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Theme Of Water In Annie John

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Have you ever experienced change in your life? What effect did it have on you? How did you adapt? Annie John, a teenage girl growing up in Antigua, Cuba, experiences many events that mark her transition from childhood to adulthood. Examples include becoming distant from her mother while she makes her own decisions, and sailing away from home to begin a new life in England. Through these experiences, the motif of water symbolizes Annie discovering her own personality, and cleansing herself from the pain and loneliness she is feeling. In Jamaica Kincaid 's Annie John, the motif of water is a reoccurring symbol that first represents the strong bond Annie and her mother have, but later on when she matures, the significance changes to symbolize new identities and healing. At the beginning of the novel during Annie 's youth, the motif of water illustrates the bond that she and her mother share when they swim in the ocean and participate in bathing rituals together. For example, when Annie and her mother visit Rat island together, she recounts the event saying, The only way I could go into the water was if I was on my mother 's back, my arms clasped tightly around her neck, and she would then swim around not too far from the shore. It was only then that I could forget how big the sea was, how far down the bottom could be, and how filled up it was with things that couldn 't understand a nice hallo. (42) Here, the motif of water personifies the closeness of their relationship.
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