Examining the structure of plantation classes in the literature
This Friday, the last day before the school closed for the Christmas season, was full a year since they crowned Elizabeth Queen in England and since then we had to sing “God save the Queen” every morning at the instead of “God save the King”, then after praying “O Lord, grant us this day our daily bread”, we sing “Rule Brittania, rule the waves, the British will never be slaves.” . . “
I’m telling you, do every manjack sing hymns and Christmas carols as Director Williams swings across the stage with his eyes closed as if leading a musical choir. And don’t say how the choir rises high as if it wants to rip off the rusty roof that vibrates every time a strong breeze blows, while Smallie and Bertie in the backseat mimic the headmaster when Professor Johnson’s attention is focused. on stage. And don’t mention the rusty, husky voice of Smallie and Bertie: it’s true, it sounds like you’re rubbing some old rusty box on concrete. And fourth-standard picknies can’t mock or laugh, or else it’s a dozen bakers if Professor Johnson sees that, or a dozen bakers and kneel if Manager Williams sees.
Also, you can’t point out that Smallie and Bertie are making fun of the Headmaster during hymn singing, otherwise if you don’t have Saltfish or Rommel for a friend, be prepared to take Smallie’s Afternoon Pics. and Bertie if they get one from the principal or Professor Johnson. So pardna, although Smallie and Bertie and I thick as konky, I too choke myself too, I laugh in my throat like coal as soon as Smallie and Bertie’s voice starts roaring like rusty zinc.
Well the week before Friday they sting inside the light like they could fly like a bird especially when their minds flash on them honey and a hundred and jill they scramble in the Big Manager’s yard on that last Friday afternoon before school closed, just like when the dogs were fighting each other over food that was thrown at them from the top of the porch while Missie chuckled.
And once they’re picknie, darling, and a hundred and jill, they don’t care about the bruises, kicks, and thrusts they get during jamming. A brawl breaks out for a while, but it’s all in the fun once Big Manager Missie and the other Missie Managers throw a hundred and jill.
Happened thus, the litter of Friday. . . . Well, after the call to school at one o’clock every picknie faces the wait. After the principal announced that the school would reopen on such a date after the Christmas holidays, and after he sent them home a little picknie between ABC and the third switchboard, he shouted from the stage: ” Prepare to walk to the Administrative Director’s Yard, “like we’re a pack of mules and we have to get attention every time the Headmaster roars, just like him, Urmilla and Professor Johnson leap to guard- to you and say “Hello, sir”, as if Big Manager is Gawd and ahwe is the servant. But in school today, my children all say that mimicry and servile attitude have been cut off since this country was granted freedom.
Well, about three minutes after the principal and teacher fixed us in two rows in the school yard, where the sun ready to kill you with heat, I hear the sugar factory go chuck chuck chuck … And see the thick black and blue smoke. The heat was sure to kill as we walked the red brick road that curves like a snake and ends up in Big Manager’s yard. You see, back then we didn’t have shoes and socks like school kids today. Eh-eh, we were barefoot so every time we step on the burning brick we feel like a boring cane stump, we sting it or baboon it.
This time around, they walk over to Big Manager Missie and other missies on the veranda when they enter Big Manager’s yard, which looks like a different world. Eh-eh, if you see them step-flower and a paved walkway, and the grass cut to level as if you could sleep on them, while Ismael and Routie, the gardener, leaned down and tended the flowering plant like if the flowering plant is an egg. Most of the time they’re old and weak and shake like leaves when they walk, but as soon as the Cookie Mable screams at them like Big Manager Missie, Ismael and Routie come to life, although you can hear them shouting. crack as dry. bamboo in the scorching sun.
“Order, children,” the Headmaster shouts as Professor Johnson and Urmilla line us up again. This time around you know by puzzle where Professor Johnson and Urmilla call on all that vigor and move like an athlete when they know them Missie is watching them.
And pardna, I remembered when those white Missies looked like fairies every time they smiled while their furee-furee hair looked like when poultry lay down. And they’ve got cherry-red lips and they look really tender, but I don’t know what they look like if they’ve been like me mum and dad in backdam just for three-four bucks last week.
