Charlotte Smith's The Wanderings of Warwick or in theories of white degeneracy in the tropics. But it inverts the gender relations and shifts the ethnicity of the standard narrative of corruption that of the newly arrived white male employee, who takes an Afro-Caribbean mistress shortly after his arrival in the West Indies. Here, the white woman on the plantation takes a non-white lover shortly after she arrives And the lover is not an Afro-Caribbean but an IndoTrinidadian The shift in gender is important for at least two reasons First, with it, Mendes makes clear that English women shared the ambivalent colonial impulse that characterized the English male observer -an ambivalence expressed in English male s simultaneous repulsion and admiration of Afro-Caribbean women. For Minnie Lawrence, as for James Anthony Froude and Charles Kingsley, the desire to participate in colonialism is largely constituted by a sexualized and ambivalent desire, both a deep rejection and sexual contempt of the colonized/non-white other and a deep "colonial desire" for that other Minnie is hurt and nauseated by the very idea of white men s sexual relations with women of colour, she thinks it unimaginable ... that white men, men of her blood, should be so filthy as to take to themselves these Indian women And to have children by them! The thought nauseated her"(fhe Beacon 1111: 19) At the same time, inter-racial sexuality has drawn her to Trinidad. Minnie manies Henry Lawrence not only because she needs the money and wants to escape England, but because Trinidad offers, what Mendes's craftily calls a cosmopolitan" appeal: cultural diversity and racial hybridity. "How fascinating," Minnie thought, "to be in the midst of Chinese and Indians and Negroes, and crosses between them

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178 all!"(The Beacon 1111 :20). Minnie's reaction to SoodhoD illustrates this ambivalence. On one hand she finds him "strange": "although he wore long trousers, she thought him young."llt On the other hand, "when she first saw him she was struck by his beauty"(The Beacon IlL 1:19) From her arrival on the plantation, Minnie pesters her husband with questions about Seodheo, focusing on his parentage and European blood. Her fascination with inter-racial people, "half-castes" as she calls them.., stems from her childhood spent in various colonies, accompanying her father on his spendthrift colonial adventure Her interest in Boodhoo increases when she learns that he is inter-racial The narrator comments that ..... since Henry had told her there was European blood in his veins her interest in him had increased." Boodhoo' s presence in her life gives her the sense that she is living out her father's colonial romance. The narrator tells us that "she had heard her father talk of such half-castes when she was a child. Little did she think then that she would one day be living in close proximity to one of them" ahe Beacon [fll:21}. Minnie's desire for hybridity is fulfilled when she sex-ually merges with Seodheo. a union Mendes describes in symbolic teons : "a patch of darkness moved, took shape, advanced towards her and merged with her body"(The Beacon UI2:26). Minnie's conflicted desire for Soedhoo is a prime example of Robert Young's conception of colonialism as a "desiring machine" that produces ambivalent desire : "the races and their intermixture circulate around an ambivalent axis of desire and aversion : a structure of attraction, where people and cultures intermix and emerge., transfonrung themselves as a result, and a structure of repulsion, where the different elements remain ttl He is a man and yet also a boy; in Pitch Lake, Joe sees Stella as a fragile girl, and is shocked that others are sexually attracted to her The mixed Indian is thus a liminal figure not only racially, but also in terms of adulthood. If the colonized are by definition children of the Empire and the empire builders' children, the half-white, half Indian must also be half-adult and half-child.

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179 distinct and are set against each other dialogically"(19). As in Young's model, Minnie's desire is a product of colonialism itself, in particular. colonial adventure novels. Her relationship illustrates how colonial discourse "produced its own darkest fantasy the unlimited and ungovernable fertility of'''unnatural unions Both incestuous and adulterous, her inter-racial sexual relationship doubly embodies one central principle of degeneracy theory: that hybridity itself was degenerate (Young 18). Mendes's perfonnance of colonial discourse attacks the upper class by shattering its pride in the chastity of its wornen and the security of its whiteness. Yet in its portrayal of Soodheo as sex object, it rearticulates the colonialist objectification of colonized non-whites. The story wields colonial discourse as a type of double-edged sword. disempowering both the ruling class in Minnie and the working class in Boodhoo Though the short story can be read as merely reiterating English colonialist stereotypes of white creole women's sexual degeneracy and their racism, Mendes is careful to portray Minnie's sexual desire for Soodhoo as a natural consequence of the isolation of her marriage. He makes upper class women's sexuality a natural and necessary part of their characters in strong contradistinction to the repression extolled by Trinidadian white, bourgeois society. Trinidad upper and middle class society of the early twentieth century had even stricter conventions for its women than did parallel classes in England. In "The Progress of Women in the Island" (1927), Beatrice Greig conunents, "it is safe to say that even thirty years ago women's participation in public life was restricted to many and various kinds of church work, teaChing in the schools, and serving in the stores, and that such things as a woman clerk in a government or other office, was unheard of" When a white woman, Miss Mary Woodlock took the position oflibrarian in Port of Spain in 1886, she was ostracized from society. Although women had begun to enter office and teaching jobs by the 1920s, white women were most likely to participate in social work and charitable organizations In

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180 her memoir Child of the Tropics, Y seult Bridges describes the process by which young creole women were sent to England at fourteen to receive cultural refinement. On their return they were presented at a ban and there presumably met a husband (157-165) This routine left little space for the vicissitudes of emotional and sexual desire in fact. white women were defined by their ostensible lack of such vicissitudes just as black and brown women were defined as embodying sexual passion. In contrast, white men's promiscuity. adultery. and 'outside' families were an accepted part of Trinidadian upper class society. Adultery, Mendes suggests, is the natural outcome of the failure of the upper class to accommodate women's sexual desire. Mendes's work repeatedly illustrates that all human beings are alike in having a strong sexua l drive regardless of se)t, class, or ethnicity. 112 In "Soodhoo," Mendes shows that it is society that twists sexua lit y into perversion. In particular, the struc ture of upper class marriage produces adultery because the husband was significantly older and stood in relation to his wife more as father than as partner. From the beginning of the narrative, Mendes blurs the distinction between the husband, Henry and his so n Seodhoo. In so doing, Mendes portrays Seodhoo as Minnie's natural, perhaps inevitable choice. At the beginning of the story, Minnie mistakes the so und ofBoodhoo's approach with that of her husband, but later we learn that this mistake is natural because Soodhoo replaces Henry in key roles of the husband. When Henry is working, Soedhoo takes his place by performing the husband's tasks of pr otecting and comforting his wife One day, when a storm hits, Minnie can bear her loneliness and fear no longer, and calls out to Boodhoo, who til Levy argues that Mendes's great enthusiasm for D.H. Lawrence's ideas about se>QJality are articulated in "Soodhoo": "It seems likely that Mendes has Lawrence in mind when he writes of sex as "wholesome, clean, beautiful" in contrast 1 0 murk"}' Victorian attitudes, and it is possible to see this same clash of values in the encumbered relationships of"Boodhoo" (9).

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181 saves her from a scorpion and reassures her when thunder and lightening terrify her, asserting that "thunder and lightening will do you nothing." When Minnie asks for yet more reassurance, he asserts that "I know so ... and I am here." Here, he takes the position of husband by claiming that his very presence will protect her. She accepts him in this position when she responds, "It is good of you to say that"(The Beacon Jill :23). Once they have both accepted I'-..is role as husband, he takes the role of sexual panner by embracing; she accepts his embrace Soodhoo can take Henry's role as Minnie's sexual partner because Henry hasn t fulfilled his wife's sexual needs He is an affectionate and concerned husband The narrator describes Henry as "3 man in love" ; he gently kisses her when he comes home, sometimes even running up the steps to do so; he puts bis arm around rus wife when she has a head ache. Yet very rarely does he make love to her Minnie feels she doesn't love or understand Henry partly because he "always arrived home in the evenings dead tired He would fall asleep as soon as he rested his head on the pillow." She feels that he is "spiritually as well as physically ... alaoffrom her CIhe Beacon 1111 : 21). Henry's gentle but usually asexual treatment of his wife derives in pan from the fact that he thinks oCher as his "little girl." Mendes s story a criticism of upper class marriage practices, in which women are defined as children rather than partners However Minnie's and Boodhoo's mutual desire becomes exaggerated or "perverted" in the story. Minnie doesn t just desire Soodhoo; her sexual desire consumes her She can not sleep or read. She forgets her attachment to her mother. She waits to make love to Boodhoo "as a would-be mother awaits the birth of her baby"ahe Beacon 1112: 25) Her desire far Boodhoo replaces her maternal desires. which ought to be the primary emotions of the domestic woman In the end. this passion destroys her --she dies in childbirth due to emotional, not physical difficulties

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182 Mendes's descriptions ofBoodboo' s sexual treatment of Minnie are crude caricatures ofa "primitive"sexuality. When Soadhoo first embraces Minnie, he bent down, fiercely put his arms around her and kiss ed her on the mouth After briefly lying passively in his arms, "she clung to him wildly"IThe Beacon UIl:23). When Henry asks Soadboo to leave the plantation as a means of removing his mother from the compound, Minnie asks Seodhoo why he is leaving even if does not wish to. He answers with a fierce" and
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Mendes explicates and performs the process through which colonial discourse on race and sexuality produce sexualized and primitive stereotypes of non-whites and inter racial sexuality Soodhoo's silence and rudeness are counterparts of Henry s affectionate but rarely sexual relationship with his wife Like "Brotherly Love," Soodhoo" illustrates that this denial of white women s sexuality combined with a strict but hypocritical division of ethnic and class groups has serious consequences for (83 the ruling class Minnie has no outlet for sexuality within the white planter world and turns to Soodhoo, whom she can not see simply as a human being but as a forbidden embodiment of passion. [fHenry hadn't denied Boodhoo s identity, Minnie might very well not have conceived a passion for him til He can't fulfill the husband's role successfully because he's been conditioned to think of her as a white proper woman and as a child Soodhoo's inability to unite tenderness and passion also results from the imbricated rules of marriage and ethnic difference On one level he accepts these rules He is willing to yell at his mother and physically throw her out of Henry s property in order to preserve the image of the upper class by preventing Minnie from learning his parentage. Yet he fights against his father and white rule by seducing his father's wife and basically raping her in the place in which his father took Soodhoo s mother The ethnic hierarchy and marriage system forced Boodhoo outside of propriety, into the position ofuprimitive" other. It placed him in a position., in which, if he followed his father's model and courted a white woman, he would commit a social crime His father'S violation and exploitation ofms mother become reproduced in his treatment of Minnie Both "Boodhoo and "Brotherly Love" thus warn of the dangerous til Here I agree with Levy who writes, "Had Henry been frank about his paternity. the tragic outcome could have been avoided"(21)

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184 consequences of Trinidad's raciaJized construction of womanhood. I I -I They show that incest is a product not afhot weather or essential biological difference but of English social mores imposed on creole society They indicate that "Victorianism"'s domestic morality transforms the culturaJ and sexual processes of creolization into perverse violent and degenerate practices. The stories thus criticize both English domestic discourse and the colonial bourgeoisie who defined itself through that discourse Just as black women's strength signals black men's weakness in English discourse, the failure of white upper class women to live up to standards of white femininity in Trinidadian discourse reflects the failure of white creole masculinity The Beacon expresses this failure of creole manhood in a series of stories which depict white creole men as physically and morally weak heterosexuals or effeminate homosexuals. R A.C. de Boissiere's "The Woman on the Pavement" describes how the race and class hierarchy emasculates the white bourgeois male De Boissiere's white male protagonist is humane When a young Afro-Trinidadian boy inadvenentiy hits him with his bicycle Edgehill, though injured, tells the police that he is responsible for not being more aware and lets the boy go. He is thankful for the help of the bystanders at the accident. When a peasant woman falls to the ground in an epileptic seizure. he desperately wishes to assist her. However, he is paralyzed by the taboo against upper class men touching peasant black women The general taboo against contact is intensified by the fact that the epileptic fit exposes the woman s body and renders her body dirty. sexual, and animal-like in its lack of control. Her "whole body shuddered It4 The Beacpn's publication of white women's writing challenges Mendes and Scon's ponrayal of sexual transgression as the defining characteristic of white creole womanhood. Kathleen Archibald's Beyond the Horizon" (The Beacon U3 : 29-31) and Eleanor Waby's series ofbiographica1 essays. "Trinidad Then and Now" abe Beacpn W2:21-23; W4 : 21-23; W5:21-24; W6:20-23) illustrate that white women saw themselves as sexually repressed by excessive childbinhs and socially repressed by patriarchal expectations of respectability and class divisions within white society

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and jumped like some animal that has just been beheaded, her naked thighs slapping loudly on the pavement. Her dress had got rolled up, exposing her one filthy undergannent" (4). Edgehill wishes to react to her as a w o man in need but her overt sexuality and animalness, her dirtiness render her the oppos ite of the ideal white woman. Stuck between her as animal and woman, Edgehill is paralyzed: "the longer he stood there, and saw others look on, the more did he become as if paralyzed ... "(78) When finally Afro-Trinidadian men and women help the woman to walk away, Edgehill feels ashamed because nhe was not man enough to go up to the woman in the open street and put silver in her hand"(79). De Boissiere s phrase, he was not man enough," points to Edgehill s weakness as a failure ofmascuJinity. Sheldon Christian s Such Stuffas Dreams are Made of' makes clear that the refined and feminine tone of white upper class society posed a serious threat to white masculinity, particularly in the urban culture of Port of Spain As the story opens, Christian's protagonist, a boxer confronts and almost loses t o an opponent. He is 185 proud of his "physique,"" his trim legs," "the lines of is muscle-ribbed trunk" (24) Then we learn that Michael is dreaming --his masculine physique is the "such stuff as dreams are made 0(" Rather than fighting against a tough and unscrupulous opponent in the male space of the boxing ring Michael is a weak twenty-three year-old, who lives in a woman s world Looking in the mirror, he confronts an underdeveloped figure with a narrow chest, flimsy arms and skinny legs"(26) He finds masculinity not in the boxing ring, but in his mother's gift of a fine bathrobe that "gave him a certain feeling of virility"(26) His mother wakes him up from his afternoon nap by pulling the covers from his bed; she tells him how hot to make the water for his shower. Then she tells him when he must meet and assist Cordelia, who, it is clear, will direct his evening with the same infanti1izing thoroughness with which his mother has controlled his afternoon Michael's containment and isolation within this feminized and whitened

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upper class society renders him unman1y Yet this feminized culture that restricts women to housewifery and bars them from work outside the home is necessary to distinguish white women from lower and lower middle class women who worked by necessity. White masculinity appears to be one cost of preserving an artificially leisured white womanhood liS [0 these stories, The Beacon appears to express a crisis in white creole 186 masculinity that parallels a crisis of middle class masculinity experienced in U S cities in the early 20th century. 116 Chauncey asserts that clerical and professional jobs took middle class men from the manual labour that made their bodies unquestionably masculine; they worked in offices which were also the terrain of women workers and therefore feminized (Ill). Women were increasingly powerful in the workforce and as political agents The middle class man clung to heterosexuality and took up weight lifting as a means of defining himself as unquestionably masculine. He also distanced liS In addition, colonial strictures on the upper class compromise the masculinity of other white men in The Beacon's fiction. Though Boodhoo'" s Henry Lawrence is a physically strong man, the upper class decorum demands that he deny his manhood by disclaiming his inter-racial son, Boodhoo This denial undercuts his power as patriarch and the patriarchal family line As a consequence of denying his paternity, he is cuckolded by the son and the paternity of his son is uncertain When we do find a strong white male, the narrative seems more a fantasy of wish-fulfillment than realistic In Percival Maynard's "Peace," Mr. Jackson, an upper class white man affirms his masculinity by uniting a poor black woman with her estranged and delinquent son. It is a fantasy of redemption, in which the obeah woman turns out only to be a "poor, harmless, lonely old creature," the delinquent son renounces his criminal life, and the white man becomes "richer in experience of human nature" by leaving the upper class white society in order to reunite black mother and son. Crossing race and class boundaries to bring the family together, the white man embodies power and fulfills the role of father. He is the healer rather than exploiter of the working class. "Peace" stands in the same relation to "The Woman on the Pavement" as Michael's dream of physical strength does to the reality of his scrawny" body IfEdgehill had a dream of masculinity, it would be Jackson's act. tI6 I am greatly indebted to David Agruss for suggesting readings on this topic and for helping me to develop my analysis of bourgeois masculinity in this chapter.

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himself from the effeminate homosexuaJ because gender distinctions between man and woman had begun to blur. IS7 In the 19205 and 19305 the coloniaJ bourgeoisie efPort of Spain may have experienced a similar crisis in masculinity Trinidadian middle and upper class men were employed in offices and entertained in the feminine and decorous spaces of parlors and dining rooms. This almost exclusively white society had the burden of proving that the bourgeois man was more masculine more deserving of political power than all other men on the island in order to justify the fact that aruy men of wealth had the franchise Their masculinity was defined through a combination of domesticity and wealth Only wealthy patriarchs could afford to support a leisured class of women Yet, in creating a society ofleisure which women largely controlled, the white bourgeois male inserted himself into a culrure that both deprived him of a muscular body and placed him under the control of women By defining effeminate gay man as the most successful and powerful man in the ruling class, Mendes's "Snapshots" is the ultimate attack on bourgeois masculinity In it, Mendes suggests that the entire ruling class and its livelihood merchants economic exchange are influenced by an economy of homoerotic desire The femininity of the upper class women s world becomes the apex of the men's world of business in the figure of the "effeminate" Marshall Rose Rose is a white or an apparently white man, from Barbados ; his family background is unknown, but his lack of a money suggests that he does not come from a "good" family. These facts ought to have barred him from the upper crust of Trinidad society, which placed much imponance on family and wealth However, Rose rises to the heights of Trinidad s white society through his social and sexuaJ seductiveness. His seductiveness operates through an economy of looking and appearance. The first thing we learn afRose is that he is an attractive, "small fair man, with sharp features .. always

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J 88 dandily dressed" and that he draws people to look at him -"he wasn't a man you could look at once." Rose uses a flirtatious challenge to apply for a job, sending as application simply the assenion: "that I am the very man that you are looking foc"(The Beacon W1: II my italics} Based merely on this and his coincident need for a depanment head, the merchant Levitt responds in kind as his wire, "Come, is a double entendre -the OED lists the first use of "to come" as a sexual tenn in 1650. This exchange and the interview that follows constitute a seduction structured around traditionally gendered roles of male and female Rose accepts the position, saying '''r would very much like to sir.' .. looking straight into Mr. Levitt's eyes." Levitt returns the stare. With the exchange of stares, the men's relationship is cemented levitt has asserted his desire for Rose; Rose has accepted the position of desired object The repartee with which Levitt follows the gaze, further suggests that the relationship between the men is based on a visual eroticism Playfully referring [0 Rose's letter of application, Levin comments that "Well then, Mr. Rose llOO think you'rejus( the man we are looking for." Rose continues the flirtation, responding, "I thought you'd think so too" and then preens himself: "gracefully sweeping his ann, he passed his hand three times, with the tender touch of a woman, over his well combed hair" (The Beacon UI7: 12). Rose's gesture is one of self-display. suggesting the pleasure Mr. Levitt might take in caressing object of desire he has just acquired Rose is the embodiment of the salesman, for he is selling himself and will deploy his bodily attractions to sell for Mr. Levitt. As Laura Mulvey's study of Hollywood film illustrates, women, not men. have traditionally been sexualized and objectified by being represented as physical spectacle ; the practice is so entrenched, she argues, that the display of the body as spectacle is a feminine or feminized position : "Woman displayed as sexual object is the leitmotif of erotic spectacle: from pin-ups to strip-tease, .... she holds the look, plays to and

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189 signifies male desire"(Mulvey 589). ]n "Snap-Shots," Rose makes himself a spectacle and in so doing transfonns himself into an object of sexual desire among both men and women. B y virtue orrus sexual desirability he becomes Trinidad's best salesman, rises to the island's highest social circles and achieves his own sexual desires The feminized position becomes in Rose a position of agency and power. Lest there was any doubt in our minds that Rose's chann is homosexual, Mendes encodes his description afRose with homoseJrual figures and slang of New York in the twenties with which Mendes was no doubt familiar through his large library and his fascination with sexuality Rose, for instance fits the description of the "fairy" the term common in New York in the 1920's for feminine gay men. Levitt tells his wife that Rose" has queer little effeminate ways In fact ( always have to pull myseJf together in his presence and consciously think. of him as a man before I am sure that he is a man "(12). "'Fairies" typically conformed to certain conventions of dress, for instance, having bleached hair and wearing red ties (Chauncey 3;54). Rose's blond hair, his fancy clothing, his effeminate mannerisms all suggest that Mendes has modeled him after the figure of the "fairy." Oddly, however, in describing Rose as "queer" Mendes mixes terms. "'Queer was a common term in the gay community of the twenties but it referred to a homosexual man, who was not effeminate, at times used to distinguish him from a fairy (Chauncey 16). (This mixing of terms may be a sign that Mendes is not entirely familiar with the gay culture that he represents.) During the interview Levitt is attracted to Rose' s English accent. Rose assens that he acquired his accent through his English education. Since Rose is not a man of means, Rose's accent is as likely to be an affectation as a product of English public school. An English accent and enthusiasm for things English was a characteristic of the New York "queer" identity Transferred to Trinidad, queer anglophilia takes on a colonial Significance, suggesting a queerness to the colonial bourgeoisie's anglophilia

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In the explicitly effeminate and homosexual figure of Rose, Mendes suggests that the ostensibly male world of business and capital is influenced by erotic desire for the feminine or, perhaps more accurately a feminine masculinity Rose' s 190 seductiveness renders him irresistible to customers ; he is the best salesman on two legs" : "The buyers in all the stores in Frederick Street found it impossible to refuse him, so that Mr. Levitt was able to boast in less that two years after Rose's arrival that his (Rose's) Oepat tillent was doing one hundred and fifty per cent. more business than ever"(l3-14). Rose's success in sales and seduction enhance Levitt s ego much as a woman's beauty and achievements bring laurels to her husband The more Rose is praised, the more Levin takes credit for rus achieves the more vain Levitt becomes. All the merchants compliment Levitt on his acquisition of Rose, in the way a man might complement another on his beautiful wife Marsden. for instance. grips Mr. Levitt by the shoulder for emphasis when he tells him, "I envy you tbat fellow A real live wire ... The finest salesman .. in this town today, Levitt the finest Salesman ... Levitt responds with the suggestive comment, "He has given every satisfaction. Rose s (sexual) success is so central to Levitt, that it enhances his sense of self. Every store that Mr. Levitt went into afterwards the heads would approach him and congratulate him on his wonderful shrewdness in procuring the services of a man like Rose; so much so that Mr. Levitt, at the age of forty-nine was beginning to think that he had always been too humble in the estimate he had made of his own cleverness. In fact, he was actually beginning to believe that it was himself who was clever and then Rose a long way behind ahe Beaco n W7:13) Levitt denies his own vanity and desire, clinging to the now absurd assertion that Rose is a good salesman because he is a religious man: "Every Sunday since he has been here

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I've seen him in church," Levin tells his wife, "And his department., in that short time, is doing fifty percent more business The power of Rose s auto-eroticism over the bourgeoisie suggests that narcissism, not a concern for religion or breeding. governs the ruling class. 191 Levitt negotiates or sublimates his own desire for Rose through his son, who cements the father s relationship with Rose by becoming Rose's lover. The pattern parallels the fairy tale or business deaJ in which the king gives his daughter as a prize to a young man he especially esteems or a business man marries his daughter to a man he wishe s to make a partner in business Levitt virtuaJly forces his son to accept Rose as an admirer. When Levitt's son first meets Rose, he is eleven years old and takes an instant dislike to Rose. who shows him special attention Levitt summarily dismisses Richard' s initiaJ dislike for Rose and both parents agreed that Rose was having a splendid influence over the boy and encouraged the relationship as much as possible" (The Beacon IU7:14). The parents encourage Rose's apparent infatuation with their son; they are the most amused" by Rose's gesture of dancing with Richard at the first cocl'tail party they invite him to. They see nothing untoward when Richard returns from his frequent walks with Rose, "red in the face his clothes aJl covered with sweethearts and wet through with perspiration ... (14). When Richard reports that he likes Rose because Rose kissed and fondled him until his tiredness had all disappeared, "the parents would laugh feeling happy in their knowledge of the fact that a man like Rose was so fond and kind to their little boy"(14). The Father has so intemaJized Rose's superiority that he views Rose's friendship with his son as evidence. "that boy must have something in him For a man like Rose to be so attentive to him"(i4). Ultimately, however, Levitt is "very proud" of Rose's relationship with Richard because Richard is an extension of Levitt. Levitt experiences Rose's desire and Love for Richard as Rose desiring Levitt himself. Mendes makes this explicit using

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192 Richard's nickname, Dick," a slang word by 1891 for penis : "At Christmas table Mr. Levitt told Elizabeth h o w pleasing it was to have people notice that Rose was fond of their Oick"(16) This sentence positions the son as the father's penis and suggests that the father experiences Rose's kisses and fondling through his son. Thus though Mendes positions Rose as the desired woman, Rose leads the heterosexual patriarch to place himself in the passive position of the desired woman. In this way Rose is not emasculated. though he is effeminate Rose becomes the most desirable man at the highest social level in Trinidad He seduces the rest of Trinidad with the same techniques he employed with Levitt AJI men accept his superiority and respect him as the greatest speech maker among them ; all eligible women want to many him; the governor consults with him No one has more power than Rose His effeminate seductiveness even renders him immune to scandal. People gossip behind his back, but no one drops him from the social calendar when he is arrested for carousing with men in drag Levitt i s so infatuated with Rose that he accepts Rose s explanation that it had been "a lark"(16) and asserts that he "used to do the same thing myself, when I was his age"(16). Mrs. Levitt is disturbed not so much by the transvestism, which she notices. but by Rose's willingness to fraternize with "ordinary coloured men High society attacks Rose not for homosexuality but asserts that he must have some
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193 sunJight, as well as flashJight, of naked young men and boys, in varying stages of erotic excitement" of which "at least a dozen of them were of young Richard, Levitt s 500"(17) Levitt must then see that he and his son have been seduced by the best salesman on two legs and that what made Rose such a strong salesman was a homosexual seductiveness These photographs complete the economy of visual pleasure The scandal is that Levitt s son has been physically penetrated and that he has been made into a spectacle for visual pleasure, a feminized and sexual object In "Snapshots suggests not only that the strongest form of masculinity is homosexual but that the capitalist economy of exchange is influenced by homoerotic desire ; Rose s salesmanship of self functions as a type of homosexual prostitution In showing that bourgeois culture encourages homosexuality and prostitution Mendes defines the bourgeois class as doubly degenerate. Mendes seems to achieve this crit i que without vilifying Rose or homosexuality Mendes, for instance, emphas i zes th e humor in Rose's affair with Levitt s son, not its immorality. Yet ultimately the logic of Mendes s critique is rooted in his assumption that homosexuality is abnormal Ifit weren't in some way "bad" or degenerate to be homosexual, what would the harm be in Levitt's and Trinidad society s latent homosexuality ? The English standard of masculinity remains intact In his nine-pan series oftrave1 essays, Jean de Boissiere extends The Beacon's discussion of homosexuality by employing homosexuality and homoeroticism to contest the local bourgeoisie s identification with a strong, European domestic ideal of masculinity by depicting both creole and European masculinities as often governed by homoerotic desire His journey from northern Europe to the Mediterranean brings together three traditions of travel : colonial conquest of the Americas, homoerotic tourism to Mediterranean. and depression vagabondage As a travel narrative written by a creole about Europe, de Boissiere s text

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194 positions itself as a "writing back" against European travel narratives of the new worll a stepping into and a reversing of the footsteps of Columbus. James Anthony Froude and Charles Kingsley. The exigencies of creole travel invert the ideal and the European model. As de Boissiere informs us early on in his journey: "It is far more interesting to travel through a country leisurely, but with no money this is impossible at all times. For, having no money the quicker you go the more comfol1able you are (IU 2:). De Boissiere, a white and therefore distant cousin of the inter-racial R.AC. de Boissiere, came from one of the most prominent French creole families; his assumption of the position of a poor man, no doubt is an insult to that family and the reputation of the upper class French creoles in an of itself. But it is precisely this poverty that adds grandeur to his travel, transforming the journey across the oft-traveled European landscape into a classic voyage of discovery De Boissiere suggests this transfonnation in his introductory comments: To enter a country for the first time with no previous knowledge of its people or language ... holds definite thrill. But to enter such a country, entirely lacking the wherewithal to pay one's way, or even for the simple necessities of life, holds something more than that definite thrilL It gives the feeling of an adventure into the Great unknown -a sensation such as Columbus and Marco Polo must have experienced! ahe Beacon 1111 :22) For de Boissiere. Europe becomes the new world at the lime of conquest and Europeans in the position of Amerindians. De Boissiere's traveling partner is Irish their partnership in poverty indicates a link. between the colonized people of Ireland and of Trinidad De Boissiere complicates this reversal of the colonial model by inserting it into one of the central travel narratives of gay European history (Aldrich passim, e.g. 4)

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195 Robert AJdrich traces a lineage of north em European intellectuals who traveled to the Mediterranean in search ofthe history of "manly love" in classical antiquity and contemporary sexual freedom from the more stringent anti-homosexual mores and laws in the Northern countries (99) This included well-known figures from Johann Joachim Winckelrnann, Byron and to Oscar Wilde and E.M. Forster The Mediterranean evoked the erotic in the English imagination (AJdrich 69). In its erotic and sexually objectifYing fantasies the northern European construction afthe Mediterranean paralleled Europe's vision of its colonies. English Victorians identified Afiica and the Mediterranean as z o nes of homosexuality (Sedgewick 183). ]11 Finally de Boissiere participated in an international culture of vagrants rendered jobless and homeless by the depression That de Boissiere as a white creole joins the ranks of working class vagabonds suggests an association., a common ground between (white) creoles as a c olonized people and the working classes of Europe Their panicipation in the vagabond culture of the depression indicates that this "hybridity of de Boissiere' s narrative enables him to make an international critique that see s European fascism and colonialism as pacts of one international capitalist system oflabour exploitation Gender and sexuality the keystones of domesticity are ceneral to de Boissiere s critique of colonialism He parodies the late 19th-century English logic that Afro-Caribbeans required colonial rule because their men were weak and their women strong. By appropriating Froude's description of the burdened Jamaican market women and the "lazy" men, riding leisurely on donkeys at the women s side Observing a parallel scene in Gennany, de Boissierc; shows that. men are weak and lazy and women industrious and overburdened: til In reference to Sir Richard Burton, Eve Sedgwick writes "the most exploratory of Victorians drew the borders of male homosexual culture to include exclusively, and almost exhaustively, the Mediterranean and the economically exploitable Third World"(183).

