As an American from the Midwest, the image that comes to mind of life on a Caribbean island is of paradise and tranquility. It’s a place to escape and not have to deal with long winter months of snow and freezing temperatures. A place one could enjoy beautiful beaches, tropical trees and foliage year round. Everyone has their own perspective of things whether they’ve experienced it first hand or formed an opinion based on things they’ve formed based on resources or second hand information. In Judith Ortiz Cofer’s poem, “On the Island I Have Seen” she provides a glimpse of what life in Puerto Rico is like from a unique perspective. She was born in Puerto Rico, but growing up she moved back and forth between Puerto Rico and America. In an interview she shared: “But I think culture is very complex. You could say that I’m Puerto Rican by birth. I certainly enjoy and appreciate my heritage, and have used a lot of my culture for my art and incorporated it into my life” (Kevane and Herdia, 753). The experience allowed her to see life in Puerto Rico from through a different lens. The use of imagery contributes to the theme of the poem which illustrates the struggles of life on the hot Caribbean island.
On his journey to the New World, Bartolome de Las Casas encounters the “Indians” of the New World, in which he describes as an innocent, undeveloped, people. As a first observation, Las Casas pays close attention to the Indians social appearance and clothing. He notices, “as to their dress, they are generally naked,” usually with minimal clothing worn and, instead of traditional European customs , “ they have no beds, but sleep on a kind of matting or else in a kind of suspended net called hamacas.” Specifically within this quote is the emphasis of the rhetorical device pathos. Las Casas’ diction is written in such a way that portrays the feeling of empathy toward the reader, and because an individual is more likely to help another individual
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave…. I grew up here for nine years since I was a baby, but the feeling of me leaving didn’t feel right. I didn’t really know what to utter to my dad I didn’t want to go. Jamaica was fun living their having childhood memories was the best and leaving them behind was never my idea.
After witnessing the Haitian people's response to the earthquake that destroyed their homes in 2010, journalist Leonard Pitts wrote an essay about his observations. Although many different conclusions can be reached after reading the essay, one message stood out.The main point of the essay is that sometimes, the earth is cruel, but human beings are strong. Pitts proves his point by describing three things: the disasters that fill our world today, the people who suffer through these disasters, and the hopelessness of the situation.
Kincaid, who is from the South American country of Antigua laments the loss of her country’s history at the hands of famed fifteenth century explorer Christopher Columbus. Kincaid sarcastically describes Antigua, a country “discovered” by Columbus, from his perspective. “In the writings, in anything representing a record of the imagination of Christopher Columbus, I cannot find any expectation for a place like this. It is a small lump of insignificance, green, green, green, and green again… the
The second-person form that Kincaid uses throughout her essay is incredibly effective, and it allows the reader to be more involved in the story itself. In most cases, an author would just refer to the tourists as just that: tourists. However, through her use of the words “you” and “your,” Kincaid is able to make the work more personal to the reader. After recognizing the second-person point of view that is being used, the reader will most likely consider how they fit into the generalization Kincaid makes about tourists. If the reader feels uncomfortable by Kincaid’s accusations and attacking tone throughout the work, this is most likely part of her plan. Through calling the reader “a piece of rubbish … [unaware] that the people who inhabit this place … cannot stand you”, Kincaid emphasizes that the reader is part of this tourist stereotype that she describes throughout her message (Kincaid
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.
In Kincaid’s A Small Place, she emphasizes how racism which was brought on by slavery, greatly impacted the lives of Antiguans. Since you are a tourist, a North American or European—to be frank, white—and not an Antiguan black returning to Antigua, […] you move through customs with ease (4). She states that Antiguan citizens are treated terribly in their own
Michelle Cliff’s short story Down the Shore conspicuously deals with a particularly personal and specific, deeply psychological experience, in order to ultimately sub-textually create a metaphor regarding a wider issue of highly social nature. More specifically, the development of the inter-dependent themes of trauma, exploitation, as well as female vulnerability, which all in the case in question pertain to one single character, also latently extend over to the wider social issue of colonialism and its entailing negative repercussions, in this case as it applies to the Caribbean and the British Empire. The story’s explicit personal factor is developed through the literary techniques of repetition, symbolism, metaphor, as well as slightly warped albeit telling references to a distinct emotional state, while its implicit social factor is suggested via the techniques of allusion, so as to ultimately create a generally greater, undergirding metaphor.
