Derek Walcott Dream On Monkey Mountain Analysis

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Derek Walcott’s linguistic practice not only enriches his dramatic craft but becomes a medium to stage his culture’s stories. With the instrument of language, he sought to overcome the boundaries of identity and confines of ‘class’ or ‘race’. As West-Indian people had suffered the centrist scorn for Creole and its continuum, Walcott deftly fashioned an (‘other’) language where words, forms and grammatical constructions testify to the overlap of several languages- one that can suspend nation and ethnic identification or social hierachization. Practicing extreme polyglossia his dramas decentre the hegemonic power structure and its monolithic and closed world. Before Walcott, few dramatists could utilise the post-colonial stage as the space to…show more content…
The plot is informed by the schism between English, the language of the courtroom and other nodes of administration and patois, the language of the marketplace. As linguists Le Page and Tabouret Keller points out: “ in any community we find that language use ranges from highly inventive and idiosyncratic to the highly conventional and regular...poets and writers generally are particularly inclined to be so, since they feel more strongly than most... the urgent necessity to draw on every possibility language affords.”- The Task of the Translator. Inside the cell, Corporal Lestrade embodies the mechanism of linguistic hegemonisation. As soon as the Corporal assumes the official function as a representative of Law, his language switches over to Standard English, using the legal register. To all the inmates of the cell when he shouts his command: “let us hear English” the coercive power of the Western language is revealed. During his interrogation of Makak, Lestrade uses the register of Standard English and he converses with Makak remaining incommunicable and without offering any…show more content…
Trewe? (English accent). Mr. Trewe, you scramble eggs is here! Are here! (Creole accent) you hear. Mr. Trewe, I have wild your eggs(English accent) – (A-I, Line-11-14,133). In a more manipulative way he spells West-Indian diction with British accent: JACKSON: (in exaggerated British accent) “I go and try and make it back in five, bwana... I saw a sign once in a lavatory in mobile, Alabama. COLORED. But it didn’t have no time limit. Funny, eh?( A- II, Line- 46-56, 147) With such subversive strategies can the political power and dominance be rejected and essential identity destabilized. By such code-switch, disruptive mode of speech, Jackson pokes fun at the hierarchy of identity categories generally connoted by those linguistic

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