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In Baden-Baden we saw a simple, but striking example or the older German s attitude toward s his woman folk ... In front crus were three women all heavily laden with bags boxes, c hairs, and all other things people think necessary for the full enjoyment ofa day in the forest. A little in advance of these women, who looked like packh o rses, strove the magnificent and all-powerful male unencumbered and conducting his train by flourishing his climbing stick!(WI:23). 196 Yet de Boissiere d o es not represent the transgression of European, middle clas s gender roles as a sign of the political and moral degeneracy of Europe Instead he treats the exploitation of women as inherent to normative gender roles which he defines as so many "straightjackets." In Capri, the famous gay resort, he find s the men and women in the most amazing clothes. the women nearly all wore trousers and the men all but skirts Rather than praise thi s reversal of roles, he asks that the cros s dressers liberate themselves from gender roles all together, If only they had looked as if they were accustomed to what they had on and as free from convention as they pretended to be. But on the faces of each one was the expression of a man who had but a week or two to live In a week or so all of them would be bac k in London, Pari s or Berlin, back in their everyday strai g ht jackets pretending to be anything but what they really were" (IW3; 57). De Boissiere's world of the creole traveler is a male world: the economy of exchange, the means of survival, the gaze of des ire all operate along a seamless continuum of homo sociality homosexuality, and hom o eroticism Unlike heterosexual male colonizers who made the sexual conquest of indigenous women part and parcel of discovery, de Boissiere' s adventure in Europe is accompanied by a series of sensual relationships with European men. De Boissiere never explicitly states the physical or

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197 romantic quality of these encounters., but the experiences he relates fit a long established pattern of representing homosexuality implicitly through male-bonding and comradeship : "The situations or images so coded were those in which male nudity, male-bonding or intimate friendships could be presented: the camaraderies of all-male boarding schooL, ships or military barracks, for example, or places overseas where usual norms of deportment were relaxed or puritanical mores suspended"(AJdrich 7) They were often unnoticed by readers not "initiated or interested" in homosexuality (Aldrich 7). Because de Boissiere was known to be homosexual. these references may have been quite clear to many readers Jll Traveling alone to Naples, for instance, de Boissiere asks an agricultural worker for grapes. The man gives him "the largest and blackest grapes I had ever seen" and then takes de Boissiere to the beach where we stripped and plunged gaily into the water. We swam for hours in that sensuous sea"(1U II: II). De Boissiere then spends the night in the man's small house The gift of sensuous grap" es accompanied by the naked swimming indicates an intimacy as ifit is not the sea alone that is sensuous but the relationship between the men. This suggestion becomes stronger when we place de Boissiere's text in a tradition gay male travelers to the Mediterranean, who viewed Mediterranean men as beautiful and open to sexual involvement with men (Aldrich 4). These relationships often involved intellectual or bourgeois Nonhem men taking working class Mediterranean men as lovers. De Boissiere's encounter with a peasant fits this inter-class model. Yet as a citizen of colonized Trinidadian. de Boissiere was also a "southerner" his southern, colonized identity complicates the class relations of this model. LI' De Boissiere's homosexuality was so well known in Trinidad that "his notoriety had spilled over into most of the other islands in the Caribbean before he quit Trinidad for a protracted sojourn in the u.S.A."(Mendes "Writing --Trinidad" 91). The playfulness of these essays indicate that they predate de Boissiere's malicious and notorious days.

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198 De Boissiere repeatedly describes such relationships In Naples, he joins a group of young Gennan men. Together, they eat sensuaJ "ripe figs" and swim naked "occasionally taking a dip in the surt"(II/ll: 11-12). De Boissiere alerts us to the beauty of their naked bodies: I am sure," he writes, "we cut a much better figure on that beach with our lean hardened bodies than all the fat husks, with the gay awnings and silks that enclosed them." He becomes an honorary member of the Neureuterbund, a German youth organization He travels with this organization to Capri, perhaps the most famous homosexual tourist spot in Italy (Aldrich 125-34). One of its leaders takes an intense interest in de Boissiere, desiring his company so much that he asks de Boissiere "to return to Gennany with him when they returned from EgypC'(1ll/3 :S6); he would then circulate between Weimar Gennany and Egypt, both sites associated with male homosexuality. In fact, de Boissiere and his traveling companion Bushy employ their sexual attractiveness to men as a means of survival. De Boissiere humorously describes an instance in which he and Bushy endure the advances of two older gay men in exchange for transport and probably other material assistance : We were given a lift a1most from the frontier to lnnsbruck The two men in the car were obviously homosexuals I sat in front and did not have any truck or trouble with my host. The man in the back seat with Bushy looked about forty but was very probably more, since he seemed to have been made up for the front row of a male chorus instead of a drive through the country He said he was a Viennese actor, and certainly looked it. Every time 1 turned around I could see Bushy glancing at me with horrible looks of repulsion on his face, for the man kept stroking his leg and making other advances to him (ll/4 : 27)

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Though he presents the men in a comic light, de Boissiere, defends homosexuality telling Bushy that intolerance of such trun g s and people, apart from being an expression of what Oscar Wilde calls 'the supreme vice of stupidity' was very impractical on s uch a trip as ours, s ince the more cultured type of homosexual was liable to be most sympathetic and of great help to us"CIJJ4: 27). De Boissiere s homoerotic gaze intensifies his attack on colonialism. Rather 199 than sexualizing the European woman, which de Boissiere's narrative would have done ifil had taken a heterosexual view ofEufOPe., de Boissiere s homoerotic lens places the colonizing male in the position occupied by indigenous women in narratives of discovery and conquest. The relationship between the narrator / observer and the viewed European male parallels the dynamic of power and visual pleasure Laura Mulvey describes in heterosexual, patriarchal Hollywood films In Mulvey's model the gaze of the male character, the camera, and the audience constitute a determining male gaze" that projects its phantasy onto the female figure. The gaze is scopophilic taking pleasure in the act of l o oking. In de Boissiere's text, men are the objects of sexualized and dominating gazes ; and the European male/colonizer is disempowered "coded for strong visual and erotic impact,'" reduced to a sexual object"(589) The colonial subject takes erotic pleasure in behold ing the European male In Germany we see, "peasants at work, tilling and breaking the soil and reaping the harvest, their powerful sunburnt bodies naked to the waist"(IlII:22) and "the body of the body at its highest pitch" in a Munich gymnasium ful! of young men or nearly all young Their naked bodies show wonderful proportions and splendid development ... .. (II12 : 29) 119 In Rome., de Boissiere pointS explicitly to a homoerotic tradition in art when he finds a beautiful youth an appropriate model for Michelangelo, the "adorer at the shrine of 119 The image participates in a convention of representing the peasant and athlete as objects of homoerotic desire (AJdrich 7).

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200 physical beauty in young men (IllS : (3)11O De Boissiere's obsession with men in uniform illustrates that his homoerotic gaze is also a fonn of political resistance. In Austria. de Boissiere comments, "had this been a conventional travel article, I would attempt to describe the glorious valley through which winds the river Inn. Instead," because he is a creole, traveling with too little money to travel up the valley or to visit the inn, he "shall describe the magnificent uniform of the Austrian policeman This suggests that his series of erotic descriptions of policemen derives not only from the homosexual convention of eroticizing men in uniform but from de Boissiere's position of powerlessness as poor man and a creole. He mockingly links the policeman to bygone empire defining his uniform as "'one of the few things that remain to remind one that Austria was, until recent years, the heart of that great and powerful empire of which a great statesman of the last century remarked that is was neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an empire De Boissiere employs an eroticizing gaze to disempower and feminize the policeman and through him imperial power: Can you imagine one' s surprise on seeing a policeman directing traffic while standing on a pedestal in the middle of the road, attired in white leather breeches encasing a magnificent pair of muscular limbs like a glove, his torso covered by a braided green jacket complete with golden epaulettes. At this side hangs a large and imposing sword His boots, of black patent leather, glitter like twa solid masses afblack diamonds, and on his head rests a helmet of burnished brass, surmounted by a white plume"(1I14 : 27-28) The pedestal meant ta enhance the police man's power and visibility renders L:l:O Wilde referred to Michelangelo as a homosexual in his defense of homosexuality (Aldrich 89); De Boissiere's earlier reference to Wilde's caution against homophobia suggests that de Boissiere is also referencing Wilde here.

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201 him a sexual spectacle. [n the spectacle of the splendid police costume, de Boissiere sees the opportunity to deconstruct the power of empire by repositioning its figure head, as the object of the colonial's erotic gaze displaying his body parts individually and sexually. First de Boissiere describes the man's thighs in sexual tenns as "a magnificent pair of limbs" magnificence is enhanced by the precision of their display in glove-tight white breeches His chest, again an erotic part of the body, is described as decorated. with "braided gleen" and jeweled with golden epaulettes De Boissiere externalizes his penis in the form of a "large and imposing sword" and his black leather boots seem fetishized. transformed through de Boissiere' 5 gaze from the threatening tools of power into the combination of masculine strength "solid masses" and feminine jewels, "black diamonds." With his arc of white plume spewing forth from his helmet, the policeman seems to be a penis personified, a mockery of the phallic power of empire Once dissected into individual sexualized parts, the highly decorated peacock-like policeman is empty of authority and out I)f place in a country of impoverished people. De Boissiere's poverty and anti-capitaJist politics lead him to highlight the gross discrepancy between the proletariat and the figure representing bourgeois and imperiaJ power. "Really magnificent." de Boissiere comments, but oh. so terribly incongruous beside the poverty-stricken people who pass him at his post!" (11/4:27). In Italy, de Boissiere even more clearly employs a homoerotic description of the police to invert their relation to the colonized other. De Boissiere fears the fascists because he is essentiaJly a beggar; in Verona, he "would not go in a mile ofthe police, of which there must have been a hundred different varieties." Yet. in great detail. he describes "the Carbinieri [who] were the most attractively garbed" of all the many types of policemen. He reduces the policeman's power by describing his uniform as "tight-fitting trousers" which display the man's thighs. Asserting that their unifonns

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202 are designed "rather in the manner of the soldier in the Opera La T osca," he presents the uniform as a costume, and the officers' masculinity, a performance Once their masculinity is reduced to a suggestively sexual opera costume, the fascist Carbinieri no longer seem so dangerous The homoerotic gaze thus has the power within the travel narrative to counteract the military masculinity of fascism. [n de Boissiere's narrative, the position of gazing thus does not derive from a position of power as Mulvey suggests; rather it transfonns de Boissiere's relative weakness his poverty and creole identity into a position of power. The homoerotic gaze appears to function as a fonn of resistance in a way parallel to and perhaps imitative of enslaved people's use of the gaze as a form of resisting slavery. In plantation society, the politics oflooking were clear cut : slaves were not permitted to stare directly at white people because such a stare claimed an equality, claimed an agency slavery by definition denied This politics oflooking outlived slavery, and as a creole and member of a planter family, de Boissiere would have been quite familiar with them De Boissiere fills his world with a mUltiplicity of gazes and gazers. Though his gaze sexually objectifies and thus disempowers the policeman, he often is sexually objectified himself The first person to objectity de Boissiere is the indigent Gennan man, who listens to and observes de Boissiere in order to determine whether de Boissiere will be willing to provide accommodation in exchange for sex.. In contrast, wealthier gay men gaze on de Boissiere and offer him transport and assistance in exchange for his attractive physical person The multiple meanings of looking that the privilege of looking may reflect the entrenched position of power of the state or [hat it may constitute a form of resistance against the state, that it may be a means of pleasure, or a reflection of powerlessness suggests that de Boissiere's text destabilizes the patriarchal, linear hierarchy of power, the equation between looking and power. Ifwe borrow from Mulvey's model, in which the audience stands in the same

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position to the displayed woman as the male observer within the film, we see that de Boissiere places the reader in his position, that of the homoerotizing gaze (590). Because many upper class Trinidadians read The Beacon, de Boissiere places the morally upright colonial bourgeois readership in the position of the observer with homoerotic desires -a fundamentally antagonistic and abhorrent to their heterosexual, Europe-emulating identity But sexually desiring the colonizer, as de Boissiere does. and desiring to be like the colonizer, as the colonial bourgeoisie does, may not constihlte opposing positions [n her introduction to Identification Papers, 203 Diana Fuss argues that Freud constructs an artificially impenneable distinction between identification and desire with the result of pathologizing homosexuality. Rather, Fuss asserts, desire and identification often blur (I I). III In placing Trinidad's white bourgeoisie in the position of desiring the colonizer, de Boissiere's text may reveal the proximi[)' of the bourgeoisie's idealizing mimicry of English masculinity to homoerotic desire Underlying de Boissiere's criticism of the colonial bourgeoisie is a more fundamental criticism ofintemational capitalism. The strongest evidence of the failure of the capitalist system is that it has reduced many"nonnal" skilled workers into such poverty that they regularly prostitute themselves In the Stuttgart train station., de Boissiere and Bushy are approached by "a youth of about eighteen ... tall, well made handsome, and essentially masculine young man" who i.n exchange for one night's accommodations "did not mind what we demanded of him"(III I : 23) He explained that "there were hundreds oftbousands of young men in the same position as himself From this de Boissiere concludes that male prostitution and unemployment are testimony to the failure of capitalism: 121 Fuss writes, "for desire for one sex is always secured through identification with the other to desire and to identifY with the same person at the same time is.. in this model, a theoretical impossibility"( 11).

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That such vast numbers of young, healthy. intelligent and highly capable men should have to stoop to mendiancy and prostitution in order to live, does not suggest a very high standard of political, economic and moral codes imposed upon the peoples of the nations of the Earth under the capitalist system. (WI :23) The beautiful young German who prostitutes himself for housing stands in a parallel 204 position to two creole figures: de Boissiere. the hobo who uses gay men's attraction to him as a means of facilitating his travels ; and the Afro-Trinidadian women of yard fiction who due to lack of adequate pay and job opportunities, used sexual relations with men for financial support. particularly to pay the rent. These women are the central figures of Yard fiction and a common theme in Calypso because the world depression had forced an increasing number of Trinidadian women into prostitution to supplement or substitute for their wages. Conclusion appropriation and transformation of European discourses of domesticity and degeneracy effectively critique the colonial bourgeoisie and English discourse itselfby blurring the distinctions between white and nonwhite, the upper and the lower classes In "Soodhoo," Henry Lawrence' s child mayor may not be white In 'Brotherly Love." the upper class white woman, Doria.., proves to be no different from the stereotype of working class black street women. Slurring these distinctions constitutes a significant challenge to the status quo because the power of English discourse and of Trinidad's white bourgeoisie depended on them. The strategy is, however. limited in two significant ways. First, its very subject matter restricted the people who could participate in it. It is no accident that only white male authors wrote stories about the immorality and degeneracy of the local elite

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205 Both the Afro-Caribbean and the Indo-Canobean middle classes were educated and could have participated in The Beaco!1, but they defined themselves and competed for power by assimilating English domestic values of housewifery and marriage This was especially the case for Indo-Trinidadians in the 1920's and 193 D's as they established themselves as a legitimate Trinidadian conununity in the aftermath of indentures hip which legally ended in 1921 The Sita ideal of womanhood, which closely paralleled the English model of domestic womanhood, was adopted by the Indian community (Reddock Women. Labour. and Politics 6l). Just as the lndian middle class is most invested in domestic ideology The Beacon decides to attack the oppression of Trinidadian society by attacking domestic ideology. For white women and people of color to write about incest, adultery, and homosexuality meant risking their social status Yet this is precisely why men like Gomes and Mendes rejected respectability because it perpetuated the rigid and exploitative class system Thus, the very strategy The Beacon adopted to challenge racial division restricted the ethnic diversity of the journal, limiting it to white and Afro Caribbean men who were fairly immune to moral attack and to a few white women, like Greig. whose social position was so established that her feminist writing could not injure her socially The fiction of white degeneracy is also limited by its strategy of inversion Though it redefines who is degenerate and translates the discourse of degeneracy from the language of race science to that of class, it retains the tenns and definitions of English discourse With the exception of Jean de Boissiere s work, homosexuality and promiscuity continued to be considered abnormal The Beacon's stories about the degeneracy of the ruling class thus fail to effectively challenge the colonial patriarchal hegemony because they operate within the hegemonic discourses of degeneracy and domesticity. The Beacon's fiction refonns these discourses but it doesn't break out of

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206 them. No matter how humorously displayed, no matter how playfuUy toyed with, homosexuality and inter-racial sexual freedom remain signs of degeneracy as they do in European theories of white degeneracy in the tropics. Yet The Beacon did exceed the limitations of a politics of inversion in at least two respects Most importantly, The Beacon's insistence on the naturalness or acceptability of women's sexual desire challenged white patriarchal constraints on white female sexuality and the dichotomy colonial discourse made between white and Afro-Caribbean womanhoods Finally, de Boissiere's travel narrative goes beyond a critique of inversion by rejecting gender roles altogether. Further, the multiplicity of gazers and gazes in his text appears to upset the model of visual pleasure and power relations in a heterosexual and patriarchal system His travel narrative is not just an inversion of Colomb us's journey: it merges anti-colonial, queer, and class perspectives, enabling de Boissiere to critique international capital through an implicit comparison of the exploitation of workers in Europe and in the British West [ndies Set in Europe and concerned with Europeans, de Boissiere's narrative, however, doesn't present an image of Trinidad or address ethnic division within the working classes or within Trinidad as a whole Trus is the work of yard fiction. which would pose the most effective weapon against the bourgeoisie by rendering Trinidad's national identity in the image of urban. poor. and sexually transgressive women.

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Chapter 6: Douglas in the Yard: Creolaation in Trinidadian Yard Fiction She was a black woman. too black to be pure negro, probably with some Madrasi East Indian blood in her, a suspicion which was made a certainty by the long thick plaits of plentiful hair. She was shortish and fat, voluptuously developed, tremendously developed.... But for the last nine weeks she had been
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208 immorality, and violence posed a threat to the middle and ruling class This crisis of urban slums had many causes: the precipitous drop in agriculture prices, a post-WWl depression, the Great Depression, and Port-of-Spain's position as a regional center of employment, which attracted workers from British Guiana and the "smaller islands Although Great Depression struck Trinidad with the power of an earthquake," the underlying cause of working class poverty was the colonial policy of maintaining a white minority in power and tolerating their extreme exploitation of workers (Mendes "Writing-Trinidad 1931-1933" 90; Singh Race and Class 68-69; 223). The middle class writers of The Beacon made the urban Afro-Caribbean woman of the yard the central figure of their fiction, fashioning her image to their ideologicaJ purpose and accordingly altering her historical experience and her representation in English colonial texts. Their focus on poor women as representative of the yard reflects historical reality. Women were disproportionately represented among the certified paupers" of Port of Spain, numbering 17,013 out of 31,888 in 1935 (Singh lt5). They suffered a disproportionate amount of unemployment. As a result of the loss of jobs after WWl, reorganization of sugar production and an intensification of domestic rhetoric, women virtually disappeared from the manual workforce between 1920 and 1937 (Reddock47). Yet The BMcon's rhetorical focus on working class black women goes beyond a reflection of historical reality. With few exceptions, most notably Kathleen Archibald, writers of yard fiction present a stereotype of underclass women as people whose object was not to find work but to find men to support them Yard fiction denies the diversity of under class women. In particular, it refuses the possibility that some working class women sought to assimilate domestic respectability In so doing. yard fiction re-visions both Trinidad's history of strong and transgressive underclass women, and late-nineteenth century English accounts of the Caribbean

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209 The image of the yard woman reflects The Beacon's ambivalent relation to both colonial discourse and to the working class. On one hand, yard fiction challenges coLonial discourse by showing that black working class women's inversion of the English domestic ideal results from English economic exploitation and not, as English discourses had for centuries asserted. from black women' 5 intrinsic degeneracy and immorality or from the climate The literary focus on the yard indicates that the Beacon group viewed the black working class, not the imitative elite, as the foundation of Trinidadian identity and culture. Perhaps, as RohIehT assens, they saw that ''to liberate themselves, they would have to liberate the barefoot man, and that in order to find themselves they would have to come to terms with the so-called lamene" [underclass] class" (quoted in Sander 16; Rohlehr. Gordon. "The Development of the Calypso : 1900-1940"(unpublished manuscript), 1972 : 27-28) On the other hand, yard fiction expresses The Beacon' s reluctance to envision a politically powerful working class Beacon writers appropriate the anti-black argument ofFroude and Kingsley that black men don't deserve the vote because they are subordinate to their women They transfonn this argument, deploying it within the class context of Trinidad to feminize and emasculate the working class. In addition intellectuals use yard fiction to cany on their battle against the bourgeoisie. In this respect images of the yard were not shaped by working class experience but by the intelligentsia s assault on bourgeois respectability The Beacon used yard fiction to articulate its position vis-a.-vis the bourgeoisie in three important political debates: the definition of an, the debate over slum clearance and the introduction of divorce legislation The image of the yard was thus shaped by two types of conflict : that between the intelligentsia and the working class and that between the intelligentsia and the conservative upper and middle classes It carved out a space for the oppositional intellectual in the political future of the colony as it moved towards independence

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And, in fact The Beacon' s editor Albert Gomes became a kind of de facto chief administrator in the colonial government during the transition period of the 19505 The focus on the Afro-Caribbean yard shaped early Trinidadian literature's presentation of creolizaticn The focus on Afro-Caribbeans severely restricted Ih.e. Be;!con's ability to represent the Indo-Trinidadian population and its interaction with 210 Afro-Trinidadians. It reflects an unwillingness to represent inter-ethnic creolization, an inability to imagine breaking down the barriers between Indo-and Afro-Trinidad In To i!lusuate yard fiction's relationship to colonial discourse and to the working class [would like to contrast C.LR.. James s short story, "Triumph" with Kathleen Archibald's story "Clipped Wmgs" and James's Cummings essay, Barrack Rooms Both James's Triumph and Kathleen Archibald s "Clipped Wings appeared in the first issue of Trinidad in December 1929 James s depiction of yard women subordinate s their poverty to the comic aspect of their sex lives. It flaunts morality and contrasts strongly with Archibald's grim vision of the yard as a place in which p oveny destroys morality, motherhood, and childhood This contrast iUustrates the conflict within yard fiction over morality, and it illustrates that Trinidad and The Beacon's ability to contain contradiction can intensifY its anti-colonial critique Only together do these two brands of yard fiction construct the yard as the absolute opposite of the English ideal of womanhood inversions of bath wifehood and motherhood In its composite vision of the yard The Beacon plays out its politics of i nversion with English domesticity and allows us to see the complex and ambivalent relationship of the intelligentsia to the working class. III C L.R. James s Minty Alley is probably an exception in that one of the central relationships in the novel is the relationship between an Afro-Trinidadian woman and her Indo-Trinidadian servant. However, James illustrates how false prejudice in the Afro-Trinidadian in this case through the obeah man de s troys the relationship

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211 Clipped Wings Kathleen Archibald's "Clipped Wings" insists, without the relief of humor, that women's poverty transforms matemallove into physical abuse and destroys the morality of Trinidad's future generations For Archibald, the yard is defined by the absence of respectability: Clipped Wings" takes place in a yard with "not one respectable house -a phrase which must refer not only to the architecture of buildings, but to its inhabitants' inabilities to adhere to the tenets of domesticity (82) The family in Archibald s story consists ofa self-supporting woman and her two children No father is mentioned. Instead of a central adult male protagonist, Archibald presents a young child, Willy. who goes hungry, has but one set of clothes, can not afford school, and is beaten regularly, without explanation, by his mother. Archibald represents the beatings as a function of the mother's hunger. Because she has only the food her employer provides for her breakfast with which to feed her children, she eats nothing and beats her children out of frustration. Archibald thus upholds the idea of mother-love Willy's mother sacrifices her own food for him, while she shows low wages transforming that love into physical abuse. The relationship between the mother and child becomes alienated; the child "thinks that his mother is unfair cruel, and she that the child is stubbom"(84} Poverty, Archibald suggests, destroys the future generation by alienating it from Christian values Willy, for instance, comes to think of murder as a goo d thing" because a man s murder enables him to make money and to escape hunger Coxi a young woman in the yard, stabs a man who taunts her. For nights afterwards, the yard is a battlefield between those who support Coxi and others who support the man she stabbed. Willy assists in charging an entrance fee to spectators Instead offeeJing sadness and horror at the murder, Willy "looks at the money and thinks what a good

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thing it is that Coxi killed Eddy"(7). Willy envies children with enough money for school clothes, not because they will receive an education but because they will get Christmas presents. For Willy, "Christmas is to fight and drink rum" not a time of family gathering, of religious significance, or of presents (7). When he watches men fighting in a film. he screams, ... Ay, Ay, all you making love"(7). 212 Set within the context of 1929 Port-of-Spain, "Clipped Wings" illustrates the consequences of colonial policy and exploitation -the refusal of the local elite to pay a living wage and the decision of colonial government not to establish a legitimate minimum wage. The details we are given. the low wages, the long hours of work and the provision offood, suggest that Willy's mother is a domestic servant, a figure that reflected the urbanization and the removal of women from public sector jobs. Archibald presents her abuse of her children not as a result of her personal immorality or laziness or even of racial inferiority but as a result of poverty caused by insufficient pay. [n this way, Archibald points to the employer class as responsible Low wages were a critical political issue at the time The Wage Advisory boards of 1920 and 1935 used the opportunity to establish an artificially low standard for wages rather than to insure adequate income for workers (Singh Race and Class 38-40) tll The exploitation of workers produced the wealth of the ruling class, permitting it to have a life of bourgeois respectability, binary and complementary gender roles, educated children, and a leisured class of women. Thus, the yard with its working tll Minimum wage legislation was doubly ineffectual because it applied to neither domestic servants nor to agricultural labor, and though it refused the concept of a family wage for men it justified lower wages for women on the grounds they did not need to support a family (Reddock Women. Labour and Politics 66). Trinidad's legislative council postponed the implementation of British legislation allowing the government to intervene in the case of artificially low wage from 1931 to 1935 when they set up a Wages Advisory Committee that recommended very low wages (Singh Race and Class 119-23). Finally, the government refused to instate even that legislation.

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213 population was one foundation on which the upper class built its respectability; its lack of respectability enabled the respectability of the ruling class. The power of yard fiction lay in exposing this falseness in the domestic virtue of the Trinidad bourgeoisie. In attributing the yard's lack ofmoraJity to economic exploitation., Archibald nevertheless upholds the standards of British domesticity by showing the devastating results that occur when it is absent. For ArchibaJd, that children have grown accustomed to hearing and seeing sexual intercourse is a sign of the degradation of the yard She comments that "love is being made in the gateways and because of this a man and a woman quarrel and fight .... Those in the barracks who hear are not disturbed in the least Why should they be? They themselves have experienced the same thing before ... "(4). A yard resident himself, Beacon writer James Cummings supports Archibald's view that immorality is the great evil of the yard in his" Barrack Rooms," a documentary essay on the yard (21-22). Cummings describes physical conditions of the barrack rooms their small size, the poor conditions of the walls and roofs, the roaches and rodents, the resulting deterioration of people's possessions, [he dirt, the stench, the lack of privacy, the harassment by sanitary inspectors, the exploitation by landlords. the absence of places for children to play and inadequate garbage disposal. As a result, he holds, a class of people wears the yard experience on their faces "an expression of care worn fatigue For Cummings, however, the greatest hann is the gambling and prostitution and the most seriously threatened person is the young girl, whose virtue is vulnerable in an environment, where "prostitution is born and here, too, prostitution flourishes"(22). Thus, for Cummings the most serious consequence of the barrack yard is its corruption of young girls. its destruction of respectability. At least, these provide the most compelling symbol to present his middle and upper class audience.

