Analysis Of Jamaica Kincaid's The Autobiography Of My Mother
1787 Words8 Pages
Jamaica Kincaid’s The Autobiography of My Mother signifies a pivotal point in her writing style. Her earlier novels have some semblance of her personal life, but, in this novel, the protagonist Xuela does not share a common experience with that of the author’s life. The mother-obsessed protagonists of her earlier fiction are absent. Instead, we have a seventy year old half-Carib Dominican. The domineering presence of the maternal figure is eradicated and the chief motif of the novel revolves around the absence of the mother. The smothering maternal love that plays a significant role in character and identity forming has been put aside and the implications of the physical absence of the mother are taken as the essence of the novel for analysis. How the self is defined and identified in the absence of the mother explicates the plot of this fiction.The life of Xuela per se revolves around the central fact of the absence of the mother figure or a substitute to whom Xuela can rely for a mirror image which would eventually help her to form and affirm her identity.
As her mother died the moment Xuela stepped into the world, what Xuela initially and primarily experiences is the abandonment. She wonders about the mother “this woman whose face I have never seen, not even in a dream,” about “what did she think” . She is left baffled not knowing “How to explain this abandonment”. More importantly for Xuela,
That attachment, physical and spiritual, that confusion of who is who,