The Innateness Of A Plural Identity : Michelle Cliff 's No Telephone
1524 Words 7 Pages
Michelle Cliff’s novel No Telephone to Heaven is one part of a three novel series that follows the journey of multiple characters as they navigate through spaces they occupy in Jamaica and in between the various identities they take on simultaneously (Grimes “Michelle Cliff”). As a Jamaican-American author, many of Cliff’s works revolve around the plurality of identity as one’s interpretation of themselves through the lenses of colonialism and racism. In Cliff’s fictional novel, characters live as individuals within spaces undefined and in between the known and recorded social constructs. Cliff reproduces the experience of the pluralistic aspect behind these characters’ identities through the protagonist Clare Savage and, at times, her main foil: Christopher. Challenging the notion of a singular identity and instead championing the notion of multifaceted, ‘in between’ identities, Cliff constructs a compelling narrative through the use of simple and compound syntax, nonlinear narration, and a third person omniscient point of view.
Cliff employs a number of stylistic tools in her writing to maintain the ominous tone and air of contradiction of what being “in-between” means in the novel from its beginning. These tools include a mixture of short, staccato sentences in between longer, more descriptive sentences. In some passages of the novel, the use of this stylistic method reads very fluidly and…