IUP Publications Online
Home About IUP Magazines Journals Books Archives
     
A Guided Tour | Recommend | Links | Subscriber Services | Feedback | Subscribe Online
 
The IUP Journal of English Studies :
Representation of Existential Nightmare in the Novels of Andrea Levy
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The aim of this paper is to highlight the issue of existential crisis in Afro-Caribbean as depicted by Andrea Levy in her novels. Existentialism is a philosophical movement that views human existence as having a set of underlying themes and characteristics, such as anxiety, dread, freedom, awareness of death, and consciousness of existence. It is a philosophy that interprets human existence in the world and stresses its concreteness and its problematic temperament. Existentialism proposes that man is full of anxiety and despair with no meaning in his life. Levy, in all her novels, discusses existential themes and thereby brings forward the problems of dread, anxiety, quest for belonging, alienation, and lack of freedom, which present her novels as an existentialist nightmare. She experienced the transitional period when white Britain came to know of its multiracial identity coinciding with a period of unrest. Her father was one of the first immigrants who came to England. So we find a firsthand study of the sociopsychological and political condition of the people affected by that historical event in the writings of Levy.

 
 
 

Existentialism is fundamentally a philosophy which began as a popular movement in Europe right after the end of the Second World War. “It is mainly concerned with an individual person existing in the world, with the problems he has to face in life, with the ways he faces them, with his passions and emotions, and above all, with his personal outlook on life” (Bhattacharya 1979, 1). Existentialism is concerned with the ontological issues of human existence such as freedom, responsibility, dread, death, and authenticity. A closer look at the contexts of Levy’s life and writings helps to situate her concerns with various themes of existentialism. Andrea Levy, in all her novels, discusses the existential themes and thereby brings forward the problems of dread, anxiety, quest for belonging, alienation, and lack of freedom, which present her novels as an existentialist nightmare. Genealogical connection with the historical event of immigration of four hundred ninety-two passengers from the Caribbean island in 1948, which marks the symbolic outset of the twentieth century Caribbean diaspora as well as the beginning of change of British society toward multiethnic (Sewell 1998, 1), gives Levy a cavernous outlook in producing such a theme.

 
 

Journal of English Studies ,Levy’s Novels as an Existentialist Nightmare , Existential crisis in Afro-Caribbean, Freedom, Awareness of death,Consciousness of existence.