Jamaica Kincaid Rhetorical Devices

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Antigua was trapped. Every last inch of the island was imprisoned and controlled by England. At least this was how it felt to Jamaica Kincaid, a woman who grew up on the isle. Her life was constantly being pushed around by Britain, for better or for worse. To Jamaica, it was for worse. As Kincaid reflects on her life and relationship with England, she takes steps to justify her opinions to readers. Jamaica’s use of specific rhetorical devices allows her to successfully establish and support her biting tone in this piece. Jamaica Kincaid opens on her earliest encounter with England. Traveling down memory lane, she explores her first impressions through metaphors. As a child, Britain’s “mysterious” (6) air struck her. The country was “a very…show more content…
She draws a parallel between her life before she understood Britain and her life after she had experienced its impact. Kincaid brings her readers back in time. Her use of ironic foreshadowing clarifies her bitter feelings towards England by explaining how difficult the country has made her life. Jamaica had no idea that “the word England” (112) was meant to make her “feel in awe and small” (111). She was just an innocent child at the time. The irony of the device stems from the fact that Kincaid wrote this essay as a grownup, even though the foreshadowing appears to be coming from a place of naivety. Jamaica wanted her life back. She wanted to change her situation. This longing draws attention to the examples previously mentioned in the excerpt and connects her experiences from past to present. Jamaica’s foreshadowing justifies her hostile tone by reflecting on all the different ways in which England’s presence damaged her lifestyle. Jamaica Kincaid emphasizes her feelings toward Britain by employing a strict and severe tone in her essay. Using several rhetorical strategies, she criticizes Britain’s monopoly over Antigua while pointing out examples from her past that illustrate and defend her opinions. Jamaica questions England’s appearance at first glance through her rhetoric. While she does suggest that the country can seem beautiful on the outside, her experience didn’t match up with the hype. She was
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