The pioneers

7 July 2016

Fifty Years of Caribbean Migration to Britain A lot of hatred between cultures is rooted in history, so when people emigrate from one country to another, there is bound to be somewhat of a cultural difference. The text “The pioneers” deals with some of the problems that may occur in a multicultural society like the one we see in Britain today. The author “Caryl Phillips” argues that putting away these cultural prejudices would be constructive for both the inhabitants and the immigrants.

In this particular case the author argues that the Caribbean immigrants helped Britain back in the twentieth century and that Britain would be a poorer society if these immigrants were to go. The article is written by Caryl Phillips, who is a professor at Yale and a famous writer. Caryl Phillips has a Caribbean background, and was very young when he and his parents moved to England. Caryl is known for writing about topics such as multiculturalism. The main topic in the article is the question about multiculturalism, and the significance of the multiculturalism in Britain.

The pioneers Essay Example

The author, Caryl Phillips tells the reader about his point of view; his idea of how Britain would be a more dynamic and richer society. The author explains that society deals with multiple cultures in two ways, a constructive and an unconstructive. If a country has multiple cultures living segregated, then there will be little to no beneficial effects of the multiculturalism. This way of dealing with multiculturalism is not able to work on a long term. According to Caryl Phillips, one of the cultures will dominate, and the other cultures will in some way be oppressed.

While implying a healthy respect for the cultures of different people, can never really work. In such societies there will always be one dominant culture and a hotchpotch of others which are, by definition, lesser (… )” (page 59 first paragraph) According to the author it is far more productive to have a multicultural society, in which all cultures are mixed up. The author expresses that Britain has to find a new national identity, instead of clinging to conventional British culture.

Caryl Phillips also explains that a lot of non-British culture elements already are a part of the British identity, such as music and food. Therefore there is no reason not to take the last steps towards a better multicultural Britain. The author also claims that developing Britain into a multicultural is not as difficult as one might think. It’s not about adapting foreign cultures as much as it is about removing the mental resistance most British people have towards unfamiliar cultures.

Caryl argues that without the Caribbean immigrants, who came to Britain in the second half of the twentieth century, Britain would be a poorer society. The language in the text “The Pioneers” is first and foremost very academic. The author uses words such as “amalgam”, “synthesise”, “plurality”. Secondly the author is quite formal in his way of writing. The way the author delivers the text is subjective, but the text is still presented in a formal way. The author does not put a lot of stress into opinion-bearing words. The language is throughout the text generally neutral, the writer tries to stay objective.

But since most of his arguments are based on facts that could be invalid or is the authors’ interpretations of the society. “I would argue that whereas George Orwell claimed that ‘it needs some very great disaster, such as prolonged subjugation by a foreign enemy, to destroy a national culture’, the truth is that it needs some very great fortune such as continual waves of immigration to create a national culture”(page 61 second paragraph) In the quote above the writer speaks out his own point of view, which may or may not be accurate and realistic.

Another aspect of the language is the authors’ choice of symbols. When Caryl raises the question about British national identity, he uses certain events/traditions like Derby day and Boat Race to outline British culture. When describing a culture, the cuisine, national events and holidays are often a good way of describing the national identity, as these symbolize the common “native” of respective nation.

These examples of British identity are quite significant, as they describe entertainment, food and celebrations. The author could easily have chosen symbols of British culture such as: education, arts and politics other than poetry In the conclusion, the article deals with multiculturalism, and the positive effects of a favorable society with different cultures. The differences between cultures might be smaller than the average Briton might think. Especially in a global society like the one we have today.

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The pioneers. (2016, Jul 24). Retrieved April 15, 2021, from
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