Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of English

Content Description

1 online resource (iii, 58 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Paul Stasi


cultural fluidity, Indo-Trinidadian Literature, post-colonial, Shani Mootoo, Trinidadian identity, V.S. Naipaul, Authors, Trinidadian, East Indians, Indic literature (English), Trinidadian and Tobagonian fiction (English)

Subject Categories

Latin American Literature


The aim of this thesis is to clarify and analyze the arguments about national and marginal identity made by two Indo-Trinidadian authors, V.S. Naipaul and Shani Mootoo. Naipaul argues that Trinidad as a nation cannot survive because it must be dependent on colonial rule. He argues that Indo-Trinidadian's are neither British nor Indian, and they lack identity and stability. In contrast, Mootoo argues that Trinidad is fully capable of establishing its own identity, and that Indo-Trinidadian culture does not need colonization nor India to define it. She argues that culture is a fluid and constantly changing idea. Mootoo recognizes the attempts at preserving Indian traditions and British standards in Trinidad, but argues that the attempt to make culture stagnant prevents progression. She also emphasizes in her work the marginal identity of gender set by societal standards, and understands that these gender identities must also fluctuate.