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214 Archibald, a white creole woman, and Currunings, an Afro-Trinidadian male of the Lower middle class, represented the poverty and disorder of the yard in the language of middle class morality and respectability that appealed to The Beacon's primarily middle and upper class readership. They did so in an effon to transfonn the yard by forcing this readership, many of whom had the franchise, to improve the conditions of the yard These stories contributed to a contemporary political debate on slum clearance Cummings defends his description afthe barrack rooms against a planter's assertion that the barrack yard is not of interest to the "cultured public, by arguing that it is necessary to represent the squalor of the yard in order to improve it : by what other means, he asks, "must such an abominable and disgraceful evil as the barrack room be alleviated and brought to the interesting standard of our beautiful valleys, beaches, and mist-capped mountains?"(rhe Beacon V8:21) Even the more comic yard stories were read as exposes of the conditions in the barrack yards at least by the readers of The Laboyr Leader the paper of the Trinidad Workingman's Association,' which took a pro-Garvey stance One letter defends c.L.R. James's Triumph on the grounds that fact and not figments of the imagination have been disclosed The reader reports that James s representation of the yard serves as a indictmem of our present social organization which stands self-convicted of the barrenness of their enterprise"(The Labour I eader I February 1930 :13). "Triumph" Despite their shared condemnation of the exploitation of Trinidad's working classes and an association with The Beacon. Archibald and James could not have espoused more antithetical views of sex and life in the yard. The Beacon's format allowed these two visions of the yard to coexist and to illustrate the conflicting and ambiguous relations of the middle class writers to their working class subject. Yet we

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215 must be careful not to conflate the two positions -or to ignore the contradictions and confusions each reflected and generated With its focus on the sex lives and rivalry of black yard women, its stone pile for bleaching, its smelly toilet, and its humor, James s "Triumph" stands as a blue print for yard fiction of the lighter, more comic variery .12" Its figures and plot will be reworked by most authors of yard fiction., most closely by Mendes in "Afternoon in Trinidad." "Triumph" focuses on three women Mamitz, Celestine and lrene, all of whom take lovers for economic support Having lost her keeper and unable to find work, Mamitz is destitute. She will be evicted shortly and depends on Celestine for food In contrast to Archibald and Cummings however, James does not belabor her poverty so much as he plays with the comic, highlighting not social disintegration but the sexual and economic rivalry between the women that results when Mamitz finds a new man Mamitz views her new man with pragmatic eyes. A womanizing, loan shark., with a flare for clothing and rum, Papa des Vignes is at best a temporary source of economic assistance. She uses his cash to fatten up and to dress alluringly; as a result, she attracts a steady man. Nicholas, the butcher. The dilemma of the story then shifts from Mamitz s economic plight to her largely comic rivalry with Irene and her negotiation between two men., the attractive but fickle Popo, whom she desires. and the dull but solvent Nicholas, whom she needs. The climax of the story occurs when [rene reveals to Nicholas that Mamitz has been entertaining Popo in her room Nicholas anives in a rage just after Mamitz has cleared away all evidence of Po po's presence To compensate for his rage and suspicions Nicholas gives Mamitz all his money from 12", Sander refers to "Triumph" is programmatic for the genre. featuring all the yard's stock literary figures : "the elderly black woman versed in the ans of obeah .. [who] acts as everybody's confidante"; "the typical barrack yard heroinepretty indolent fat"; "the trouble-making 'other woman"'; a loyal female mend, and two types of men, one flashy and fickle, the other dull but reliable (56-57)

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the week. which she pins in all over her door and lords it over her. With the exception of the two stories by KathJeen and Charles Archibald respectively all yard fiction revolves around women's desire and need of men Afternoon in Trinidad" even takes the same details of plot as 'Triumph." In it, the attractive and "ample Corinne is without a keeper; she meets a very stylish but fickle man. Napoleon, and Queenie, another yard woman. attempts to take him from her. The significant difference is that "Afternoon in Trinidad" betrays the yard's history of violence and ends in a brawl and prison rather than a comic victory [n the fiction of lames and Mendes, the representation of yard women is so formulaic that many characters share the same name Mamitz is a main character in James's "Triumph," Mendes s novel Black Fauns and his short story "Sweetman"; Ethelrida similarly appears in both Black Fayns and "'Sweetman. Women's quest for men remains the central theme even in the short Stories of CA. Thomasos and Percival Maynard which featured more European characters and plotS .llS In Thomasos s "oougla," the plot is simplified Ketura has been abandoned 216 by her ImiIi. Lik e Mamitz and Corinne she suffers from poverty With her beauty and a red dress, she easily wins back her man at a dance In Maynard's Her Right of Possession" the heroine has a romantic attachment to her man The story ends when she refuses to take a new lover and returns to the abusive Pedro, explaining to her friend, that she couldn' give somebody else -w' at was his "(Ihe Beacon 1112: 8) Such romantic attachments are unthinkable in the yard fiction of Mendes and James, in which m Reinhard Sander divides yard fiction into three varieties James and Mendes fiction and novels which focus on the physical reality and human resilience of the yard; Percival Maynard's and C A Thomasos s short stories whose plots and figures seem more European ; and finally Kathleen and Charles Archibald whose stories focus exclusively on the harsh conditions, abuse, and "'immorality" of the yard (64).

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217 women's economic dependence on men has eliminated romance .l26 Yet both types of yard fiction render women dependent on men whether emotionally or financially Yard women in their overt s exuality and their refusal of marriage resemble the frightening black woman figures of Victorian English travel writers. For these English writers, women s refusal to represented a refusal to accept subordination or "slavery to a man and formed a linch pin in their argument that Afro-Caribbean men were not worthy of the franchise because they were incapable of subordinating their women. Yard fiction generally rewrites colonialist stereotypes by asserting that AfroTrinidadian working women refuse marriage for two reason s: first, the workin g class as a whole is kept at a subsistence level by low wages and therefore can afford neither the expense of the ceremony nor the lifestyle associated with it. Second. Trinidadian women want sexual freedom They reject the restriction of d o mestic womanhood and patriarchy. [n Mendes' s short story, "Her Chinaman s Way : the heroine's confidante Philogen frames women s sexual independence a s an issue of women s rights and equality with men. She advises Maria., Gerl, you likes too much man Yo. u cam' stick (0 one for longer dan you can help But. perhaps you right Man does go all about: I don' see why woman cam' go all ab out., too ... An' I don blame you for is time dey see dat us women got rights too" (107). Reinhard Sander observes, yard fiction did not represent yard women as exploited victims nor did it cast judgement on their sexual choices Rather, Sander sees yard fiction as exposing women's loss of independence when they fonn marriage-like relations with men (57) Sexual freedom is the Beacon's political battLe with the bourgeoisie ; it was not necessarily a cause yard women endorsed. This insistence on women's right to sexual freedom is politically radical 126 In the independent and pragmatic Maisy, James s Mjnt)' AJley presents the strongest counter example to this model of dependency and even Minty Alley centers around female dependence on and rivalry over a man --the competition between the Nurse and Ma Rouse for the sweetman Benoit.

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within the context of bourgeois ideology and culture But its significance vis-a.-vis working class women's experience and the political role of the working class as a whole is much less straightforward. James's Mamitz and other yard women resemble the strong sexually and economically independent women who so impressed English writers like Froude and 218 Kingsley in their blackness, class status, their "volumptuous" largeness and free sexual behavior .127 Yet on the pages of The Beacon., they lack the Victorian figures' power and autonomy Mamitz is the Victorian strong black woman without the strength. Afro-Caribbean women impressed and threatened English men because they had the physical strength of men.; they performed masculine roles as manual laborers, and, as family breadv.1.nners, they enjoyed a sexual freedom European cultures barely allowed men and absolutely forbad respectable women. Mamitz is noted for her physical largeness, but that largeness is a fatness that connotes her sexual desirability not her masculinity or strength "She was," James notes, "shortish and fat. voluptuously developed, tremendously developed., and as a creole loves development in a woman more than any other extraneous allure, Mamitz ... saw to it when she moved that you missed none of her charms"(llO). In both Mendes's "Afternoon in Trinidad" and Black Fauns, it is the fat woman who attracts men Corinne, the heroine of"Aftemoon in Trinidad" is "fat as a cow in the family way and as lazy and helpless as one. For all her nine years of womanhood she was now twenty-three she had depended upon men for her living and had never wanted for one because there's nothing your creole admires more in a woman than ample proponions"(l; quoted in Sander 56). Reinhard Sander cites fatness as one of the stereotypical characteristics of the desirable woman in yard fiction (56). In making women's largeness a sign of sexual desirability, yard 127 In one of the versions of Triumph" there is "voluptuous" is spelled "volumptuous" perhaps it is not a typo.

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fiction transforms the masculinity of English images of Trinidadian women into a feminine sexual characteristic. 219 Whereas Froude's black women are economically independent and physicaJly industrious, Mamitz, Corinne and their peers are indolent and depend on men for their keep. Mendes repeatedly describes Corinne as "lazy," commenting that she did her washing quietly, with the greatest economy ofmovement ... when she didn't have any washing work to dO, she sat on her doorstep gazing into the yard and puning in a word only now and again" (2). Yard women's goal is not the respectable, male goal of economic independence but the dependent goal of finding a man to support them so that they do nOt have to work at all. This is the bone of contention in Mamitz's yard : she and Celestine are accustomed to being fully supported; [rene tries to sabotage out of envy because she must work as her man is married and can not fully support her. Women are even weaker in the stones of Percival Maynard In "His Right of Possession,." Vera feels she belongs to Pedro despite his abuse. In Maynard's "His Last Fling." Kezia is a figure of absolute weakness. After a brief"fling" during the Sip aria fete with a Port of Spain man, Kezia is left pregnant. When Snakey returns the following year he finds her living in a shack., sick with an ailing infant, who is his child. Snakey ends up in prison after gambling her last 36 cents Even the mother in Archibald's "Clipped Wings" who is economically independent is represented as a weak: and depleted figure. Thus, while Froude saw women's sexual and economic independence as unnervingly masculine, yard fiction ironically removes that threat by placing women in a conventionally femirtine or feminized position of concubine, prostitute, or victim. Their economic dependence and their leisure parallel that of upper class women. The main difference between the proper women and the women of yard fiction is wealth and the ritual of marriage Here is an instance in which intellectuals weaken the working class with the same stroke that they attack the falseness of upper

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220 class superiority based on respectability in the fonn ofleisurely housewifery In confining the women of the yard to men's money and love, yard fiction doesn't only rewrite English stereotypes; it tames working class women's social and cultural history Yard Fiction bases its characters not only on the contemporary yard of the post WWI depression, but on the notorious and vibrant yard of the second half of the 19th century, in which women played a central and often violent role From the early 1860s until the 1884 Peace Preservation Ordinance, the underclass took on an incre8.$ingly powerful role in carnival (Rohlehr 213; Cowley 56-62). Yard fiction takes this underworld or jamette world for its sUbject: "it was the singers drummers, dancers, stick men., prostitutes, matadors, bad-johns, dunois, makos and comer-boys, that is to say the jamette class, who dominated the Carnival of the day"(pearse 192). III The jamette class often rebelled when their carnival was curtailed or refused permits. Cowley's description of one such rebellion as flaunting respectability suggests that the Jamene class appeared to embody the conriection English discourse made between blackness and sexuality: "The jarnettes were expressing 'solidarity without authority.' They represented revolt, obscenity (the flouting of taboos), fearlessness, and rejection .... Underlying these was an unstated but assumed association with African magic, the devil and devil power, and blackness (123-4). As the leaders of fighting bands, as stick fighters in their own right as crossdressers, and even as singers, women played a central role in that violent and transgressive underworld culture.lZ5I Along with the tradition of violence and stick fighting. women and gender transgression defined carnival in this period Although 121 Jamette. Pearse explains, derives from diamet, diametre, below the diameter of respectable society. Jamette came to mean prostitute but in the context: of 19th century carnival, it referred to the whole underclass (Crowley 196) 129 Women headed or were "queens" of fighting carnival bands ; Cowley records seven during the Carruval of 1868 (59-60).

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men were the primary stick fighters, women attended stick fighting and some women were renowned for their prowess. Their power correlated with an apparent inversion of English gender roles In the words of the contemporary reporter these women 'controlled the underworld', and by' working-class standards, were often wealthy, well dressed. kept 'sweetmen', and wore a great deal of gold and other jewellery Rumour had it that they kidnapped and kept men, and that women fighters had to first prove their 'mettle' by beating their husband or man before being aHowed to go on the road. (Reddock Women labour and politics 80) Gender transgression., particularly cross-dressing was also central to the jamenedominated carnival of the late 19th century The most noted was the Pissenlit for 221 which the men dressed as menstruating women (Crowley 196) Cowley cites the conservative paper. The Port of Spajn Gazjette, from 1874 describing the indecency and gender transgressions of the yard : As for the number of girls masked and in men's clothing, we cannot say how many hundred are flaunting their want of shame. As many men, also generally of the lowest order. are in like manner strutting about in female dress, dashing out their gowns as they go"(73). The bourgeoisie strove to wrest control of carnival from the jamette class and to make Carnival compatible with bourgeois culture. By 1896, all masques that included violence or cross-dressing were restricted or forbidden (Cowley 132) With the sanitation and bourgeoisification of carnival, underclass women -with their powerful, violent, and transgressive roles lost power and visibility Roblehr suggests, for instance, that men took over women's role as banter singers when stick fighting was outlawed in 1884 (213). However, strong and violent women of the underclass reappeared in the 1903 water riots and at other times in the early 20th

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222 century (Cowley 161-2; 170) And they loomed large in the Trinidadian cultural memory as is indicated by The Beacon' s publication of two essays recounting transgressive aspects of 19th century carnival Lewis O Inniss's "Carnival in the Old Days"(The Beacon 1112 April 1932) and Joseph Belgrave's "Reflections on Carnival" (The Beacon IIII May 1932)_ Yard fiction's humorous sexual intrigues even its victimized and exploited women in Archibald and Maynard's writing, obscure the power, the violence and transgressiveness of Jamette women We see hints of this violence in the ending brawl in Afternoon in Trinidad," a murder in Black Fayns, an attempted poisoning in C.A Thomasos "A Daughter of lezebel IThe Beacon W9: 7-9) and the reported case of woman knifing her man i n F V S. Evan's "On a Time"(Trinjdad III (1929) 79-&0) But yard fiction'S prototypical heroines dependent., fat, lazy, and pass iv e are hardly the powerful stick-wielding, cross-dressing women ofthejamette class. Yard fiction transferred the role of sexual and gender historica1ly that of the jamette class. to the intellectual In The Beacon, it is the male intellectual who bends gender and flaunt s immorality in his stories though he does it in the relatively safe venue of fiction, not on the street as the barrack yard women of the late 19th and early 20th century Yet it is not only the yard's women that yard fiction tame s but its stick fighting bottle wielding, cross-dressing men. Whereas English travel narratives had portrayed yard women as the real men of the working class by depicting men as weak and irresponsible yard fiction deprives of the yard of all real men by depicting it as a female space and emasculating its few male figures In depicting non-working women's struggle to find lovers and domestic servants and freelance laundresses who were not part of the organized workforce yard fiction gives the reader no sense of the organized and militant working class which had, despite much oppression, asserted itself since 1919 strikes Though women participated, the 1919 strike movement grew out of L'le

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'2' -> male protests over the government's failure to compensate returning soldiers from the West Indian Regiment; its leadership and greater part of the strikers were male. Its feminization afthe yard reflects The Beacon's reluctance to represent a militant and masculine working class as the central image of Trinidadian national identity Rather, The Beacon employs its representation of the working class as feminine and apolitica1 to carve out a space for intellectuals like Gomes, to playa central role in the political tran s ition to independence Even the masculinity of the few men who do appear in yard ficti o n is compromised The Yard was as barren of men who confonned to English definitions of masculinity as it was of models of domestic womanhood In yard fiction. hard working men are needed but barely tolerated by their women Triumph '''s Mamitz and other yard w o men as Queenie and Corinne of Afternoon in Trinidad desire th e extravagantly dressed man who breaks all rules of English ma nhood Mamitz desires Popo des Vigne s, wh o dresse s fastidiously but gives "the impression that [he] is a man of pleasure rather than of work James seems to fashion Popo in the image of England's negative stereotype of the lazy black man: he comment s that Popo "is not fastidious as to how he makes his money, and will do anything that does not bind him down. and leaves him free o f manual or c1erica1labour"(8) Wor s e than simply not working. as a usurer Papa exploits other people' s industriou sness. He lends money for 120% interest and preys on naive cocoa farmers underpaying them for their crop. L i ke Papa, Mendes's Napoleon in Afternoon in Trinidad" flaunts the English concept of masculinity. Napoleon is a womanizer of great beauty and strength. A stick-fighter known for his ability to lift 240 pounds of sugar, he applies his strength to seducing women rather than to work Though he has many children. he i s not the responsible family patriarch Rather he abandons his women and children; there are "three or four maintenance orders out against him and he had defaulted on all of them and the

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224 mothers were mad looking about the town for him"(l). Rather than defining himself through industry, he refuses traditional work and makes a living by slight-of-hand tricks with the cards." On one hand James and Mendes seem to conscioUSly invert English ideas o f manh ood, that they must be parodying them pointing to the irrelevance of English masculinity to the yard. Yet the men's refusal to engage in the wage labour system does not seem to be presented, like women s inability to marry. as a critique of ruling class exploitation. Their refusal of industry is never represented as a [ann of resistance or alienation from a system designed to emasculate working men by denying them enough money to be able to support their women and children The figure of the sweeunan is the ultimate instance of Yard fiction s inversion ofEnglisb masculinity and suggests that it functions to emasculate the working class male rather than to protest the ruling class for oppressing working class men. The woman and her sweetman form a domestic unit that inverts the economic and power dynamics o f the middle clas s mamed couple : the woman financially suppons her sweetman, gaining prestige from the fact that he need not work and from the quality of the clothing and accessories she can buy for him. Like the mamed woman, who is responsible for ensuring the legitimacy of her husband's offspring, the sweetman s greatest and only responsibility is to remain sexually faithful to his woman. In "Sweetman," Mendes describes the relationship between the sweetman, Seppy, a beautiful dougla and his Afro-creole keeper, Mamitz Sweetman, for him [Seppyl was a man kept entirely by a woman. Such a man never did any work. and the truth is that Seppy, though twenty four at the time had never done a stitch of work in his life. So far. because of his fine voice, anractive person and facility for dancing women had kept him: had worked for him, had fed him, had clothed him and given him everything he wanted. (The Beacon 117: 2)

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225 Seppy's sweetman masculinity clearly succeeds because many women desire to support him. But both the narrator and his companions suggest that his dependence on women has deprived him of his masculinity The narrator indicates this weakness when he relates that Seppy is "afraid of her [Mamitz], especially when sober, so that, whenever out with her, to give him courage he would take a little more than was good for him"(The Beacon W7: 2). At a dance, Seppy drinks rum surreptitiously to avoid Mamitz's wrath, but his mend, Shorty tells him that "Everybody laughin at you how you fraid you woman" -as is evidenced both by Seppy's need for rum and his etfons to hide his drinking. Finally, Shorty challenges Seppy to prove his manhood, by claiming that Seppy doesn't have the courage to defy his woman -"you ain' name man do dat" (The Beacon TI7:5). Seppy meets the challenge by dancing with a previous lover against Mamitz's wishes. Mamitz., however, proves that she is the man in the family, by taking a knife and cutting Seppy's clothes which she purchased, until he stands naked in the middle of the dance floor, "like a whipped puppy." In claiming that women own and control men, yard fiction if anything intensifies Froude's assertion that black men do not deserve the vote because they can not rule their women. Though universal suffrage was not granted until after WWII. it was a live political issue in the twenties and thirties. The Tri.nidad Workingman's Association, the largest labor organization in Trinidad, campaigned for adult suffrage as part of its struggle for West Indian federation in the early thinies.llo At the time, the franchise was strictly limited in terms of class. Mendes' s "Sweetman" would not be competent to vote because he is not his own man; his woman controls him and thus his 130 TWA general secretary, William succeeded in getting the Colonial Office to send the Wood commission to Trinidad to evaluate the need to extend the franchise in 1921. At that time, the TWA suggested an income level that excluded a working class vote (Singh Race and Class Struggle SO-51), but Cipriani's proposal for a West Indian Federation in 1931 calls for "adult suffrage"(The Beacon 1/9:1).

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226 vote In compromising working class masculinity, Beacon writers express their ambivalence towards working class voting rights. Afro-Trinidadian writers like Ralph Mentor and C.L.R. James supported universal suffrage, but Gomes, as editor, and other white writers doubted Afro-Trinidadian competence in both politics and culture. Although Gomes stridently called for the improvement of living and working conditions for the working class and frequently leveled a class critique of coiorliaiism, he did not support universal suffrage. III Under the guise of protecting the working classes from the oppression ofloca1 elite politicians and the threat of U.S economic imperialism, Gomes argues that Trinidad was not yet ready for urtiversal suffrage. Universal suffrage. he argued, "involve[ d) two serious dangers: first, the placing of political influence into the hands of persons who are intellectually incapable of purting it to any good use and are likely to abuse it; secondly, there is an even greater danger of its permitting CapitaJ to enjoy absolute control of the political machines, e g the United States" ahe Beacon IT!3:7). But at the root, Gomes refuses to view the working class as politically and intellectually competent. After all, having put Trinidad's oil under the control of US companies. British colonial rule had exposed Trinidadians to US capitalism. For Gomes, "the average member of the working class is on an intellectual parity with any ape" (The Beacon VtO:3) Here, Gomes's language echoes scientific racist discourse which defined Africans as closer to apes than Europeans. This is a significant instance of Gomes's ambivalence, a significance underscored by the The Beacon's involvement in a debate over "scientific" arguments about the "Negro intelligence," in which it vigorously attacked scientific racism Gomes wrote one of these articles himself (The Beacon V7 23-4). LJt Sander notes this apparent contradiction in discussing Gomes's opposition to West Indian Federation (35).

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227 When Gomes denied the political competence of Afro-Trinidadians, he denied Trinidad's history oflabor protest and organization and slighted the existing labour movement This may be partially motivated by Gomes's animosity toward A.A. Cipriani, the French creole president of the TWA and Gomes s criticism of the working class for accepting Cipriani as its leader.lJl But Gomes s dislike of Cipriani does not justify or explain the fact that he ignores the TWA's history of radicalism that predated Cipriani or the more radical elements of TWA. Having ignored the contemporary black political figures, like William Howard-Bishop Jr. secretary general of the TWA and editor The Labour Lrader, Gomes told the Afro-Trinidadian population what it ought to do. [n his anicle "Black Man," Gomes stridently calls on black men" to desist from assimilating European culture Black man, bearded old son ofa slave, your children are being slain by the dozens in America.. in Africa. in the Indies ... bare your fangs as the white man does. Cast off your docility You have to be savage like a white man to escape the white man's savagery Bul the white mall won spare your neck! (The Beacon I14: 1) Here, Gomes may be expressing his desire for the Afro-Trinidadian middle class to fight the English system rather than to try to rise within it by assimilating English domestic ideology. This would paranel his argument that Trinidadian writers must desist from imitating English literature, and embrace Trinidad s working classes as the subject ofliterature. Gomes's authoritarian approach to "black men," however, ex:presses his underlying assumption that Afro-Trinidadians don't have political competence and that he Gomes must speak for them. Expatriate writer Stephen Haweis assumes a similar position of authority over m Gomes repeatedly attacks Cipriani in his editorials in The Beacon. See for example, his editorials on the Cipriani's suppon ofa West Indian Federation, (M(June 1932) : 7).

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228 "black men" and espouses a similar message for Afro-Creoles to abandon "white" culture and embrace African cultural practices. Haweis celebrates African culture; sounding a good deal like an author of negritude, he writes "that the future civilization of the Negro will begin when the educated Negro turns to study the roots ofrus being ... ms heredity. his antecedents, his ans, in a word Africa"(The Beacon II19 (March 1933 :5). Yet underlying this respect for African cultures is Haweis's belief that there has never been never been a black man who has come even near equality with the finest type of white but what ofit?"{The BPiCOR 1lI9 (March 1933) :4). In his poem, "Black Man," Haweis calls on "black man" to repay his "debt" to Europeans for liberating him from slavery (The BMean lW3: 67). On one hand the poem assumes that Afro Caribbeans exerted no power to free themselves On the other hand it crudes them for not having effected revolutionary political change since emancipation the liberation of slaves in Afri c a and of wage laborers in England Another Beacon writer Beatrice Greig chose to read Haweis s poem at the centenary celebration of emancipati o n in 1933, and thus signaled her participation in The Beacon s denial of Afro-Creole political agency. Yet The Begcan also published Afro-Trinidadian writers 'counter arguments C L.R. lames, Ralph Mentor, and Alfred Cruickshank stridently argued for the intelligence of the Africans and for universal suffrage The Bea c on thus performs its ambivalence about race Mendes articulates Gomes s and Haweis s ambivalence towards AfroTrinidadians in the arena o f culture. Mendes is the most prolific auth o r of yard fiction ; he rented a barrack room for six months to learn thro ugh personal experience the conditions of the yard (Sander 75). These acts indicate a belief in the importance of the Afro-Caribbean working class and a dedication to establishing its culture as a fundamental element of Trinidadian national culture. Yet Mendes denies the very

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229 possibility of African and African diaspora culture in a letter to The Beacon in which he argues that the "Nordic race" was unquestionably superior in intelligence to the "Negro race." With our present day standards of judgment, can we without fear of contradiction assert that the Nordic race is superior in intelligence to the Negro race? [t is indeed a rash man who will dare to contradict me when I say : yes We have only to remember what the Nordic race has contributed to Science and Art for the fact of his superiority to become axiomatic What contribution towards Art and Science has the Negro race made? Not one tbat I can think of for the moment...ou[ of Africa has come no literature, no painting, no music ... (The Beacon 1/6 (September 1931 :27) Here. Mendes's mimics English discourse in claiming that only "the Nordic race" or the "white race" has created culture, but his mimicry highlights Mendes's own ambiguous position as a Portuguese creole vis -a.-vis Eur o pean identity. In Trinidadian dominant culture, Portuguese were "off-white part black In English discourse, Portugal, a southern European country, was considered less civilized than northern European countries. Further, many Trinidadian Portuguese came from Madeira, which is an island off of Africa In no clear sense is Mendes Nordic. Yet as the son of a wealthy and established Portuguese merchant, he has assimilated and identified with EnglishINordic culture to such an extent that he perceives himself as Nordic and European Denying African culture is a means of asserting the superiority ofums" white culture, the difficulty for his strategy is that in articulating his claim to superiority, he exposes himself as not exactly European or Nordic. His is a cultural claim, distinct from Gomes s political criticism of Afro-Caribbean This follows as Mendes was a cultural worker and Gomes sought a political career. Both the political

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?'O expression of Gomes and cultural expression of Mendes rely on undercutting black masculinity. In the case of "The Sweetman," the working class, in fact, rebelled against the emasculating images of yard fiction. The character, Seppy. is based on a working class man., Septimus Louhar, who sued Mendes for libel and won his case. His suit suggests that working class men saw the image of the sweetman as a source of shame and socia! discrimination, not a celebration of Trinidadian identity Louhar's lawyer, Mr. HudsonPhillips asserted that Mendes's portrayal of Louhar was so detrimental that "nothing worse could have been done to the plaintiff except to kill him"(Trinidad Guardian 21 Oct. 32: 1)133 Louhar, himself: asserted that he thought Mendes "wrote the story to spite me" because a dispute over wages. In court, Louhar claimed that when the story was published, the father ofrus fiance broke off the engagement and only reinstated it once he read Mendes's letter of explanation. He alleged that he suffered sociaJ discrimination as a result of the story. My friends have stopped speaking to me in Port-of-Spairt, San Fernando, and Penal My family looked upon me as a vagabond. They would not let me enter their homes I have relatives in Grenada. I am tonnented on the streets by people. In Grenada ... people said
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Trinidad Guardian. Mendes, in fact. based "The Sweetman" on his knowledge ofLouhar's life Louhar worked in Mendes's father's slipper (alpagarata) factory. Mendes befriended this handsome young man from the slums" because his barrack yard background and "undisciplined" "tife style" him O
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are less threatening to him when they are simply "material" for fiction than when they are agents asserting their legal and political rights 232 When we place yard fiction beside the fiction of white degeneracy --as it stood in The Beacon -we can see that the two genres of fiction function as a doubleedged sword. The fiction of white degeneracy critiques the power of the bourgeoisie and the middle classes which imitated it while yard fiction undercut the power the working class. The intelligentsia are left: as the only "men" -a role Gomes particularly plays out in his authoritarian editorials or his essay "Black Man." In addition to expressing the intelligentsia's ambivalence towards black political power, yard fiction served to express the intelligentsia's position on critical political issues. This is relevant to our analysis because Beacon writers seem to have defined the yard as anathema to marriage not in response to yard women's concern with marriage, but out of their desire to impress its readership with the ridiculousness ofrhe Roman Catholic Church's campaign against the introduction of divorce legislation in Trinidad. In almost every story, the yard is defined by its incompatibility with marriage No women in yard fiction are married with the exception of older women, whose husbands are long dead -Ma Nenine in Afternoon in Trinidad" and Ma Christine in Black fayns. When marriage is attempted among Trinidad's poor, it is travestied. The protagonist of Mendes's "Five Dollars Worth of Flesh" is a married woman, but her alcoholic and violent husband desires her to prostitute herself to support the family Her decision to take a lover for money, in order to feed her children illustrates the impossibility ofmaniage in the yard Mendes's "Lulu Gets Married" e>eists as a story almost exclusively to prove that marriage and the yard are incompatible In it Lulu consents to many a man she does not love for economic security Mendes paints the wedding preparations and celebration as ludicrous. My sense of sanctity of matrimony is lost in the yard resident's competition to have the best dress and the race among

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233 carriages to be first in line The groom's abandoned mistress disrupts the wedding ceremony; the story and the marriage end when she fatally shoots the groom during the receptIon The Catholic Church's no-holds-barred campaign against divorce reached a crescendo during the Beacon's first year of pUblication with the vote in the Legislative Council in the fall of 1931. m The Beacon was very active in the campaign for divorce. Mendes remembers, for instance, "many a predawn night found me in the streets of Port of Spain sticking pro-divorce posters on walts and rururing from the police"(Mendes "Writing Trinidad 1931-33" 83). It was a fight against the power of the church as a whole The Beacon group held that the Roman Catholic Church had no right to control Trinidadian politics, that unhappy couples had every right to scpa.-ate and remarry, and that the question of divorce and marriage were of little imponance as both were class privileges; the vast majority of Trinidadians could afford neither marriage nor divorce They expressed these views in editorials in the TWA paper Labour Leader in 1930, and in The Beacon once it staned publication in 193 I llG [0 1929 and 1930, The Labour Leader was the mouth piece for the iotellectuallefi: which would fonn the Beacon Group The main writers of The Beacon -R.A.C. de m The Catholic Church lobbied for the censorship of The SPlIcan, so the journal had other reasons for to attack the Church In 'The Muzzling of Thought, Ralph Mentor attacks Father O'Dea for calling for the censorship of secular magazines on the grounds that they were fulfilled a public desire for evil literature Mentor responds that the father should educate his flock and that no self-respecting government [is] going to invade the rights and privileges of a people at the dictates of any religious obscurant" ahe Beacon 1m December 1932 : 5-7) IU Cipriani was president of the TWA. but under pressure from the Church he renounced his 1926 endorsement of divorce legislation and campaigned against divorce. Cipriani's support of the church divided the TWA, severely weakened his political power and caused a rift between the TWA and its paper. The Labour Leader, which staunchly supported divorce. Apparently, it stopped publishing shortly after bealuse of the rift with Cipriani. The Beacon would continue to attack Cipriani on his support of Divorce into 1932.

