Wednesday, September 25, 2013


-a British novelist, short story writer, historian and mythographer.  she focuses on books relating to feminism and myths. professor at university of essex.  
-her family settled St. Kitt’s island (sir thomas warner) was her grandfather. She named her Prospero character Kit Everard as in St. Kitts
-her family played a large role in British imperialism and its  almost as if she was trying to atone for family’s wrong doings
-book written in 1992
-tobacco was originally the main crop but then it switched to sugar cane until 2005
-St. Kitt’s 65 square miles
-Indigo’s alternate title is Mapping The Waters because Warner is attempting to map the murky waters of history on imperialism.  
-There are several volcanoes on St. Kitt and the highest volcano is Mount Liamuiga which is what Warner calls the island in Indigo, and also what the natives originally called the island
-First adaptation of the tempest that we’ve read that focuses on the gender roles in The Tempest.  
-St. Kitts is an island in the West Indies; short for St. Christopher Island
-theme of mapping

-unlike shakespeare, Warner references the bible, specifically the story of Cain and also Ishmael.  She references “The Good Book.”  comparing the natives to Cain.
-Kit - Prospero (hes a voyager and a colonizer, he talks about how great he’s going to be for the island and he takes advantage of the native’s knowledge of the island to get what he wants and then forgets about it.  he keeps ariel captive.)
-Caliban - Natives (interested in nature whereas Kit is just interested in monetary gains from the crops)  the tree, ariel/sycorax
-nature is very relevant, the natives are all connected to nature
-Dule is renamed caliban (more references to the canibal/caliban). (“this island is mine”) Kit takes control of him.  Caliban was the leader until Kit takes him and subdues him which reflects the tempest.  as caliban/dule’s punishment they slit the back of his hamstrings so that hes handicapped as he is in the tempest.
-“Indigo” refers to Sycorax’s trade (a churning method of making indigo dye)
-Warner also takes what were mere references in The Tempest to Sycorax and others and makes them fully fledged characters.  
-shape shifting nature of ariel was representative of women having to take on different roles.
ariel in indigo does whatever the settlers need.
-same parallel of how the island originally belonged to the natives
-in letter from King of England to Kit he talks about how the people weren’t christian and therefore didn’t count  “that we are further informed that these said Islands are possesed and inhabited only by the aforementioned savages and heathen people, and are not, nor at the time of the discovery were, in the possession  or under the government of any Christian Prince, state, or potentate.”
-Shakespeare says Sycorax was bent like a hoop “this blue eyed hag”
-ariel is female, also mute.  when she tries to talks to Kit he shoots her down and leave.  in tempest when ariel tries to talk to prospero he also shoots him down.
-there were many allusions along the way to the history of st. kitts island → subtext

-She took a lot of details directly from history in addition to Shakespeares The Tempest
kalingo genocide took place several years after her setting for Indigo, it is likely that she was referencing this.
-“river of blood” blood of the carobs ran down bloody river
-the genocide did in fact take place in late january which is also the same in Indigo
-most of the history about the kolingo genocide was written by the british.  in indigo, she uses more graphic/realistic terms.  “the massacres was shameful, the losses piteous.  the blood of the wounded trickled from the bank, spilling like one of the showers that freshened the earth each day and flowed downstream towards the sea, which was not so far that its rich scarlet could diffuse before it met the waves.”

1 comment:

  1. Here'a a bit from Wikipedia on the Kalinago Genocide:

    The Kalinago Genocide of 1626 occurred in the West Indian island of St. Kitts at Bloody Point. The Caribs realized that many more Europeans would come and settle in St.Kitts. The Caribs decided that the European settlers had to be destroyed. Large numbers of Caribs from Dominica and other neighbouring islands were invited to St. Kitts to help get rid of the settlers. However, the plan was told to one of the English settlers by a woman named Barbe. The English and French joined forces and launched a surprise night-time attack on the St. Kitts Caribs. According to Du Tertre (1667 I:6), between 100 and 120 Caribs were killed in their beds that night, with only the most beautiful Carib women spared death to serve as slaves. Having thus rid themselves of the local Caribs, the French and English subsequently divided the island between them and set about fortifying the island against the expected invasion of Caribs from other islands. In the ensuing battle, three to four thousand Caribs allegedly took up arms against the Europeans. Du Tertre gives no precise information on the number of Caribs killed, but mentions that the fallen Amerindians on the beach were piled high into a mound. The English and French suffered at least 100 casualties (Du Tertre 1667 I:6). It is said that the blood of the Caribs ran down Bloody River for three days. This is why the area was named Bloody Point.
    For more details, see
    For continuing (this year!) claims for reparations, see