Fractured Consciousness and Colonial Subjugation in George Lamming’s In The Castle of My Skin
Within a defining framework of colonialism, the West Indian writers explicate the cultural obliteration of the Caribbeans by the Western imperialism which results in their psychological fragmentation as they straddle two opposing worldviews. George Lamming’s work delineates the diverse effects of European colonialism on the native Caribbeans whose consciousness is shaped by the history of forced labour and migration. In the Castle of My Skin (1970) explores the colonial subjugation of Barbados, the economic exploitation of people by the landlord, the cultural indoctrination of the natives by the colonizer, the deformed relationships between people and the resultant mental handicap of the perplexed natives. The present paper shall analyse how European colonialism forces the individuals and community to disassociate from people and values that imparted significance to their existence. It foregrounds the exile of the protagonist, G., from Barbados in order to severe his ties with the social backwardness and crippling poverty of his native place and realise his ambition of personal advancement. More significantly, the paper is an exploration of the colonial experience of the entire community, its inherited values and imposed norms, the interdependence of the personal and the public lives and the most stifling issue of mental colonisation.
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