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234 Boissiere, Beatrice Greg, Albert Gomes, Albert Mendes, W V T o thill Ralph Mentor, and Percival Maynard -all wrote letters to tbe labour L@der in favor of divorce. These letters articulate the positions that The Beacon s two genres of fiction embody Beatrice Greig's letter points to the emptiness of many middle class and upper strata marriages an emptiness The Beacon s fiction of the middle and upper classes amplified in stories like Mendes's Boodhoo, U Cecil Pantin's "the Barrier, and Perc ival Maynard's Divorce and Mr. Jemingham .... Il7 Greig argues that marriages are economic contracts that o ften oppress women and that with out love and understanding marriage amounts to legal prostitution She reveals what other writers repress which is that in Trinidad white men practiced polygyny and regularly abandoned their wives. She also reminds the reader of the reality that it [divor c e] will be available on one charge : adultery and that that adultery must be proven"ahe Labour Leader 28 November 1930 :2). For the first time, divorce legislation would allow women to divorce their husband s for adultery in a country in which men s practice of po l ygyny was virtually institutionalized Divorce had the potential to affect women in particular this is lost in The Beacon which pu b lishes Paotin The Barrier, a short story that illustrates that women s infidelit y is the grounds for divorce legislation In his letter to The Labour Leader, R..A.C. de B o issiere articulates the reality yard fiction embodies : that as everyone kno ws ... this divorce law is a law for the well to do and in no way affects the poorer class es who will go on separatin g from those with whom it is impossible [0 find peace and happine s s as they have always done" Labour Leader 28 November : 7) Gomes and Tothill both echo this stance in their letters, insisting that the working man and "the proletariat" reject marriages Gomes writes that the proletariat has never made much (if any) use of marriage. They have 137 Greig's message is, however, distinctly feminist in contradistinction to the ambivalence towards women's sexual freedom expressed in Pantin's "Barrier" or Margaret Beattie's "Pastoral

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235 always displayed a keen love for the looser tie. Even the religious members of that class are loath to pay the enormous sums demanded by the clergy to have themselves married Tothill speaks for the working man -a typical move for The Beacon-claiming that he prefers "his system ofliving with a 'keeper'" to marriage The desperate poverty of Archibald's and Cumming's texts connect the divorce issue to that of "slum clearance" by supplying evidence that the concern of the government ought to be turned towards ameliorating living conditions and creating work and educational opportunities for yard residents, rather than towards the intricacies of upper class marriage, which was an institution that participated making the yard impoverished and alienated But the call for sexual freedom repeated so frequently -in the magazine's editorial on local fiction., in its argument for divorce, in yard fiction and the fiction of white degeneracy -was not merely an expression of The Beacon's rage against bourgeois respectability and conservative political stances. It was a fundamental principle with great political significance. Giving women sexual freedom constituted a rejection of patriarchy, liberating women's sexuality from male control. The Beacon was the only institution to challenge patriarchy in a country and an empire based on patriarchal power and during a period. when strong pressure was placed on working and middle class women to confonn to a model of female economic dependency and patriarchal marriage.13I Trinidad. Patricia Mohammed argues, was structured on a hierarchy ofthree patriarchies, the white on top, followed by the Afro-Trinidadian, and finally the lndo-Trinidadian (35). The white ruling class, of course, always defined III The Beacon"s feminism was, of course, as conflicted as its labor politics. It championed women's ability to work outside the home and at the same time suggested the importance of women in the tradition role as caretakers However, the fact that they asserted women's right to sexual freedom across race and class boundaries-carries significant weight even if the journal was also ambivalent.

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itself through its women's rigorous practice of respectability and submission to patriarchal marriage Trinidad appears to have had a particularly rigorous form of domestic ideal as Eleanor Waby's memoirs and Beatrice Greig's article suggest.IJ' 236 The brown elite had arrived in Trinidad as a wealthy and respectable class in the late 18th century; the black middle class had assimilated respectability as a strategy for improving social in the 19th century> and Indo-Trinidadians followed suit in the early 20th century (Segal 91). Seventy five years of indentureship had severely weakened the {ndian patriarchal family structure. Few women were brought to Trinidad in the first decades of indentureship, and the plantation system did not encourage marriage until the late 19th century (Reddock "The lndentureship Experience" 30). Their scarcity increased Indian women's value, which was sometimes expressed in very high bride prices (Reddock The lndentureship Experience" 41). As a result of this and plantation social structure many Indian women in Trinidad experienced more social and economic freedom than their counterparts in India. They were often more able to negotiate domestic partnerships and less likely to be confined to one marriage for life Reddock even cites constraints on women in India --"the ban on widow re-marriage., the problems of pregnancy outside of wedlock., and difficulties within their domestic situation"-as incentives for women come to Trinidad (<
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237 constituted themselves as an indigenous, rooted Trinidadian community (Mohammed 34). This coincided with a trend to remove women from paid estate work to unpaid work on the family's land. The community tirelessly strove to reestablish the Indian community's patriarchal family structure as a means of legitimating the community as a whole, in order to compete more effectively with Afro-Trinidadians and whites for social and political status -"a consolidation of the traditional patriarchal system brought from India would place them in a better position to compete in the patriarchal race (Mohammed 35).loUI The Indian middle class press was strongly influenced by Gandhi's "Sita" ideal of womanhood, which the Arya Samaj pundit Mehta laimini disseminated in his lecture tour of Trinidad in 1929. He defined 'the five ideals of Indian women as: "(a) chastity; (b) Devotion towards husband; c)Mistress of the house; d) to produce children -good citizens useful to the society; e) To bring forth peace and happiness in the family and society" (Reddock Women, Labour, and Politics 61). This model, as Reddock points out, differed little from English domestic womanhood (Women, Labour and Politics 61). In The Beacon, Gandhi's "Sita" ideal is articulated in Greig's memorial essay on Saroj Nalini, whose charitable work combined with her perfonnance of wifely duties made her the embodiment of this ideal. Thus, the triple patriarchal system pressured aU Indian women and middle and upper class women of the Euro and Afro-Trinidadian communities to conform to domestic ideals which denied their sexual freedom. Even women in the working class were being pressed into economic dependence on men -ifnot into the institution of marriage As already noted, in the l.JO Reddock asserts that Indian women resisted the new stress on marriage by leaving abusive husbands ("The Indentureship Experience" 45). In contrast Mohammed emphasizes the fact that many Indian women coUaborated in the effort to re-establish patriarchal families because this would improve the status of the community as a whole and because women held an important role in religion and ritual ( 36-37).

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?'8 _J 19205 and 19305, working class women, Afiican and Indian, had been removed from the work force. The impact of the Dep ... ession intensified this pattern which domestic rhetoric reinforced. "lndeed. by the end of this period," Reddock tells us, the once large scale of female employment was lost to people's coUective memory" (Reddock Women. Labour. and politics 47). As a result:, women could find work on1y in occupations that could not adequately support them laundering and domestic service. They therefore had to depend on men for money They were placed in the position of economic dependency on men without the security associated with marriage. As these economic trends intensified, domestic ideology and male patriarchal power gained a strong voice within the working class. Gordon Rohlehr illustrates how calypsos of the 1937-43 period repudiated women's sexual and economic independence as a moral evil. Calypsonians held to a strict double standard, idealizing marriage and condemning prostitution as a sign of women's immorality (Rohlehr 226; 228) Their songs asserted that independent women, who did not stay home under the protection oftheir mothers, were bound to become prostitutes. Good women married Yet, Calypsonians, who defined themselves through their sexual prowess and their many women, saw marriage as a trap and had no sympathy for the plight of single mothers. These calypsos attacked the majority of working class women who lived independently (Rohlehr 223-30). Rohlehr argues that Calypsonians were particularly threatened by the sexual prowess of the increasing number of female prostitutes which resulted from the Depression (RohJehr 228) (suggest that we extend RohIehr's assertion about calypsonians' reaction to prostitution in order to view their attack on sexually independent women as the L4L "Most of the lyrics of the songs from the 1920s and early 30s have been lost. but there are 300 from 1937 to the early 1940's, and these give much infonnation about the life style and gender relations of the barrack yard Calypso lyrics from the late twenties and early thirties have mostly lost" (Rohlehr 216).

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0'9 -, reflection of a broader need among working men to assert the dominant fonn of masculinity -the strong, father and provider. Calypsonians' vilification of independent women 21ld their idealization of marriage for women preserved the image of the male dominance in the working class Thus, in opposing The Beacon was one of the few institutions to assert women s right to sexual and social independence. Though The Beacon s willingness to champion women's sexual rights may reflect its ambivalence about a strong. male working class their opposition to patriarchy had far reaching political implications because Trinidad was structured on a competition between racially segregated patriarchies "the contest ... for a definition of masculinity between men of different races" (Mohammed 35). This patriarchal contest entrenched the division between ethnic groups. The white elite took advantage of this divisiveness between Afiican and Indian Trinidadians and "by playing the role of ethnic neutrals or mediators in the bi-racial politics of the island, [were J able to retain their positions of economic pre-eminence in it"(Singh "Tradition" 246). As a result, The Beacon' s suppon ofMamitz' s right to choose between lovers and upper class women' s right to have lovers constitutes a stance against colonialism and the white elite's supremacy in Trinidad Respectability and The Beacon s willingness to fight it lay at the heart Beacon' s snuggle over national culture. This was perhaps The Beacon' s most important and tangible battle against the upper classes and the middle classes who assimilated upper class values. The Beacon strove to create a national literature based on the culture of the majority Trinidadians -people of African and Indian descent. In its guidelines for submissions to its short story contest, The Beacon solicited for a literature based on local people and places. Gomes attacked writers who imitated English literature, asserting that the

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Trinidad writer regards his fellow countrymen as his inferiors, an uninteresting peopLe who are not worth his while He genuinely feels (and by this, of course, asserts his own feeling of inferiority) that with his people as characters his stories would be worth nothing. It is for this reason that he peoples them with creatures from other planets American gangsters and English M P s abe Beacon I110:l) 240 Equally important to developing the quality of Trinidadian literature, Gomes asserted was the open representation of sexuality "'We have never seen such bad love scenes before claimed Gomes. U and not unti l people of Trinidad begin to think more openly and less religiously of s ex will local writers attain more artistic restraint and indifference of sex in their stories. As it is their treatment of the question is by far the ugliest., mo s t unnatural and civilized, we have been up against "(fhe Beacon U I 0 : 1) In calling on writers to represent the working classes and sexuality The Beacon confronted mainstream upper and middle Class cultural institutions head on. Outra g ed letters from planters and other elite in response to yard fiction published in Trinidad and in The Beacon made it clear that respectable society saw literature about the yard as an affront to themselves and to Trinidad's national image One letter expressed the fear that yard fiction's slackness would lead to the further denigration of Trinidad Surely Mr. James, scholar and teacher that he is might have found a better way to bring both to Church and state a moral condition of his peopie .... Literary contributions of this kind is only another stick with which Governors, European colonists and exiles will flog us. (The Labour Leader 8 February 1930 : 13) Another writer attacked Mendes's commentary in Trinidad and the magazine as a whole for a total lack of morality Playing on Mendes's claim that his choice of the yard as the subject of literature was as a appropriate as an architect' s choice of st o ne

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24J for building. one critic of yard fiction asserted that "it would be interesting to know how Mr. Mendes would describe the architect who. knowing all his lumber to be rotten and worm-eaten., proceeds, nevertheless to erect what he hopes would be a magnificent and enduring edifice" (The Labour Leader 6 April 1930) The yard for such readers constituted a "rotten and wonn-eaten" foundation for national literature. Gomes was no less extreme in his attack on the two rival literary institutions contemporary to --the numerous middle class literary and debating clubs and the government subsidized tourist magazine, The Trinidadian. Always forthright in his opinions, Gomes is particularly vicious in his condemnation of the many local literary groups. The literary club-idea.," writes Gomes. "is a sort of popular malady in Trinidad -like Typhoid Fever or Influenza ... nothing is so detrimental to the artistic development of the island as the 'literary-club attitude,' which is nothing but a puffed chest "(The Beacon Wll: 1) These clubs, Gomes asserts, will produce corrupt politicians, but provide no literature, discuss no literary topics, and provide no lending libraries In shon,. the literary clubs refuse to take on the project of creating a national literacure out of the culture of the majority In contrast, they define themselves through the project of imitating bourgeois English standards of achievement. Such assimilation, Gomes held, could only prevent a radical redefinition of national culture necessary to an effective opposition to the ruling class An artist, whose work regularly appeared in The Begcon, Hugh Stollmeyer clarifies that Gomes attacked the literary clubs because of their class division and snobbery. He reports the experience of having been asked to paint a mural for a local literary club, only to be rejected because the Indo-and Afro Trinidadian, presumably middle class, members of the club "would disapprove ofa display of 'what those common Niggers and Coolies do' upon the walls of their little Palace of Art and : 69) Here, we see the implications of The Beacon's campaign against respectable domesticity from a different angle. The

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242 criticism ofliterary clubs express es the same sentiment as Gomes's essay "Black Man. In both, he attempts to bring the non-white middle classes to abandon assimilation The other main object of Gomes's culture attack was The Trinidadian the government-subsidized, elite-controlled journal that represented Trinidad as a place of white celebrities and exotic adventure in order to boost Trinidad's trade in tourism In his protest., we see Gomes's strong allegiance with the working class and his belief in the fundamental necessity of working class culture to national culture He criticizes The Trinidadian for using tax money the majority of which came from the working class to pay British expatriate writers to produce what was essentially advertising for hotels. the profits from which would benefit effectively only the upper classes He also rejects the magazine's image of Trinidad as a tourists wonderland : "The Trinidadian which is no more Trinidadian than the Woolsworth Building, is an haUucitant for tourists, who become terribly upset when the bright lights of life go ouL So the Trinidadian duUs their sense by helping them to indulge in superficial beauties ." Gomes panicularly objects to the image of Trinidad as a haven of romance : "In the Mid-summer number of the this magazine Trinidad is transmogrified into a land of romance, adventure and eternal sunshine (we are fast going the way of poor Tahiti -. alas!) ; and there is everything there for a the man who wishes to escape reality ... (lM. Beacon IIII2 : 29) This image of the Trinidad as an isle of pleasure and sexual availability places it in the feminized position. Narratives of tourism. like those of conquest construe the Caribbean as feminine. In contrast, The Bracoo embraces masculinity Gomes describes Mendes's shift from writing for The Beacon to 1M Tdnidadjan as discarding the masculine "battle-axe" for the "peaceful plough-sbare" (Tbe Beacon 1W2 : 29) Ironically, The Beacon fights for a masculine image of Trinidad even as it emasculates the working class.

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'4' -> Yard fiction -with its poor, uneducated, sexually active protagonists -was The Beacon's most effective vehicle for criticizing the bourgeoisie and the middle classes which imitated it. In contrast to the fiction of white degeneracy which has not been preserved in the Caribbean literary canon. yard fiction has been defined as one of the foundational genres of contemporary anglophone Caribbean literature. With Trinidad and The Beacon, the yard in all its physica1 and moral dirt became the national image of Trinidad in its national literature and abroad with success of C.L.R James's and AJfred Mendes's fiction in England and the United States. Yet because the yard was almost exclusively Afro-Trinidadian, yard fiction prevented The Beacon from representing Trinidad as a creolization of African. Asian, and European cultures and peoples. Yard fiction's focus on sexuality encouraged the representation of creatization as an exclusivety sexual, rather than a potentially revolutionary and political process. Creolization? Tbe rote of Indo-Trinidadians in The Beacoo By deliberately including Indians in its representation of Trinidad, The Beacon broke with the English discourse and Trinidadian tradition of seeing [ndo-Trinidadians as foreign rather than as essential members of Trinidad society. The Beacon published a special "India Section" which covered Indian Nationalism and culture; it included essays by Indo-Trinidadians. Sander notes the importance of The Beacon's India 142 In his autObiography, Mendes lists the many foreign successes of yard fiction. Of the five stories published in the two issues of Trinidad, two were chosen for EJ. O'Brien's Best Short Stories. C.L.R. James's "La Divina Pastora" was the first Trinidadian story published in England, in The Saturday Review (88). Mendes's Pitch Lake was the first novel from the Beacon group published in England in 1934, followed by James's Minty Alley in 1936. Aldous Huxley recommended Pitch Lake for publication; he also wrote its introduction. Mendes continued to publish fiction in both English and U.S. publications including, The Manchester Guardian, Tbe London MemllY, and This Quaoer (89). The Beacon recorded the foreign publications of the work: of Mendes abe Beacon US:3)

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244 Section" because it was the only paper at the time to cover to Indian Nationalism in the early 1930 s ( Sander 37). The Beacon's communist perspective gave it the tools of class analysis to enable it to cross the ethnic divide between the Indoand Afro-Trinidadian working classes by seeing the interconnections of their exploitation Yet in two ways The Beacon replicates the dominant Trinidadian discourse that marginalized and disempowered lndo-Trinidadians into the 19805. First The Beacon chose to focus on India rather than Indo-Trinidadians Second, it evacuated the cultural specificity and potential political power ofInda-Trinidadians by using an essentially colonialist lens to view them., portraying them in an erotic rather than a political register. [ndianness was often represented in hybrid figures ; the inter-racial figure of the douglahalf. AJiican, half -Indian was the central means through which The Beacon represented the process of Indian and African interaction. Eroticizing the dougla neutralized the political and cultural potential of cross-ethnic coalition by transforming hybridity into a non-threatening object of sexual desire. The decision to focus exclusively on Indian nationalism in India rather than on Indo-Trinidadians in Trinidad combined with the fact that Indian issues were covered for only six months of The Beacon's two and a half year run perpetuated the vision of Indo-Trinidadians as a "foreign" community within Trinidad LoU With the exception of C L.R James's review of Gandhi s autobiography in volume [/5, The Beacon began to publish material on India with volume I111 in March 1932, when it published quite a number of articles on Indian culture including Greig's biographical article, "Rabindranath Tagore," C.F. Andrew's "Mahatma Gandhi," Vivakanandra' s "Untouchability and Khuddar," and Tagore's "Human Life and its Relation to Science In the first five numbers of the second volume, The Beacon published a separate "India L43 Of the nearly two and a half years of publication, March 193 I-November 1933, "India Sections" were published for a period of six months, March 1932September 1932.

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245 section.," which Greig explains, "has been inaugurated to afford East Indian resident s of the colony an opportunity for expressing their own views on the situation in their cQunrry "Cmy italics WI :31). Greig refers to lndo-Trinidadians as East Indians who are residents rather than citizens of Trinidad and whose "country is India, not Trinidad The short but intense presence of India, separated out into an Indian Section" gave the impression that Indo-Trinidad was a separate possibly part-time presence in Trinidad This representation ofInda-Trinidad as part of Trinidad and yet foreign reflects Trinidad's dominant discourse of the early twentieth century Although Trinidad defined itself as a creolized country and Indo-Trinidadians made up such a large percentage of the population in the pre-Independence period the tenn creole referred only to local whites and Afro-Trinidadians not Indians Caribs, P o rtuguese Chinese. or Lebanese (SegaIS7) Trinidad society organized itself along a spectrum of color from white to black., but Indian identity had no place in that spectrum As Segal writes. "In the socially constructed absence of l o cal connections 'East Indians' never became 'Creoles'. and had no place on the Creole scale of colour ; they were emphatically 'East' and not 'West Indians'" (97). To be Trinidadian, one had to be creole ; thus "East Indians" remained a foreign community in Trinidad des pite the fact that Indoand AfroTrinidadian cultures mutuaJly influenced one another; that is, Trinidadian Indian culture was creolized and creolizing (Segal 97). This "dichotomy" between "East Indians" and "West Indians" originated in the colonial policy of indentureship and the divide and rule policy towards Indo-Trinidadian and Afro-Trinidadian populations (Reddock "The Indentureship Experience" 30) It was fostered by largely race-based political organizations strongly influenced by African and Indian nationalisms (Singh Race and Class 11-12; 49-57) African and Indian political organizations distrusted each other more than they did the white ruling

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246 class. As a result, the predominantly Afro-Trinidadian TWA and East Indian National association (EINA) and East Indian national Congress (EINe) competed against one another for power. This ethnic divide perpetuated the white minority's hegemony.'"" To be effective against English colonial and local elite power, political or cultural opposition had to challenge this racial dichotomy. Kelvin Singh argues that only a coalition of the African and Indian working classes could have posed an effective challenge to the colonial government in the pre-1945 period, which occurs briefly during the 1937 labor uprisings (Singh Race and Class Strusgie 224-25) HS Yard fiction mirrors this pattern of seeing Indo-Trinidadians as inherently pan of and yet foreign to Trinidadian culture Their presence in the background seems necessary to mark the literature as authentically Trinidadian, but their further participation is unnecessary. Mendes begins "Five Dollars Worth of Flesh" with a demographic panorama of Trinidad We first see black stevedores ; the focus shifts to the "'rich merchants" and "well-to-do lawYers ... being speeded to their offices in their closed-in cars" and then to their employees cl erks and c1erkesses" traveling in tram cars. Finally the narrator hones in on the yard where we find our protagonist. Isadora, an multi-racial woman, who watches two stereotypical Indians. an impoverished boy wearing only a shirt" and food vender "Camachie, the young East Indian woman who lived but a stone's throw from her." These two figures literally complete the 144 This divide was particularly strong during the period of The Beacon' s publication The TWA's attempt at including Indo-Trinidadians failed in the 1930s due to "a resurgence ofrace consciousness, which engulfed the Indian and African middle classes from 1929 to 1937"( Singh Race and Class 147). One of Singh's underlying arguments is that the primacy of race in political organization prevented such a coalition of Indoand AfroTrinidadians When Indian workers joined strikes -in 1919 and 1937 the working class was able to pose the most significant threat to the government and the Elite. However, the British navy the sheer military force of the government could bring to bear would ultimately impede even a united working-class direct action (Singh Race and Class 31-2)

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frame for the story ; the action commences as soon as they walk past the protagonist, but they do not participate in her world. She shares her troubles and garners emotional support and food from he r "black" neighbors. 247 When Indians play significant roles, as they do in Mendes' s "Water Piece and "Soodhoo," Frank de Souza s Nocturne" and W R.H. Trowbridge's -The Tare," they appear either as abject figures of depravity or objects of desire. Set in Port of Spain Frank de SOIl73'S Nocturne represents the lndian woman as a figure of contamination and repulsion as the embodiment of almost absolute otherness Nocturne" depicts ofPort-of-Spain's Eastern market from 2 am until 4 am might constitutes Street Fiction In contradi s tinction to the yard which housed primarily Afro-Caribbeans the street was home to a large number of Indian vagrants as a re s ult of estate labor policies and the Depression. In makin g the frame of urban fiction the yard, yard fiction made a n almost clean cut which eliminated the lndoTrinidadians who lived on the streets (Singh Race and Class 15).146 Composed of Trinidad' s working under classes all huddled together Negroes, East Indians Halfbreeds ," the market (located on a s treet) seems to have been a site of Afro-Indo Trinidadian cultural interaction in the early thirties In the market, the first detailed image is an East Indian woman sitting on the pavement selling oranges (The Beacon US: 18) Her body mingles with filth her bare feet with ankles encircled by a bracelet of silver dangling in the water flowing down the canal." Her failure to remove her feet from the canal's garbage and sewerage filled-water, reflects that she, like the canal. is filthy and contaminated. The narrator reinforces this impress i on by describing her body as internally infected : "a rackin g cough shakes her whole body." With a total disregard for public health or cleanliness of her produce : "she expectorates over the tray; taking the orange which she has started 1.6 Indian organizations, the EINe and EINA, lobbied the government to build night shelters, and ultimately built them themselves (Singh Race and Class 147)

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to peel and the dirty stub of a knife into one hand, she wipes her lips with the other; replaces the orange with the same hand and unconcernedly resumes her paring"CThe Beacon 118: 18) In disseminating her contamination, she becomes a force for contagion She represents the threat the growing number of Indian vagrants posed to the Pon of Spain middle and upper classes in the 19305. [n figuring the impoverished and diseased vendor as a source of contamination. de SOllza places the disease in the 248 exploited under-class. not in the planter class whose labor polices produced much of Indian poverty, vagrancy, and ill-health 141 But he also expresses disgust at the prospect of integrating IndoTrinidadians into Trinidad national culture De SOllza expresses this aversion through the image ora contaminated woman s body He defines the Indo-Trinidadian woman's body through its absolute difference from the invisible middle class woman's body; she refuses all the separations of dirt and cleanliness that define the middle and upper class 141 Trowbridge s "The Tare" presents a paraJIel but sexualized vision oflndo-Caribbean women as 141 In the 20's and 30's, planters survived the deflation of crop prices by accepting large subsidies from the government and reducing labor costs and economic risk by shifting planting of cane to small fanners, whom they controlled through mandatory and exploitative contract schemes( Singh Race and Class 80). 141 Her essential negative otherness, however, is similar to the positive otherness posited for instance, by C L.R. James, who celebrates the intrinsic mystical power of Indians. He praises Gandhi's ability to mobilize poor agricultural workers in India and their ability to "practice so succ-essfully ideals as difficult as non-cooperation and non-violence, all this is something which to me is as miraculous as anything I have ever read"crhe Beacon US: 19). He sees this as a mystical power specific to Indians rather than as model for political action that could be applied in Trinidad ; it marks Indians as distinct and superior to him, not as a potentially powerful part of his Trinidad He expresses this sense of difference in describing a vagrant Indo Trinidadian : "When I meet the average unwashed scantily-clad East Indian crouching by the side of the street, I see in him much more than I did fonnerly, for I realise that in that frail and unkempt body move spiritual powers far beyond me." (The Beacon US:19). Both in de Souza's portrayal of Indian degradation and James's celebration of their spiritual powers, Indo-Trinidadians are alien. not part ofa Trinidadian national community

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249 contaminated In it, Indian women function as indices of sexual and moral conuption on the plantation In telling the story ofthe conuption of a newly arrived English employee on a Guyanese sugar plantation. The Taren rewrites a central theme in English discourse about the West Indies --the transformation of new employees into prestige-conscious, lazy, drunken lovers of Afro-Canbbean women. [n postemancipation Guyana particularly this theme is reworked to accommodate for the fact that the plantation workers were Indian and therefore sexual panners of white employees were traditionally. Indian women. Competition for women among male workers on plantations could be very violent, as is illustrated in AR.F. Webber's Those that be in Bondage as well as the not-infrequent newspaper reports ofIndian men's wounding or killing their women out In "the Tare," white men's temptation is embodied by an Indian woman -"a coolie-girl in blue gauze and all ajingle with silver ornaments bent her head to her heels and picked up three-penny pieces with her eyelids"(The Beacon liS : 12). An older English overseer Danvers attempts to keep a younger English man. Freen from this temptation. Freen is finally corrupted in a lunch tent where "coolie-girls with eyes like gazelles hung round them wantonly"(The Beacon US: 13) Danvers finds Freen the next morning "in the coolie quaners" -a sign that he has had sex with an Indian woman. Depicted as "wanton" and always sexually available to white men, Indian women exist then only as a register of the men's moral corruption. Published just pages before Nocturne," Mendes's "Water Piece" presents Indian women as the opposite of physical and moral contamination A heterosexual This idea of Indian men's violent jealousy constituted the English stereotype that was used to define Indians as more passionate and therefore incapable of equality with whites In "Soodhoo," Henry Lawrence tell Minnie of a case in which six: workers are needed to restrain one Indian man who wished to attack his wife for adultery.

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250 male fantasy about the sexual availability of beautiful and innocent Indian women., "Water Piece" is the Tare" stripped of the dirt and detail of its historical context. ISO It is essentially the description of ewe naked Indian women with onJy the slightest hint of a plot The two women, "Miss Tall" and "Miss Short, exist only in erotic and sexual terms: One ... tall and slim,. the other short and plump,'" their skin "brown like sapodilla, they are both scantilly dressed, their brown legs bare, and their heads too." Like the sweet fruit of the sapodiUo, the women are sweet beneath their brown skin. Miss Short s ineffectual modesty sets Miss TaU's sexual openness in relief Miss Short covers her body with her hands and c autions her friend not to tie on her back. "s uppose a man should come along, how would she see him ?" Miss Tall however, merely "wondered why her friend should make such strange remarks." When naked, Miss Tall's posture offers her body for sexual pleasure : she is "bending forward ... her small sharp breasts pouting like lips waiting to be kissed ." Mis s Tall offers her body yet more explicitly when she kicks her feet high in the air as she had seen the moving actresses d o on the screen, gesturing toward the sexual display and seduction of the cancan (The Beacon U8:6) Then she lies on her back., as if waiting for a sexual encounter We are, however, led to read the women as innocent not lascivious Miss Tall is like nature itself; she chatters like a kiskidee runs "agil e as a deer and as graceful." When she is finally discovered by the two white men, Miss Tall returns their gaze "wondering if they had come to bathe"(The Beacon 1/8:7 ) The encounter mirrors the romance of colonial discovery but places the East Indian woman in place of the 150 Two young East Indian women are observed first by the omniscient narrator then by two white men who come upon them as they bathe naked The narrator and the white men share the same male, desiring gaze suggesting either that the whole story is being narrated by one of the white men who watches the young women before they are aware of his presence or that the story comprises the man's imagination of what took place before he arrived at the pool.

