Imperialism And Colonialism In Jamaica Kincaid's A Small Place

1032 Words5 Pages
Gentle waves, lush greenery, and sun-soaked beaches, Antigua embodies your ideal holiday destination. But Jamaica Kincaid turns your paradise upside down in her new memoir A Small Place. Using her pen as a sword, Kincaid slashes Antigua’s façade of perfection into shreds and presses the blade against the throats of tourism, colonialism and corruption. Many denounce Kincaid’s latest book as an over attack, her gaze too penetrating and intimidating. The tone of voice continuously shifts throughout the memoir, starting from sardonic, manifesting into anger, to slowly conclude in melancholy. Though particular accusations, such as when the narrator cruelly rejects “you” as “an ugly thing”, may upset the readers, Kincaid purposely provokes reactions of defensiveness and guilt to challenge us to accept an oppositional reading. By addressing the reader directly through a second person perspective, Kincaid forces the reader to take responsibility for the actions of invading foreigners. The antipathy, though cutting off reader sympathy, preserves reader-author distance, deliberately alienating the readers, creating ambivalence, and juxtaposing the differing points of views between the tourists and the natives. Although the personified reader that Kincaid outlines, an ordinary and ignorant Westerner, may strike the readers as a prejudiced stereotype, the author provides a taste of the dehumanized “Otherness” that the Antiguans have endured for generations. No longer the tranquil
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