Olive Senior

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What are the factors that influence the language situation in the Caribbean, according to the works of Olive Senior?

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In the works of Olive Senior, one of the main factors influencing language in the Caribbean is social class.

In "Country of the One Eye God," for instance, we have a stark contrast between the narrator, who speaks Standard English, and the characters, who speak Jamaican Creole.

Immediately, a gap is established between those who are of the educated classes and those who are not. The former constitute the social, political, and economic elite, whereas Creole speakers are invariably among the poor, ill-educated, and dispossessed.

At the same time, the narrator in "Country of the One Eye God" makes no attempt to mediate the language used by ordinary folk. As in all of Senior's short stories, there is no contrast between the spoken word and the written text; spoken words are transcribed into direct written text, irrespective of their irregular syntax.

Such a lack of mediation serves to exacerbate the cultural and social differences between the narrator and ordinary folk, which in turn mirrors the deep divisions within Jamaican society.

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