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251 Amerindian These two conflicting images -the abject and the desirable Indian woman parallel the ambivalence of colonial discourse towards non-white colonized people which Robert Young maps out in I 9th-century European theories of race and which we have seen in 19th-century English writers like Froude toward Afro-Caribbeans. It is a double parallel. Both European and Trinidadian writing eroticize the "'other" and express a fundamental ambivalence, seeing that .. othe ..... as either extremely repulsive or desirable (Young 19) That The Beacon expresses an ambivalence towards IndoTrinidadians similar to that which England expressed towards Trinidadians suggests that a parallel political and cultural dynamic pertains to both relationships Yet The Beacon did not stand in the position of colonizer to Indo-Trinidadians Almost all sectors ofEnglisb society benefitted materially from colonialism and slavery but not all Bf{!con writers or all Trinidadians benefitted from the importation and exploitation of Indian indentured workers. Whites, like Gomes and Mendes, whose families were often in commerce would have, but Afro-Trinidadians like James and Mentor would not have Rather Afro-Trinidadians had experienced Indians since their arrival as political and economic rivals. Yet with the end of indenture in 1921, both white and AfroTrinidadians confronted the question of how to integrate these degraded yet numerically powerful "others" into Trinidadian identity without jeopardizing their own positions. English discourse's eroticization had worked well to disempower colonized people and to obfuscate the economic and physical exploitation of colonization The predominantly white and Afro-Caribbean Beacon employed. a parallel rhetoric that disempowered Indians, obfuscating their potential power within Trinidad as well as the threat their integration into the process of creolizacion posed to both Afro-and Eurocreoles The clearest example of The Beacon' s reluctance to represent Indo-Trinidadian

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252 culture as Trinidadian or to accept the social and political implications of AfrofIndo creolization are the many hybrid figures in its fiction. Hybrids are so important to yard fiction that they are the central figures in five of Mendes's twelve stories in The Beacon. Of the twelve to fifteen pieces of yard fiction identified by Sander, douglas or part Indian characters are the protagonists in at least five (55): "Triumph," "Sweetman." The Dougla," "Five Dollars Worth of Flesh" and Minty Alley. This suggests that Indianness is centraJ to Trinidadian fiction and national identity in this period. However, in each of these cases, the hybrid Indian figure has tittle or no traceable Indianness and is eroticized, sexualized, and often victimized. Both douglas, Mamitz of James's "Triumph and Seppy of Mendes s "Sweetman" are the most extreme examples of disempowered masculinity and femininity in yard fiction. Mamitz not only depends on men to supplement ber income she depends on men for her full income She is even dependent on another woman, Celestine, to find and manage her keepers : Similarly Seppy is most emasculated example ora sweetman. In "The Sweetman," a whole group of sweet men gather at the creole cafe: "Cats was there and Shorty and Uncle and len, all sweetmen and Seppy's boon companions"(Tbe Beacon I/7 :3). But only Seppy, the dougta. is unmanned by his woman. Mendes contrasts Seppy with Shorty. Shorty is "a black, squat young man" whose bravery is evidenced by a "scar running from the left eye to the mouth. Though he is Gertrude's sweetman, he maintains his name as a man and his affectionate relationship with his woman. In contrast. Seppy lives in fear ofMamitz's violent rage. When Seppy rebels against Mamitz's desire to fully control him., she proves that she wields the power, in the fonn of her phallic knife, with which she strips Seppy naked on the dance floor. In Mamitz and Seppy, the dougla is represented as a combination sexual desirability weakness, and an absolute lack of industry. All aspects ofIndian culture

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253 are evacuated. Mamitz's lndianness is reduced to two physical signs: straight hair and particularly black skin James describes her as Ua black woman, too black to be pure negro probably with some Madrasi East Indian blood in her, a suspicion which was made a cenainty by the long thick plaits of her plentiful hair"(3) In nationalist discourse, Shalini Puri asserts, the dougla alwnys serves to support the status quo (14); in The Beacon's proto-nationalist discourse, the figure of the dougla reinforces the dominant construction of Afro-Trinidadians as indolent and dependent,. not wonhy of political rights. Although blackness is the color of the negro race in the racial canography of the West Indies, it is Mamitz's Indianness her "Madrasi blood" that makes her blacker than 'blacks Stereotypical Indian character traits similarly intensify the stereotypically Afro-Caribbean traits in each character In contrast to the stereotype of Afro-Caribbeans as "lazy" and difficult," Indo-Trinidadians were stereotyped as docile and submissive workers Mamitz's placid disposition and her reliance on Celestine reflects this stereotypically Indian docility. Mamitz's "[ndian" docility intensifies her dependence, which is a characteristic yard fiction as well as English colonial discourse attributes to Afro-Caribbeans Seppy's lack of courage to stand up as a man to Mamitz may also be an expression of that Indian docility." If Afro-Trinidadian men are stereotyped as weak. Seppy s Indian" docility makes him yet weaker. Because the dougla's Indian identity intensifies the stereotype of Afro Caribbeans as weak and dependent. The Beacon's fiction transforms the potentially oppositional identity of the dougla into a unthreatening figure compatible with local elite and colonial discourse. With "five bloods in her veins: Spanish, Negro, East Indian, Red Indian and Chinese," Isadora. protagonist of Mendes s "Five Dollars Worth of Flesh" is probably the most thoroughly hybrid and thus most authentically Trinidadian figure in yard fiction (The Beacon U6: [3-15) Yet with all of these cultural heritages, Isadora is

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254 reduced to two facts : (1) that she is the physically abused wife ofan unemployed alcoholic and the mother of two sick and starving children, and (2) that she is sexually desirable. In fact, her husband marvels that "she was still handsome, in spite of all the hell she had seen with him"(The Beacon 116: 13). He considers her sexual attraction for some time, focusing on her breast, "'luscious, firm, brown"(Ihe Beacon 116: 14). He recalls a "crude fellow stare at her" and the narrator teUs us that two other men look her up and down as she walks into town. This sexual desirability defines her and seems to prevent her from getting respectable work in domestic service. laundry, sewing and shop keeping One woman shopkeeper "looked her up and down before saying, icily that there was no vacancy now; no, there would be no vacancy in a hurry, didn't she hearT' (Tbe Beacon [/6 : 15). The woman might be reacting to Isadora's poverty, but because she is described as looking Isadora up and down in the same way as the men who desire her, it is more likely that store owner reacts against the sexuality that defined Isadora's body and person Finally, Isadora agrees to take Mr. Texeira's five dollars in exchange for sex -an act she describes to her neighbor as a "job." The only "job" for which Isadora is suitable is as the object of desire. So the quintessentially Trinidadian the five-type hybrid is also defined by and confined to sexuality almost as if she is defined by the sexual act that created her, and is bound to do nothing else but to reenact that sexuality. Thus, hybridity and Indian participation in Trinidadian identity become erased through the sexuaJization of the Indian hyrbrid. Creolization as represented in the sexualized inter-racial subject transfonns the threat posed by intercultural interaction and political coalition. By containing the threat in a sexual fantasy, the white male (or femaJe as in "Soodhoo") can easily possess and sexuaJly conquer the sexy, hybrid woman (or man). SexuaJization neutralizes creolization. In the contemporary context:, Shalini Puri interrogates hybridity in Trinidad

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255 through the figure ofthe dougla -the half-Indian, half-African Trinidadian. She holds that nationalism coopted hybridity invoking hybridity, diversity, and harmony while fostering ethnic division (16-L 7). For Puri however, the dougla has great potential as an oppositional identity in both cultural and political contexts. Puri conceives of "dougla poetics" as a fonn of hybridity that would defY both African and Indian nationalist agendas by combining African and Indian cultures without erasing their differences or the inequalities that form their relationship. She argues that .... a dougla poetics could provide a rich symboli c resource for interracial unity precisely becaus e it u urunask(s) power and symbolically redraw its lines thu s "offer(ing] a vocabulary f o r a political identity, not a primarily biological one"(32). Puri s argument i s useful because it point s to the significance o f The Beac on s erotizication of the dougla. It also provides a mean s for reading The Beacon's horrified reaction to the creolized o r dougla cultural phenomenon of the festival of La Divina Pastora. By bringing together Afro Trinidadian, R o man Catholic, and East Indian cultures without subordinating one to another, this fest i val probably constituted a fonn of dougla poetics. During it Indians worshipped La Divina Pastora in the Catholic Church and perfonned Hindi rituals outs ide of the church Surrounding the church was a festival of music and dance as well as a market for food and cloth in which Afro-Trinidadians participated That thi s was an important cultural event is reflected in the fact that three authors of the Beacon group published stories about it : James' s "La Divina Pastora," Percival Maynard's "His Last Fling," and Mendes's Good Friday at the Church of La Divina Pastora. Yet curiously none of these stories portrays the inter-cultural aspect of the event : James s focuses on inter-racial and Venezuelan peasants, Maynard on urban Afro-Trinidadians, and Mendes on Indo Trinidadians. Faced with "dougla poetics, Mendes vacillates between disbelief, rejection,

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256 distortion, and envy. From the moment he arrives on the rainy eve of the fete. he resists the excitement and pleasure of its participants He sees the Indian "hutments" where food is being prepared as a "dantesque" hell-the sky "starless drizzling Mendes dwells on the contrariness ofthe circumstances in order to impress the reader with a sense of the peculiarity of Indo-Trinidadians for energetically exerting themselves despite difficult circumstances for a ritual that Mendes finds at best absurd and at worst a manifestation of the "lndian spirituality that kept Indo-Trinidadians "content with a lot unworthy of human beings" Qbe Beacon II12: 10) For him. this creolized and dougla event is "the most incongruous most amazing sight I had ever seen. 'There was, I felt, some mistake he wrote of his first impression., "'What I saw I could not believe in what I saw at that moment and all the succeeding moments"ahe Beacon III2 :8). He compares the incongruity of the noisy Hindu-filled Catholic church with that of a calm lunatic asylum His choice of comparison conveys his impression that there is something insane about the mixing of cultures and religions that characterized the fete at Siparia.. Mendes explains. "If you entered a lunatic asylum and heard no insane scream, no senseless speech, no bauering of head against partition, you would stop and wonder if you were really in a lunatic asylum. For Mendes finding the Catholic Church not silent but bustling with noisy Hindus is comparable to entering a lunatic asylum Crowded into pews, the East Indians who "hotly engaged in choruses of conversation" are like the screaming and banging of the lunatics W2:8)_ He confirms this reading when he refers to the area around the altar as a "bedlam of contradictory sound" (The Beacon II12: 10). For Mendes and his companions, the busy church is not an example of the cultura1 hybridity that defines Trinidad but a "foreign scene" in which they are outsiders : Mendes writes, "I felt as Ruth must have felt when she found herself standing amid the alien com"(Tbe Beacon W2:8) Not only does he find this hybridity absurd; he claims

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257 it is detrimental to its practitioners OfInda-Trinidadians' ecstatic belief and financial contributions to the saint, Mendes writes, "here. in all its stark naked absurdity is seen the Indian 'spirituality .. which admirers of India are so unanimous in praising the spirituality which is responsible for the dominion and tyranny of prejudice and tradition and which has made so many millions of people content with a lot unworthy of human W2: 10) lSI When he does accept an Indian cu1rural difference he interprets it in tenns of his own political agenda When he sees an Indian woman breast feeding, he sexualizes her, seeing only her "luscious breast. He assumes that the fact that his presence does not disturb her as a sign ofIndian straightfowardness about sexuality As a result, he concludes that "these women ... might teach us quite a lot "(Tbe Beacon 1lI2 :7). Mendes enlists the woman in his campaign against bourgeois restraints on sexuality He expounds: a proper scientific knowledge of sex is an aim worth fighting for I thank: gods whatever gods there be for Krafft Ebbing and Company"(The Beacon 11/2 6). Mendes does not consider what breast feeding means to the woman or her community. 151 Mendes is, in sum., fully alienated by the experience of a creoleldougla culture lSI Here., Mendes makes ajibe at Beatrice Greig and the "India Section" whi ch covered the lndian spiritual leaders and issues Sander notes Mendes' s criticism of the Beacon's emphasis on Indian mysticism (38) 151 On a similarly brief impression of an Indian woman. Mendes reduces the Indian family to the stereotype of the violent patriarchal father and the martyred wife. He teUs the story of one particular family that has come to give tribute to La Divina Pastora for having saved their youngest child the previous year. Mendes f ollows the "strange rites" of their devotion, their donations of oil, candles, and money. From observing the father's face, "his heavy moustache and heavy-drooping eye-lids, his distended nostrils and large sensuous mouth" that the man has a cruel selfishness and that his wife is a martyr From this he concludes that, "there would have been more justice in canonizing the frail wife ofthis man than the inartistic effigy 0.0. she. at least, was one oflife' s martyrs, whereas La Divina Pastora was of earthly manufacture with nothing of the spirit that suffers and the spirit that lives"(lO)

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At the end of his article, he does mention that Afro-Caribbeans participate in the festival; two black women perform the stations of the cross. Mendes envies their intense spirituality, commenting that I marveled at her powers of concentration for she took no notice of the noisy confusion around her. She appeared to be in a world of her own, and absolutely alone in it. Her everted purple lips moved in a spirit of ecstasy. [envied her. I have sometimes wished that I could suffer-or enjoy such a spiritual experience (The Beacon IJi2 : 11) 258 Mendes comforts himself by asserting his difference and defining himself through European culture., "I suppose, however, that the esthetic thrill which pulsates through me while listening to one of the late string quartets of Beethoven is in some way or the other related to the mystic experiences: let that be my consolation" (The Beacon 1112: 11) Yet as soon as he admits his envy, he denies it, concluding the essay by reassening the perversity of the Indo-Trinidadian participation in the creole festivaL As Mendes leaves the church he passes, "a black man lying prone beside a pillar of the church with his face in the dust" One of his presumably white companions notes in absolute denial of the two ecstatic women, There lies the only Christian in the place to-day"'Cfhe Beacon [1/2: 11). Mendes's final sentence -"Could I end on a finer note?" seems almost obsessive in its need to point out yet again that dougla hybridity is absurd. Yet the sentence ends. however rhetorically, with a question mark. Perhaps this question mark can stand as an invitation to question the account he has just given the reader. Perhaps it is not fine to claim that dougla culture is absurd and to cement one's argument by displaying, yet again, the figure of a disempowered, dissolute black male it is, however, an effective technique of dismissing the threat an Indo-Afro creole culture posed to the white elite and white intellectuals alike. The festival

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259 embodies a Trinidad in which there is no place for the white bourgeoisie -the scene is filled with Indians, blacks, and a few Syrians. Mendes can participate only as an observer. His consistent eroticization of hybrid figures in his fiction may represent a strategy of containing the threat dougla culture posed. to his position in Trinidadian culture. In his hybrid figuf es, Seppy SoodhoD, Isadora he transforms the dougla poetics of La Divina Pastera into erotic inter-mciaJ women and men. He has a place in the picture of beautiful women -as the desirer. It is after all the Portuguese merchant who "gets" Isadora in "Five Dollars of Flesh" Mendes was the son of a Portuguese merchant and a man of countless amorous entanglements Mendes's discomfort with the Hindi Catholic church makes visible the contradiction underlying The Beacon. In 1931, only a predominantly white group of intellectuals could fund and support an oppositional journal of Trinidadian literature However, it would be very difficult for these men and women to produce a national image of Trinidad that included all Trinidadian ethnic groups Yet this inclusion was necessary (fThe BMeoD's image of the emergent nation were to effectively counter the divide and rule politics of colonialism This failure in representing the creole or dougla nation arises in part from the fact that The Beacon has two incompatible goals in conceiving of its fiction. It sets out both to create a literature in the image of the non white working classes and to attack bourgeois respectability through a politics of inversion These are the two goals Gomes oudines in his editorial on local fiction. In combining these two goals, the working class becomes figured as the inverse of respectability, which has several negat i ve consequences. It distorts and weakens the historical working class and it produces an image of the nation as consummate example of sexual degeneracy, which is exactly how English colonial discourse had constructed Trinidad In combining the project of critiquing the status quo with the project of imagining the nation. The Beacon reproduces the central principle of race

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260 theories of the late 19th century --that racial hybridity was a fonn of degeneracy. The anti-colonial message of fiction like "Boodhoo" and "Brotherly Love" that colonial ideology produces incest and adultery lronically in attacking bourgeois respectability for its irrelevance, double standards. and hypocrisy, The Beacon reenacted one of the oppressive strategies of respectablefunperial domesticity. English domestic rhetoric defined the Caribbean as politically unworthy because it lacked sexual virtue. Yard fiction and the fiction of white degeneracy erased the very conception of an Afro-Asian Trinidadian political movement or identity by conceiving ofhybridity solely in sexual tenns. Colonial discourse deployed sexual discourse to discount the political power of the Afro-and Asian Caribbean population and to justity English rule The Beacon deployed sexual discourse to discount the power of Afroand Asian Caribbeans in order to justity the political leadership ofwhite creoles particularly, Portuguese creoles Gomes's position as editor ofIhe Beacon allowed him to criticize the French creole Cipriani for his leadership of the Afro-Trinidadian working and middle class. In retrospect, we can that Gomes was competing with Cipriani for the role of oppositional white leader In the 19505 Gomes would come to occupy a position somewhat parallel to that Cipriani held the 1920's and 1930's Like Cipriani, he shifted from an ostensibly strident spokesperson for the working class to a politician who tended to support the interests of the establishment over those of labor. In this context, The Beacon' s choice to attack the elite by attacking respectability and forcefully bringing sex into public discourse can be seen as a strategy to block the Afro-Caribbean and Indian middle classes that were respectable from partnership in the fight to wrest power from the allied forces of the colonial bourgeoisie and the colonial government

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Chapter 7: "The of coucse, being covered with flowers": Metropolitan Discourses and the Construction of Creole Identity in Jean Rbys's Black Exercise Book ISl The Black. Exercise Book is a critical text in Rhys's oeuvre because it illustrates the intertwined nature ofRhys's critique of colonialism and psychoanalysis The Black Exercise Book is an unpublished personal and writer's journal in which Rbys explores her childhood in Dominica, England's imperial and class hypocrisy the role of writing in her life as well as scenes from the novel she was working on, Good Morning Midnight. and the next, Wide Sargasso Sea. IS-! In it., Rhys centers her account of her childhood around two experiences : being criticized and beaten primarily by her nurse and her mother, and being seduced into a sado-masochistic relationship with Mr. Howard Rhys revises these scenes repeatedly. each time changing significant aspects in order to shape her identity as a white creole woman through an identification or comparison of her position as a beaten child and sexual slave with Afro-Caribbeans historical experiences of floggings and sexual coercion under slavery In juxtaposing these revised and repeated scenes the Black Notebook illustrates the process through which Rhys fashions her own identity and that of the white creole woman., the central figure of her "West Indian" work. These accounts of beating and seduction embody a dual critique of English d o mesticicy s definition of womanhood and psychoanalysis' s theories of seduction and masoclUsm by constructing strong parallels between key texts IS) I would like to thank the literary estate of Jean Rhys and the Special Collections Department of the McFarlin Library at the University of Tulsa Library for the permission to cite from RJtys s Black Notebook. The Black Notebook is also called the Black Exercise Book and reflects the color of the exercise book, not its contents She also had green and orange exercise books I would like to thank: Mary Hanna for her important contributions to this chapter, espectiaJly to my analysis of Fanon. IS-! The Exercise book contains drafts or version of material that later appear in a number of Rhys' s published work, including "Pioneers, Dh Pioneers Smile Please, '"'Tigers are Better Looking. n 261

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of these discourses: Bronte's Jane Eyre and Freud's "A Child is Being Beaten" and Dora. 262 UnJike Rhys's works of fiction. the Black Notebook expresses the significance of writing to Rhys's engagement with metropolitan discourses and her self fashioning Rbys's fictional protagonists are mostly not writers, and their apparently passive and self-destructive behavior has drawn much criticism. The Black Notebook presents us with a similar central figure, a young Rhys, who is addicted to an apparently masochistic relationship with an older man. and who, the moment she successfully defies her mother, sinks into a debilitating sense Ofl055. But unlike the Rhys woman" of her novels the Rhys of the Black Notebook is a writer, whom we see actively constructing a self through writing One of the central interpretive challenges the notebook poses is that Rhys exerts her agency to define a self that appears passive and masochistic Reading Rhys' s masochistic or passive self-portrait as a critique of English colonial and European psychoanalytic discourse reveals that she actively shaped and deployed her masochistic identification with enslaved Afro-Caribbeans as a strategy of resistance through which she both exposed the interconnections between the English construction of white and Afro-Caribbean womanhoods and asserted a racially inclusive conception of creole identity. Embedded as it is in European colonial discourses, Rhys's writing reiterates central aspects of those discourses even as it criticizes and deconstructs their central categories of race, gender, and metropolitan identity The Black Notebook's Critique of Domestic Womanhood Though the Black Notebook does not explicitly refer to Jane Eyre I read it in relation to Bronte's novel because its representation of the young Rhys has so much in common with Bronte's representation of Jane Eyre's childhood and so closely parallels

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263 Rhys's own explicit critique ofBrontc in In relation to Bronte, the Black Notebook has a dual project : first to criticize Brontc's negative representation of the white creole and her participation in the racialization of female virtue and, second, to appropriate that negative portrayal to fashion a Caribbean identity for herself. In Jane Eyre Bertha Mason represents the antithesis of the ideal of English womanhood A victim ofhereditaIy insanity, Bronte's Bertha is ill-educated, promiscuous, dark, violent towards her servants and., finally, animal-like. When Rochester locks Benha in his attic, he "longed only for what suited me the Antipodes of the Creole"{Bronte 274). Impoverished. plain Jane with her education, religion and vinuous passion is that "antipode.n To render Bertha the opposite of the proper English wife, Bronte makes Bertha both "haJves" of colonial society: the "inferior" dark, enslaved woman and the coarse., sadistic slave owner. ISS Bronte's portrayal of Bertha participates in the 19th-century construction of the West Indies as a place where domesticity --Christian marriage, masculinity and femininity are necessarily rrangressed, often inverted Benha' s undesirability, her lack of education and her violence reflect the stereotype of the white creole woman, who is faulted for her ignorance her violence, and her "negro ways in countless English books from Edward Long's The History of Jamaica (1774) to Charlotte Smith s (1796). In consistently painting Bertha as ""discoloured," dark, and black., Bronte identifie s Benha with "black" Afro-Caribbeans. She makes this link explicit when Rochester asserts that Bertha's family welcomes him because he is nofa good race" with the implication that his "good race" would "secure" their not so "good," not so white race. That Bronte ISS In claiming that Bertha Mason represents both the slave and the master, lam combining two conflicting interpretations; Susan Meyer and Carl Piasa have read Benha as a resistant slave whereas Sue Thomas assens that 'she stands for the domestic excessses ofa recalcitrant despotism" (Thomas 'The Tropical extravagance" 10).

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264 describes Bertha as a hyena and as promiscuous further links her to the image of AfroCaribbean women in English texts, which represented women of color both as animals and as sexually active outside of marriage (Bush "Slave Women" 11-13). 156 Finally. Bertha's promiscuity codes her as black. English discourse defined both the "black" and the "interracial" creole woman as sexuaiiy transgressive. The pro-slavery writers like Bryan Edwards. described black women as diseased prostitutes whereas anti slavery discourse portrayed black women as victims of white male promiscuity The stereotype of enslaved women reflects the historical reality that neither slave owners nor the taw recognized the legal or religious bonds of marriage In this sense, enslaved women were literally excluded from English domestic marriage; English discourse figured this exclusion as sexual immorality and marital unworthiness Both free and enslaved inter-racial women were described almost exclusively as the mistresses of white men women who chose to be concubines of wealthy white men. rather than to marry men of their oWn color. Shaped by domestic ideology [his stereotype read the wide-spread practice inter-racial sexual partnerships as a debauched form of marriage Thus, all Afro-Caribbean women stood outside of domestic womanhood So strong was the association between non-marital sex and blackness (or not-whiteness) in the European imagination that scientific discourse and artistic representations attributed characteristics defined as typical of African women to white women who engaged in deviant sexual behavior, prostitution and lesbianism Q;lman, in fact, argues that the presence of a black figure, most frequently a servant, coded the scene as sexual. (Gilman 228; McClintock. 22-23; 52-3). 1$6 Thomas argues that Bronte comparison of Bertha to a hyena reflects the belief that hyenas could change sex ("The Tropical Exbavaganza" 7) The hyena may then reflect Bertha's transgression of gender and race lines In taking the position of slave master, white women took a male position; in sharing cultural practices language dress, and food with Afro-Caribbeans, they trespassed racial lines.

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265 Underlying the description of West Indian women stands what I call the colonial romance, which both bound together the constructions of Afro-and Euro creole women and set them in opposition to one another. As the mistress of the white woman's husband, the inter-racial woman was the object or the white woman's jealousy, the primary cause of her cruelty; that is, the stereotype of the white creole woman as sadist derives its meaning from the stereotype of inter-racial women as the desired mistress of white men. In Bertha, Bronte conflates these images. Though most English novels and travel narratives did not cast the white creole woman as black in such concrete ways as lane E,yre does, they afiicanized her culturally by claiming that she had assimilated Afro-creole cultural practices. Book after book, from Lady Nugent's diary to the anonymous novel Marly (1828), portrayed white creole women eating pepperpot" from calabashes or pots with their hands, dressing without stays, wrapping their hair in kerchiefs, and speaking negroish" language. These negative images defined creole culture as Afro-Caribbean culture and denied creole language, cuisine, and dress as legitimate cultural expressions for white West Indians In shon, to be creole was to be Afro--creole; there was no place for the respectable, white creole woman. Consequently when Rhys "writes back" against Bronte's Bertha, she writes back not only against the widespread stereotype of the white creole and the imperialist racialization of femininity, but against the racially ambiguous identity, the pJaceJessness to which English discourse relegated her Bronte's blackened Bertha identified the white creole with Afro-Caribbeans and thus provided Rhys with a foundation for building a Caribbean identity. The Black Notebook, however, does not directly address Bronte's portrayal of Bertha. Rather it addresses itself to the contradictions in Bronte's construction of Jane's whiteness and virrue. Rhys ties her text to Bronte's by constructing comparisons between her own young setfand Bronte's young English heroine, Jane

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266 Eyre. She will repeat this strategy in Wide Sargasso Sea by presenting young Antoinette's isolation and oppression as parallel to young lane's. We meet Jane Eyre at the moment she first resists oppression. When her cousin John, who "punished" her "continuaJly," rouses her from reading. hits her, and then strikes her with the book, she fights back(7) She explains, "I resisted all the way; a new thing for me"(9). Jane s rebellion brings her incarceration and a removal to the Lowood School for orphans. In the Black Notebook, we meet the young Rhys when she rebels against being beaten for the first time. Rhys describes being beaten three times Each scene revises the previous account. The fim description is incomplete because the page is tom. In the section directly following the tear, Rhys's comments indicate that she is discussing being punished : "I'd given in and started to aye?]. but[?] I cant remember what it was about or what I was supposed to have done. Thats always my trouble I never know what it is I'm supposed to have done"(20). iS1 That what Rhys doesn't know is why she's being beaten becomes clear in her next sentences: Temper in the West Indies being hot and a certain tradition in the air (?) [written above the line: about these matters] [text missing] ... I was always reading. I dont mean at all that I was beaten for reading but only that it added to the general irritating effect. My nurse Meta couldn't bear the sight of me with a book she couldn't bear the sight of me anyway, but completely with [a] book it was too much .... (19-20) In not knowing the reason for her beatings and in experiencing a link between reading and beating. Rhys is like Jane Eyre. A1though Rhys says she is not beaten directly because she read, she associates being beaten with reading Rhys's reading is the last IS7 In transcribing Rhys's Black Exercise Book, I aim to be accurate although [he text has frequent misspellings and leaves out apostrophes and punctuation. When I am unsure of her handwriting and am therefore making a guess, I put a question mark in brackets after the word.

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267 straw that would bring her nurse to beat her On the next page, Rhys transfonns Meta's beating her into a scene of her mother beating her. The beating scenes are parallel in that neither her mother nor Meta has an apparent cause for punishing her. They are significantly different, however in that Rhys rebels against her mother, teJJjng her "God curse you if you touch me I II kill YOllo .. instead afmy usual stubborn silence"(21). At first, Rhys' s rebellion appears successful in that her mother desists from beating her But Rbys experiences this cessation as a rejection She reports her mother as saying "Ah you're growing up are you Well I can't do anything more" (21-22). Rhys interprets her mother'S actions as a sign of her own alienation : "I suppose she must seen ... something alien in me which would make me unhappy + she was trying [?] to beat it out at aU costs. She therefore views the cessation of beating as her mother's decision to relinquish her to that alienation and unhappiness Rhys's rebellion ends like Jane Eyre's in a separation from family, an isolation from the world Though Rhys associates being beaten with a host of adults criticizing her, Meta, her mother, her teachers, it also signifies being loved by her mother. In both Wide Sargasso Sea and the Black Exercise Book, Rhys copies Bronte's strategy of comparing her heroine to enslaved people.. and in so doing, she inverts the stereotype of the white creole woman as sadist. Bronte likens Jane's oppression to that of enslaved people in order to ponray Jane as the victim of injustice at each stage of her development -in her Aunt's home, at the Lowood school, and as Rochester'S penniless fiance at Thornfield (Meyer 63&76). Jane rails against her cousin's brutality by calling him a "slave driver"(Bronte 8). When her aunt imprisons her in the red room, she describes herself as a "revolted slave"(Bronte 11) When the Reverend Brocklehurst wrongfully punishes Jane at the Lowood School, Helen Bums's encouraging glance gives her courage. As Jane puts it, "it was as if a martyr a hero,

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268 had passed a slave or victim. and imparted strength in transit"(Bronte 58). However, Jane eschews the position of sexual slave When Rochester wishes to buy lane richly colored silks and velvet, she views her financial dependence as placing her in the position of slave to her future husband. She comment s, "He smiled ; and I thought his smile was such as a sultan might, in a blissful and fond moment, bestow on a slave his gold and gems had enriched"(Bronte 236) Here Jane does everything in her power to remove herself from a po s ition of dependence on Rochester and to distance herself from the image of the enslaved mistress She writes a letter to her wealthy uncle, which will unravel Rochester's dreams by expos ing his earlier marriage. Once Rochester's marriage to Bertha Mason is exposed, he asks Jane to be his companion, teUing her You shall go to a place I have in the south of France : a white-washed villa on the s hores of the Mediterranean"(Bronte 267) 1 Though Rochester claims the villa would afford her a "happy, and guarded and most innocent life," Jane can see it only as a demand that she be his mistress, a po s ition he himself claims as akin to slavery. "Hiring a mistress he tells Jane, "is the next worst thing to buying a slave"(Bronte 274) Jane defines herself as the morally upright English woman largely by virtue of her decision to brave poveny and danger rather than degrade herself as Rochester s mistress. Though Jane misses Rochester sorely when she establishes herself as a schoolmistress of peasant girls s he is proud of her deci s ion asking rhetorically "Whether it is better... to be a slave in a fool's paradise at Marseilles fevered with delusive bliss one hour suffocating with the bitterest tears of remorse and shame the next -or to be a village schoolmistress fi ee and honest, in a breezy mountain nook in the healthy hean ofEngland?"(Bronte 316 ; see als o Meyer 85). In portraying the French dancer, Celine Varens as promiscuous and her daughter as frivolous, has constructed France as morally inferior to Jamaica. akin to the Caribbean in its lack of morality and sexual license. In the moral and sexual geography

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of the noveL, Rochester's viUa in the south of France is not so far from Mr. Howard's house in the West lndies 269 Further, despite Jane's identification with slaves and the fact that the majority of people enslaved in the British empire were black, Bronte separates slavery from blackness, making both literary tropes (Meyer 63). In Jane Eyre, slavery signals injustice; the slave righteousness. In contrast, blackness signifies moral flaws The white aristocrat. Blanche Ingram has dark features because she is haughty and mercenary; Bertha's blackness correlates with her promiscuity and madness In contrast to Jane, Rhys identifies her childhood self with slavery and blackness She places her beating in relation to that of slaves by juxtaposing the scenes of her mother's beating with her feelings of guilt and outrage at the flOgging. Whereas Jane defines herself as the woman who refused to be a mistress, Rbys defines herself as the woman who is conditioned to be a mistress -a position she codes as black and enslaved. In the Black Exercise Book. Rhys writes that when she was fourteen years old, an elderly and apparently distinguished British couple, the Howards, visited Rhys's family Mr. Howard enthralls the young Rhys; she is "captivated by this elegant speech"(50). His overt and repeated attention "mostly he talked about me me me" further intoxicate her (56). Mr. Howard takes Rhys on a walk and tells her she is old enough to have a lover, touches her breasts, and asks if she would like to "belong" to him Rhys responds, "I don't know," "breathlessly heart beating looking into the eyes The older Howard manipulates the young Rhys's desires. He asks her, "What did I want to do ... What did I wish[?] and hope." She concludes, "it was irresistible" (56). Rhys, however, feels that Mr. Howard' s touch, "cold and dead" on her breast, is

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270 a "mistake" and the next day she refuses to go to town with him. UI Her mother, shocked at her rudeness, insists that she go. On this trip, Mr. Howard buys Rhys sweets and seduces her "mentally" into the relationship He then ignores her for several days. The next time he asks her, she agrees immediately and is hooked into a relationship in which Mr. Howard constructs what Rhys called a "serial story," Rhys defines the relationship and "story" as one of discipline. bondage, and submission "A[I?] only rebel enough to make it for fun to force me to submit cruelty submission utter submission that was the story"(64). She "lived in this dream" : We were living He + I in a large house on one of the other islands It[?] looked out [on the J sea the hills were at the back a beautiful house. I saw the huge rooms smelt the flowers that decorated them heard the venetian blinds flap saw the moon rise over the hills the bats fly out at sunset. My anns were covered with bracelets my hands with rings I laughed and danced but I was not happy or unhappy I was waiting doomed Sometimes I sat at the long table decorated with flowers My bracelets and tinkled when I moved sometimes quite naked I waited on the guests. The long earring 1 wore touched my shoulder (63-64) By imagining Rhys as a naked servant dressed only in large jewels, Mr. Howard exoticizes and enslaves her in much the same way that English discourse eroticized Caribbean and African women. Her nakedness in particular links her to Afiicans, whose habitual nakedness early English travel writers like Richard Ligon (1673) and Hans Sloane (1707) found emblematic of their primitive innocence and difference from Europeans. Howard's vision of her reflects the English construction of white creole women as culturally and sexually "black Sue Thomas argues that Mr. Howard' s 151 The sentence may be either that Mr. Howard's hands are "cold and dead" on her breast or that her breast feels "cold and dead" when he touches her. Either way, it is clear that Mr. Howard does not erotically arouse Rhys.

