Derek Walcott’s Omeros: How Effective Stories Benefit the Human Experience

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Southern New Hampshire University
This thesis offers a fresh perspective about the benefits of stories on the human experience when they are written, structured, and told effectively. To examine how stories inform us, Derek Walcott’s epic poem Omeros is deconstructed through the theoretical framework of narratology in the paper. The theory of narrative highlights how Walcott’s exceptional use of structure, language, characters, and themes educate readers about the past and present struggles of life on the island. In his poem, Walcott revisits the history of St. Lucia through the tale of local characters who feel dispossessed in a post-slavery/post-colonial environment. Mieke Bal’s “The Point of Narratology,” Mark Freeman’s, “Why Narrative Matters: Philosophy, Method, Theory” and David Herman’s “Storytelling and the Sciences of Mind: Cognitive Narratology, Discursive Psychology, and Narratives in Face-to-Face Interaction”, explain how stories help readers form human connections whilst providing them with an opportunity to understand familiar and unfamiliar worlds that are imagined or real, in the past, present, or future. Through Walcott’s Omeros, this thesis expands on the idea that stories allow writers to transport their interpretation of identity and their experience of the self and otherness, as readers experience how Walcott uses storytelling, textuality, and expression to revisit unhealed wounds within himself and his people.