The novel In The Castle Of My Skin by Barbadian novelist George Lamming and Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, a native of Dominica both deal in-depth with the lives of their characters during colonialism. Similarly each author tackles the idea of alienation and loss of identity placed upon their characters, through such literary techniques as point of view, setting and characterization. One can successfully compare and contrast the novels and seek to attain a greater appreciation and understanding of the authors and their works. In The Castle Of My Skin Lamming shows alienation through point of view. In chapter 11 he reverts back to first person in the voice of G. G is the main character of the novel, he is depicted as an
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Later in the novel she has another dispute but with her servant Amelie, Amelie refers to Antoinette as a white cockroach "I hit you back white cockroach", once Amelie leaves Antoinette is beside herself outraged she finally asks the evitable question of who she is, this is brought up by the overwhelming fact that she is not accepted anywhere England nor Jamaica which she believed to be her home.
It was a song about a white cockroach. That's me. That's what they call all of us who were here before their own people in Africa sold them to the slave traders. And I've heard English women call us white niggers. So between you I often wonder who I am and where is my country and where do I belong and why was I ever born at all (85) According to Cheryl. M. L Dash cited in King (1995) Rhys's heroines are overwhelmingly vulnerable. The women are so sensitive and so at the mercy of their society and environment that they seem to have no will.
We are not sure whether these women ever had a strong sense of self, but essentially they lack identity and they wonder who or what they are: But who am I then? Will you tell me that? Who I am, and how did I get here? This crisis of identity and of self is a strong theme in Wide Sargasso Sea and one of the evident links between that novel and Rhys's earlier works. It is the final, most important and tragic aspect of her heroines the complete loss of their identity