Observations and ideas about race, ethnicity and mixing.

An Identity To Be Proud Of

I think one of the important messages in “The Dragon Can’t Dance” is how it is impossible to move forward in society when the people of the society don’t understand their history. The novels is in constant hope for the community to get grow and transform and to fight against its oppressed past. During the carnival season, we see the cultural resistance against slavery and colonialism. I think that Lovelace wrote this book to express an identity for Trinidadian people can be proud of. For example, he talks about the importance of calypso. The act was previously illegal but he shows how it reveals their culture and identity. He writes to create a place where the typical colonial, Eurocentric ways of thinking can be challenged and other identities and ways of thinking can be understood.


  1. brodeenk

    “The Dragon Can’t Dance”brought Trinidadian culture to life for me. It helped me understand so many aspects of culture and the role of race there. With the focal points of the book occurring in Carneval season, it helped from an outsider’s perspective to understand the importance of carneval and calypso which are unique elements fighting against their suppressed history. It’s a season that unites neighborhoods and groups, and despite the times and tribulations highlighted throughout the book, leaving constant hope for the community to grow.

  2. Eve Giordano

    I completely agree with your analysis of “The Dragon Can’t Dance”. How are we supposed to be understanding and supportive of other cultures when we do not fully comprehend our own? I also think that as much as the novel is about community and cultural growth, it has an individualistic growth aspect. Following the dragon himself, we see how he is tethered to his community by his undying faith to carnival and the costume, and how it almost swallows him. He is freed when he realizes he does not need to be restrained by tradition, but rather to embrace it in his own way and learn to let go. Do you agree?

  3. heronca

    I agree with your observations of a society not being able to fully move forward, especially in the case of post-colonialism, when they are not completely in tune with their history.

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