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Ti-Jean and His Brothers

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Angelica Bracco

on 13 November 2012

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Transcript of Ti-Jean and His Brothers

Derek Walcott Walcott is an esteemed dramatist and poet from the Caribbean island, St. Lucia. His mother's "in" with the education system allowed him to receive an excellent education and a superb grounding in English, not available to other non-whites on the islands. Tension between his desire to create works representative of his West Indies roots, and his Euro-centered education, were often a source of controversy. Who's this guy? He also... - Achieved status as a distinguished dramatist with his play, Henri Christophe (1949) on the revolution in Haiti

- Worked with the Little Carib Theater and the Basement Theater which eventually evolved into The Trinidad Theater Workshop (late 1950s)

- Won the Nobel Prize for his poem, "for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment" (1992) Let's put this in perspective - Persistent British colonization in the West Indies began as early as the 1600s
- Long tradition of slave rebellion characterized by violence, bloodshed, and mass murder of slaves
- Toussaint L'Ouverture: successful slave rebellion leader
- Plagued by social unrest and upset Gros Jean.
One time again it have nothing to eat, But one day bread to break;
I went out to chop some wood
To make a nice fire,
But the wood was too damp,
So I didn't use the axe
As I didn't want it to get wet;
If it get wet it get rusty.

Mi Jean.
Sense!
I went out to do fishing
For crayfish by the cold stones, In the cold spring in the ferns,
But when I get there so,
I find I lack bait,
Now for man to catch fish,
That man must have bait. pg. 719 Ti Jean.
Now pray for me, maman,
The sun is in the leaves.

Mother.
The first of my children
Never asked for my strength,
The second of my children
Thought little of my knowledge,
The last of my sons, now,
Kneels down at my feet,
Instinct be your shield,
It is wiser than reason,
Conscience be your cause
And plain sense your sword. pg. 729 Importance of the Number Three - Tripartite Theory of Knowledge
- Belief
- Truth
- Justification
- Three step build to resolution keeps the audience engaged
- In Christianity, the number three is representative of the Holy Trinity

"Ti-Jean the hunter...he beat the devil" pg. 718 "Burn, burn, burn de cane!" pg. 733 Analysis Mother: symbolizes the helpless West Indies
Devil: symbolizes the tyrannous colonial slavemasters
Three Brothers: represent black slaves fighting for freedom
Gros Jean
- "Gros" meaning burly, large
-The eldest of the three brothers
-Too proud of physical attributes to his mother's advice
Mi Jean
- "Mi" meaning middle brother
- Too proud of intellect to listen to the warnings against danger offered by the Frog, the Cricket, and the Bird
Ti Jean
- "Ti" meaning "little" people in society, of the lowest class
- "embodiment of intuition, courage, humility, vision, and endurance" (Ahaolu)
- May be compared to other folk tales in which a small animal struggles and eventually triumphs over a larger, stronger animal
- Allusion to David and Goliath
- Ti Jean as a Christ figure Ti Jean and His Brothers is representative of ancient "dancing with the devil" legends that simultaneously incorporates modern political hardships of the West Indies. What parallels can be made to other fairy tales ?

What is the significance of the number three? Ultimately, what theme does Walcott attempt to convey through the relationship between the devil (British colonizers/wealthy) and the three brothers (black slaves)? Bibliography Ashaolu, Albert. "Allegory in Ti-Jean and His Brothers."
Critical Pesrpectives on Derek Walcott. Washington D.C.: Three Continents, 1992. 118-23. Print. Ser. 26.

Brown-Velez, Jessica M. "Ti Jean and His Brothers."
Diss. The University of Wisconsin- Madison, 2011. Print.

Greenwald, Michael L., Roger Schultz, and PomoRoberto. Darío. "The Theater of Africa and the African Diaspora." The Longman Anthology of Drama and Theater: A Global Perspective. New York: Longman, 2001. 708-39. Print.

University Theatre. “Ti Jean and His Brothers 1, 5, 6, 10.”
Photo. Flickr.com 26 Oct. 2011. 5 Nov. 2012 <http://www.flickr.com/photos/university_theatre/sets/72157627999675578/with/6289621445/ >

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