A wise woman once said, "The more a daughter knows about her mother 's life, the stronger the daughter" (http://www.wiseoldsayings.com/mother-and-daughter-quotes/). As any girl raised by their mother can attest, the relationship between a mother and her daughter is a learning experience. As young girls, you look up to you mother as your greatest role model and follow in their steps closely. In Jamaica Kincaid 's short story "Girl", a mother uses one single sentence in order to give her daughter motherly advice. Her advice is intended to help her daughter, but also to scold her at the same time. This mother is strong believer in domestic knowledge and believes that through this wisdom her daughter will be spared from a life of promiscuity or being, in her words, a "slut". Most importantly, it allows readers to see the detrimental measures of gender roles that are brought upon young girls just coming into womanhood. It is through the understood setting, constructive
When one reads her essay, he or she can be confused by her writing style because it isn’t like any other usual books. It writes with anger and proper English, which can be hard to read sometimes, and structure like no other. But still her writing is unique because she shows great passion, anger and bitter humor. In A Small Place Jamaica Kincaid describes the beauty of Antigua. How beautiful the sunset looks over the ocean and the blue sea, like no other (Kincaid 77). This passage was full of emotion and is a talented piece. Her work was purposeful and although repetitive, interesting enough to capture the reader’s attention. She explained how Antigua was beautiful; because it’s Antigua, full of the natives, but now the island was riddled with darkness and pain. Antigua had changed due to colonization from Europe, “Thus, love and hatred, sympathy and rage, loyalty and subversion coexist in her sentence, producing a powerful, complicated, layered verbal texture” (Hirsh and Schweitzer 478). The change reflected the love and hatred between Antigua and Europe. While reading one can definitely sense “Kincaid’s voice, expressed in a prose style so powerful and hypnotic… and in the powerful expression of a subconscious emotional landscape. Her style has been characterized as particularly feminine, in its use of strong rhythms and refrains to get beyond the imposed rationality of the “father” and of male-dominated culture. (Hirsc’8h and Schweitzer 477). Her tone was straightforward and arge. The reader should notice her aggressive style on which Jamaica Kincaid purposely tries to offend the reader. Therefore, looking through the New Criticism lens, Kincaid was able to express her anger through the use of irony, tone and other literarcy
Europe’s insatiable capitalist quest led to its conquest of many parts of the world, including the Caribbean island and mainland states. The process started with the ‘discovery’ of the West Indies in the late 15th Century by Christopher Columbus, and continued through the Triangular or Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. The need for land for the extension of Europe’s value-added assets resulted in colonisation of the West Indies, while the need for labour to till the soil led to slavery. Colonisation and slavery, therefore, are agents of capitalism. Imperialism is considered the plateau or highest point of capitalism, for imperialism is the conquest of lands and peoples for the imperialist regime’s extension of power and influence.
“Sugar in the Blood” is a book written by Andrea Stuart, female from diverse racial setting. She was born and raised in the Caribbean Island, in particular, the Barbados. Stuart decision of writing this book comes from inspiration from her earliest ancestors while she was sitting in a library located in Barbados Museum. The library appears to be harshly air-conditioned showing the pathetic condition of her ecological niche. Stuart used census records as the primary source of information and data. Despite the limitations of genealogical study present in the library, she builds various ideas from the sources even if it yields the skeleton and not
Antoinette lacks an identity, not only in the hands of her husband who reduces her personality and changes her name, but also in the eyes of everybody else. She is a puppet, something that belongs to the hands that are holding it; she is what the people think she is and belongs to nowhere. She is trapped in her “own Sargasso Sea”, trapped between two worlds, Europe and Jamaica, but without belonging to any of them. She cannot form her personal identity, but on the contrary “Rhys suggests that so intimate a thing as personal and human identity might be determined by the politics of imperialism” (Chakravorty Spiva, 250), therefore, although Antoinette wishes to become English, it is something she cannot control because there are so many prejudices attached to her Creole condition.
In the story “Girl”, Jamaica Kincaid illustrates the talk given to a young Antiguan girl about what is expected of her in order to make a point about the cultural pressures and unfair social boundaries that come with being a girl in the Caribbean. The author plays with word choice and sentence structure in a way that makes this unconventional writing style enjoyable and metaphorically resonant. Though it is possible to read this prose as a mother talking directly to her daughter and the daughter interjecting, it is actually indicative of a larger conversation between a Caribbean society and its young women; this can be most clearly seen in the discussion of Benna, of plant, animal, and human life, of promiscuity, and of manners.