Language and the Downpressed

The Rasta Man in Jamaican Creative Writing

Authored by: Velma Pollard

The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature

Print publication date:  June  2011
Online publication date:  June  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415485777
eBook ISBN: 9780203830352
Adobe ISBN: 9781136821745


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Roger Mais’ character Brother Man is perhaps the first Rastafarian to receive full focus in any work of fiction in Jamaica. He epitomizes what Jean D’Costa in the introduction to her critique on Mais’ The Hills Were Joyful Together and Brother Man recognizes as ‘what Mais stands for in the growth of a Jamaican sensibility’ (1978: 1) and part of the ‘social realism for which he is commonly remembered’ (1978: 7). Alison Donnell, more recently describing literary trends of a particular time in the history of Caribbean writing, remarks on what she sees as lying at the ‘core of Mais’ literary and journalistic achievements’. She identifies among other things the issues of ‘cultural relevance, the relation between the writer and his society … and the adoption of literary forms and language better able to register the distinctiveness of West Indian experience’ (2006: 53).

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