Jamaica Kincaid's Blackness Essay

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In the short story “Blackness” by Jamaica Kincaid, the narrator’s consciousness develops through a process of realization that she does not have to choose between the culture imposed on her and her authentic heritage. First, the narrator explains the metaphor “blackness” for the colonization her country that fills her own being and eventually becomes one with it. Unaware of her own nature, in isolation she is “all purpose and industry… as if [she] were the single survivor of a species” (472). Describing the annihilation of her culture, the narrator shows how “blackness” replaced her own culture with the ideology of the colonizers. The narrators understanding of her consciousness shifts with this influence of the colonizers. She is no…show more content…
Additionally, the narrator realizes her consciousness is constantly changing as she “loves the thing untouched by lore…the thing that is not cultivated… the thing built up” (473). The narrator’s consciousness faces another struggle between trying to find equal good in both the culture of her people and the new culture that has been introduced to her. Yet, she stands boldly “one foot in the dark, the other in the light” (473), as she forms a bridge between the two cultures and is stuck while she tries to understand her sense of self. Finally, the silent voice, a metaphor for her faith, calls out to her. This silent voice “stands opposite the blackness and yet it does not oppose the blackness, for conflict is not part of its nature” (473). Consequently, the silent voice allows the narrator’s consciousness to realize that she does not have to choose between cultures, but can be a mix of both. Through this silent voice, the narrator rids her consciousness of despair and hatred and moves forward solely in love. Furthermore, the narrator, living in the silent voice, the narrator’s consciousness becomes stronger as the narrator finds her own peace and eventually can be laid to rest. Thus, Kincaid uses the narrator to show the complexity of one consciousness undergoes to find one’s
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