AN EXAMINATION OF MULTICULTURALISM AND RACISM IN EDGAR MITTELHOLZER’S A MORNING AT THE OFFICE (Published)
This paper is examines Mittelholzer’s depiction of the multicultural and multiracial character of the West Indies in his novel, A Morning at the Office. It unfolds that the West Indies is inhabited by various peoples, from different parts of the globe and who had no indigenous link or ancestral claim on the islands. The paper further traces the roots of this multiculturalism in the West Indies and how it has engendered racism to the various colonial ideological onslaughts on the Islands, the importation of millions of African captives as well as the presence of Chinese and East Indians who served as planters and overseers on the newly established mines and plantation. Indeed, it is this conglomerate of peoples with diverse cultures that has made the Islands to be described as “A Stew Pot’. It is the submission of this paper that in a multicultural society, the issues of racism and racial segregation abound. The paper particularly uses Edgar Mittelholzer’s A Morning at the Office to project this view. At the end it asserts that the West Indies can only maintain its genuine national identity if all racial barriers are removed and the various races learn to appreciate the cultural and racial diversities of the Islands without prejudice to skin pigmentation.
Keywords: Identity, Multiculturalism, Racism, Stew Pot