Kincaid focuses on the ugliness of tourism, and how morally/spiritually wrong it is to exploit the land where one travels. When people travel to escape the boredom of their own mundane lives, they are exploiting the daily lives of the locals. This creates a space where the locals are now “Other” to the tourist in their own residence. Tourist travel to escape and view the beauty of other countries, be more simple and be closer to nature, while this romanticization exploits the humble and impoverished state of people.
The colonial education the Antiguans receive is under a British system, so they are learning not of their own history, but of one that has enslaved, and then colonized them. Due to this the Antiguans are passive objects of history, so they are always second, and the British system will always dictate events, history, and language. This makes the Antiguan people “Subaltern” according to Spivak. They are removed from all lines of social mobility, due to how they were enslaved and colonized by the British system, and how the tourists have exploited them. They have no control of what happens in the future, what they are educated on, or any say in the governmental affairs. Little to no change will ever happen if the Antiguan people do not revolt against this colonial oppression.
There is a connection between corruption and colonization, and this is why there is a continuation of oppression. Colonization creates class differences, and this leads to broken systems, that likely do not change. The British system claims to be helping the Antiguans by colonizing Antigua, but all the while the system is continually taking more and more from the people. The government ministers were running brothels, stealing the public’s funds, and arranging ill intended deals. There is no outrage from the people due to how they were shaped and molded into being passive objects of history. The class differences created by the corruption, and colonization lend to Othering and prejudice. Those well off in the government see no wrong as they continually benefit from the corruption socio-economically, and do not care of the Othering they create. The “Other” and “Subalterns” go together, as the Other is a subaltern. The system does not help those who have no voice or economic impact, and for this reason their voices continue to go unheard, circumstances never change, and oppression goes on unchecked.
Kicaid wants the readers to walk away with a new perspective; one that is to think twice before you travel to escape your mundane, and potentially exploit the lives of the locals. Tourist hurt the daily lives of the locals even more so, on top of the colonial oppression and corruption they experience. It’s made me think twice about where I travel, and what my intentions are when doing so. It’s made me question, “will there be a detrimental spill-over effect, from doing this”?