1. bookVolume 10 (2018): Issue 1 (June 2018)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2450-8497
ISSN
1337-9291
First Published
10 Jul 2014
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Foreign in London: Diaspora as a traumatic experience in Samuel Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners

Published Online: 28 Jul 2018
Volume & Issue: Volume 10 (2018) - Issue 1 (June 2018)
Page range: 21 - 27
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2450-8497
ISSN
1337-9291
First Published
10 Jul 2014
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Stuart Hall in Black Britain claims that “the experience of black settlement has been a long, difficult, sometimes bitterly contested and unfinished story.” Such is the case in Samuel Selvon’s 1956 novel The Lonely Londoners, which depicts the trauma of diaspora for West Indian newcomers. People from the Caribbean who settle in the “mother country” experience total disillusion because they are not welcomed by the white British. The paper focuses on the influence British politics has had upon the Windrush generation of immigrants. It shows how the characters cope with animosity, loneliness and the sense of failed promise that all lead to the traumatic experience of living in total isolation in a foreign city far from their native islands. The immigrants face xenophobia, suffer from being the “other”, invisible and segregated. They try to cope with the trauma of “not belonging anywhere”, i.e. being uprooted from their homes in the West Indies. In the aftermath of the decolonization process they fail to come to terms with their new living conditions, and as there is no return ticket to the Caribbean, they experience the ever-growing trauma of unsuccessful resettlement.

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