In History Jamaica Kincaid Summary

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It is fair to argue that dissecting one’s own ignorance is not an easy task to accomplish without a great capacity for self-analysis. In her essay “In History”, Jamaica Kincaid appears to criticize herself by exposing her ignorance and vulnerability to her readers. Why would she want to be criticized in this way? Is she challenging her readers by openly inviting them to judge her—yet also hinting at the fact that they should observe their own limitations? Indeed, this is precisely what Kincaid does, and she chooses the perfect theme through which to explore~ the flaws of her thought-process: history. As the essay progresses and Kincaid answers her own questions about history in a generalized, naïve and almost stream-of-consciousness manner,…show more content…
For me, the one whom I loved, all the memories I had with that person is history, but I doubt other people will call it history. It is all about subjectivity. I do not think the author really wanted to say that a blankness of things has no history, but actually the opposite by asking, “what is history?” The fact that Kincaid’s ironic and somewhat self-mocking approach made me reflect on my own perception of history from the very start demonstrates that her method is indeed effective.After demonstrating a large number of barely justified assumptions about historical characters and her general investigative naiveté, the author goes a step further by providing some extremely simplistic descriptions of landscape. While re-imagining Columbus’ impressions of the newly discovered land, she describes it as: “A small lump of insignificance, green, green, green, and green again”. Kincaid continues to emphasize the alleged one-dimensionality of the landscape, commenting that even “painters” (whom she naively assumes to have the job of vivifying dull landscapes) would find it to be, at most, “a green that often verges on
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