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271 fantasies are characteristic "brothel fantasies" of the time that participate in England's pornographic view of its colonies ("Grilled Sole" 71). He is the astute "turn-ofthecentury sex tourist, exploiting differences in age of consent legislation"("GriUed Sole" 68). In 1905, the legal age in England for a woman to consent to "indecent assault" was thirteen and "carnal knowledge" sixteen In Dominica. Rhys was old enough to consent to a lover at fourteen (Thomas "Grilled Sale" 70). In the 1990s, however, Mr. Howard's "relationship'" with Rhys constitutes sexual abuse. In "Iean Rhys.
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272 beaten. As Mr. Howard's se)(lJaJ slave, Rhys occupies the position of mistress a position which West Indian society and England's imagination of the West Indies largely reserved for Afro-Caribbean women. By positioning Rhys as Afro-Canbbean and sexually active, Howard makes Rhys ineligible for the other female identities available to her in Dominica : maniage in the racially endogamous, white upper middle class; and the life of the convent, which Rhys had already renounced when she ended her "religious fit shortly before she met Howard. Yet., even as she accepts the position of sexual slave and feels overpowered by Mr. Howard's power, charm, and attentions, she resists him. For instance, she asks for an English fish sole for dinner Her demand forces Mr. Howard to break off his fantasy of sexual domination just as he is tying her up : "One day [when?] the middle of an impassioned speech just at the dramatic mament[?] when my hands were to be tied (the rope of course being covered with flowers) I said Do you think we could have sole sometimes"(76); "he laughed and stopped the serial for that day"(65). IS? Rhys 's demand for English fish asserts the failure of Mr. Howard's story to enthrail her, but it also expresses Rhys's claims on English civilization, destroying his vision of her as a sexy primitive.16O The account as a whole resists English discourse. Rhys claims that these childhood experiences of beating and seduction "fonned. me made me as [am"(43). She thus presents the experiences of being placed in the figurative position of slaves as IS9 I have put together citations from both versions Rhys tells of the event because only in reading them together does one see the full effect of her request. 16(1 In the context ofRhys's Catholic education and constant punishment., Thomas interprets Rhys's demand for sole as "a slip of the tongue, a desire to be souled in this story and to have the fate of the "sinner" .... articulated in it"(81) For Thomas the soul would constitute not only the strictly religious function but also grant Rhys a place in the domesticly virtuous and missionizing imperial project. I share with Thomas the view that Rhys's demand for sale contains a complex. resistance to Howard's sexual objectification constituted by a claim to or demand for a moral identity

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273 fonning her identity. Rather than hide this similarity with Afro-Caribbeans, she aims to expose it; her beating and seduction are "the thing [want to write about" (43). 161 Further, in juxtaposing her experience of being beaten with her feelings about slaves being beaten., she signals the comparison between herself and enslaved women. She did not choose to be beaten. nor did she choose to be seduced by Mr. Howard. But she did choose to write about them and to do so in such a way that she pointed to rather than obscured the comparison between herself and enslaved women. Because the positions she assumes involve physical punishment and sexual coercion., Rhys s choice to identifY with Afro-Canobean may appear self-destructive or masochistic Yet it embodies a criticism of English constructions of creole womanhood. 162 161 Teresa O'Connor reads the Notebook as saying that Rhys's relationship with Mr. Howard caused her to write the Notebook. However. Rhys s text is ambiguous. Though her relationship with Mr. Howard is clearly of utmost importance, Rhys explains that reading Richard Hughes's HiBh Wjnd in Jamaica made her remember the story of Mr. Howard which had left "my memory like a stone"(68) She seems also to attribute her writing of the notebook to the incident when she forces her mother to stop beating her: '"'I was just at this stage when it happened -the thing that fonned me made me as I am the thing I want to write about" (43) The nex:t tine is crossed out but the following passage is clearly part of the scene in which Rhys for the first time refuses to withstand a bealing and refuses to cry : ..... One day instead of my usual attitude of stubborn silence. I won't cry I don't care how long she goes on [ won't cry ... (43-44) By claiming several inspirations, the text asks us to choose all rather than one: the mother and Mr. Howard are two main reasons Rhys gives for writing the Notebook. 161 Here I differ from Thomas who argues that Rhys's narrative is a retrieved memory of sexual trauma It's ambiguities, its postponements, fragmentations are manifestations of the difficulty in articulating that trauma. As such they are can not easily be represented as "choices" but rather as symptoms. Although, [fully agree with Thomas that the narrative constitutes a retrieved memory and that many of its idiosyncrasies are in fuct characteristic symptoms of narratives of sexual trauma., I still attribute choice to Rhys's decision to identifY herself with the figure of the enslaved mistress because Rbys doesn't make this comparison once. She builds her construction of the white creole both Anna Morgan in voyage in the park and Antoinette in Wide Sargasso Sea -on similar comparisons. 1 argue that Rhys's repetitions in the text and her identification with enslaved women fonn part of her transfonnation of the experience of sexual abuse into an attack on Freud for, she felt,

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274 That Rhys takes the position of the sexual slave in addition to that of the rebel slave points to the fact Bronte limits Jane Eyre's identification with slavery by excising the aspects of slavery which conflict with the English ideal of domestic womanhood, most notably sex but also dependence A system of concubinage, in which enslaved women served as the sexual and domestic partners of white employees on plantations, was virtually institutionalized in the West Indies. To claim the position of slave as a woman and limit it to non-sexual oppression was to remove a significant aspect of slavery's burden In assuming the position of the enslaved Afro-Caribbean mistress of the white man., Rhys thus points to the fact that slavery rather than an essential characteristic of blackness caused enslaved women to lack chastity .l61 In defining the white creole as black and promiscuous, Bronte reveals that whiteness and blackness were cultural constructs which domestic ideology deployed to define the middle-class. English, white woman as the legitimate woman in the British Empire Rhys's text heightens that revelation by pointing to the' limitations ofSronte's identification with slaves. In deploying slavery to protest women's oppression while deploying blackness to mark inferiority, Bronte belongs to a group of late I 8thand 19th-century English women writers, like the popular novelist Charlotte Smith (Ferguson 19 passim; Sussman e .g. 261). The middle class based its superiority within England on its domestic virtue and industry; Britainjusti6ed its domination of its colonies partially by claiming to be more viJtuous in domestic tenns. Thus, in showing up Bronte's appropriation of slavery as implicated in the ideological defense of colonization, Rhys engages with the core of colonial ideology Yet, Rhys s project is ultimately one of self-fashioning She appropriates the denying the reality ofthat abuse and an attack on English colonial discours, whose pornographic fantasies of the West Indies scripted Mr. Howard's text and actions t61 By focusing on sexual exploitation, I do not wish to obscure the fact that Afro Caribbean women also chose to reject English mode1s of femininity

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275 English africanization of the white creole in order to "home" her identity as a creole. Rhys writes the Notebook in 1938, during the culmination of strikes and the rise of trade unionism and nationalist politics in the West Indies; that is, during a time when the position of the white minority was threatened Identifying her childhood abuse and violation with that of Afro-Caribbean women strengthened Rhys's claim to a Caribbean identity In the revisions of the beating scenes, the shift from the servant to the white creole mother as the figure of authority serves Rhys's purpose because it distances her from her plantocratic mother and associates her child self more readily with the Afro Caribbean population. Meta's beating would not have lent itself to the comparison between Rbys and enslaved people. Rhys's dream of abduction figures her relationship with Mr. Howard and provides the strongest link between her affair with Howard and the relationship of her heroine, Antoinette, to the English man, Rochester in Wide Sargasso Sea. Though Rbys asserts that "it went out of my memory like a stone," the Howard affair resurfaces in a nightmare, which configures all the key elements ofRhys's self-definition through identification with Afro-Caribbean women : her sexual violation, which renders her ineligible for marriage, her acceptance of this violation, and the fact that the violation brings her a Caribbean identity and requires the loss of her mother (68). In the dream. an unnamed man leads Rhys into a forest, where she stumbles and dirties her beautiful white dress. At first. she attempts to keep this dress clean. Its whiteness and pristine condition I read as her sexual honor her ticket to marriage as well as a sign of her racial whiteness Once she sees the blackness and the hate ofthe man's face, however. she abruptly abandons her attempt to keep the dress clean; she wrote, I walk with difficulty stumbling along after him holding the skirt of my dress up with both hands

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276 out of the dirt It's a beautiful dress and I don't wish it to get soiled "I64 But once she sees his hate -"I can see the expression on his face. He looks like a devil. A sly expresssion His face is black. [A?] look of hate ofloathing"14S -she allows the dress to become dirty: I don't try to hold up my dress It trails in the dirt my beautiful dress" (81). Rhys stumbles over the dress. Unable to rise. she follows him "crawling on my hand + knees" and her ''face against the earth cringing waiting"(83). Rbys does not seek an escape from Mr. Howard, and she refuses rescue in the dream: "I follow him sick with fear of what is going to happen but I make no effon to save rnysetfIf anyone were to offer to save me I would refuse it must happen it has to ben(82).I66 That Rhys stopS trying to keep her dress clean indicates that she stops trying to keep herself white and accepts the position of mistress and her exclusion from marriage. Rhys's later short story, "Good-bye Marcus, Good-bye Rose," based on her relationship with Mr. Howard supports this reading. Direcdy before she recounts the dream in the Black Notebook, Rhys lists "Horace. Eva., Reginald, Justine, Marcus, & Rose" as names she would give her children once she became a wife and mother. In "Good-bye Marcus, Good-bye Rose," Rhys's persona., Phoebe, also lists Marcus and Rose as names of her future children [n the aftermath of her affair with an elderly Englishman, Phoebe realizes that she has lost her chastity and thus is ineligible for Rhys has written above the phrase "'holding my dress up with both hands," holding, "the skirt of the dress away from the dirt," so that she might have wanted the sentence to read: "I walk with difficulty stumbling along after him holding the skirt of the dress away from the dirt 16S "His face is black" is written above the line, presumably an addition to the original sentence 166 Again, Rhys has inserted a line above the text. !fthis were included in the sentence, it would read: "If anyone were to offer to save me I would refuse Ifanyone were to say shall I save you I would [argue?] it must happen it has to [crossed out happen) be."

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277 marriage and motherhood, hence, the story's title. "Goodbye Marcus, Goodbye Rose." In late-19th-century Dominica and in English representations of the Caribbean, relinquishing marriage and acceding to the position of the mistress meant relinquishing the sign of white middle class womanhood.l67 Rhys's dream does not only reveal the deep consequences of Mr. Howard's violation of her. It constitutes a site of resistance by transforming Mr. Howard into a black man. I suggest that the blackness of the man' s face functions as the blackness of servants in late 19th-century paintings Gilman analyses, as a means of coding the scene as sexua1. One could argue that the blackness of his face has nothing to do with race and was the contemporary English expression for being enraged "black with hatred ." Rhys's use afthe phrase in her adaptation of the dream for Wide Sargasso Sea would support this Nevertheless. I think: Rhys's definition of blacks as people who hate her because she is white combined with the convention of using black figures to represent whites' sexuality indicates that Mr Howard also becomes black in her dream because he is sexual ; he leads her into sexuality.l61 She is using the colonial logic sexuality equals blackness -to point to the person who is the sexual actor. In turning Mr. Howard into a black man, Rhys's dream inverts his position in racial and colonial hierarchy, leaving him in a position of subordination rather than authority Rhys's dirtied honor provides a connection to the place of her birth. Once she "stumbles," she writes, "I am the earth and the core of the earth" and once the man reaches his goal and stops, "It is here 1 be with my face against the earth cringing 167 That Rhys ends the dream on her hands and knees suggests not only a position of sexual vulnerability, but a transgression of race and class boundaries Kneeling on hands and knees was a position associated with maid servants, who were in tum associated with blackness as Arthur Munby s papers illustrate (See also Thomas 76). 161 Thomas links the blackness and hatred of the man's face with Rhys's earlier cringing at the black Dominican hatred and loathing of white people" ("grilled sale" 77)

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278 waiting sick mad with terror unable to move cringing waiting" (83). Although it is accompanied by terror, her closeness to the earth restores her to the place and to the identity from which her exile and English discourse has alienated her. [0 claiming to be the earth, she makes a strong claim on Caribbeanness 169 Just before she teUs of her wish to many and have children, Rhys writes about her rage at an Engli s h woman who has bought an estate on Dominica and who claimed that Dominicans don't even realise that the place is beautiful.... It marvelous to think I am the first person who has seen the beauty and loved it."I70 Rhys, who owned no land, feels violated by the English woman's claim on Dominica She explains, "there was nothing to be done because she'd bought the land she d bought the right to sneer at u5"(77) Without money one can lose one's land, and, with it, one's country one's culturaJ identity and one's respect. I suspect that this triad of cultural identity, homeland, and respect are the primary motivation in Rhys's construction of self. Her mother's rejection is the final link in the construction ofRhys's identity as sexualized, and racial other.l71 Rhys's sister wakes the screaming Rhys from her 169 Thomas interprets the line as expressing Rhys's "loss of self -boundary ... which can be a key symptom of child sexual abuse. The desired loss of self-boundary promises disembodied invisibility at the point of 'it' happening"(76). I view my reading as complimentary Both Thomas reads the line as a reaction to I read it as pan of the literary and political transformation of the trauma. We both see Rhys using her degradation as a means of survival L70 She is probably referring to Elma Napier an English woman, who purchased Point Baptiste the Estate next to Hampstead, where Rhys stayed in Dominica on her 1936 visit. 17L Many scholars have addressed the absent mother in Rhys's work specifically, Deborah Kloepfer ( .. Voyage in the Dark: Jean Rhys's Masquerade for the Mother ContemporaQl Literature 26(4)(1985): 443-59) and Ronnie Shatfillan ("Mirroring and Mothering in Simone pluie et Vent sur TeJymee Miracle and Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea. Yale French Stydies 62(1981): 88-106). Motherlands Black Women's Writing from Africa, the Caribbean and South Asia (ed. Susheila Nasta Rutgers UP 1992) places the question of mothers and the motherland in the context of

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nightmare Her mother briefly comforts Rhys She sits on the bed and puts her arms round me Now everything is forgotten Oh stay so hold me Protect me Save me Don't ever let me go Stay .. .. I dreamt [ was in hell. I say She says haven t I told you over and over and over again at there is no such place that its all (84)'" ImagmatIon ... 279 Rhys' s mother abandons Rhys to the hell of Mr. Howard s violation and betrays her greater love of the next child : But she takes her anns away from me She said Really you must ot g o on like this you are[?] making Audrey cry She left me and went over to Minoie[?]"(84). l7J The mother's early rejection i s absolutely central to Rhys and her heroines Similar s cenario s, for ins tance, occur in After Leayjoe Mr. Mackenzie and Wide Sargas s o Sea. However, in the Black Exercise Book, Rhy s doe s not recede ever further into hopelessness and alienation as d o her heroines. Rather, she colonized and postcolonial women writers more generally In this volume Laura Niesen de Abruna and Elaine Savory argue that the bond to the mother is essential t o the woman writer's ability to establish a vital identity Though I wholeheartedly agree with them. I am sug gesting the opposite in this particular aspect ofRhys's work. Clearly the loss the mother's love causes enonnous damage to Rhys and to her heroines See, for instance, Julia in After Leaving Mr. MacKenzie or Anna in Voyage in the Dark as well as Antoinette in Wide Sargasso Sea. I am arguing that once Rhys feel s her mother's rejection, she attempts to employ that rejection in the service of building another type of link to the motherland Separating from her mother and the implications of her mother's family, in order to claim an allegiance with oppressed Afro-Caribbeans constitutes that attempt. However this strategy always is incomplete at best, a complete failure at worst 172 Thomas convincingly reads the next line, "the frangipani must be carefully picked if the branch is broken the tree bleeds huge dropes of thick white blood drip from it" as a reference to Howard s further violation ofRhys (Thomas 78-80) 173 Here, Rhys may have written over the name Audrey with that of her older sister Minna (Thomas 76).

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280 detennines to save herself, concluding, "[ knew that no one would save me and that [ must do it"(86). Just one paragraph later, Rhys again merges with the earth : "My face was pressed against the earth and my arms held it and [ was the earth and the core of the eanh"(86). [suggest that this merger with the earth constitutes a means of .... saving .. herself In claiming to be the earth, she claims a Dominican, Caribbean identity To get that close to the earth.. she has had to endure an abduction from white middle class womanhood into a hell of sexualized Afro-Caribbean femininity. m The Black Exercise Book' s Challenge to Psychoanalysis The dream constitutes the most striking link between the Black Exercise Book and Wide Sare-assQ Sea in which Rhys incorporates her dream of abduction almost verbatim" as Antoinette s first two dreams (O'Connor 24). m The parallels between 11. I am not sure whether in claiming to be the earth Rhys is further identifying with Afro-Caribbeans or whether she is asserting an even stronger claim on Caribbean identity than both Afro-Caribbeans and wealthy English expatriates could claim Although whites owned vast amounts ofland in most of the British West Indies, they often did not live on and rarely worked that land. [n contrast, Afro-Caribbeans were associated with land and associated themselves with the land although they were always in a struggle to get enough land [n her 180 I novel, Letters of a SoUtaO' Wanderer Charlotte Smith s white creole heroine returns to her father's plantation in Jamaica to find the great house inhabited by a number of her father's inter-racial, outside children She explains to her fiance. Denbigh, that the father's inter-racial children were inalienable from the land. The women lived in the Great House, the men were employed as slciUed craftsmen on the estate But she as a white child was alienable from the land, and in fact saw her only hope of salvation as a complete escape from Jamaica. I think the idea that Afro-Caribbeans belong to the land and whites do not is part and parcel of the English ideology's adherence to an environmental detenninism that defined people of Afucan descent as native" to tropical places and white people as alien to them. t7S Rhys transposes the details of her dream onto the particulars of her heroine Antoinette's life. Rhys tells her mother that she has dreamt ofheU; Antoinette says the same to Sister Marie Augustine (60) Rhys's mother scolds her for waking her sister Audrey. Antoinette's mother scolds Antoinette for waking her brother, Pierre. The key difference is that the dream allows Rhys to identify with the soil and through it with

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281 the dreams in the Exercise Book and the novel suggest a parallel between Rhys's relationship with Mr. Howard which is reflected in her dream and Antoinette's relationship with the Rochester character which is mirrored in hers. Implicit in the connection between the Black Exercise Book and Wide Sara:asso Sw is the connection between Rhys's seduction as an adolescent and Antoinette's sexual and economic exploitation in marriage to an Englishman. which represents English colonial violation and exploitation of the West Indies The connection I want to make is not that seduction is a metaphor for colonization, but rather that the discourses which legitimated Mr Howard and English colonialism are imbricated.116 That Mr. Howard sees Rhys as sexually available and the proper object of fantasies of sexual slavery is a function of English stereotyping of creole women; that Rhys accepts his violation is a function of the colonial and patriarchal hierarchy which placed his word above hers because she was a child. a female and a colonial. In placing her seduction in the context of colonialism. Rhys brings into relation Europe's construction and colonization of racial others and its othering of women. so that we see that both processes are integrated and function to classifY each subject by a her land Antoinette is denied this merger with West Indian nature. She atcempts to hold on to a tree and feels that the tree flings her away: "The tree sways and jerks as if it is trying to throw me off. Still I cling and the seconds pass and each one is a thousand years"(60). In Rhys's dream the phrase 'the seconds pass and each one is a thousand years" refers to her mother: "The door opens and my mother comes in ... the seconds pass and each one is a thousand years But she takes her anns away from me"(83-84) In transposing the phrase which originally referred to her mother's attention to the tree, the sign of Dominican nature, Rhys merges the rejection of the mother with the rejection of the island Antoinette experiences a rejection of both mother and country, whereas Rhys makes a trade off:, losing her mother and gaining the country. 176 (t may also function as a metaphor in a way parallel to that in which Rochester's exploitation of Antoinette is read as a metaphor of English exploitation of the Caribbean. 1 am, however, trying to complicate this figurative reading of the relationship between Rhys's heroines and the Caribbean.

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282 combined racial. gender, and colonial identity In so doing, she also points to the interrelation of English discourse. which is colonial and domestic, and psychoanalysis, which takes as its prime object of investigation female sexuality. m English domesticity defined the nuclear family as the model for sexual and familial relations and racialized it, defining it as white, metropolitan, and middle class. All people who fell outside of its boundaries, mistresses. prostitutes, lesbians, people who simply had other family structures, as was the case for many Caribbeans, were defined as not white, but black and primitive. Psychoanalysis became complicit in that colonia1 project when it assumed the nuclear family as a natural phenomenon, not a cultural construction and when it denied race and colonialism as factors in the development of the psyche. This is why Rhys's critique of British colonialism simultaneously functions as a critique of Freud 1 read Rhys's Exercise Book as a counter-narrative to psychoanalytic theories of the early 20th century much in the sameway that I read it as a counter-narrative to Jane Eyre., a narrative which parallels the dominant texts and deviates tram them in order to COllect or critique them. Rhys places her text explicitly in the context of psychoanalysis by mentioning at the end of both accounts of the Howard affair that she went to Sylvia Beach's Bookshop in Paris to look up a book on psychoanalysis, which Rhys paraphrases :lrI 177 Gilman draws a strong line between colonialism's project of defining the racial other and psychoanalysis's project of defining the sexual other. He concludes his essay .... .It is Freud's intent to explore this hidden "dark continent'" and reveal the rudden truths about female sexuality, just as the anthropologist-explorers (such as Lombroso) were revealing the rudden truths about the nature of the black. Freud continues a discourse which relates the images of male discovery to the images of the female as object of discovery. The line from the secrets possessed by the "hottentot Venus" to twentieth.-century psychoanalysis runs reasonably straight" (2S6-7) 111 Rhys never states which book she read, but she seems to be reacting against Freud's renunciation ofltis seduction theory. Sue Thomas identifies the text as Freud's

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Women oftbis type wiU invariably say that they were seduced when very young by an elderly man. In every case. ___ they will relate a detailed story which in every case is entirely fictitious .... A few pages further this gent[word?) layed[?] down another law about the female attitude and reactions to sex and added I was confinned and established in this opinion by what case no 934 told me quoted and by what case no. 192 told me quoted Both it seemed were potty. (58-9) 283 Rhys clearly feels that the psychoanalytic book she read denied her experience of seduction and defined her as an insane liar. She therefore at first responds with outrage : "No honey it is not fictitious By no means anyhow how do you know?"(S8) Here Rhys may be protesting Freud's retraction of his seduction theory"articulated in his 1896 essay, Aetiology of Hysteria," which asserted that female hysterics are often victims of seduction in early childhood by male relatives or servants they trust. Patients accounts afmen's amorous attempts in adolescence "On the History afthe Psycho-Analytic Movemenl," which includes a brief paraphrase of his renunciation : "Influenced by Charcot's view of the traumatic origin of hysteria, one was readily inclined accept as true and aetiologically significant the statements made by patients in which they ascribed their symptoms to passive sexual experiences in early childhood broadly speaking to seduction When this aetiology broke down under its own improbability and under contradiction in definitely ascertainable circumstances, the result at first was helpless bewilderment" (Freud "On the History" 299). Two other details tie this text to Rhys's : first, Rhys's editing emphasizes the word on" which occurs in Freud's title: she changes her text fromI wanted a book about pchyco-analysis" to "I wanted a book on pchyco-analysis" (58) Rhys uses the same word as Freud, "fictitious," to describe women's accounts of early ch.ildhood sexual trauma. However, there is much that prevents an easy identification of the book. In addition to the fact that Rhys told David Plante that she had never read Freud (40), Rhys gives a great deal of detail not in Freud's text: that it is a certain type of woman who alleges seduction, that she claims specifically to be seduced by an older man,. that the women are insane, that they have a particular attitude and reaction to sex Further, Rhys's reference to case numbers is radically different from Freud' s approach to writing case studies.

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284 trigger "unconscious memories" of this earlier trauma Rhys' s account seems to mirror Freud's theory in this respect. She is disturbed by Mr. Howard's "seduction," but it seems to harken back to an earlier experience, as she writes "but I know he was reminding me of something that has happened"(6S). By the 1920's or 30's when Rhys walked into Sylvia Beach's Book Shop, Freud had radically altered his account. Having more completely theorized the Oedipus complex. he claimed that young girls' experience the "psychic reality" that they are seduced. These psychic realities or fantasies defend against the guilt that the girls experience in desiring their fathers ; they are not memories of past events Although Freud is fairly clearly referring to seductions that occur at a much younger age than Rhys's, her outrage may be aimed at what she perceived to be the refusal of Freud and his colleagues to accept women' s accounts of abuse After her initial outrage. the Psychoanalytic book ultimately influences Rhys to deny the reality of her own experience. Despite Mr. Howard's physical violation of her Rhys revises her account of the relationship, claiming that the psychoanalytic book "has nt nothing to do with this story which does nt concern a physicaf seduction but a mental one"(60) .179 In retelling the story. Rbys attempts to hide its severity prefacing the new account with : "only thinking of that [book] I have a great wish to be as truthful as possible not to exagerate"(60). He was a nice old gentleman who had 'taken a fancy to' a very nice well-behaved little girl gave her sweets + books + at intervals took her for drives or walks Then quite casually often intem.Jpting a Rbys's double negative may signal her ambivafence. [n "standard" English "it hasn't nothing to do with" might in fact mean "it is has everything to do with" while in creole it would mean emphatically that it had no relation However. Rhys uses creole very rarely in the Black Exercise Book, and. though Dominican creole uses double negatives, it is French-based.

