Text Review of “A Small Place”

In Jamaica Kincaid’s story A Small Place, she explores the reality of Antigua through tourism, colonialism, and present-day Antigua.  Kincaid uses different tones and even in the first section addressed ‘you’ to make the reader feel affected, displaced or uncomfortable.   Kincaid expressed anger towards the colonialism that she experienced while growing up in Antigua and goes on to explain how it has molded the corruption of modern-day Antigua.

Kincaid argues that there are so many fundamental issues with developing countries such as Antigua because of European colonialism.  Just as we read in Things Fall Apart, the colonizers treated the natives terribly- enslavement, murder, imprisonment.  Just like the village of Umuofia was taught and told that Europe was a place of elegance and beauty, so was Kincaid told while growing up in Antigua; although, in both examples the colonizers were the exact opposite with their rude and brutal treatment.

Kincaid goes on to argue that due to their poor leadership and governance under colonial rule, it set a bad example of how the country should be ran after gaining independence. It led Antigua to be susceptible to the corruption that now rules the island.  Additionally, when the colonial control withdrew their forces, the country was left with very little making it harder to succeed as an independent country.  The corrupt government hides its struggles with the flock of tourism to their pristine beaches and perfect weather.

This essay does a great job inspiring conversation about identity, power and injustice.  Can you see the connections? The Antiguan identity being falsely molded by colonialism and tourism. The corrupt nature of power in modern day Antigua.  The injustice served by their corrupt governors and the injustices left when the colonizers retreated home.  There are so many more unexplored avenues of this story.  Kincaid writes in such a way to make you feel uncomfortable but in such a way that the displacement is eye-opening.

One thought on “Text Review of “A Small Place”

  1. A Small Place is the perfect embodiment of it all. Understandably, Kincaid suffered many negative reviews and chastisement for what seems. In her book A Small Place the author Jamaica Kincaid reflects on the debilitating impacts of colonialism and slavery on her people, Antiguans.

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