Caliban Inside And Out Essay Research Paper

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Caliban Inside And Out Essay Research Paper

Caliban Inside And Out Essay, Research Paper

Caliban Inside and Out

Question: Comparison or contrast the ways in which roberto Fernandez Retamar and George Lamming

concept national individuality through the figure of Caliban. Use Shakespeare & # 8217 ; s & # 8220 ; The Tempest & # 8221 ;

if you need to to discourse Caliban.

In order to discourse the ways in which Retamar and Lamming have

constructed a national individuality through Caliban it is indispensable to discourse the

cultural background of these authors. Retamar and Lamming are about as

dissimilar as dark and twenty-four hours, and this is apparent in both the lives that they

hold led, every bit good as the essays that they have constructed. Their

differences have come from their experiences, and how they have

attempted to set up an individuality for themselves and their people. It would

be easy to label them the? pessimist Retamar, ? and the? optimist Scating, ?

or the Communist Retamar, and the Imperialist Lamming, yet this would

oversimplify a definition that is in no manner simple. Rather, I shall utilize the

footings internal and external. For both of these work forces have traveled abroad in

their surveies, and in their hardening of the construct of Caliban, each has

take a separate point of position to try to place the same ideal. For

Retamar his focal point, every bit good as his point of position is entirely internal, while for

Scating he looks on from the exterior, the external, and writes of what

comes from Caliban, and how the universe sees it.

I shall get down with Retamar. Here is a adult male who had tried early in his

life to give a face to Caliban. Retamar, a Marxist author, described

Caliban by first indicating out that his really name is Shakespeare? s anagram

for man-eater. He is meant to be an Anthropophagus, a beastly feeder of his

ain sort. This was rather clearly an celebrated hyperbole on the portion of

Shakespeare, and yet in Shakespeare? s clip there were surely islands

whose dwellers would non waver to eat human flesh. But instead than

dwell on the cannibalistic or monstrous facets of Caliban, as that would

certainly non impart a assisting manus toward the creative activity of a national individuality,

Retamar focal points, from the beginning, on the one individual facet of Caliban

that has a significance for him & # 8212 ; rebellion. ? Our symbol is non Ariel, as Rodo

idea, ? he says, ? but instead Caliban. . . what is our history, what is our

civilization, if non the history and civilization of Caliban? ( Retamar-14 ) .

Retamar, as did Lamming, traveled in his young person, and taught school in

the United States. He had a opportunity to be off from his? 3rd universe?

roots, and yet at the first mark of rebellion in Cuba, at the first chance

to be a portion of the on-going procedure of alteration, he left the U.S. He had to

travel back to the islands, to be a portion of the internal battle. He tells of

holding written articles back uping the ruin of Batista, and every bit shortly as

he finds out that Batista has been ousted, and that Fidel Castro is the new

swayer of Cuba he leaves the U.S. He leaves a esteemed learning occupation at

Columbia University in order to travel back to Cuba where he teaches for more

than 30 old ages. Why did he go forth? Because to Retamar, being a

descendent of Caliban means being a revolutionist. It means being

person who wants alteration, and who pushes for alteration. Yet alteration, for

him, can merely come from within. He wants urgently to be a portion of the

creative activity of a civilization that is alone. Not Latin-american, or

Ibero-American, etc, but something that is new.

Retamar even expresses a feeling kindred to guilt at the proposal of the

usage of Caliban as the symbol of his people, ? In suggesting Caliban as our

symbol, I am cognizant that it is non wholly ours, that it is besides an foreigner

amplification, although in this instance based on our concrete worlds. But how

can this foreign quality be wholly avoided? ? ( Retamar-16 ) . Of class

Retamar does pull off to get away this guilt when he credits Lamming and

Brathwaite with being the first authors to concretely link the character,

Caliban, to their several states which today make up the modern twenty-four hours


Retamar lived long in the islands, and drank to a great extent from the goblet

of Marxist rhetoric, this is apparent in such transitions of his as, ? Our civilization

is & # 8212 ; and can merely be & # 8212 ; the kid of revolution, of our multisecular rejection of

all colonialisms. ? ( Retamar-38 ) . It is besides interesting to compare the

similarities between Retamar and Shakespeare? s Caliban. While off from

Prospero and garnering wood Caliban comes upon Stephano and Trinculo.

He instantly begins to offer his bow to these two new work forces, whom

he has ne’er met earlier. He does this because, for him, this brotherhood must

non merely be better than his relationship with Prospero, but through this new

commitment he can hold Prospero killed, and therefore his immediate job

solved. The similarity that I see here is that Retamar was willing to talk

out against Batista, although terrified, so he used a pen-name. He eventually

became overwrought with the cognition that it was rather possible that

Batista would reign in Cuba everlastingly, so he leaves and goes out in to the

U.S. ( the forests ) . Yet when he hears of Castro? s success he rapidly hotfoot

back to offer his commitment to his N

ew maestro. Possibly Retamar is more

Caliban than even he realises.