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conversation about something else the serial story would start He (crossed out=had abducted me1 never touched me or even .. (61) 285 Rhys fails, however. in editing out the "unorthodox" aspects of Mr. Howard's behavior Even in this version. in which she downplays Howard's ill intentions, it is clear in the manuscript that she first writes. He had abducted me," and that she then puts a line through "had abducted me" and continues writing on the same line, "never touched me or even.," leaving an ominous and tantalizing blank after ueven." Rhys can neither cover up the affair nor deny it. In the end. she feels the question is not whether the event happened, but who bears responsibility for it. In the following section., Rhys defends herself against an unstated accusation that the relationship is her responsibility, an accusation which seems of a piece with English discourse's assertion that creole women are promiscuous : I was frightened of all this and wonder what I could do I never even thought of telling my mother [1 had my?] that dose of castor oil. I aJso knew .. that if Mr. Howard contradicted anything I said -he would be believed not L .. I suppose of course there were several (crossed out: a hundred] ways 1 could have stopped it by going to Mrs. Howard. That also had I never even thought ofl knew she disliked me that was enough. Oh I agree. I only struggled feebly What he had seen in me was there all right Still for that first time 1 was aJarmed and repelled (62-3) She defends herselfhy claiming that the combination of her mother s rejection and Mr. Howard's position of superior power as an older, English, wealthy man --left her powerless to stop the relationship. Rhys's final acceptance of responsibility seems to express that Howard's power over her resulted not only from his position of authority as a white, English. upper class maJe but also from her experiences of coloniaJ

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286 Dominican culture, which was deeply divided along racialized class lines. The society was so strongly influenced by slavery that beating had penneated social relations between servants and their charges, parents and children.11O She comments both that she felt guilt about the past cruelty of her planter family and that she was conditioned to being beaten herself that Mr. Howard "might have made it alat worse his rare and curious 5101)' -after all Id been whipped a lot [ was used to the idea"(64). 111 That is, Rhys's sexual abuse results from a combination of colonial ideology expressed in texts --the images which infonned Mr. Howard's sexual fantasies about Rhys and Rhys's own conception of self and the historical realities of colonial i sm that permitted Howard an unquestioned position of authority. made beating a significant part of Dominica's culture, and prepared Rhys to accept Howard's sexual fantasies as her wishes However, even in capitulating, Rhys redefines and challenges the English stereotype of the creole. She claims first that "What he had seen in me was there all nght"(62} and later, "Yes, that is true. Pain humiliation submission that is for me. It fitted in with all I knew oflife with all I'd ever felt"(65}. Mr. Howard sees sexuality in the young Rhys, a sexuality he fantasizes about in terms of sado-masochism Rhys transforms that sexuality into "pain humiliation submission Her rejection of sexual desire and pleasure, in fact, constitutes an effective counter to both English discourse 110 I am not suggesting that children and servants are only beaten in societies which once had slavery. Rather, I am referring to the fact that physical punishment continued to be a central pan of West Indian culture and is an inheritance from slavery. I am thinking, for instance, of the beginning of George Lamming's In the Castle of my Skin, which portrays physical punishment in school and at home as part of the legacy of slavery ill In "the locked heart: the creole family romance ofWjde Sargasso Sea," Peter Hulme documents specific acts of cruelty committed by members of Rhys's family, specifically her grandfather, Edward Lockhart's participation in the 1844 "guerre negre"(82-83). Hulme argues that Wide Sargasso Sea occludes those acts of cruelty

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287 and to Freud The two discourses seem to oppose one another, the first arguing that creole women were sexually promiscuous., the second arguing that young girls desire and fantasize rather than acrually experience relationships with their fathers Yet both place sexual desire in the woman or young girl; both see seduction as her creation and responsibility "real" or nimagined Rhys responds to both by erasing sexual pleasure from her account entirely III Rhys's account afthe Howard affair parallels Freud's account of seduction,. in his most famous case srudy on the subject, Dora : An Analysjs ora Case of Hysteria III 112 This omission of sexual pleasure seems to conflict with her willingness place herself in the position of Howard's sexual slave. However, [am suggesting that Rhys's insistence that her sexual slavery did not result from her lasciviousness but from her colonial status and upbringing points to the inaccurate stereotype of Afro-Caribbean women as lascivious. English accounts. particularly those which supported slavery asserted that Afro-Caribbean women seduced white men; these accounts displaced the sexual desire and power to initiate sexual re l ationships from the white man onto the slave In portraying Mr. Howard as the initiator of their sexual relationship, RItys re places sexual desire and agency in the white male III 1 am indebted to Nancy Harrison s argument that two scenes in Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea refute Freud's assertion that sexuality, figured in the jewel case is Dora's primary motivation in her dreams (186-93). Through a close reading of the scenes in which the Coulibris estate is burned and Antoinette's Aunt Cora challenges her brother's arrangements for her marriage, Harrison illustrates that for the creole mother, Annette, and her daughter, Antoinette, in Wide Sargasso Sea, self-hood and financial independence outweigh sexuality. Annette struggles to return to her burning home, not for her jewel case but for her parrot and the self hood it represents Aunt Cora gives her jewels to Antoinette, not in relation to her sexuality, but to give her financial resources, which her marriage agreement denies her. I would go further than Harrison to suggest that Annette's preference for parrots over jewels privileges her creole identity over wealth -only Annette and the Afro-Caribbean workers on the estate share an understanding of the parrot's significance. Jewels and the financial independence they represent. however, provide the material basis necessary for achieving that cultural selfhood. Harrison's theoretical project, which posits that women's texts respond to each other as well as to dominant and male texts, provides a general framework for Rbys's critique of Bronte and Freud in Wjde Sargasso Sea, but it doesn't explain why Rhys merges Freud and Dora in particular with her critique of Bronte's lane Eyre. I am suggesting that the interconnection between the Black Exercise Book and Wide Sargasso Sea, specifically the shared dream, provide a more

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288 Within these close parallels, Rhys expresses her criticism of Freud Dora.. the daughter of a wealthy family, is violently kissed at the age of fourteen by an older man, Herr K ; Rhys is caressed at the age of fourteen by the much older Mr. Howard Dora responds with disgust; similarly, Rhys feels Mr. Howard's hand on her breasts is a "mistake," "cold and dead. It Herr K. is a friend afDora's father; Mr. Howard is a mend ofRhys's father Herr K. takes Dora on walks, gives her gifts as Mr. Howard takes Rhys on outings and gives her gifts, albeit much smaller gifts than Herr K. gives Dora. Dora attempts to escape the relationship with Herr K. but her father insists that it continue; Rhys attempts to end her outings with Mr. Howard, but her mother insists they continue. Freud does not deny Dora's account Idealizing the older men and identifying with them, he defines Dora's disgust at Herr K.'s advances as hysterical and pathological (Sprengnether 267). He asserts that a normal girl would have enjoyed the kiss and taken the proposal Herr K. makes several years later in stride He explains Dora's mUltiple refusals of Herr K. as evidence of her desire for Herr K. which she defends against through an incestuous desire for her father However, at the root of Dora's sexual knowledge and perversion, Freud ultimately realizes. is her sexual desire for Frau K., her father's mistress, who is also her source of sexual knowledge For Rhys the key figure is also that of the mistress, whose identity and sexuality Rhys assumes in order to both to link herself with Afro-Caribbeans and to reveal the links English discourse made between white and Afro-Caribbean women Ifwe read the Mr. Howard sequence in the Black Exercise Book as a counter narrative or a rewriting of Freud's Dora, then we can see Rhys's rejection of sexual desire and her apparently masochistic identification with Afro-Caribbean women as a concrete explanation for Rhys's apparent criticism of Freud in Wjde Sargasso Sea

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289 challenge to Freud's assertion that normal fourteen-year-old girls want to have affairs with older men. Rather, Rhys may be wlnerable to the old Englishman's attentions because of her mother's rejection and her alienation within the divided and brutal colonial society of Dominica In her later representation of the relationship. Rhys chooses to portray herself as masochistic, in order to liken herself to an enslaved mistress She thereby refashions a position traditionally identified with women of color as a multi-racial and creole identity. She is unlinking the position from its racial marker, she thus destabilizes the correlation of race and social place in the Caribbean But is Rhys's behavior masochistic? I've used the word because, in lay (enns, her addiction to Mr. Howard's sadistic fantasies and her association oflove with her mother's beatings seems to be masochistic; that is, she seems to transfonn the traditional association of desire and pleasure by desiring unpleasure Always in the end punished -that is love"(S6). Yet, Rhys s behavior, of course, both parallels and defies Freud s theory offemale masochism as he expresses it in "A Child is Being Beaten ... IU Rhys's account points not towards incestuous sexual desire but to the ambivalence and guilt caused by being a white child from a plantocratic family in a society, divided by a rigid race and class hierarchy inherited from slavery. In Freud's model, the young girl desires to sleep with her father, feels ashamed of that desire, and hides it through a fantasy of being beaten, which both expresses the desire to have her genitals touched and ltides that sexual pleasure in physical punishment. In contrast, Rhys desires to identify with her slave-owning ancestors; ashamed IU One very important distinction between Rhys's discussion of beating and Freud's model is that the principle figure who beats Rhys is her mother, not her father. In this respe--ct, Rhys's account of her masochism fits Gilles Deleuze's analysis of masochism., in which the cruel figure is the oral mother. who is cold and punishing(S5). Equally significant is that Freud's patients were not frequently beaten as children and were not sexually excited by the actual beating of children. Rhys was actually beaten. Perhaps her account asks Freud to consider the role of actual beating in the development of masochism and sexual desire in women

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290 oftbis desire, she identifies with the slave who was whipped Thus, being whipped functions to punish her for her allegiance to her slave-owning family and to hide that allegiance by identifying her with the whipped slaves. Rhys accomplishes this identification in two steps First, she actively constructs her white creole mother as the person who rejects her as an outcast from her plantocratic family and peers. Second, she juxtaposes her beating with a discussion of slaves being beaten that links her and slaves as victims of whipping In the fum: version of the beating, Rhys writes of her mother, "she gave me such a curious look, a sad look Ah you re growing up are you WeU I cant do anything more" (21-22). Rhys interprets her mother's comment and look as prophecy and condemnation : she was "alien" and would be unhappy [n the second version. the mother directly tells the young Rhys that she would a1ways be different from other people "it's no use you II never be like other people You II never leam to behave [?] like other people"(44) Rhys thus actively constructs the image of her mothers rejection This rejection separates her more definitively from her mother and. by extension, from the source of her shame, her mothers planter family lIS Rhys juxtaposes the scene of her mothers beating with a discussion of her deep ambivalence towards Afro-Caribbeans -a discussion that reveals that she identifies with both the planters and the enslaved Shortly after the first account of her mother beating her, Rhys explains, I was curious about black people They stimulated me + I felt akin to them It added to my sadness that I could nt help but realise that they liS Here I take a position in opposition to Teresa O'Connor, who sees a strong link between Rhys's mother and blacks because the mother is creole, whereas the father was born in Wales. O'Connor links the mothers sense of dignity with the sense of dignity Rhys sees in the face of black man taking alms in Smile Please (33). I suggest that at the same time the mothers creole identity provides a link to blacks and the island, it jeopardizes that link because she comes from the white plantocracy.

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did nt really like or trust white people ... white cockroaches they called us .... One could hardly blame them I would feel sick with shame at some of the stories I heard of the slave days told casually even jokingly the ferocious punishments the salt kept ready to rub into wounds etc etc I became an ardent socialist + champion of the downtrodden .. .. Yet all the time knowing thot there was another side to it sometime seeing myself powerful + [1] Sometimes being proud of my great grandfather the estate the good old days etc (my emphasis 28-30) When Rhys refers to another side here, she refers to the planter class. insisting that there must be some way of recuperating their story, their perspective. However, she concludes by rejecting that family : "the end of my thoughts was always revolt. A sick revolt + flanged to be identified once more andfor all with the other side wroch of course was impossible I could ot change the colour of my skin" (my emphasis 30). Here, enslaved African Caribbeans are the other side. she identifies with. Within the space of the one paragraph, the other side shifts from referring to the plantocracy to referring to enslaved people. and with it, Rhys's identification shifts Rhys's shift may be an illustration that, as Diana Fuss argues "our most fervent disidentifications may already harbor the very identity they seek to deny"(lO). Rhys's first identification appears to be with her great grandfather; her shame at his and other slave owners' brutality forces her to hide that identification by identifYing with "the other side." Rhys's identification with the mistress is significant, for it is through her great grandfather'S alleged good treatment of his mistresses that Rhys attempts to salvage him as someone she can revere and identify with. Rhys ends this section of the Black Exercise Book with a defense of her great grandfather; he was "good to some of his mistresses [crossed out: always] presenting them with freedom money + land ... n(31). As a result, Rhys sunnises. a descendent of one of the mistresses offered the family 291

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292 loans when the death ofRhys's father left her mother in relative poverty The identification with the planter's mistress is in itself multiple because it allows Rhys to maintain a relation to the planter, and potentially using her logic -a more positive vision afthe planter himself. Rhys's ambivalence and the multiple nature of her identification reflects the psychological reality that identification is always multiple and expresses ambivalence.l&6 [n emphasizing that her masochism is shaped through the racial and colonial politics of late nineteenth-century Dominica, Rhys's account indicates that masochism needs to be re..:placed in the cultural and political contexts which produce it; she is asserting that in her case not only Freud's "family romance but also the "colonial romance" must be considered Rhys' 5 "masochistic" identification with Afro-Caribbean women departs from two critical trends in psychoanalytic theory, that of her fellow Caribbean intellectual. Frantz Fanon and that of women psychoanalysts challenging Freud. Fanon, who is one of the first to address race within psychoanalysis fails to look adequately at gender Women analysts. like Joan Riviere and Melanie Klein, who challenged Freud and Helene Deutsch on women's sexuality, however did not adequately address race (Walton 782-83) In formulating white women's masochism, Fanon combined Deutsch's theory with rus analysis of European racism. In Black Skin White Masks, he claims that white women frequently fantasize about being raped by black men This fantasy, Fanon argues, results from both the fact that nthe desexualization of aggression 115 Ruth Leys argues that identification is multiple and involves an expression of hate. She writes that "mimesis always produces a sadistic, paranoid desire to annihilate the 'other' who is also myself' and cites Mikkel Barch-Jacobsen who argues that identification expresses a "(mimetic, rivalrous) desire to oust the incommodious other from the place the pseudo-subject already occupies in fantasy"(l72). Leys is specifically discussing identification under hypnosis, but in discussing the matter with me., she assert.ed that the same dynamic would be at work in Rhys's identification with African Caribbeans Leys and Fuss would see their respective views of identification as conflicting, but I think they might work together to explain Rhys's need to disidentifY with the planter and yet identify with him through his slave.

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293 in a girl is less complete than in a boy" and from the colonialist trope of the black man as sexuality (Fanon 178-79) [fwe read the abductor in Rhys's nightmare as black and we read dreams as expressions of wishes, Rhys s dream potentially complies with Fanon's claim that white women want to be raped by black men. Previ o usly I argued that Mr. Howard becomes figured as black because he is sexual ; in such a reading, his blackness is not a cultural identity so much as a marker of sexuality However, if one were to accept Mr. Howard's blackness or, mare accurately, the blackness of the man in the dream. then Rhys s acceptance of him might be read as an acceptance of Afro-Caribbean womanhood. 117 In her foundational article" "Womanliness as a Masquerade"(1929), Riviere assumes that when her white female patient dreams of seducing black men, the men stand in for the patient's white wealthy fathe r In Rhys s childhood black men were denied positions of authority as they were in the U.S South. where Riviere's patient was raised A well-to-do white girl's desire to be seduced by a blac k man might well express her desire to sleep with her father's sub o rdinate not the fatller him s el f Further, according t o the Freudian model, a littl e girl 's desire to sleep with her father was inseparable from her desire to take her mother's place in her father's bed. But during Rhy s s childh ood, well-to-do white women were barred by custom from havin g sex with or marrying black men The desire for a black man thus suggests a desire to take the place of a black woman, who in the contex:t of tum-of-the-century Domi nica 111 There seems to be a contradiction in my argument I have been claiming that Rhys identified herself with the brown or inter-racial mis tress The dream uses the word, "black" -not brown, or mulano or inter-racial Though Engli s h discourse and West Ind ian white society made certain distinctions in their portrayals of brown and black creole women, both categories of women were placed in the same overall category of sexually immoral, as outside of domestic ideology As a result, I think blackness in the dream functions as a catchall for all Afro-Caribbealls. It is also true that the inter-racial or brown class had a particular history of political power and wealth in Dominica, but I don't think that would prevent Rhys's reference to blackness in the dream from encompassing Afro-Caribbeans regardless of the nuances of shade

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294 or the U.S. South would have been the black man's most likely sex partner. tU This desire is consistent with Rhys's desire for the position of the white man's mistress or the enslaved mistress of the planter. Like Riviere, Faneo did not consider the possibility that the white woman's dream or fantasy of being abducted(and presumably raped) by a black man might express her desire to be a black woman Though Fancn argues that European culture and imagination figure the black man as sexuality personified. he pays little or no attention to the fact that European (and US) imagination also viewed the black woman as more sexually active, atbactive, and free than the ideal of the white, domestic woman. In Smile Please, for instance, Rhys expresses her desire to have the freedom of black women, whom she views as liberated from the necessity of marrying (40) Many white women writers in the 1920's and 1930's such Gertrude Stein, R.D. and Willa Cather -write white female characters who are dependent upon black femininity, panicularly black female sexuality to form their own identities and sexuality. In This apparent appropriation of black femininity stemmed in large part from the sexual constraints the middle class placed on middle class women.l90 Thus, the fantasy of being abducted or raped by a black man expresses the desire to take the place of the In Barbara Mennel similarly reads Riviere's patient as desiring to take the black woman's position; in her dream. the patient has murdered her parents and tries to hide this by washing clothes; a black man arrives at her home, whom she then means to seduce. Mennel argues that she places herself in the position of the female servant in the household, who most likely would have been an African American woman (177-181) 119 Cather's Sapphira and the Slave Gjd (1940) is a strong example ofthis. 190 What I am suggesting is actually that the desire for the escape of black femininity has as much to do with class as it does with blackness per se. In her play, "Pocomania," Una Marson's middle class Afro-Caribbean heroine envies the sexual and spiritual freedom of peasants in rural Jamaica but must distance herself from their sexual and spiritual excess in order to marry and remain part of the middle class

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black woman and is partially influenced by white visions of black women as more sexual than white women.19 1 295 We might read Rhys's nightmare and illusbation of he r own masochism alongside Fanon's theory as two critiques written by Caribbean intellectuals and shaped in response to colonial discourse In the final chapter of Identification Papers. Fuss reads Fanon's theory of white women' s funtasyofrape as a response to the colonial myth of the black man's rape of white women. Rhys and Fan o n each write against the colonial stereotype of their respective identity; their difference in orientation explain s the difference in their "writing back" against metropolitan discourse. Colonial image s of the white creole as sadistic and promiscuous influence Rh y s in her production of a masochistic white creole woman who has no sexual pleasure In contrast, Fanon places sexual desire in the white woman as a reaction against the seKUaJization of the Afro-Caribbean or black man The contrast between their visions indicate that, in addition to considering the construction of colonial and metropolitan 5ubjectivitie s as an interdependent process, w e must at the same time consider the interrelations of colonial subjectivities. This racialized nature of promi s cuity reflects the instability and contingency of whiteness in metropolitan discourses Fanon asserts that in so far as whites desire to be black, they are desiring and mimicking not actual blacks but the idea of blackness their own culture has produced Rhys's w ork does engage with blackness" on the level of English imagination because she addresses herself to the stereotypes of 19th-c entury m An appropriation of blackness or sexuality may. however signifY also a des ire to transgtess other aspects of the narrowly defined role for white, middle class women. Walton writes for instance that white European women wh o identified themselves with black womanhood did so as a means of signaling their participation in traditionally male arenas and their competition with men in their artistic and inteUectual careers. Like the figures Walton analyses in the work of Riviere and Melanie Klein, Rhys is an inteUectual and an artist ; she did compete with men in her career. In the Black Exercise Book, she discusses the discrimination against women writers in England.

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296 English discourse. However, Rhys's mimicry and identification of black femininity is not only an identification with white ideas of black female sexuality. In emphasizing that white creoles were excluded from the class of respectable women under the same rubric as women of color, Rhys reveals that creole whiteness is not absolute Hers is a whiteness, as the whiteness of women mine workers and other manual laborers, that existed explicitly in relationship to blackness within metropolitan discourses In We see Rhys's concern with illustrating this panicularly in Voyage in the Dark in which fellow chorus girls call the creole Anna Morgan a "bottentot," and in Wide Sea. in which Rochester claims of Antoinette that, "creole of pure English descent she may be, but they are not English or European either" (67) and Christophine explains to Rochester that Antoinette is "not beke like you, but she is heM, and not like us either"( 155) .193 Thus far r have treated Rhys's masochism as a voluntary, individual strategy of Yet how can we evaliJate masochism as a means of selfrepresentation? Vis-a.-vis metropolitan discourse Rhys's masochism has proven productive. Through it, the Black Exercise Book reveals the colonialist and racialized nature of domestic ideology and criticizes psychoanalysis for its disregard of historical context. In so doing, the Exercise Book provides the basis for theorizing in a more complex, and perhaps less violating fashion the similarities and inter-relation of the oppression of Euro-and Afro-Caribbean women within metropolitan ideology. 192 Rhys's identification with African Caribbeans points to Anne McClintock's and Ann Stoler's work on the development of metropolitan and colonial identities as a relational and imbricated process Similar language was used, Anne McClintock argues, to define blacks, Irish, and the white English working class, particularly its women(e. g. 52-56 and 103-1(2). 193 Class status is also a key component in the comparison of Anna Morgan to blacks. Had Anna been very wealthy, she would have escaped both the working class women's appellation as a "hottentot" and the English police man's treatment of her and her friend as "white baboons" because they appeared to be prostitutes.

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297 In the dream. Rhys engages with colonialism and claims a Caribbean identity through the problematic means of identifying herself with Afro-Caribbeans This identification with black women has been the focus of a recent debate in Rhys scholarship as to whether Rhys's self-detinition through identification with Afro Caribbean women appropriates and erases their historical experience.l94 Rather than condemn Rhys for identifying with Afro-Caribbeans, I view identification "the detour through the other that defines a self' -as a necessary part of self definition. 19S Yet in challenging English literary tradition and psychoanalysis from within its own terms, Rhys has reinscribed some of the colonialist aspects of those discourses. While Rhys exposes the raciaJized hierarchy of womanhood Bronte presents as natural law, Rhys s identification with Afro-Caribbean women functions primarily to highlight her own oppression; it thus copies the English women's use of Caribbean women's enslavement to protest their own oppression. Although she writes the Black Exercise Book in 1938, her identification with enslaved Afro-Caribbean women and with the experience of being whipped largely limits her representation of Afro-Caribbeans to positions associated with slavery. This may indicate a reluctance to envision Dominica and Afro-Caribbeans in a state of independence. in which she as a plantocratic, if 194 The critique launched originally against scholars who saw Rbys's heroines' identification as unproblematic and successful, asked ifRhys didn't appropriate and violate African Caribbean women's experience and history by using it to represent white creole women. For a positive vision ofRhys's relation to African Caribbeans, see Elizabeth Nunez-Harrell. 'The Paradoxes of Belonging: the White West Indian Woman in Fiction," (Modem Fiction Srudies 31 :2(1985):281-293) and Mary Lou Emery's lean Rbys at World's End' Austin : U of Texas Press, 1990 For a more critical view, see Maria Olaussen's "Jean Rhys's Construction of Blackness as Escape from White Femininity in 'Wide Sargasso Sea'''(Arie124:2(1993): 65-81 I agree with Veronica Gregg's analysis that Rhys's work is both anti-colonialist and colonialist; see her Jean Rhys's Historical Imagination Chapel Hill : UNe Press, 1995 1'5 As Diana Fuss writes. it is ''the detour through the other that defines a self' a detour which names the entry of history and culture into the subject" (Fuss 2)

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298 impoverished woman. would have no place .l96 Rhys's writing of her childhood seems motivated by the loss of the earlier society: she writes, it seems like remembering a hundred years ago reaJly .. .! think. sometimes its now completely vanished that life + there's not a trace of it left The white people in the West Indies are good + down"(42l But Rhys s identification is not a totalizing appropriation of Afro-Caribbean women's historical experience. As Rhys's own writing indicates, identification is never complete. She never becomes Afro-Caribbean; she occupies a figurative relation to two specific images of Afro-Caribbeans. Thus, Rhys's masochistic identification with African Caribbeans must be seen as vexed.l91 Yet by focusing on the constructed nature of race -that whiteness is really an artifact of English colonialism and on the connections between disparate groups of people those without means, the deviant. the not-white. the colonial -she lays the foundations for a multi-racial or non-racially defined creole identity In so doing,. she counteracts the tendency in English and Caribbean discourses to limit creole to Afro-creole identity By exposing that English domestic ideology created a racia1ized hierarchy of womanhood in which English middle class domestic women signified the pinnacle of human cultural achievement and all non-white and all colonial women signified blackness and sexual immorality, Rhy s points out that white creole women have always been, from an English perspective, not only part of the Caribbean but part of the Afro-Caribbean. 1'-5 In both "lean Rhys, 'grilled Sole .... and "Jean Rhys and Dominican Autoethnography," Sue Thomas illustrates how Rhys's work addresses Dominica of the turn-of-the-century. in content by treating the period ofex.pansion into the interior under Hesketh Bell and in terms of discourse by positioning herself vis-a-vis the discourse of coloured newspaper writers. 191 It supports Veronica Gregg's assertion that Rhys reiterates racist stereotypes and attitudes of colonialist discourse, but she also deconstructs the very categories of race and class and in so doing, "her fiction shows an understanding of the discrete but interconnected character of all forms of oppression"(39).

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Rhys fannulated her multi-racial creole identity in the context of polltica1 and literary movements that threatened her identity as a white creole. The 1938 Exercise Book coincided with labor unrest and political resistance in the British West Indies, which signaled the beginning of a clear movement towards self-government These political and social upheavals threatened the world ofRhys's childhood because her mother's family formed part ofthe established white plantocracy and her father belonged to the elite group of British government employees. Rhys responds to this threat to her identity as a white creole woman by articulating a creole identity that 299 deconstructs race as an essential category and emphasizes the common &1 cund created by intersections of gender, race, and class.19I Rhys's 1938 fannulation of a multi-racial and gender-conscious conception of creole identity provides an important counter to emergent nationalist discourses which focused on Afro..caribbean identity. often to the exclusion of gender and ethnic diversity 199 191 In arguing that Rhys asserts a multi-racial creole identity, I am making a claim similar to Judith Raiskin's that:, in her fiction, Rhys is beginning to identifY creolization as a cultural, racial, and psychological phenomenon In these terms, the concept of "Creole" moves from a colonial claim of European presence in the colonies to an understanding of cultural influence, racial mixing, and "border crossing" that contemporary writers such as Michelle Cliff, Gloria Anzaldua, Edouard Glissant, and Guillermo Gomez-Pena are exploring today"(112). 199 In "Representing the Nation: Gender, Culture, and the State in Anglophone Caribbean Society," Natasha Barnes' central argument is that women disappear from national iconography with independence and that gender was rarely placed on the nationalist agenda. Rhys writes at least a decade before the period of strongly racialized nationalist discourse Barnes addresses.

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Epilogue In tracing the function of the West Indies in the construction of English domesticity and the deployment of d o mesti c ideology deployment in proto-national literature "Creolizing Womanhood, provides a historical foundation for understanding the critical role domesticity played in shaping unequal gender relations and in maintaining divisive social hierarchies in the final years of col o nialism and the Independence era. The region wide labor uprisings of 1934-1938 sent a clear message that the West Indian working class could challenge colonial authority The British Government responded by sending a Royal Commission, whose investigation found that promiscuity personified in the single woman head of household --was the cause of the poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, and venereal disease that were seen as ultimate causes of the unrest. The West Ind i a Royal Conunission Report of 1939 therefore recommended domesticity as a solution and laid out legislation to impose a bourgeois family structure on the West Indian majority The Church was to be the main institution to enforce domesticity, aided by the state To transform West Indian men into breadwinners and women into housewives society shifted women out of wage labor in the public sphere and into unpaid and underpaid domestic labor. Men filled the positions women s egress opened in agriculture and industry The percentage of women listed as agricultural workers fell from 219,000 in 1921 and to 45,600 in 1943 Although this dramatic shift reflects some changes in census categories, it also reflects a significant shift of women out of the labor force (French and Smith 317 ) .100 Middle class women were enlisted mostly as unpaid labor to implement domesticity through Welfare organization in exchange they were given more political rights and career possibilities 100 French and Smith give the statistics for the entire female labor force : "according to the 1943 Census, between 1921 and 1943 the entire female labor force declined from 219,000 to 163, 000, the percentage decline between 1911 and 1943 is from 59.6% to 34%" (317). 300

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301 were enlisted mostly as unpaid labor to implement domesticity through Welfare organization -in exchange they were given more political rights and career possibilities all of course in caring industries nursing, teaching, social work (French and Smith 308-314). In the 1940's campaigns for mass marriages were launched in Jamaica (Brereton and Yelvington lOt The school curriculum was restructured along gender lin e s Young women received training in domestic service, young men in agriculture. This despite the fact that women had comprised 50% of the agricultural work force in many West Indian colonies into the 1920s. J oan French and Honor Ford Smith argue that the new colonial policy placed working class men and women in competition with one another for work. It was "the divide and rule principle of imperialist policy ... applied to divide the interests of the men and women of the labouring classes (French and Smith 330). This dynamic had been at work befo r e the 1939 rep ort -Froude' s 1888 strategy of emphasizing blac k women' s strength as a means of undercutting male strength had already exploited this principle But now it took the fonn of an organized campaign of state church. and charity organizations Yet despite the new curriculum.., the absence of public sector jobs, the welfare system.., all designed to convert Jamaicans to matrimony there was neither a significant increase in marriages nor nuclear families Sixty to seventy percent of the population remained unmarried in much of the anglophone Caribbean. Women continued to be heads of household, only now they had fewer career options and became increasingly 201 Lady Huggins, wife of the governor launched one such campaign in 1944 an earlier one was organized by Jamaican, Miss Knibbs Huggins "worked closely with miss Marry Knibbs, but it was Knibbs in 1939 and not Huggins later who started the mass marriage campaign. though Huggins claims credit Between 1939-50 roughly 3,000 women were married under the scheme which provided the rings and a reception Knibbs claimed that she wanted women to have more security, and married women would inherit husbands' property; common law wives did not. However, she was perceived as trying to get poor women to fit into the middle class model (Vassell 95).

