Essay: Language/Identity Language

Pages: 3 (904 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Topic: Communication - Language  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] The story of the SS Windrush was that it docked in Jammaica when on a home bound journey from Australia. The year was 1947, and there was a glut of low paying jobs that the English could not fill due to the losses experienced in WWII. Many Jamaicans were taken over to fill these vacancies and the SS Windrush was the original conveyance (Turnham Primary School). Bennett-Coverly demonstrated how the people may have left Jamaica, but they did not leave their roots behind.

"Wat a joyful news, Miss Mattie

I feel like me heart gwine burs

Jamaica people colonizin

Englan in reverse.

By de hundred, by de tousan

From country and from town,

By de ship-load, by de plane-load

Jamaica is Englan boun.

The people were easily identified by their language and they wrapped their identity in it as much as people gave it to them.

Many people have the same experience whether they are from a region that has a distinctive sound or a dialect shapes a particular people's voice. Many of these have been lost over time as the people they represented have passed, or modern technology has made the language more bland. Many are trying to preserve the heritage of the language whether they were a member of the particular group or not. One of these, from the islands, is Dr. Mervyn Morris who published an essay called "On Reading Miss Lou Seriously" about his experiences reading the works of Louise Bennett-Coverly (Morris). In the essay he discusses his reaction to the writings of the poet and how they made him realize the impact that language can have on a people. The fact the Bennett-Coverly was able to produce so accurately a portrait of the people of Jamaica is one reason why she was so loved. Morris was able to edit a book of her works for publication that is used in schools to further help students identify with their heritage.

No matter what the roots of the population, their language binds them together like nothing else can except maybe religion. But, it is true that religion, in the present, is more less a function of culture than language. The people of a region may have different means of worshipping, but they will likely share a common language. As far as culture is concerned, this is the single greatest identifier there is.

Works Cited

Bennett-Coverly, Louise. "Colonization in Reverse." 1966. Web.

Dance, Daryl Cumber. Fifty Caribbean Writers: A Bio-Bibliographic-Critical Sourcebook. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., 1986. Print.

Morris, Mervyn. "On Reading Miss Lou Seriously." Caribbean Quarterly 28.1/2 (1982): 44-56.

Narain, Denise DeCaires. Contemporary Caribbean women's Poetry: Making Style. London: Routledge, 2002. Print.

Turnham Primary School. "The… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Language/Identity Language.  (2012, December 3).  Retrieved September 21, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Language/Identity Language."  3 December 2012.  Web.  21 September 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Language/Identity Language."  December 3, 2012.  Accessed September 21, 2019.