Mauritius — the Paradise Island?


The article interprets the novel There is a Tide by Lindsey Collen against the background of her article “Another Side of Paradise” and in the perspective of the political history of Mauritius. Both in the article and in the novel the central image is that of Mauritius as a paradise island, There is a Tide evoking the edenic imagery of Bernardin de Saint‑Pierres’s novel Paul and Virginia. In Saint‑Pierre’s utopian society there are neither ethnic nor class antagonisms. The idea of Mauritius as a Paradise island, where neither class nor ethnic struggles disrupt the ideal harmony, is questioned by Lindsey Collen. Mauritius, as it is presented to the reader of There is a Tide, turns out to be a place where people are divided along ethnic lines and along class lines, both divisions making the image of the island state in Collen’s novel contradict the view of Mauritius presented in de Saint‑Pierre’s Paul and Virginia.

Key words: Mauritius, paradise island, ethnicity, class, antagonisms

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Marta Oracz
University of Silesia 
Marta Oracz graduated from the University of Silesia in 1995. In 2002 she was granted a PhD degree in Literature. She works at the University of Silesia. Her field of study is the eighteenth‑century British literature, philosophy of the British Enlightenment, and pre‑Romantic British landscape painting.