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economically dependent on men. French and Ford Smith see the Royal Commission Report as a central cause for the contemporary pattern of women's economic dependence on men --an economic dependence that has no security, not even that '0' -provided married women under law. It was a policy designed not to bolster the family. but to destroy the figure that had so troubled English men and English discourse the sexually and economically independent black women In these last years of colonialism, national literatures appear to reflect the trend in society to move women from the public to the private sphere. from independence to subordination. As Cobham argues, starting in the late 1940's, with canonical nationalist novels, Vic Reid's New Day {I 949) and Lamming's In the Castle army Skin, men become the protagonists of national history, while women play subordinate roles Reid's novel suggests an opposition between women and nationalism, Lamming represents women as complicit in colonialism because they accept respectability and with it the status quo. Women then are figures that the nation must overcome or replace. Barnes argues that women are excluded from nationalist culture due to their perceived collusion in colonialism and that this exclusion continues into contemporary popular culture If the conclusion of George Lamming's brilliant first novel maps women as dubious figures for the celebration of a modem Caribbean SUbjectivity, the culmination of independence rendered invisible women's participation in the anti-colonial struggle. In Jamaica, the anglophone Caribbean island perhaps most preoccupied with constructing and popularizing a revisionist cultural code, the exhilaration of independence witnessed a flurried campaign to create symbols of national identification and belonging in which women were markedly

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303 absent. (124) The absence of women in the iconography of nationalism in the region. the fact that they play bit parts and anti-nationalist characters in many nationalist novels, reflects the importance of women. not their insignificance Natasha Bames argues Trinidadian nationalist. Eric Williams found Afro-Caribbean women responsible for the absence of patriarchy in the anglophone Caribbean He saw in Afro-Caribbean women's sexual history with white men evidence of their complicity in colonialismthey benefitted from the system and weakened the nation at the same time by depriving it of strong patriarchal men West Indian society has inherited a tradition of immorality from the slave system The housing system and paniculariy the barrack room combined with the general struggle for survival to perpetuate this tradition. Of the adults in the community. 73 out of every 100 males and 64 out of every tOO females were unmarried ; of the children. two out of every three were illegitimate (Williams Inward Hunser 17) But in Williams's analysis the nation s trouble, its concern for color its lack of marriage and of"reaJ" men result from Afro-Caribbean women The first trouble seems to be their very large numbers that the capital city of the nation was overrun with sexual women and white men not Afro-Caribbean men. The excess offemales over males in Port-of-Spain combined with the excess of male s over females among its non-Trinidadian inhabitants aggravated this general situation. What song the sirens sang is not beyond all conjecture Two out of five of all the seamstresses and domestic servants in the island, half of the washerwomen and female domestic servant in the island, half of the washerwomen and female cooks lived in Portw of-Spain One-seventh of the unmarried males. one

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fifth of the urunarried females, one-third of the widows lived in the capital. Port-of-Spain was the city of the gay Caballero, the bachelor girl, and the merry widow. To make matters worse, the female of the species was increasing more rapidly than the male (18) 304 Women's sexuality and their false passion to whiten their offspring through illegitimate liaisons with lighter men The Negro woman concerned with lighter skinned children with good hair ... had a wide range of racial and colour types which with which to experiment. The Portuguese rumshop keeper or the Chinese shopkeeper with his black partner was as familiar and notoriou s in Port of-Spain as the sun at noonday (18) Although Williams explicitly mentions male promis c uity --"the staid married man coul d have his de jure wife and defacto woman," it is black women's defection and infidelity, which injure the nation in his argument This is made clear by the fact that in the calypso lyrics he chooses cite, the sexual pairing is between the Afro-Caribbean woman and a lighter man, Portuguese, Chine s e, or white, to whom she is not married. Often it is the voice of the cuckolded man, lamenting. '[t(the child) isn t for me it is for stinking Potegee(Portuguese )"; 'Chinee children calling me daddy, 'Sly mongoose ... mongoose went in de madam kitchen run out with she big fat chicken' ( relations of the white man with the Negro cook); "the blacker the woman, the sweeter she be' -the Trinidad calypso has immortalised the efficiency of the pennutations and the fecundity of the combinations which swelled the island's illegitimacy statistics and bequeathed to later generations that exasperating colour complex which become for so long one of the most powerful centrifugal forces in the life ofthe island (18)

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305 It is this illicitness of female sexuality that rendered the nation., ill-fed ill-housed, and ill-clothed. the population was exposed to all the ravages of tropical diseases" (Williams IS) Williams's logic is steeped in English domestic ideology, particularly the tenet that the patriarchal fumily, the complementary division of gender roles -is an indication ofa nation's political competence Rather than looking to the economic crises of the early 20th century and the endemic poverty that might encourage poorer darker women to have liaisons with lighter, wealthier men, Williams blames early 20th century urban sexual practices on the rural plantation system of almost a century previous, one that had been superseded by the indentureship system. TIUs, I suspect, is an indication that his conception of Trinidadian identity continues to be shaped by the great house model. His scapegoating of women turns a blind eye to the complicated history of Eng1ish colonialism that at once produced Afro-Caribbean women as transgressors of domesticity and deployed them to undercut the masculinity and thus agency of Afro-Caribbeans as a whole ..... Creo1izing Womanhood" lays the ground work for an analysis of how English domesticity was transfonned and redeployed in anglophone Caribbean nationalisms in such a way that it continued to divide men and women, to invest female sexuality with enormous political significance, to undennine women's autonomy. and last but by no means least, to undercut the power ofthe working class, long after most countries in the anglophone Caribbean became independent nations. Mirroring the logic of Williams's narrative, nationalist legal policy was characterized by a black male effort to assert legitimacy, which resulted women's loss of power and status .2D2 Thus, nationalism continued the colonial policy on women after 202 This is (rue at a level of representation, not of grass roots organization While condemning Afro-Caribbean women' s historical actions as immoral in much the terms of 19th century English colonial had Politicians like Eric Williams

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306 1938. As part of the process of becoming "real" nations governed by "real men, anglophone Caribbean countries in which the majority did not marry took European models for their laws, legislating inheritance and maintenance laws for legitimate heirs and spouses only. These laws maintained a clear hierarchy in the new nations between the respectable and not respectable, the entitled and the unentitled Only in 197 5 did the First Workshop on Social Legislation Relating to the Family and Child in Caribbean make a resolution that all children stood in regardless afthe marital status of their parents. Slightly before the First Workshop. in 1974, Michael Manley s adminisbation passed the law of the Staws of Children which erased illegitimacy as a category in Jamaican. Similar laws followed in other anglophone Caribbean countries Barbados for instance, in 1979. Laws also gave common-law wives right to inheritance and maintenance (Barrow 432-4) Yet these laws did not change the s ocial conception o f illegitimate children o r of the working class, both of which continue to be seen as cultural o utsiders by the middle class Domesticity continues to block progress to a more egalitarian soci e ty by bolstering class divisions. The terms "outside" and "inside" are significant [f a married man has children outside of his marriage they are outside children; together with their mother, they are an outside family. Yet outside is also the category for the working class as whole as inside" is for the middle class as a whole [0 an anthropological comparison of a working class and middle class neighborhood in Kingston, Urban Life in Kingston Jamaica Diane Austin explains workers perceive themselves as outsiders to economic and political power. However many in the middle class perceive workers as cultural outsiders. inadequately socialized and poorly qualified to assume positions of power .... It is not only neighborho o d environments, which depended on women' s political action and their vote

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are described as 'inside and 'outside: So too are the archetypes of employment. clerical and manual work. Moreover, children born out of wedlock, a situation typical for the working class are described as outside' children. In short, the status of outsider is enshrined in the idiom of everyday speech. (149) 307 Austin explains that the Jamaican middle class understands its superior economic and educational position not as a function of material circumstances but as function of the inherent cultural inferiority of tbe working class. Thus, it is much like the English middle class of the 19th century in understanding its superiority to working class and colonized people. TIlegitimacy is thus seen as an inherited essential characteristic of the working class lllegitimacy has been erased as a legal category, but the distinction between outside children and others still prevails" (Austin l5t). The middle and working class continue to conceive of their relative social positions as result s o f the plantation even though working class women. for instance, often have illegitimate children with wealthier men as a result of the specific class relations of the 20th century, not as a result of slavery "It is the present which is projected onto the past Austin explains and [ might add another instance of the idea of the Great House with its history in English domestic discourse, exerting its power West Indian society (154) The power of domesticity survived the Status of Children legislation in part because English colonial policy had made the Church the institution of first i mpoI1ance in implementing respectability Despite the radical change in the legal status of children and spou s es, the nation could not free itself of the shackles of domesticity until it decolonized the church -a process which has been slow in coming Women in common-law marriages or with illegitimate children continued to be barred from membership in many churches Illegitimate children could be baptized but on week days onJy Sundays were reserved for legitimate children (Barrow 435) Many

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308 women continue to suffer from this church policy. Church membership conveys social status, its refilssl dishonor (Barrow 436) The attitudes in debates about the Church policy towards common-law marriages between the 1970s and 1990s resemble only too closely debates at the tum of the century on the same topic. In 1902 a Reverend Webb recommended that the stable domestic partnership, "faithful concubinage" considered legitimate by the Church and the State., calling "to amend the marriage law, legalising the union of such persons without publication of banns and under well-defined conditions, and iegitirr-dsing their children"(Bryan The hmajran People 92). His opinion did not prevail Seventy years later, at a 1972 church consultation in Barbados, Dr. E .A... Allen was making a similar recommendation that "'faithful concubinage ... instead of conveying the sense of 'living in sin' the Church try to find some means of through the Church and through the law of the land of accepting that type" (A1len 1972 :101 cited in Barrow 437). The case for the legitimacy of common-law marriageS and their issue continued at least into the early 1990s [n his 1990 theological thesis L Dundas is still arguing for the church to acknowledge common-law marriage In his 1992 The Church and Common-Law Union, Vivian Panton called for a "decolonization of Caribbean theology" -a recognizing peasant domestic partnerships as an important aspect of Jamaican culture that the failure to recognize these unions as legitimate constirutes a continuation of the colonialist missionary approach (Barrow 438) The continuity between church policy under colonialism and during independence is strong testimony to the fact that domesticity continued to function as a means of maintaining a social hierarchy into the independence era. Though the base of the elite has now broadened to include more black and Asian Caribbeans, domesticity continues to divide by oppressing the black working class population, particularly women, in a way parallel to colonial policy In the past three decades literature has often taken the role of challenging class

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309 divisions and the beliefs in respectability or domesticity that support them Many recent novels like Merle Collins's Angel and The Colour ofEorgettjng. Michelle Cliff's Abeng, Dionne Brand's In Another Place Not Here. have challenged the masculinist representation of the nation and national history dominant in novels in the 19505 and 1960s Perhaps of most direct interest to Creolizing Womanhood" is the question of how working class culture negotiates respectability. Contemporary scholars, like Carolyn Cooper and Belinda Edmondson, have taken up this question in studies of Jamaican DancehalL What are the political implications, for instance, of Jamaican dancehall O 1.s, who flaunt their lack of respectability? How in particular are we to read the seemingly contradictory lyrics of women D.I.s like Tanya Stephenson and Lady Saw, who assume a masculine posture of sexual aggressors, seeking sex without commitment, but who also loudly criticize men for their exploitation of women? Are they fighting against bourgeois standards of femininity or fulfilling middle class stereotypes of working women lack of respectability or something else entirely?

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APPENDIX 310

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311 llIustration I : The Sable Venus (Courtesy of the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. Carl A. Kroch Libary)

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0 t- 1 o \ 1 o Illustration 2: Coaling a mail Packet (J. Valdes circa 1890) (Courtesy of the National Library of Jamaica)

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.. ., ,. .. ; ,.' .. !:':: : : ,. : .. ...... .' '. Illustration 3: A Market Scene (J. Valdes circa 1890) of the National Library of Jamaica)

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-Illustration 4: Women Washing Clothes (J.

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TIlustration 5 : Cover illustration of the first edition arJane s Career (Courtesy of lb. National Library of Jamaica) 315

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-A Woman As EmpiT'e Bui \t .. ....... .. !..-..,..j..., ... L-,..".. r:' .. .=-Co ..,,.=-. .......... '" ""'"' ...... "'... '-, ...... ''P ..... .... ., .!..", J .... L .:: .; .. ,,,'.' '0'" I: .... ........... -=e.I .. .".. ...... ... ..., .. = ........ ... -,'," _".' ,.." !.ri' .... .. ,,,,.oJ ....... ...... -," ....... .':;.-.. +I'" ... "'L' ..., ........... 'b .... ,....,.." .. _,. 1 '-l:o. ... ..... "' ...... ..... IT ......... r-.. '"' "', .... 1-. 'Or <,.;, t ...... .-.; + .-; .... ,. ,!" ,,-'0' ., ....... j .......... ,;,... .;... r'''''' oL..., ......... ,L.-.;...",..,..;. ..... l ... 0 .. ...... ; ....... ,...,,' "'I" ..... ''"'", -... \,0 .r.-.t I" ... ..... ..... ... ,., -." .. ;e,.., .... .[,. ;-. -...... ", .. ""' ......... I ,.". ...... L ..;..",..(., lo'oooi .. ,-.,;"".:..1 .. ,I.-. ... """"', .... "" ...... .... ,I.... ........ _.-.. ... ,>I .. """'''''' 1 """' __ '""'I ..... ....... ........ ...... w,.l 1 .......... ..: ........... ",",0' pol .i<-,ot"!;_, .... ...... loll i='" ,..{ 0-.... \ 1orIt-" .... ;".-"" -'--.. .. ". "".I .,f '''-....-1 ... ,lolL ." 7 7 a,."l, 1-' ___ .. ;1.1 .",. .... "" ""'_"',_ .... "',1_ .. ....... ... .. 1;_ I 7 --,... '-.... ...-ull, illustration 6 : Marie Viscountess Willingdon., C.I., G .B.' ponrayed on the cover of Planters' Punch 1930-31 (Courtesy of the National Library of Jamaica ) 316

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PLANTERS' PUNCH V ... a. No.. ) CJ)uchess -.. -.. -'''' ''-' .... -_ .. _---........ ..... ... .............. 7 PO __ r 'L_ -.... ,,----_ .. ..... -_ ..... W, h_ ----' .. ....... ... ..r _" .... ........ r ... ... _._--...... _FF P o .. ............. .... -:-oL: '. -;;'-........ ,',.1 ... ... ,-_0 HOleon' G 01: 1.Js$A.. C.IIU i and Jamaica Ladies T_ 11._ 0 .-, .... -_. : 7 ...... ..... .... _op-.......... .. -... .,.-10&. __ ........... __ ..... _, ....... _w'-. .............. .oil .. __ __ ...... ",oJ ... _" ..... ... ........... ... u ..... __ ... .. .. --..... M 2'= ___ ,,', ,._ .. ,... p ..... -.. .... -.. .......... .,. -.. -..... _,. .. _--:.,..' _'r"', : .':.!. ... !"i,> 0, 'V' __ "' 0--...... ...... ." .. ..... _-.,-- c' $ _"'-' .. _, __ -----_ ... ... --."' .. ... .... -. -_ .. '4.... .... .. "'(W:5, .".-.. ... _-cd .. __ ... .... 5 ;':" .... r __ .. --_"F '.--, n .......... ..... -.... -...... __ ....... -. --_-. ...... ... .... 1iI n-._ -.oO ...... __ ;oZ" .. _. __ t, .... .... -_. "".-... __ ............ c ._, ..... .. -o:o __ ... _L .. __ p t' ,i ___ If .-... "'c -....... ...... :,.-.. .... i I ..... ......... ___ .... ... ..... '=_ ..... -....... -Ii .. 0''''''0'&_10 '=,' L -"-"" ...... of __ ....... _,to h ...... "._ .. *" ...... _.-............. ..... -..... ___ 5 1 '_ .... """"'" .. ___ ... .. to .. ... _of"'" ,. .. ..... .. __ ..... .. It.... r .................. ...... 1II __ ... c ...... 01 ... -.. ...... -""" ... = _, ... _;", ..... _F2 ...... &Po 2_ ...... r .. Illustration 7: "Her Grace the Duchess of Atholl. plamers punch 1929 (Courtesy of the National Library of Jamaica.) 317

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Illustration 8 : "Some Mothers of Jamaica and their Little Ones" (Courtesy of National Library of Jamaica. ) 318

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Illustration 9: "Miss Jamaica (Courtesy of the National Library of Jamaica)

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Illustration 10: The Mayfair Promenaders (Counesy of the National Library of Jamaica) 320

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, -4 .... ___ ... .. ___ ... _;;:;::; lIIustration 11: The Dancing Girl of Old And of To-day' (Courtesy of the National Library of Jamaica.) 321

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,..... -...... .' .. .. .. ," o ,,... .... .' o .. t.. ... ., ,\ .. r ,:' .. .. -.-..... I il .. .. "". ..... .. .. ', '. .... .. ..... .... .. .,.:-.... II I I .. .. .. .. .- .. .. -. .. J' ..:,: ( .. r--...... : ....... ... 1 I .. .. .' .. k{t;o, ..... too \'\ !< .' .\\" '.0,':" < t,' ,': fill. lit' ft'H' \ "WtI""" n"IfIIIT tlUII\ tit' "1111,,, \\"'''' 111\1'" ",,," M Ur,III, T \!< 1I .\"I'toIl" .\t 111t' U M 'II rUI;. ,,,, ; III "'''.".,u, .. .... ..... .. ........ I .. I ... 1 .. .. ..... ,,1 ...... 1 ._ ... ............ .. .. ...... Illustration 12: The Butterfly Troupe (Courtesy of the National Library of Jamaica)

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; :0: ,'" ...... Illustration 13: Our Jamaica Chinese Ladies. planters' Punch 1930 (Courtesy of the National Library of Jamaica.) 323

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. _. -.. .. ..... -Illustration 14: OUf Jamaica Chinese Ladies. Planters' Punch 1930 (Courtesy of the National Library of Jamaica.) 324

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Illustration 15: Cecil Lindo in Planters Punch 1929. (Courtesy ofth. National Library of Jamaica ) 325

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, b ',,6(R' Illustration 16: Sir Said Pasha Shoucair and Mr. S. N. Shoucair in Planters' punch 1929. (Courtesy of the National Library of Jamaica).

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Illwtration 17: Mr_ Richard Mahfood in Planters' Punch 1929 (Courtesy ofthe National Library ofJamaica ) 327

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18: The red set girls uJ I") 00

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., "f .. i.\'11 U,",." I, "111t: .\!I.',,: ur lUI; "f.\t. ,,-,,,.!"" n,' nliit u 'tl,. .. .. \I" I .... .. "UI "'I'U,,,,,, Illustration 19: The Mayfair Promenaders (Courtesy of the National Library of Jamaica)

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BIBLIOGRAPHY Aldrich, Robert. The Seduction oftbe Mediterranean : Writing Art. and Homosexual Fantasy. New York : Routledge, 1993 Alleyne, F M ... A Legend of Jamaica." Daily Gleaner 7 December 1898 Angier, Carole. Jean Rhys London : Penguin Books, 1990 Arcfubald, Kathleen "Clipped Wings ," From Trinidad: an Anthology orEary West Indjan Writing. eds Reinhard Sander and Peter Ayer. New York : Africana Publishing Co., 1978 : 79-86. Austin. Diane. Urban Ijfe in Kingston :tbe Culture and Class Ideology ofIwo Neighborhoods. New York. : Gordon and Breach, 1984 Bakan., Abigail. Ideoiosy and Class in Conflict in Jamaica' politics of%ellion. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1990 8aJutansky Kathleen and Marie-Agnes Sourieau on the Cultyral pynamics ofLa"BYage. Literature. and Identity Gainesville : University Press of Florida and Barbados: The Press University of the West Indies, 1998. Barnes, Natasha Bernadine Reprf!$ienting the Nation ; Gender, Culture. and the State PhD diss. University of Michigan,. L 995 Barrow, Christine, ed. Family jn the Caribbean. Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers and Oxford: James Currey Pubtishers 1996 BeckJes, Hilary McD. "White Women and a West India fortune : Gender and Wealth during slavery." The Wbite Minority in the Caribbean Eds. Howard Johnson and Karl Watson Markus Wiener, Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers, and Oxford : James Currey Publishers 1998 : 1-16. Birbalsingh, F.M. "The Novels ofH.G. de Lisser The International Fiction Review 9 1 (1982}:41-6 Anthony "The beginnings to 1929." West Indian Ljterature 2nd ed. Ed. Bruce King London : MacMillan Education, 1995 : 27-37 Brathwaite, Edward. The Development of Creole Society in Jamaica 1770-1820. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971 330

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_ Contradictory Omens: Cultural Diversity and Integration in the Caribbean (1974) Kingston : Savacou Publications 1985 reprint 331 Brereton Bridget and Kevin Yelvington "Introduction The Colonia! Caribbean In Transition eels. Bridget Brereton and Kevin Yelvington Kingston : UWI Press, 1991. Brereton, Bridget, "The White Elite of Trinidad. 1838-1950." Eds. Howard Johnson and Karl Watson Princeton : Markus Wiener Publishers Kingston : Ian Randle and Oxford: James Currey, 1998 :3270. Bridges, Yseult Child of the Tropics: Victorian Memoirs ed, Nicholas Guppy. London : Collins and Harvill Press 1980 Questing Heart [pseud Tristram Hill) London : Eldon Press 1934 -Creole Enchaotmeot.[p s eud Tristram Hill]. London : Geoffrey Bles, 1936 Bronte, Charlotte Jane Eyre Norton Critical Edition, 2nd Ed. New York: w & W Norton, 1987 Bryan, Patrick The lamaici'n People 1880-J 902. Warwick University Caribbean Studies London : Macmillan Caribbean, 1991. -''The White Minority in Jamaica at the end of the Ntneteenth Century Eds. Howard Johnson and Karl Watson Princeton, Kingston. Oxford: Markus Wiener, Ian Randle, 1998 : 116-132 Burton, Richard Afro-Creole : POwer. Oppos i tion and play in the Caribbean Ithaca : Cornell Univers i ty Press, 1997 Bush,. Barbara. Oxford: lames Currey and Bloomington : Indiana U Press.199 0. "'White
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332 Carmichael, Mrs Domestic Manners and Social Condition of the White. Coloured. and Negro Popylation ofthe West Indies 2 vets London: Whittaker, Treacher, and Co. 1833 Carnegie, James. Some Aspects of Jamaica's Politics: 1918-1938. Kingston: Institute of Jamaica., 1973. Castello, James. "The Legend afRose Hall," Falmouth: Falmouth Post, 1868 Chang, Victor. "The Historical Novels ofH. G de Lisser its Social Context: Proceedings pethe Fourth Annual Conference 00 West Indian Literature. ed Mark McWatt. Depatbnent of English, Cave.Hill UWI., 1985 Chauncey, George. Gay New York : Gender. Urban Culture. and the makjng oftbe Gay Male World 1890-1940, New York: Basic Books, 1994 Christian, Sheldon "Stuff such as Dreams are Made of" The BPilcon W4 (August 1932):24-26. Cobham-Sander. Rhonda. "The Creative Writer and West Indian Society : Jamaica 1900-1950 Diss. University QfSt. Andrews, 1982 -"The Literary Side ofH.G. de Lisser (1878-1944}." Jamaica loyrnal 17.4 (198485):2-9. Colloms, Brenda. CharlM Kingsley: tbe Lion of Eyers ley. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975 Cooper, Carolyn. Noises in the Blood; Orality Gender nd the "Yulgar" Body of Jamajqm popular Culture. Durham: Duke University Press, 1995 Cowley, John. Carnival, Canboulay, and Calypso ; traditions in the making Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1996. Crowley. Daniel 1. "The Traditional Masques of Carnival "Caribbean Quarterly Double Issue vol. 4. nos. 3 & 4 (March & June 1956) : 175-194. Cummings, James "Barrack Rooms." The Beacon I17(October 1931):21-22 de Boissiere, Jean "The Albergo Bengazi." The BeacoD UI/3( October 1933):56-7 "Fascist Florence." The Beacon II/8 (February 1933): 12-4.

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--"Gennany: As [Saw [t in \93\" (pan I). The Beacon WI (May \932):22-3 uGennany: As I Saw It in 1931" (part II) The Bwcon IT/2 (June 1932):28-9 ""Impressions and Experiences in the Austrian and Italian Tyrol." The Beacoo W6 (October-November 1932):29-30 "Napoti." The Beacon IIII2 (September 1933) :36-7. -"To Rome The Beacon WiO (April 1933): 7-8. -"Via AppilL The Beacon Wll (May 1933) : 11-2. de Boissiere, R.AC. U.The Woman on the Pavement." The Beacon 118:4-5. Deleuze Gilles and Leopold von Sacher-Masoeh Masochjsm New York: Zone Books, 1989. de Lisser, Herben George "The Story of the Maroons." 1 1-25 March 1899 Jamaica Times : 13 (in alI issues). -"Maniage" series : 30 June 1900 ; "Influence of Religion," 7 July 1900; "The Influences of Property," 25 August 1900; "The Influences of Property," 8 September 1900; "Social Influences,"22 September 1900. Jamaica Times -"How Kingston Lives and Moves and has its Being 17 August 1899 Iamaig Times -"Ann Palme," Daily Tele(lnlph 17 February 1912 :5. -Jane Kingston: the Gleaner, 1913. -"WoIthiness in Business : the Firm ofLasceUes de Mercado and Co." Planters' Punch 1.5 (1924-5) : 22-5 -Jamaica Nobility Planters' Punch 1.6 (1925-6). -"The Ideal Democrat." Planters' Pynch 1.6 (1925-6) : 10 -The White Witcb aCRose Hal!. London: Ernest SeM, 1929 and Planters' Pynch 2.3 (\929). -''The Dancing Girl of Old and of Today Planters' punch 23 (1929) : 11

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-"The Dream and the Business. Planters Punch 2.3 (1929): 18 -"Duchess and Jamaica Planters' Punch 2.3 (1929): 1 -" A Noted Syrian Name," Planters Punch 2.3 (1929):90. -"Our New Nationals," Planters' Punch 2 3 (1929) : 71 -"Our Jamaica Chinese Ladies -An Influence Planters' Punch (1930) :8-9. -Haunted. (1939-40) Myrtle and Money. Planters' Punch 4.4 (1941-42). de Souza, Frank. "Nocturne." The Beacon 118 (November 1931): 18-9 Deutsch, Helene "The Significance of Masochism in the Mental Life of Women. Intemationalloyrnal ofPscyboAnalysjs. 11(1930) :48-60. Dunnett R.F. The Editor Says Goodbye: An Interview with Mr. W P Livingstone ." The Gleaner 23 February 1935 (From the National Library ofJamaica biography files) Edmondson., Belinda Writing in Caribbe!'D Narrative. Durham : Duke UP, 1999. Edwards, Bryan. The History. Civil and Commercial of the British Colonie-s in the West 3 vats. London: St o ckdale, 1794-1801. Edgeworth. Maria. Belinda(1801) New York : Oxford University Press, 1 994. Emery, Mary Lou. Jean Mrs at "World's End'" Novels of Colonial and Sexual Exile. Austin : University of Texas, 1990 Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin. White Masks. trans Charles Lam Markmann. New York : Grove Weidenfeld, 1967 Ferguson, Moira Subject to Others: British Women Writers Colonial Sla v ery 1670-1834 New York: Routledge 1992 French. Joan and Honor Ford-Smith. Women. Work and Organizatjon in Jama j g 1900-1244 Sistren Research 198 6. 334

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335 French. Joan. "Colonial Policy Towards women after the 1938 Uprising: The Case of Jamaica." Unpublished paper presented to the Conference of the Caribbean Studies Association, Caracas, VeneZllaela, May 1986 Freud, Anna "Beating Fantasies and Daydreams." Essentjal Papers on Masochism eds. Margaret Ann Fitzpatrick Hanly New York: NYU Press, 1995; 286-299 Freud, Sigmund. "The Aetiology of Hysteria.." Collected Papers vol. 1 trans Joan Riviere London: The Hogarth Press, 1953: 183. --" A Child is Being Beaten. Collected Papers vol 2 trans. Joan Riviere. London: The Hogarth Press,1953: 172-201 New York: CoIlier,1963 -"On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement Collected Papers. vol. I trans Joan Riviere edt Ernest Jones New York: Basic Books, 1959:287-359. Froude. James Anthony. The English in the Wen [ndiM. New York: Charles Scribner, 1888 Fuss, Diana. Identjfication Papers New York: Routledge, 1995. Gikandi Simon. Maps ofE:ofjlishness; Writing Identity in the Cylrure ofColonjaljsm. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996 Gilman, Sander L. "Black Bodies, White Bodies : Toward an Iconography of Female Sexuality in Late N"meteenth-Century Art, Medicine. and Literature." "Race. Writing. and Difference. eds. Henry Louis Gates, Jr, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986 Gilkes, Michael. The West Indian Novel. Boston: Twayne, 1981. Gomes. Albert "Black Man." The Beacon (July 1931) U4: 1-2. "Cipriani and Utopia (Editorial) The Beacon (Jan.-Feb. 1932) 1110:3 "Federation (Editorial) The Beacon (July 1932) W3: 7 -"The Literary Club Nuisance "(Editorial) The Beacon (May 1933) WILL _"Literary Clubs"(Editorial) The Beacon (June 1933) WI2:3. "Local Fiction"(Editorial) The Beacon (Jan -Feb. 1932) UIO: 1

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339 Middleditch, Thomas. The Youthful Female MissjonaQ' : A Memoir ofMuy Ann Hutchins Wife Qftbe Rev. John Hutchins.Baptist Missjonary. Savanna-la-Mar. Md Daughter of the Rev. I. Middleditch of Ipswjch compiled chjefly from her own correspondence by her Father. 2nd Edition. London and Ipswich : 1840 Mintz, Sidney and Richard Price. The Birth of African-American Culture: an AntholopologicaJ Perspective. Boston: Beacon Press, 1992. Mohanuned, Patricia "Writing Gender into History: The Negotiation of Gender Relations among Indian Men and Women in Post-Indenture Trinidad Society, 1917-47." Engendering History Verene Shepherd Bridget Brereton, and Barbara Bailey, eds. Kingston: Ian Randle and Oxford: James Currey, 1995: 20-47 Morris, Mervyn. "H. G DeLisser: The first Competent Novelist in English." Carib 1(1979) : 18-26 Mulvey, La1lra. Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema. Literary Theory: an Anthology eds. Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan Maldon Mass: Blackwell publishers : 585-95. Naipaul. Seepersad The Adventures of Gurudeva. London, Heinemann, 1995. NLlgent., Maria. Nugent's lournal. edt Frank Cundall. London. 1907 Plante. David Difficult Women; a Memoir of Three New York: Athenaeum, 1983 O'Connor, Teresa lean Rbys: The West Indian Novels New York: New York University Press. 1986. Olivier, Sydney. White Capital and Coloured Labour. London: Independent Labour Party, 1906 Paravisini-Gebert. Lizabeth. "The White Witch of Rosehall and the Legitimacy of Female Power in the Caribbean." Journal pfWest Indian Literatyre 4 2 (1990) :2 5-45 Phyilis Shand Allfrey ; a Caribbean Life New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1996. Pearse. Andrew. nCamival in Nineteenth Century Trirudad Caribbean Quartedy 413&4(1956) : 175-93

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