A small place

by janeO

A Small Place 

JaneO.

A story with a great power to pull off the reader’s emotion, A Small Place is a book that tells the story of Antigua from its post-colonization state written by Jamaica Kincaid. It starts with discriminating tourists blaming the colonizers for its problems ranging from the effect of slavery, government corruption and poverty.

            It has a great power to discriminate tourists and add them to the blame. Kincaid points out to “a tourist [as] an ugly human being” (14). Pertaining to them as insensitive who doesn’t “thought of what it might be like for someone who had to live day in day out in a place that suffers constantly from drought, and so has to watch carefully every drop of fresh water “(4). It is a sad realization, but Kincaid has generalized it too much to blame every tourist especially “a North American or European-to be frank, white” (4). She is pointing her finger directly to “you”… [the reader the] “tourist” (17).

            I believe the world learns its lessons. Slavery and colonization is nowhere to be found but Kincaid wants to reveal her feelings. A feeling of anger “for not only [they] have suffer the unspeakableness of slavery, but the satisfaction to be had from “we made you bastards rich (10)” “. She even mentions the “bad minded English and all the bad-minded things they brought with them [to Antigua]” (41).

            She expresses her anger through personal view and experience.  Thus, her book reveals that it made her “angry … to hear people from North America tell how they love England” (31). Her outrageous emotions runs although out the book because “nothing can erase  …[her] rage-not an apology, not a large sum of money, not the death of the criminal-for [the events]… can never be made right” (32).

            Her power of drawing the readers with her emotions gives a lot of connection to us the readers or the tourist as she is expecting to draw attention to. Kincaid talks to the readers as if she was talking to the tourist by directly referring to them and using the word you to make a direct dialogue. The usage of vulgar and harsh words weighs her feelings and even adds gravity to the story.

A small place is a book that can trigger emotions whether to feel sympathy for the Antiguans or anger to the author for the overgeneralization of the blame. Nevertheless the book is an eye opener for some of the issues regarding slavery, government corruption and racism in Antigua.

            Furthermore, Kincaid acknowledges “Antigua [as a] beautiful [place]” (77) “where the sun always shines and where the climate is deliciously hot and dry” (4).

Word count: 444

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One Comment to “A small place”

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