Cultural and Ethnic Studies Essay Paper on Slavery, Childhood, and Abolition in Jamaica

Slavery, Childhood, and Abolition in Jamaica

The novel, Pagoda, presents the life of Chinese living in Jamaica as well as the history of Jamaica. The author, Patricia Powell who grew up in Jamaica tries to understand the difficulties other people who inhabit Jamaica undergo in the course of their stay (Vasconcellos, 45). She narrates some experiences which include, exile, displacement and immigration for different races.

The novel revolves round the life of a female Chinese, Lowe/Lau A-Yin who she presents as a male shopkeeper as a guide in passing her main theme of the novel. Lowe is first presented as a desperate individual who is in need of somewhere to survive as she disguises herself as a shopkeeper. However at the end of the novel she realizes that change is inevitable as she was to reveal her real self so as to leave a life that was genuine. Though majority of Chinese citizens present in the United States were after assisting planters who got stuck in the process of re-establishing themselves since slavery had been abolished, Lowe reasons was completely different from the rest of her countrymen (Powell,56). The fact that she owned a shop among the natives presents the lack of entrepreneurial concepts by the natives.

According to Powell, the contextual placement of Lowe aimed at aiding the audience to have a preview of the historical perspective of ancient day Jamaica through the interpretations of the then 19th century events and practices (Vasconcellos, 23). She also provides the complexities that are witnessed today when expressing the nature of current Jamaica. She goes further to address the issue of white dominance and the attention to the anatomy of Caribbean evasions of narratives, moral interrogations and historical truths.

Works Cited

Powell, Patricia. The Pagoda. New York, NY: Knopf, 1998. Print.

Vasconcellos, Colleen A. Slavery, Childhood, and Abolition in Jamaica, 1788-1838. , 2015. Print.