Mammita's Garden Cove Analysis

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“Mammita’s Garden Cove” by Cyril Dabydeen tells the story of a protagonist Max, who demonstrates nostalgia of an island he once lived on whilst living in urban, downtown Toronto. Relying on the use of, repetition, diction, and juxtaposition Dabydeen successfully conveys the emotion of mild regret and ultimately complex attitude towards place held by the protagonist. Permeated throughout the excerpt are examples of repetition; emphasizing the despairing nature of the protagonist as he searches for a job. Dabydeen highlights the way in which Max’s sullen attitude towards his current place of residence. The author repeats the image of feet kicking into the ground on two separate occasions, “feet kicking hard ground” (line 4) and “His heels pressed …show more content…

In lines 14-15, Dabydeen remarks how Max “used to dream about being in Canada,” demonstrating his now-smothered fantasies about the place he could once live. In parallel, the author includes mention of Max’s nostalgic dreaming of the island, “He pictured the faces of the fellas on the island,”(lines 53-55) alluding to the lingering theme of regretful sacrifices. Max internally argues, through his fantasizing, that he could’ve had a reasonably stable life, had he remained on the island. His complex situation is exposed through juxtaposition once more through the contrasting statement of how this weary protagonist is “prepared for hell” (line 6), despite being in search of an impending, “sweet heaven” (line 8). This illustrates the complexity of his sense of place; he once dreamed about inhabiting Canada, yet his search of personal satisfaction is incomplete— he awaits a sanctuary in the future. Despite having an arduous life in Canada, he has in part fulfilled his idea of a personal heaven by living in an urban and developed setting; and primarily escaping the judgments of the apathetic islanders. Yet, this idea of a perfect life is incomplete; it lacks “some sweet island woman with whom he’d share his life, of having children and later buying a house” Many times in life, future gratification in unforeseeable, and occasionally — such as in the instance of Max — sacrifices may result in a sense of disillusioned inaptitude. Within this excerpt of the short story “Mammita’s Garden Cove” by Cyril Dabydeen, the author’s complex attitude towards place is conveyed by Dabydeen’s use of repetition, diction, and

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