Journal Article

Jonestown in Literature: Caribbean Reflections on a Tragedy*

Rebecca Moore

in Literature and Theology

Volume 23, issue 1, pages 69-83
Published in print March 2009 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online December 2008 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/frn051
Jonestown in Literature: Caribbean Reflections on a Tragedy*

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Literature
  • Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

This article examines how several Caribbean writers are using the mass deaths in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978 as elements of their works. Utilising Mikhail Bakhtin's concepts of centripetal and centrifugal forces, and the push-pull dynamic between monologue and dialogue, the article compares Caribbean visions with the central narrative about Jonestown that currently exists. Official accounts about Jonestown focus on the charismatic leader, Jim Jones, and the bizarre nature of the deaths. Caribbean literary representations of Peoples Temple and Jonestown, however, focus on the effects of colonialism, and thus exert a centrifugal influence on monologic discourse about Jonestown. The article concludes that the multiplicity of representations approaches Bakhtin's idea of carnival, in which diverse viewpoints are celebrated outside of mainstream channels.

Journal Article.  6233 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.