The problematic s of the quest for identity in Derek Walcott's dream on monkey mountain.
The study investigates how Derek Walcott treats the theme of the search for identity in Dream on Monkey Mountain. The study proceeds from the premise that the search for identity for the Afro-Caribbean is a constant preoccupation. This, the study assumes, is due to multiple factors that mitigate to dis orientate the search. And hence the existence of problematic s in the search for identity as portrayed in the play. The conceptualisation of alienation as cultural rootlessness - especially ill the given special attention. A discussion is also carried out of the Caribbean polyrhythmic cultural base in the milieu of the Caribbean society. The search for identity is thus seen as necessarily taking into consideration this aspect of the Caribbean. Identity is seen as having a multiple and unstable nature. This refers to how the characters, especially the two main ones - Makak and Lestrade - appropriate their alienation and how their assumed identities keep on shifting in reaction to the surrounding realities of the Caribbean cultural heterogeneity. The construction of home (the place of return) as a migrating location and the role of the dream in creating this aura of a shifting "home" is given special emphasis. The dream of return is discussed as being only a vehicle for the characters to realise the truth of their predicament as inheritors of a fragmented culture. The African-Caribbean is discussed as an individual whose dream of going back to the primeval beginning is disoriented by the present reality - of cultural imprisonment in which he lives. The quest for identity is seen as being problematic when one realises that the social and economic circumstances of the people do not constitute their identity, rather, it is the piecing together of the fragments of their history and culture that does.