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Crossing The River Essay

  • Submitted by: dool
  • on December 14, 2008
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,320 words

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Below is an essay on "Crossing The River" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Crossing the River
‘A desperate foolishness. The crops failed. I sold my children.’ This is how Caryl Phillips begins his novel of suffering and slavery that spans whole continents and centuries. The author uses several narrative voices throughout his novel, covering a two hundred and fifty year time period of a father waiting patiently for his three children, Nash, Martha and Travis to return home, however they won’t make it. We as readers are never told who the father is, but from narrative voices we can concur the father is the continent of Africa speaking about its lost children that were sold into slavery. Phillips uses these three children as his main characters for each section of the book to create a ‘many tongued chorus’ which brings together the history and reality of the African Diaspora (Phillips 1). The author uses narrative points of view so the readers can relate indirectly to the characters about issues humans have struggled with throughout their entire existence; issues such as race, sex, identity, and stereotyping.   Each section’s character has suffered different types of human cruelty, and Phillips does an excellent job of linking the characters together to show that many types of people were oppressed. The last section of the book, “Somewhere in England,” is about the character Joyce, who is a white woman who falls in love with a black soldier during World War II. From this section, we are exposed to the suffering Joyce endured, and her voice adds to the ‘many-tongued chorus’ of suffering and struggle (Phillips 1).
Phillips writes the section “Somewhere in England” in first person with Joyce’s voice narrating. We know everything that goes on but are only allowed to hear Joyce’s thoughts and feelings. This section is also not written in a correct time sequence, which makes it a little hard to follow. But by doing this, Phillips keeps the readers attention and lets them make their own opinion about Joyce before he reveals her past. At first...

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"Crossing The River". Anti Essays. 12 Dec. 2018


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Crossing The River. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://cassandralynndesignllc.com/free-essays/Crossing-River-27162.html