Abandonment in Jamaica Kincaid's Autobiography of My Mother

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Abandonment in Jamaica Kincaid's Autobiography of My Mother Xuela, the protagonist of Jamaica Kincaid's novel, The Autobiography of My Mother , comments, "I felt I did not want to belong to anyone, that since the one person I would have consented to own me had never lived to do so, I did not want anyone to belong to me" (112). The outward coldness of this statement is clearly observed, but it is the underlying statement Xuela is making that is truly a significant theme within the novel; Xuela's fear of abandonment. She aborts the child she is carrying, leaving her barren. She chooses not to be a mother herself. She refuses to form close relationships with men or women. She is terrified that, like her mother, everyone around her will desert her. Shortly after her mother's death, Xuela's father places her in the care of the the woman who does his laundry. Even as a child, Xuela understands that first her mother, and now her father, have abandoned her. She realizes, "My mother had died when I was born, unable to protect herself in a cruel world beyond ordinary imagining, unable...

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