At the end of the novel Guerrillas, by V. S Naipaul, Jane, a British woman from London is murdered by Bryant, a young black kid native to the Caribbean island where the novel is based. Behind this murder we could discuss guilt and responsibility through different perspectives. Can we really hold Bryant responsible for his actions? Jane is a woman who is not content with herself, she is naive as Roche defines her and out of balance-out of touch with herself and the perception of reality. She is careless about people’s feelings and ignorant about the consequences of her actions.The fact that she wavers from passion and pleasure through meaningless sexual encounters to rape and violence are all feelings that remind her she’s alive, nothing less and nothing more.
Consequently, being in a post-colonial society full of animosity and frustration, all her mistakes and imprudent actions lead her to her own death. This is an example of how the presence and impact of “the powerful colonizer” damaged not only those around him but themselves, in this case Naipaul’s character of Jane is a representation of the indifference and self-centered post-colonial personality of the dominant race in the colonized territories.In conclusion we could argue that Jane did act in a selfish and unconcerned manner. Conscious that she had the alternative of returning to her homeland, escaping the island’s reality and trying to bring back with her an adventurous experience full of love affairs and careless decisions, she unawarely clashed with the islanders; a people whose disadvantages in life were reflected through anger, despair, emotional repression and a hopelessness that Bryant and Jimmy embodied.Naipaul tries to engage the reader into feeling empathy towards the latter characters by placing Jimmy first, as the frustrated revolutionary who lives his own lie and only wishes to see himself as a hero that satisfies the oppressed desire of revenge against the powerful dominant, whereas Bryant is the unfortunate native young child overwhelmed by hostility and thwarted dreams who could have become a better person if given the opportunity. In consideration of all these factors and circumstances, who is really to blame?
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