The Not so Positive side of Tourism

by Aurelea

By AuroraGomez

If you are a world traveler concerned with your impact on a global scale, stop looking! You have found what you are looking for. The second person narrative that Jamaica Kincaid employs will engage you right from the beginning while inviting you to question your traveling habits. Although her tone might feel offensive at times, bear with her, since her message is worth every page.

She begins by describing Antigua, and island whose beauty enchants and attracts tourists that seek an escape from their reality. Yet, you soon realize that the serenity that the touristic sights portray are not quite the reality of its habitants who “are too poor to escape the reality of their lives: and they are too poor to live properly in the place where they live, which is the very place you, the tourist, want to go” (19).

A Small Place was written as a reaction to the damages inflicted by colonialism and the damages that the neo colonial order continues to impose on Antiguans. Kincaid interrogates “Who decides…?” (Kincaid 52) while challenging the pattern that establishes outsiders as superior and Antiguans as the subservient class. The author herself being from Antigua allows for a vivid and knowledgeable description of the island both in the past and present.

Kincaid doesn’t waste time, and in 81 pages she reminds us that the major obstacles that developing countries face are man-made. She uses “A Small Place” to reach a wide audience in order to remind people that distance can no longer be an excuse for indifference. Reality cannot continue to be ignored since we can no longer close our eyes and only see what we chose to see. A real and provocative piece. A must read!


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