Jamaica Kincaid

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Information about Jamaica Kincaid
Travel-Nature

Published on March 12, 2008

Author: Rina

Source: authorstream.com

Slide1:  Jamaica Kincaid By Kate and Kendall Jama ca:  Jama ca Born in Antigua May 25th, 1949 Grew up “unloved by an unresponsive and often abusive mother.” Left home in 1966 to travel to New York City. Became a staff writer for New Yorker in 1976. Originally Elaine Potter Richardson, Jamaica changed her name when she left the West Indies. Did not return to Antigua until 1985. Now lives in Bennington, Vermont with her husband and four children. http://www.motherjones.com/news/qa/1997/09/snell.html http://core.ecu.edu/engl/deenas/caribbean/kincaid.htm Slide3:  First became known because of her “lush tales” about the tropical lifestyle. Writes about families in Antigua that are very similar to her own family. Most well known for writing a book of short stories published in 1983 entitled “At the Bottom of the River.” http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0909738.html Slide4:  Focuses on “coming of age” stories about young women and their relationships with their mothers. Writes mostly fiction that mirrors her own life and experiences. Centers her stories in Antigua and other Caribbean areas. Works By Kincaid:  Works By Kincaid Kincaid, Jamaica. Autobiography of My Mother. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1996. Kincaid, Jamaica. Annie John. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1985. Kincaid, Jamaica. My Brother. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1997. Kincaid, Jamaica. At the Bottom of the River. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1983. Kincaid, Jamaica. A Very Small Place. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1988. Kincaid, Jamaica. Lucy . New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1990. Background of Annie John:  Background of Annie John About a young Antiguan girl growing up with an oppressive mother, a passive father, and a desperate need to discover herself. Annie John becomes obsessed with death within the novel, frequently visiting graveyards. The book begins with a discussion of death and those who have died. Annie’s relationship with her mother starts off as caring and gentle, but becomes one full of hatred and anger. Annie and her mother share a dislike of one another, in an incredibly unusual way. Style:  Style The book is written in an anti-climactic way. The plot thickens and reaches a point where the reader expects an explosion, but the story immediately falls into a lull, with Annie John suddenly struck by a random and unusual sickness. After she recovers, the story continues in a droning manner, without any interesting or intense conversations or arguments between Annie and her mother. This manner causes the reader to be disappointed and aggravated that there is no climax or ultimate rage-fest. Slide8:  While the book does not solely focus on mother-daughter relationships, it is clear that the bond between Annie and her mother, or lack thereof, is the most crucial detail of Annie’s life. Annie John effectively shows the ups and downs of the fragile relationship that a mother and child share, and the effects of this relationship on both parties. Annie is an example of a teenager who lacks the love she desires for, so she searches for it in girls her own age. Mrs. John is an example of a mother who loses interest in the emotional needs of her daughter. Tone & Techniques:  Tone & Techniques The main tone applied to the story is journalistic; with input on breakfast choices, trips to and from school, and details of ventures underneath the house, the book becomes a diary of Annie’s life. Another, underlying tone is one that is rather colloquial. The focus is mainly on the culture of Antigua, with descriptions of basket-carrying and exotic fruits native to that area. Slide10:  “I looked at my mother-at her turned back this time- and she wasn’t tired and old and broken at all.” This quote contradicts the earlier statement and implies that Annie’s mother gains strength when she is not showing care towards her daughter. The reader sees that Annie acknowledges the difference in her mother when she is not focusing on Annie. The difference is meaningful when contrasted to the earlier evidence that Annie does not care about her mother’s feelings towards her. “The two black things joined together in the middle of the room separated, hers going to her, mine coming back to me. I looked at my mother. She seemed old and tired and broken. Seeing that, I felt happy and sad at the same time.” Annie shows the disgust and guilt she has towards her mother through this description of an argument. She shows that she feels anger towards her mother, and is happy that she is winning against the woman she dislikes. Slide11:  Annie John is an effective piece with its descriptions of relationships. The purpose seems to be to make the reader feel more emotion towards the characters, and to examine their own relationships. The anti-climactic style makes the reader become uninterested. It was hard to concentrate on the plot when it fluctuated in energy and conversation. The journalistic tone did not aid in keeping the readers’ attention, because the approach was not really fitting to the plot. The book was easy to read, and was also relatable in content because of its relevance to everyday life. The reader can feel a connection, to some degree, with Annie John, and this helps to bridge the cultural gap. The story became confusing towards the end. Annie’s sickness does not seem to have a purpose. Though her sickness comes and goes with the rain, there is not much symbolism present. Bibliography:  Bibliography Kincaid, Jamaica . Annie John. New York: Penguin Books, 1985. Seodial, Dr. Deena. Writers of the Caribbean: “Jamaica Kincaid” (http://core.ecu.edu/engl/deenas/caribbean/kincaid.htm) Snell, Marilyn. “Jamaica Kincaid Hates Happy Endings.: Mother Jones, 1997. (http://www.motherjones.com/news/qa/1997/09/snell.html) The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. 6th Ed.: “Kincaid, Jamaica”, Columbia University Press, 2005. (http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0909738.html)

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