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Derek Walcott's Omeros (Essay Sample)


An analysis of Derek Walcott\'s Omeros

Derek Walcott's Omeros
Part I: Profile of Achille
Achille’s profile comes out through his various interactions with the people around him, his thoughts and his actions. Achille comes out in what one may compare to Achillies, although Walcott creates a unique person in unique settings in Omeros. Initially, Achilles is portrayed as strong-willed fisherman. He sees corruption in the island and comes out through words and expressions as a leader leading a humble life. His efforts to make sure that not all traditions are thrown away in favor of western values seem to make him appear to embrace conservatism. He is also a free-minded person especially in his approach to relationships. This is particularly so as it is not clear whether he or Hector is responsible for Helen’s pregnancy. He is also witty in the sense that he connects the star that is falling with Hector’s actions and predicts fate on his friend. He comes out as a person who lives true to himself and to the reality of the situation. This makes Achille to resort to anger in some instance, although it would appear that he means good.
All his life, Achilles is more than just a fisherman who paddles his canoe through the mangroves. He is a man in pursuit of the knowledge about his past on one side. On the other side, he is a man deeply concerned with what has become of St. Lucia. His profile also depicts a man whose character and decisions can be spontaneous. This is especially so as he ignores the dog and the child. Indeed his profile depicts two sides of the same coin. At one time, he is himself, and another time he seems to run away from the very things he holds dear to himself. Even so, he comes out as a person who is responsible and deeply rooted in culture.
Part II
The poet has used the lizard Iguana in a manner that almost makes the lizard iguana a character in the poem. It is vital to note in advance that when the rap is proceeded by the island’s description and its animal life, bringing Iguana into the attention of the readers serves to emphasize its importance. It is not the sort of fetish importance, but one that is closely tied with the heritage of the people in the island. It is purpose here is to relate the geography of the island not only with the culture that should prevail, but also with what has been in the past. The poet uses the iguana to bring out what one may observe as indisputable facts about St. Lucia. This is particularly so as he there is a reminder of the right things to do without offering much room for debate and questions.
Subsequently, one can say that Walcott socializes the iguana with other characters so that he brings out the memory of the past to the present generation on the island. Concerning the present and the past, the poet depicts Helen as the voice of the land though her character is wanting. Consequently, the lizard iguana serves to remind people of the way of life of the past. It is assumable that the current way of life is not as good as that one of the past. A blend of the presence of the iguana, Helen’s character and Hector’s decisions allow the iguana to serve the purpose of pointing out that the islanders are deviating from the very culture on which St. Lucia was founded.
Besides, the lizard is also a symbol of history of the island. It symbolizes an aspect of the island that has remained static for quite a long time. The poet talks about the landscape in close relationship with the iguana. When Walcott talks of the smokes t...
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