In many ways, the identity Kincaid has developed is a result of an exposure to English cultural practices as well as education. In her other novels, Kincaid reflects on the influence of the mother-daughter relationship in shaping a female identity in a male-dominated society and explores the phenomenon of female bonding.
Lucy , in turn, incorporates these cultural expectations and how they result in different interpretations of the same events. Finally, Kincaid is highly interested in writing as such see Metafiction. Many of her novels deal with the power that writing holds in terms of the audience it reaches, the privileges it gives to certain ideas over others, and its ability to become internalized within the reader.
The Mother Theme In Jamaica Kincaids Fiction Publish Your Kincaid Analysis 146
Where do they come from? And as a colonial subject, how that flower becomes inaccessible? Her use of Wordsworth problematizes the Enlightenment principles that both morally hid and facilitated colonialist endeavors, and also highlights the class overtones of canonization What kind of knowledge become necessary for a colonial subject to move within and through Western spheres and how easy it is for Western subjects to forget that the canon reflects back at them their own culture, rather than the culture of another?
In my literature class we are reading A small place. And now we are writing letters to you about the book and how we feel about it.
I one of the questions that we have is why did you right it write it in 2nd person? If you could email me back that would be great. And if you would like to read these letters could you leave a preferred address as well.
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Hi Shawntelle, please note that this is a third party site affiliated with Emory University, and Jamaica Kincaid does not read these comments or this blog. Good luck with your project!
- NPR Choice page.
- At the Bottom of the River by Jamaica Kincaid.
- Where Dreams Reside: a Pike Place Market Seattle romance (Where Dreams Seattle Romance Book 2).
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Works Cited Allan, Vorda, ed. Face to Face: Interviews with Contemporary Novelists. Houston: Rice UP, Bonetti, Kay. Byerman, Keith E.
Cudjoe, Selwyn R. Wellesley: Calaloux Publications, Jamaica Kincaid: From Antigua to America. New York: St. Braziel, Jana Evans. Brown-Guillory, Elizabeth. Columbus : Ohio State University Press, An exploration of motherhood and the construction of identity in Kincaid's Lucy. Anna K Laycock. This struggle for independence is negotiated through the mother figures presented in the text.
The mother-daughter relationships in the novel can be seen as indicative of the relationship between the coloniser and colonised.
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Lucy desires an identity as an individual and not as a daughter, employee or colonial subject. Furthermore, Lucy feels betrayed by her mother as she puts her hopes and aspirations into her sons and not her daughter. While Lucy is expected to be a nurse, the boys are to go to universities in England to become doctors and lawyers. She questions the gendered division of labour that her mother accepts as the norm, wondering why, just because she is a woman, she should accept a deferential position when she could be in a position of power.
Analysis of Jamaica Kincaid's Novels | Literary Theory and Criticism
It is clear that Lucy must reject the patriarchal discourse her mother advocates in order to become an autonomous woman. Yet, as she keeps these letters instead of destroying them, it is clear that Lucy cannot separate herself from her mother. The letters can be seen as metaphorical for her mother and the homeland that she wishes to detach herself from, but at the same time cannot bear to do so. She can remove herself geographically from her mother but she fails to remove herself emotionally.
Therefore the relationship between Lucy and Mariah is foremost based on economics and can be seen as a continuation of colonial relations which Lucy must reject to establish autonomy. Simone Alexander highlights that: Although mother country is used interchangeably when speaking of the dominant colonial powers, it is also used specifically to refer to England, France or the United States. However, it can be argued that the latter is the existing dominant force, having reversed roles with England, epitomizing the colonial power and functioning as the mother country.
As an employee of this new mother, Lucy depends on Mariah for money, food and accommodation. There is a disjunction between Lucy being encouraged to view herself as part of the family but at the same time being detached from that family by her class and race. Yet, not only do her charges learn to distinguish class differences but also racial differences. Lucy may have tried to escape the colonial discourse of her biological mother; however, she finds that her second class position in the United States is based on colonial relations engrained into the collective consciousness of society from the time of black slavery.
As a result, Lucy must reject Mariah as a mother figure and employer in order to dissociate herself from the position of black slave. Lucy is in a vulnerable position; her naked black body is on display as she is pursued by her patriarchal master. Yet, her refusal to be caught highlights that Lucy is resistant to the identity placed upon her by the legacy of colonialism and must reject the master-servant hierarchy to carve herself a postcolonial identity.
Although Mariah becomes a surrogate mother to Lucy, and the two grow to love one another, the relationship is based on patronage. This is seen most prominently when Mariah leads Lucy to a field of daffodils. Mariah hopes that Lucy will learn to love and appreciate the daffodils as symbols of beauty; she does not understand that the flowers signify colonial oppression to Lucy. With the best of intentions Mariah attempts to force her Eurocentric views onto Lucy which Lucy rejects in order to establish her own hybrid identity.
Like De Beauvoir, Mariah has an essentialist view of women which Lucy rejects. Lucy rejects the second wave feminism Mariah advocates, and this rejection poses the need for a transnational feminist movement that identifies difference based on race and class as well as gender. She recognises the limitations of Eurocentric feminist theory and her views align her with postcolonial feminist theorists such as Gayatri Spivak.