George Lamming is a wholly different voice on the affair. He is

an expatriate by pick, and happy about it if one were to presume anything from

the rubric of his book, The Pleasures of Exile. He sees Caliban as more of a

status? than a cultural individuality, yet unlike Retamar, he is looking from the

outside, inward. Having exiled himself to London, he writes from the

vantage point of a comfy looker-on. He is non touched by the events

that happen in the Caribbean anyplace nigh every bit much as is Retamar, and

yet his ideas seem to travel much deeper and give a well greater

volume to the definition of what it means to be? Caliban. ?

Scating writes from many different positions in his book,

perchance in an internal effort to place that which is Caliban. He uses

different individualities, rhetorical conversations, even disguises. An illustration of

this is found when he describes an conjectural brush, and subsequent

conversation between an English adult female, and three immature Caribbean male childs,

Singh ( who represents the Indian contingent of the Caribbean ) , Lee ( who

represents the Asiatic contingent ) , and Bob ( who represents the African

contingent ) . His small African male child? Bob? ne’er goes into item about how he

came by his name. Upon the adult female inquiring about his name his answer is,

Bob whatever you like? ( Lamming-18 ) This is a manner of indicating out, early

on, that some of the civilizations that have flowed into the Caribbean are much

more dominant, as in Singh and Lee, and have retained some of their

original individuality, while others are submissive, a they have been since they

were first brought Forth from Africa into bondage, like? Bob? , or in Scating? s

instance, ? George. ? Neither of these are names that one would hold found

among an Ashanti native folk in Africa at the clip, but were most

common in England, every bit good as the U.S.

For all of the voices that Scating utilizations, and all of the pretenses, he

seems to be indicating to the fact that all of this assortment has gone into what is

now the Caribbean, and therefore Caliban. The many have become one.

Caliban can non be revealed in any relation to himself ; for he has no ego

which is non a reaction to fortunes imposed upon his life?

( Lamming-107 ) . Caliban is, as Jose? Vasconcelos writes, a new and alone

race, ? made with the hoarded wealth of all old 1s, the concluding race, the

cosmic race. ? 1 Scating reinforces this in the followers, ? Caliban is the

really clime in which work forces encounter the nature of ambiguities, and in

which, harmonizing to his desire, each adult male attempts a declaration by seeking to

murder the yesteryear? ( Lamming-107 ) . He describes Caliban? s history as turbulent,

every bit good he should. There has been civil agitation and rebellions in that portion of

the universe from the twenty-four hours that it was colonised, and henceforth enslaved, until

the present twenty-four hours. Lamming has left all of this buttocks to travel into his ego

imposed expatriate in London, and yet he can non go forth the? individuality? behind, for he

is the really incarnation of the individuality that he has tried so difficult to specify.

To go forth his fatherland, and take his individuality with him is non the existent

trouble. ? The trouble, ? he says, ? is to take from Caliban without enduring

the pollution innate in his nature. To give to Caliban? s natural generousness is

to put on the line the flood: for his assets & # 8212 ; such as they are & # 8212 ; are unsafe, since

they are encrusted, buried deep in the dark. It is non by accident that his

tegument is black ; for black, excessively, is the coloring material of his loss ; the absence of any

psyche? ( Scating 107-108 ) .

Even though Lamming has chosen to populate on the? outside? and compose

about the? indoors? he has a good sense of the spirit of what is Caliban. Yet

unlike Retamar, Lamming has another sense. He has a sense of the

people around him, of the people in the Metropolis that is London. Where

Retamar has made up his head that Caliban is practically synonymous with

revolution, ? Scating sees Caliban as a potency for growing and alteration.

Retamar? s positions are likely slightly stray after 30 old ages of authorship

and learning within the Communist Castro government, he lacks the ability, it

would look, to be able to see anything beyond the past. He carries the

past with him. Yet Scating expressions to the hereafter. He describes the points

of position of three conjectural kids, of different beginnings in an effort to

get at the hereafter. Possibly the most optimistic position that he offers us

comes from a treatment that he has with a immature male child in London.

Scating, after holding grown excited that the male child didn? T merely accept his

reply of holding come from the West Indies at face value, but instead gets

a map to look it up, says that though, ? That male child was no more than nine

old ages old. If he can continue that spirit of wonder and concreteness, his

coevals will salvage West Indians and others the anguish of grownup

indifference? ( Lamming-16 ) . To Lamming, this male child represents the hereafter,

and the good that may still come out of that which is Caliban.

Lamming, George, The Pleasures of Exile, 1992, Michigan

Retamar, Roberto Fernandez, Caliban, and Other Essaies, 1989, Minnesota

Shakespeare, William, The Tempest