Jamaica, By Jamaica. Jamaica Essay

Jamaica, By Jamaica. Jamaica Essay

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Jamaica Kincaid
Jamaica Kincaid was born Elaine Potter Richardson on May 25, 1949 in St. John’s, Antigua (“Jamaica,” Caribbean). A Caribbean writer hailed, “A significant voice in contemporary literature,” (qtd. in “Jamaica,” Encyclopedia) she is well known for her personal and honest works of short fiction, novels and essays (“Jamaica,” Encyclopedia). In her work, Kincaid “explores the tenuous relationship between mother and daughter as well as themes of anti-colonialism,” (qtd. in “Jamaica,” Encyclopedia) and has been a contributor to the literary world for decades (“Jamaica,” Encyclopedia). Kincaid’s complicated relationship with her mother, which is common in much of her work, comes out in the mother-daughter dynamic in the short story “Girl”.
Born into poverty, Kincaid’s early childhood was less than ideal and is the background theme in her writing. She was raised on Antigua, an island that “was colonized by the British in 1632 and achieved full independence in 1981,” (qtd. in “Jamaica,” Encyclopedia) where she lived until she was sixteen years old (“Jamaica,” Encyclopedia). Her mother, Annie Richardson, was an immigrant from Dominica and her stepfather, David Drew worked as a carpenter and cabinet maker (“Jamaica,” Encyclopedia). Growing up poor in a household with no electricity or running water, Kincaid was an only child who received all of her mother’s attention until the age of nine (“Jamaica,” Encyclopedia). At that time, the first of her three brothers was born and her relationship with her mother changed drastically (“Jamaica,” Encyclopedia). The neglect and betrayal that she felt from her mother after her brothers were born is later reflected in her writing years.
Kincaid learned to read at an early age and despit...


... middle of paper ...


...ontinues in many of her stories. Her novel, Annie John, is a coming of age tale that tells a story “of the mother-daughter relationship in which a mother devastatingly severs her bond with her daughter,” (qtd. in “Jamaica,” Encyclopedia). Her subsequent novel, Lucy was also highly autobiographical, and follows the familiar theme (“Jamaica,” Caribbean).
Much of her fictional work is very personal and Kincaid “admits that her difficult relationship with her own mother inspired her writing,” (qtd. in “Jamaica,” Encyclopedia) while also setting the stage for her career as a writer (“Jamaica,” Encyclopedia). It is in the short story “Girl,” that we are first able to see the life of a young, Caribbean girl and the struggles she faced growing up. Kincaid poignantly tells the tale of a poverty stricken childhood and the difficult relationship with her mother that ensued.



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Jamaica, By Jamaica. Jamaica Essay

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