Creole Hybridity in Literature

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Jamaican patois is not an official language, which is the same for most if not all languages are not, although recently, there are some creole dictionaries and Haitian Creole is being taught in schools. People tend to have a negative perception of a creole and thus, the people who speak and chose to write in this creole language are often lumped into a box. There is a stigma attached to it, and people often say that it is the language of the poor lower class of the country. Growing up in St. Lucia, I saw how this is true, people are often embarrassed by their parent who spoke creole, or they as children where forbidden to speak creole as to avoid being stereotyped. The language expresses the history of the Caribbean and the hybridity that emerges through language. In the diaspora, people depend on creating a space of “home” in the host country and language is an important part of this space. The connection immigrants feel when they come into contact with literature that features a language of their native homeland offers them their own space in the literary world, and a way for their stories to be told. The writers and people who use creole are confirming their identities as a merger of multiple influences. They use the language despite the stigma and fight to maintain the culture by doing so—language is part of one’s identity. “Wordy, Worldly Women Poets: Louise Bennett, Lorna Goodison and Olive Senior,” by Denise deCaires Narain, discusses the styles of three
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