Emily Zobel Marshall’s “And Always, Anancy Changes’: An Exploration of Andrew Salkey’s Anancy Stories” is a chapter that delves into the journey taken by Andrew Salkey, focusing on the historic and infamous character Anansy. This mischievous spider possesses various personalities and uses manipulation on other characters within the narrative. The origins of the Anancy stories can be traced back to the Akan tribe in Ghana. These tales were traditionally shared in a communal setting, aiming to provide lessons and insights about the challenges of life.
According to Salkey, tales were brought by slaves to the Caribbean and had the most impact in Jamaica. In Jamaican tales, Anansy is portrayed as a confusing character. Andrew Salkey went to the University of London and worked as a freelance broadcaster, where he shared his stories on the radio. In his novels and journals, Salkey concentrated on the history of the Caribbean and the political problems of the twentieth century in the region. Although he told his stories “Anansy’s Score” and “Anancy, Traveller” in Creole, he combined Standard English and Creole in his broadcasts and written works.
This passage demonstrates that Andrew Salkey aimed to preserve the use of Creole English. In his short stories, he experimented with narrative and structure, shedding light on important aspects of Caribbean history. While Salkey’s collections differ from the original Anancy tales, one contrasting element is the focus on morals and ethics instead of cruelty and self-indulgence. Through his stories, Salkey challenges readers to consider both his portrayal and their own worldview. He believes that becoming a storyteller requires fully embodying the character of Anancy, as this immersion will captivate the audience.