Looking Back in Anger: The Transformation of Childhood Memories in Two West Indian Novels.
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Anger, for all its negative aspects, can provide creative urges which produce works of art of great power. The anger of the adult writer is often directed against the forces which tried to control and repress that writer as a child, so that the novel written in anger is frequently in essence, even if not in detail, autobiographical. Dickens' novels, for example, often deal with the child victim of industrialisation - dramatising again and again his own unhappy childhood. And another great feature of the European ascendancy, imperialism, spread conditions across the world which created more anger among the colonised peoples of the world. Ironically, however, the means to express this anger was also often provided to those who had the intelligence to use it. Perhaps it represents a triumph of western liberal education, over those who tried to use it as a weapon of oppression, that it could produce subtle and articulate writers like V.S. Naipaul and Jamaica Kincaid.
An earlier version of this article was published in The West Indian Fiction, ed. R.K. Dhawan, (New Delhi: Prestige, 2000) 164-172.