Cereus Blooms At Night Character Analysis

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Queerness in the Caribbean is taboo and often carries violence on queer people in certain circumstances. Queer people and characters disrupt the colonial legacy in the Caribbean and this paper with explore the possibilities on the part Queer character to provide healing, not only for themselves but for other characters as well. While the novels are not explicitly about the trans and queer characters, they are largely why the main characters are able to heal to some capacity. Cereus Blooms at Night are novels that have, not only queer, but also transgender representation. The cisgender characters often have issues involving their identity and how to construct it. The trans characters are there to fill in information, because of their own fractured …show more content…
In Cereus Blooms at Night (which will be referenced as Cereus Blooms after this), “the relationship at the heart of the novel is between Mala, the elderly "village witch" with a childhood history of sexual abuse, and her nurse, Tyler, who pieces together her life story” (Corr 69). Not only does the reader know nothing about Mala from the beginning, but neither do most other characters of the novel. She is simply the village witch who lived in a home over run with the cereus and other plants, whom people refuse to go near, even the mail man (Mootoo 243). From the beginning, Tyler makes it his role and duty to, not only piece together Mala’s story, but assist in some kind of reunion with Mala’s sister, Asha. What information Tyler could not alone get his hands on, he got from Otoh and Ambrose, “one day, for example she would go on and on about some gramophone or other, the next day about spiders, then about peekoplats or snails” (Mootoo 101). While Tyler could not decipher what Mala had to say on her own, Ooth and Ambrose filled in the “related tales in which the very same gramophone, spider, bird or snail featured (Mootoo 101). “Relying on the power of the printed word, Tyler's story becomes […] a dissonant, unruly, yearning self, and a self desiring not to be treated as a curiosity but to "be treated as …show more content…
In Cereus Blooms, the role of the transgender characters as healers is limiting and problematic as it renders them as characters whose only functions are to provide a service to cisgender characters. “In Caribbean fiction, trans characters are also typically portrayed as delivering, being in service to [cisgender characters]. Trans people most often deliver these characters to safety, to a better understanding of themselves, and to their feelings, or histories” (King 583). King goes on to explain that trans characters can facilitate in cisgender characters’ delivery: physically, from physical harm, or emotionally, in which the trans characters “reveals or facilitates the recovery of memory, truth, or history, and is typically manifested form of storytelling, to the trans person or to the person being revealed, but ultimately also always to the reader” (King 583). In the novel’ Tyler and Otoh do exactly this. Tyler, as a nurse, is the only one given the role with taking care of Mala because of her past associations of which the other nurses are scared. Tyler not only cares for Mala, but delivers her emotionally by piecing her story together in order to inform and get the attention of her sister, Asha. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, Otoh helps by bringing his father over to visit Mala at the alms house, and what memories Tyler had not access to is

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