Chapter Six “Essential Landscape: Image and Symbol in the Poetry of Aimé Césaire” explores the contribution of the poet into surrealist literature. Born on 26 June 1913, in a small town in the North of Martinique, Césaire placed great importance on his background and the place of birth as instrumental in showing the world what he stood for and where he came from. The geographic analysis can lead to a greater understanding of Césaire’s poetry and his route to developing the concept of identity. The poetry of the author represents his perception of the world through personal opposition against colonial domination. However, due to the effectiveness of his poetry, it was possible for Césaire to overcome the inner wounds and struggles in order to create a new Caribbean identity.
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The backbone of Césaire’s poetry is wounded by the memories of slavery, racial injustice, and discrimination. Those who are confronted by the author’s writing are encouraged to dig deep into the history of the global society and discover how the geographic distribution of populations pre-determined the fate of people in terms of their position in society as well as a national value. The purpose of Césaire’s poetry is to find his own identity that has been lost in the wake of slavery and the mistreatment of people. In his works, the poet unwinds around the memories of Martinique and the value of the hometown, the soft years of childhood, and other positive things that were muted by the history of slavery. The animal imagery is closely tied to childhood memories as a response to the trauma of racial oppression and injustice. The animal imagery creates an atmosphere of impulsive movement that contradicts immobility and passivity. The deliberate provocativeness of the imagery has no other function than to offer the poet the strength to recover from the frustration and oppression (Abilola, 2010). The animal imagery enables profound sympathy for the self-explorative nature of Césaire’s poetry.
The poet aims to refuse the world as he knew it and create an image of society in which everyone is accepted, valued, and celebrated. The revolt against the cold and static universe is what makes Césaire’s poetry unique and inspiring. The author teaches his audience to appreciate what they have while also fighting against injustice through kindness and inspiration. Life has many promises and can be genuinely great when people understand their faults and work together toward reaching a common goal.
- Abiola, I. (2010). The Negritude moment: Explorations in Francophone African and Caribbean literature and thought. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.
- Toomer, J. (1994). Cane. New York, NY: Liveright.