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Tanti At The Oval Essay

1259 words - 6 pages


Paul Keens-Douglas was born in September of 1942. Although he was born in Trinidad and Tobago, he spent his early childhood days in Grenada, where he attended Presentation Boys College. Mr. Douglas enjoyed drama from a tender age and upon his return to Trinidad and Tobago in 1974, his main focus was to highlight Trinidad and Tobago and by extension the Eastern Caribbean through works of poetry, storytelling, drama and through his writing and performances. Paul Keens-Douglas is a founding member of the Association of Black Storytellers of America, and also holds the Zora Neale Hurston Award, the Caribbean American lntercultural Organisation Award, Washington, and the Beryl ...view middle of the document...

“The age of sixty or sixty-five, roughly equivalent to retirement ages in most developed countries is said to be the beginning of old age.” (Gorman, WHO). Paul may not have been a particularly young man, but he definitely did not place himself in the same age bracket as Tanti. Tanti, however, did not feel like her age should stop her from attending the cricket match, since she did not see herself as elderly or old person. Paul, much like the Caribbean youth of today, was looking forward to the lime at the Oval just as much as the match. Again, like today’s Caribbean youth, he felt like his “old Tanti” was keeping him back. Young people of the Caribbean enjoy being carefree when liming, going to events, or even just in general. Trinidadian young people, for example, will go out on an empty stomach, enjoy themselves, then purchase doubles or gyro when they see fit. Paul seemed to possess similar habits; he had no intentions of carrying food, since it could have easily been purchased. Tanti, on the other hand, saw it fit to ensure she packed a meal. As an older person, she finds herself thinking ahead as she does not plan to be put into any unfortunate situations. Despite Paul’s displeasure of having Tanti as his cricket companion, it is noted that he is never disrespectful to Tanti Merle. Paul did not like the fact that Tanti chose to carry a basket of food, yet, he held it for her. He had numerous issues with her throughout the day, but he waited until he got home and vented to his wife, never daring to confront Tanti. This type of respectful relationship, to me, is not very prevalent in today’s Caribbean society. As children, we are all taught to respect our elders, therefore we tend to find ourselves shutting our mouths and simply putting up with the “elderly”. However, the population of respectful young people seems to be dwindling, and more young people behave like the “bad-john” at the Oval, toward their elders.

The match in the monologue featured the Combined Islands versus Trinidad. This match, however, took place in Trinidad. Therefore Tanti Merle, a sixty-five year old, proud St. Vincentian, would have been surrounded by Trinidadians before, after and during the match. She therefore felt the need to boast of St. Vincent whenever given the chance. She wanted to make sure everyone knew she was from St. Vincent and that she was supporting the Combined Islands. As Caribbean people, we tend to compare our islands one to the other, highlighting the great characteristics about our home island, as we try to over shadow the other. Sport, specifically, cricket and the West Indies Cricket Team,...

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