In the twentieth century, a number of writers from the West Indian region rose to prominence, the majority of whom had African and/or Indian ancestry. And the most dominant method of representation that they chose for their novels was autobiographical fiction where the ‘I narrator’ started the narrative by telling about his or her childhood as they grew towards adolescence, and even adulthood. This paper, therefore, seeks to analyse the plot structure for the six selected novels published in the mid-1950s onwards. Of significance is the idea that all these novels have a similar type of narrative structure even if the points of view differ. To be exact, this paper examines causality and temporality to understand how characters and narrators are portrayed by the different authors in self-portrait novels. The novels under study are V. S. Naipaul’s Miguel Street and A House for Mr Biswas, George Lamming’s In the Castle of my Skin, Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea, Merle Hodge’s Crick Crack, Monkey and Marcia Douglas’ The Marvellous Equation of the Dread: A Novel in Bass Riddim. This paper is grounded in narrative theory and stylistics.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
This open-access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.
You are free to:
Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format.
Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially. The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.
Under the following terms: Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
No additional restrictions: You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
How to Cite
Balutansky, Kathleen M. “We Are All Activists: An Interview With Merle Hodge.” Callaloo, no. 41, 1989, pp. 651–62. JSTOR, https://doi.org/10.2307/2931174. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.
Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "bildungsroman". Encyclopedia Britannica, 6 May. 2020, https://www.britannica.com/art/bildungsroman. Accessed 28 August 2022.
Dabydeen, David and Nana Wilson-Tagoe. A Reader's Guide to West Indian and Black British Literature. London, England: Hansib, 1987. Print.
Dieng, Babacar. "Colonial (ist) Education in Two Caribbean Bildungsromane: School as a Site of Mis-education in George Lamming's In the Castle of My Skin (1953) and Merle Hodge's Crick Crack, Monkey (1970)." Alizés: Revue angliciste de La Réunion 37 (2013): 181-193.
Douglas, Marcia. The Marvellous Equation of the Dread: A Novel in Bass Riddim. Peepal Tree Press, 2016. Print.
Forster, Edward Morgan. Aspects of the Novel. Vol. 19. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1985.
Heath, Malcolm. Aristotle Poetics. Penguin, 1996.
Hodge, Merle. Crick Crack, Monkey /Merle Hodge; introduction by Roy Narinesingh Heinemann, London 1986. Print.
Jan Alber, et al. “What Really Is Unnatural Narratology?” Storyworlds: A Journal of Narrative Studies, vol. 5, 2013, pp. 101–18. JSTOR, https://doi.org/10.5250/storyworlds.5.2013.0101. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.
Kamau, Benson. Rereading Selected African Autobiographies: A Deconstruction Approach. Diss. Kenyatta University., 2006.
Kenner, Hugh. T.s. Eliot: A Collection of Critical Essays. , 1962. Print.
Knight, Franklin W., ed. General History of the Caribbean: Volume III: The slave societies of the Caribbean. Unesco Publ., 1997. Print.
Lamming, George. In the Castle of my Skin. Penguin, 2016. Print.
Ledent, Bénédicte, Evelyn O'Callaghan, and Daria Tunca. Madness in Anglophone Caribbean Literature: On the Edge. , 2018. Print.
Leech, Geoffrey, and Mick Short. Style in Fiction: A Linguistic Introduction to English Fictional Prose. Pearson, 2007.
Leitch, Vincent B., et al., eds. The Norton anthology of theory and criticism. WW Norton & Company, 2018.
Littell, McDougal. "The language of literature: British literature (Teacher’s ed.)." Evanston, IL: Author (2006).
Miles, David H. “The Picaro's Journey to the Confessional : The Changing Image of the Hero in the German Bildungsroman.” PMLA, vol. 89, no. 5, 1974, pp. 980–992., doi:10.2307/461371.
Mugubi, John. Fundamentals of Literature Royallite Publishers, 2021. Print.
Naipaul, Vidiadhar Surajprasad. A House for Mr Biswas. Vintage Books, 2018. Print.
_________________________. Miguel Street. Macmillan, 2002. Print.
Odhiambo, Christopher. Caribbean Definition: Its Effect on Vision and Form in George Lamming’s Novels. Diss. Kenyatta University., 1991.
__________________. “Outside the Eyes of the Other: George Lamming and Definition in ‘Of Age and Innocence.’” Research in African Literatures, vol. 25, no. 2, 1994, pp. 121–30, http://www.jstor.org/stable/4618267. Accessed 17 Apr. 2022.
Onega, Susana, and José Angel García Landa. Narratology: an introduction. Routledge, 2014.
Puckett, Kent. Narrative theory. Cambridge University Press, 2016.
Ramchand, Kenneth. The West Indian Novel and Its Background. Heinemann, London 1983.
Rhys, Jean. Wide Sargasso Penguin Books, 2001. Print.
Ricoeur, Paul. Time and narrative, Volume 3. Vol. 3. University of Chicago press, 2014.