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False Identity and Failed Existence: Replacing Afro-Saxon Masculinities with Empire-Resistant Identities in Paule Marshall’s “Barbados” and Olive Senior’s “The View from the Terrace”

Tyrone Ali (3 Emerald Drive, T&T)

Gender Visibility and Erasure

ISBN: 978-1-80382-594-6, eISBN: 978-1-80382-593-9

ISSN: 1529-2126

Publication date: 15 August 2022

Abstract

Imperialism was, from its commencement, a racially and sexually gendered reality and the power differential among masculinities emerged in the master/slave relationship that characterized Empire. Hegemonic masculinity generated by the white conquistador birthed a resultant subordinate masculine identity that came to signify the non-White man – initially slave and, later, the free African laborer – in the New World. The subjectification of this non-White man, this Other, proved to be fundamental to the constitution of masculinity along racialized and sexualized frames, complementing how related ideologies functioned in a primarily economic enterprise underpinned by greed as the catalyst for the Conquistador’s actions. The impact? Almost indelible gender identity ramifications on the enslaved African and his offspring across the Caribbean diaspora. This chapter seeks to explore Empire-resultant and Empire-resistant constructions of masculine identity in Olive Senior’s “The View from the Terrace” and Paule Marshall’s “Barbados.” The overarching aim is to underscore that, in the postcolonial Caribbean, as the Afro-Saxon’s proclivity for all things White crumbles, the Afro-Creole man’s own emerging, defining and robust sense of self and masculine identity becomes visible.

Keywords

Citation

Ali, T. (2022), "False Identity and Failed Existence: Replacing Afro-Saxon Masculinities with Empire-Resistant Identities in Paule Marshall’s “Barbados” and Olive Senior’s “The View from the Terrace”", Segal, M.T. and Demos, V. (Ed.) Gender Visibility and Erasure (Advances in Gender Research, Vol. 33), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 71-87. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1529-212620220000033012

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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