LOVE IN POSTCOLONIAL TIMES: EXPLORING ECHOES OF C.S. LEWIS’ FOUR LOVES IN SELECTED WORKS BY DEREK WALCOTT, V.S. NAIPAUL, TONI MORRISON, AND PABLO NERUDA
This thesis explores the universal theme of love, as analyzed by C.S. Lewis in his classical essay The Four Loves. In the course of this literary quest, selected literary works of four laureates of Nobel Prize in literature — Half a Life and Magic Seeds by V.S. Naipaul, Beloved by Toni Morrison, and representative poems from the poetic creations of Derek Walcott and Pablo Neruda- will be discussed in the multicultural context of a postcolonial era. C.S. Lewis lamented the poverty and limitations of the English language in expressing the polysemantic nuances of the word “love”. Consequently, he used the Greek lexicon to define and explain this profound concept and, in the process, the author classified love as being synonymous with four different English words: Affection, Friendship, Eros (with a Greek variant named Venus), and Charity. All four are rich in their applications to the relationships between human beings, and the spiritual, religious nature of the relationship between man and the Divinity. In the argumentation of this thesis, concepts such as colonialism, postcolonialism, orientalism, imperialism, modernity, the Other, Eurocentrism, Carribean, slavery and African American will be discussed in relationship to the manifestation of love , the lack of it, or the misinterpretation of love, as it was the case of the colonial powers in their conquest and subjugation of the indigenous people.
East Carolina University