Kincaid portrayed an Antigua with corrupted government, culturally lost natives and prioritized white people through the eyes of an imaginary white tourist. She expressed her anger towards the English colonizers, and more than that, she uncovered the weakness in this small country and its people.
The major idea of this article is to reveal how Antiguan struggle in finding out their national identity after hundreds of years of being an English colony. The history of English governing washed away their notion of nationality, and maybe the ability of finding one. Antiguan are deprived of their own culture since they are taught in English and that they should believe in English god and love the queen of England. The repair of the national library was postponed; the government seems indifferent on cultivating culture independent of the English one. General citizens are not involved in controlling major economic activities in Antigua, foreigners do instead. Corruptions spread widely among Ministers, in which they monopolize profitable or even illegal businesses. Politically, Antigua people see themselves inferior to white westerners, even if they seem bad-mannered. They don’t feel centered in their home country but seconded or marginalized.
The article reminds me of the notion of other, which we came across many times in the readings throughout this course. This concept might help explain why Antiguans are lost in establishing a healthy self-centered identity. In the old colony times, the English governors and inhabitants did an excellent job in defining who are us and who are other, in their favor, of course. Hierarchies are formed based on the notion that colonizers are more intellectual and organized so that they stand in the center. That is why in Antigua, dark-skinned Syrians and Lebanese are regarded as foreigners, white people are not. The injustice maintained through post-colony times. The unfair institutions and hierarchies are internalized by Antiguans. They see corrupted government and rude westerners. But they don’t feel the urge to change all these. Because they do feel responsible for transforming the country, being part of other.
The take-home question from this article is what impact the history of colony might have on shaping national identities as well as citizenships. The work absolutely stimulates thoughts around identity forming and transforming by providing a representative post-colonial case of Antigua. Institutions of injustice are established by colonists to their benefit. It is going to be a long and suffering progress in transforming self-awareness from other to us.
Kincaid, Jamaica. 1988. A Small Place. Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The material I choose for this assignment is a Korean film named Parasite, which is released in 2019. The plot of this movie starts as Kim Ki-woo, who is the son of Kim’s family got a tutor job of Park family by the recommendation of his friend. After that, all the members of Kim’s family use some strategy to successfully get jobs in the Park family. During the time working for Park’s family, the difference of the social class initials the contradiction between two families. At last, in an accidental event, the father of the Park’s family is killed by the father of Kim’s family.
In this movie, “smell” and “line” go through the most of plot and they become the sign of the social status. For instance, in the middle of the movie, while Kim’s family make a party at Park’s house when they think Park’s family is go hiking and won’t return in a short time, Park’s family suddenly go back home since the change of weather. Kim’s family hide under the sofa in a hurry. Father of the Park family don’t see them and start to make a casual talk to his wife which is about he thinks father of Kim’s family smells bad, and usually pass the “line”, such as talk to him like they are friends, which make him very uncomfortable. This conversation is heard by Kim’s family hiding under the sofa in the meantime. When I watch this plot last year, I used to think about where the “smell” on Kim’s family comes from and what is the “line” they talk about. After thinking about it, I think the “smell” of Kim’s family is the moldy smell of the semi-basement without sunlight. However, I think the “smell” represents more than itself. It reveals the different living environments between rich and poor people which can also be extended to the concern of difference of social status. The father of the Park family also really cares about the “line” between himself and the father of Kim’s family. He cannot bear that poor people talk to him in a relative equals atmosphere. In his mind, Kim’s family is treated as “Othering”. This is very similar to the condition Ortiz faced in the material we have read before, “The Story of My Body”. The only difference I think between those two is that Ortiz is treated as “Othering” by her physical looking, but Kim’s family is treated as “Othering” by their socioeconomic status.
In general, I think the creator of this movie wants the audience to think about the cruelty and injustice caused by wealth differentiation. In my opinion, he did a very good job. He skillfully uses the “smell” and “line” to represent the injustice and the difference of identity and power between rich and poor people, but not state them directly. I think in this way the audience could get more impressive and deeper thinking about the injustice and “Othering”.
The Help is a novel by Kathryn Stockett that was published in 2009 and later turned into a film in 2011. Set in Jackson, Mississippi in the early stages of the Civil Rights Movement (1962-1964), The Help follows the story of three women (two black women, and one white woman) who come together to anonymously publish a book called The Help. The book that they write is comprised of stories about experiences of black women working as maids for white families in Jackson.
