Ignorant Tourists Only See Beauty

by kristiemendoza

Jamaica Kincaid’s, A Small Place, is an extensive piece of non-fiction literature written in the form of an essay. She writes about her home in Antigua and gives a very expressive view of the relationship between the native Antiguan and a tourist: “A tourist is an ugly human-being” (14).

The opening to the book is filled with candour and poignancy. She puts into account of all the “beauty” the tourist sees; yet, for the natives who live there and work for the industries, poverty is the only thing that is seen. After gaining back their freedom from their colonizer, their cities and infrastructure collapsed. This story is being told of post imperialism and of a people’s nation to be independent and free from those who held them captive as slaves. The society of Antigua is corrupted of big industries that prevent their culture and identity from being successful.

Kincaid’s elaborate essay is pressing and filled with such lyrical flow. Her descriptive writing makes the readers feel as if they are in the Caribbean Island. The reader is taken on a tour to various places, such as the Caribbean Sea, the Holberton Hospital, and the Government House. The reader is like the tourist and is too blind to see the people in Antigua struggle through the hardships in their lives.

Truth and anger is exposed through Kincaid’s persuasive and emotional words to raise awareness. Her piece of writing is beautiful and should not be put down until it is finished. This is for anyone that is interested in hearing a unique perspective on the effect of the European empire on the natives of Antigua.

Word Count: 272


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