Well, every time we finished singing a Christmas carol, these Missies got up on the verandah clapping, while the ones standing on the lawn like soldiers seriously wondering what they are doing. have done good in their previous life to live in their big house now with beautiful yard, servant and na have to sweat in the dam by the rain or the sun even if they got sick like parents …
This time the scorching sun was dripping with sweat on us as the Headmaster, Professor Johnson and Urmilla wiped their faces in a steady manner. By the time we are done singing the British national anthem and singing “Long live the Queen” we feel like we have the strength to leave our bodies, but when we think of the sweetheart and the hundred and at the jill, we become alive inside.
After the manager gives a short speech, everyone shouts “Hip hip hooray…” then the two managers missie start to throw a handful of sweetheart and hundred and jill while they laugh.
like we’re a dog or a black crow fighting for the hundred, jill and sweetheart. And you should see the scramble and the fall and the bruises as my darling and hundred and fancy jill fall like rain and their manager missie giggling and ahwe school picknie scrambling like hundred and jill are ahwe life.
This time, Smallie and Saltfish love pork. True-true, if you see how they jostle each other and line their pockets and slam that in their own way, eh-eh, you think that was a bacchanal. “Hip hip hooray…”, my darling and cent et jil falling like rain from their missie hand as they behave like they want to kill each other and missie giggling like in their picture Roman uses to laugh and shout hooray hurray as the slaves and gladiators kill each other in the arena.
When I’m able to push myself for more honey and a hundred and jill, I stand to one side and watch the show. And then it dawned on me true-true that the mules and oxen on the estate get better treatment, care, and food than the sugar workers, who punish generation after generation, night and day, to make sure the sugar is profitable, and believe that they have a duty to say the pandit and the imam.
And also next, does the sweat of the parents make the principal and the miss fat and they treat us worse than a mule. It’s true, water settled in my eyes and I wondered what bad thing parents did to suffer so much, and what good thing their manager and miss did to live the royal life.
And when I can’t take the show anymore, I slip away and tell myself that Gawd is the favorite among the people, but every time our parents open their eyes, it will be a different story, and they could see the Queen and Mr. kissing the ass manager and missie in a different light. And if I didn’t dive into the canal by the Tour to refresh my passion, I was going to explode like a bomb.
This short story “Hundred and Jill” by Rooplall Monar is an example of Guyanese literature at a time when the body of East Indian literature was truly developing. There follows a long history dating back to Joseph Ruhomon in 1894, when Indian consciousness received its most important inspiration.
There followed a proliferation of cultural awareness during the first 40 years of the 20th century, but it was still some time before the focus diversified from India as an ancestral homeland and that appears a literature which began to question Guyanese society both in its style and in its subject. This literature began to make its impact in the work of Cheikh Sadeek, in particular, but also of Rajkumari Singh in the years 1960-70. (Singh’s protege, Mahadai Das, was initially a nationalist, but became one of Guyana’s leading poets as an existentialist).
The Rooplall Monar story was written in 1985 and published in the Backdam People collection of Peepal Tree Press in Leeds, England. Significantly, it has the distinction of being the first work to be published by Peepal Tree, founded by Jeremy Poynting after his research visit to Guyana at the time. The news collection remains Monar’s best work to date. Another of his important fictions is the novel Janjhat, which, like Backdam People, is an exceptional study of the life, culture and traditions of the descendants of the engagiste on the sugar plantations of Guyana.
This story helped to fix the literature which had found its voice in the 1980s. It is a distinctly post-colonial work in the tradition of Guyanese social realism in fiction. At this time, it is very interesting to recall a short story that takes place during the Christmas season in British Guiana in the early 1950s, “a year after crowning Elizabeth Queen in England” and schoolchildren learned to sing “God save the Queen ”.
It was Monar’s time in elementary school. The boy narrator began to realize the colonial disparities of class and race; between the planter class and the people, under the reign of the sugar cane plantations over the governed, and the colonial education system, which functioned as a loyal subject. All of this is recalled with great anger. It remains one of Monar’s most memorable short stories, riveted to the vivid realization that while his classmates were lost in the depths of colonial contempt, he had to dive into the cool waters of the canal “to refresh my passion. “, otherwise it” was going to explode like a bomb “.