The Cricket Match

1053 words 5 pages
“The Cricket Match”

Samuel Selvon’s short story, “The Cricket Match” explores the subtle racial tensions amongst West Indian immigrants living in England whilst working with English counterparts. Selvon sets his narrative in a tyre factory in Chiswick, England. Most likely, the timeline in which this story occurs is somewhere in the mid 1950’s when England were still colonists of most of the English speaking Caribbean islands. The main idea behind Selvon’s tale lies with Algernon the protagonist, whose desire to fabricate his knowledge of cricket, so as to simultaneously impress but show disdain towards the Englishmen around him backfires because it is this self-proclaimed knowledge which places him into conflict. Selvon also
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The denouement of the story quickly follows from the falling action, and is rather abrupt, which increases the rigidity of the conclusion. Yet this does not altogether lessen its plausibility. Algernon’s main character is relatively flat and does not develop nor show any depth throughout the narrative. His is also the only character that mainly has any form of characterization. The language variety which Selvon adopts for this story consists mainly of a form of Caribbean vernacular. The form of this vernacular seems to be Trinidadian Mesolect Creole. This is as a result of the main character originating from Trinidad and Tobago, and apparently residing there for a period of time.

An example of an incident which results from main conflict in this story transpires just after the initial meeting between Algernon and Charles. This occurs when Algernon and Roy are discussing their predicament: ‘Afterwards in the canteen having elevenses Roy tell Algernon: “You see what your big mouth get us into.”’ At this juncture in the story, both Roy and Algernon appreciate the severity of their situation and are desperately trying to arrive at a solution: ‘They sit down there in the canteen cogitating on the problem. ...Roy say, “it look as if we will have to hustle an eleven somehow. We can’t back out of it now.”’ Hence, this example supports the focal conflict, while at the same time enlightens the readers to the fact that both Algernon and Roy are pretensive. Another


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