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Tee must conform to the standards Beatrice has set for her own children, who have little respect for their mother but still conform in action, dress and language.
The most concrete example of the change within Tee after she begins to assimilate the British colonial culture, is through her own demonstration of an alter ego, she calls Helen. Helen, is what Tee thinks of as the perfect English girl and she attempts to emulate the behavior of this stereotyped child as she begins to read the literature of the colonial world, a great deal of which at the time dealt with propriety and standards of the social world of the colonial, but not the Trinidadian culture. Helen, dresses and plays the part that Tee believes to be the best example of the literary British girl.
Her attitude is one of disdain for her culture, and though her Trinidadian role models do not accept the new attitude of Tee, as Helen, their rejection of her is somewhat practical rather than personal. (Hodge 90)
Tee developed Helen as a whole person, with memories and a history that included a fictional involvement with Beatrice's coveted white ancestor.
Helen "spent summer holidays at the sea-side with her aunt and uncle who had a delightful orchard with apple trees and pear trees in which sang chaffinches and blue tits;" she "loved to visit her Granny for then they sat by the fireside and had tea with delicious scones and home-made strawberry jam." Tee thought, "She was the proper me." (90)
Though it must be said that Tee was probably protecting her true self by creating an alternative personality, which bore the brunt of bother her successes and failures in trying to conform to her new household and educational and social standards. Tee protected her own psyche by emulating her new roles as another, rather than as a personal failing of her own. In this way Tee could continue to be, at her core the Tee who was a part of her Trinidadian family.
Tee focused her attention away from her own world, through her alter ego, Helen and through Helen she began to revere the ideals of the colonial society, a culture that had disdain for anything indigenous or colorful and hoped for all people, both civilized and uncivilized to look outside their own culture for all guidance with regard to society. Helen believed that Books transported you always into the familiar solidity of chimneys and apple trees, the enviable normality of real Girls and Boys who went a-sleighing and built snowmen, ate potatoes, not rice, went about in socks and shoes from morning until night and called things by their proper names, never saying "washicong" for plimsoll or "crapaud" when they meant a frog. Books transported you always into reality and Rightness, which were to be found Abroad. (89)
Tee does a remarkable job affecting her new beliefs in the demands of Beatrice's household and yet in the long run she does not succeed. Tee become trapped between the ideal of colonial society and the reality of her born culture.
I wanted to shrink, to disappear.... I felt that the very sight of me was an affront to common decency. I wished that my body could shrivel up and fall away, that I could step out new and acceptable" (97)
She does not fit in anywhere. She cannot return to her life in Tantie's household and she can never truly meet the expectation of Beatrice.
In the end she is sent to her father in England, to save her from Beatrice's indoctrination of self-loathing but also to further her advance into the world that will become her own, the world of the wandering soul with no real home, trapped between the ideals of two worlds and never fully inside either.
Hodge, Merle. "Challenges of the Struggle for Sovereignty: Changing the World vs. Writing Stories." Essays from the First International Conference. Ed. Cudjoe, Selwyn Reginald. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1990. 202-208.
Hodge, Merle. Crick Crack, Monkey New York, NY Heinemann Pubs. 2001.
Thomas, Ena V. "Crick Crack Monkey: a Picaresque Perspective." Essays from the First International Conference. Ed. Cudjoe, Selwyn…[continue]
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