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Image Of ‘The Creole Mother’ In Hearn’s Youma

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on Lafcadio Hearn's stay in Martinique before he came to Japan. The author believes one answer will be found in his novel Youma, especially in the inspiring way the heroine is depicted as a Creole mother. The novel Youma begins with the well-known passage about the 'da', the nurse, in Martinique households; how the da cared for the child, and how she was loved and respected in return. The story of Youma is set in the background of a Creole society. In the novel Youma, when the mother narrates Creole folk tales to the child, she is in fact narrating retold stories that have a unifying effect on the recipient as well. One may say, that Hearn had discovered and embodied the values of re-told literature he was to accomplish later in Japan, in the image of the Creole mother in Youma.

Keywords: Creole mother; Japan; Lafcadio Hearn; Martinique; Youma



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