This essay argues that George Lamming’s In the Castle of My Skin presents an aesthetic quest into an alternative Caribbean subjecthood built on the capacity of feeling. Studying various dimensions of affectivity along with what Raymond Williams called “structures of feeling,” it examines the feeling of “my people” in its “dominant,” “residual,” and “emergent” dimensions. The author considers first how the dominant image of “my people” as “the enemy” gains consent from the characters and supports the hegemony of the ruling class. He then explores the African past illustrated in the haunted dream of Pa as the residual aspect of “my people” and the characters’ negative feelings toward it. Finally, taking Trumper’s Pan-African vision of “my people” as an emergent cultural form, the author analyzes how the novel shows the ways in which the form falls short of what Lamming identifies as “the peasant sensibility,” a Caribbean tradition of feeling toward the land.

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