Due to the nature of the story and the time period that it is set in, it is easy to find examples of injustices, power struggles and questions of identity throughout the novel. Because it is set at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movements, race is a large theme throughout the novel. The author explores many false stereotypes about black people, including that they are dirty, lazy, unintelligent, and carry diseases. The depiction of race in the novel can be directly related to the concept of othering. The white people in Jackson are the “self” whereas the black people are the “other”. White people are contributing to the otherness of black people by believing stereotypes and treating black people as if they are worthless. For example, Minny, who is a black maid for a white woman, was unable to find a job because her former boss, Hilly, was telling everyone in town that she was a thief. In reality, Minny had not stolen anything, and Hilly was just mad at Minny for something else. Hilly completely ruined Minny’s chances of getting a job over a lie, and she did it just because Minny was black.
The Help also tackles the idea of identity in a couple of ways. The first way is through the story of Mae Belle. Mae Belle is white, and she is physically and verbally abused by her mother. Aibileen (who is black) is Mae Belle’s caretaker, and she makes sure to care for Mae Belle in a loving way and tells her often that she is loved and important. There was an incident at school in which Mae Belle drew a picture of herself and made her skin color dark like Aibileen’s. The book also follows the story of Lulabelle who looks white but comes from a black family. Both of these instances involve some sort of identity crisis. Mae Belle has only been shown love by a black person, so that seems to be how she identifies herself. She doesn’t understand why the white people around her have a problem about it. Lulabelle is stuck between two worlds. She isn’t “black enough” to be black, but she also isn’t “white enough” to be white. These situations have caused an identity crisis for both of these characters, which could negatively affect the way that they view themselves (and how others view them) for the rest of their lives.
When choosing a topic for this assignment, I knew right away what I was going to choose. The movie “The Hate U Give” is a great movie to choose to talk about for this assignment. This movie was made in 2018 and demonstrated injustice, identity, and power. This movie is about a 16-year-old African American girl named Starr who is constantly going back and forth between two worlds which are the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school that she attends. But one night, she witnesses a fatal shooting of her childhood friend at the hands of a white police officer that changes her life forever. Starr goes through this traumatic event and tries to fight for justice for her best friend Khili. At the end of the movie, she ends up telling the world what happened and that he deserved to live even though the white officer got away with it. She is faced with the pressure from both sides of the community when trying to find her voice and to stand up for what’s right.
Throughout this movie, Starr struggles with finding her identity because of the mostly white prep school that she attends. She explains that she has to watch how she talks because she doesn’t want to come off as “ghetto” in a majority rich white school. She comes face to face with one of her white friend’s reactions and racist comments that she says about how she felt bad for the police officer, when he was in the wrong. This movie also demonstrates white privilege because the officer got away with the murder of Khalil due to being white. In one scene, Starr has a conversation with her uncle who is an officer. She asks him if Khalil was a white male, would he have told him to put his hands up or shot him right away when seeing him reach into the car and he said that he would have asked him to put his hands up because white males are less threatening then African Americans. He explains that this is why the officer shot first and asked questions later all because he was an African American male. This not only demonstrates power but also injustice. This movie is nothing but white privilege and injustice to the point that every scene would be a great example. This movie portrays Starr and Khalil as this “otherness” that De Beauvoir explains in this text. A great example of otherness in this movie is when Starr goes to school. She explains that she is treated differently than everyone else because she is black. They try to “act black” and she explains that she has to watch the way she acts and talks to not be considered ghetto. She explains at the beginning that she has to be two completely different people when it comes to school and at home. Her father also treats her white boyfriend Chris like this “other” when Starr brings him home to meet her father. This movie is a great example of everything that we have been learning in this class and I recommend seeing it because it is a great movie especially for this class. I think this director wanted the audience to take away from this movie that there is still racial injustice going on to this day due to someone’s color of skin and that we need to speak up to end racial discrimination and injustice.
A Profane Boy Hi my name is Wu. I am calling to seek opinion for an issue that has been troubling me for months. Here is the thing. My girlfriend and I have been together for 2 years or so. We both have stable income and share a group of friends in this city that we now live in. So I think that we’ve come to the point to settle down and get married here.
My girlfriend is a Muslim. I knew that from our first date because she did not eat pork or drink alcohol. Other than that, there is nothing really special about her. And I am totally ok with that. I am not a big fan of pork anyway. And there are always some occasions where I can go out to the pub with some other friends.
So when I talked to her about my plan, to get married. My girlfriend told me that I need to convert to Islam and receive baptism, in order to marry her, according to the religious doctrine. Continue reading