Jamaica Oman Essays

Words: 1088
Pages: 5

Sophia Dai
Dr. Gannon
Global Perspectives
14 Sep. 2014
Dual Sides of Femininity in Louise Bennett’s Poem “Jamaica Oman” “Oman luck mus come!” (48). These words demonstrate Louise Bennett’s view that Jamaican women are liberated and share the same level of respect as men, who used to be regarded as superior. No matter their races or social classes, Jamaican women rise from discriminated groups to be the heads of households and successful leaders in all kinds of professions. Louise Bennett herself was actually one of these rising women. Born in a rural family, she was a successful writer who insisted on writing in Jamaican English, the dialect deeply influenced by English colonization. Viewed by colonizers as corruption of English
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However, right afterwards, she “ketch water, put pot pon fire.” This little action turns her back into a loving mother cooking pasta and humming a pop song while the kids are watching a talk show. In this way, the writer shows the dual sides of Jamaican women: hard like mountain rocks, tender as tranquil streams. Third, the author depicts Jamaican women as strong and sturdy, which were once thought to be only male characteristics: “Jamaica oman know she strong, She know she tallawah” (29-30). A confident Jamaican woman jumps out of the pages. Financially independent from men, she stands like a statue—not fearing anything, just resting firm and erect, feet rooted in the ground in the center of the world, underneath the Jamaican sky. In the conventional view, women are meek as lambs and weak as ants, generally agreeing with whatever the husband says. In contrast, a Jamaican woman is strong, especially mentally. She might not be physically stronger than a man, but she psychologically supports him with encouragement and suggestions, and “backa man a push” (17). She is the buttress of the whole family, which conventionally was supposed to be the man. Ostensibly, Jamaican women’s characteristics seem similar to men’s to some extent. In the next stanza, however, Jamaican women express their unwillingness to be considered as men. “But she no want her pickney dem, Fi start call her ‘Puppa’” (31-32). By arguing that the features