Master of Arts (MA)
First Advisor's Name
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Second Advisor's Committee Title
Third Advisor's Name
Third Advisor's Committee Title
Imperial, illness, Caribbean literature, resistance, creative imagination, mental illness, polyrhythm, madness
Date of Defense
The purpose of this thesis is to examine Michelle Cliff’s No Telephone to Heaven (1996), and to scrutinize, through Christopher’s mental illness, the couched, unspoken, and deeply embedded presence of imperial hegemony in the Caribbean. I shall argue that Christopher’s mental illness is not, as one might have it, an inexplicable lapse into insanity, but both a fitting, polyrhythmic expression of longstanding postcolonial/neocolonial abuse, and a dynamic form of counterhegemonic resistance. Thus, my use of the term, imperial illness, refers to colonial impacts on the Caribbean, and how those impacts continue to play a significant role in postcolonial/neocolonial societies and, concurrently, the strategies imagined by postcolonial subjects to resist. Christopher’s mental illness, then, is the result of sustained imperial socio-psychological torment, which produces, quite ironically, the conditions that make possible his acts of resistance.
McCrink, James, "Imperial Illness: Considering the Trope of Madness in Michelle Cliff's No Telephone to Heaven" (2017). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3199.
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