“A Small Place”
“Have you ever wondered to yourself why it is that all people like me seem to have learned from you is how to imprison and murder each other, how to govern badly, and how to take the wealth of our country and place it in Swiss bank accounts? Have you ever wondered why it is that all we seem to have learned from you is how to corrupt our societies and how to be tyrants? You will have to accept that this is mostly your fault”, quoted by Jamaica Kincaid, the author of “A Small Place”.
Kincaid is calling out the elephant in the room! “The disease Europeans”; throughout the centuries Europeans have spread an awful plague of, colonialism, cultural imperialism, and neo-colonialism practices. All three practices have had a negative effect on several countries but I’ll be specifically addressing Antigua. Kincaid claims that Antigua is still a colony despite gaining its independence from Britain in 1981 due to Antigua’s “tourism-dependent economy”. Evidence that supports her claim is that, Antigua was never really giving the proper tools they needed to self-govern themselves. Therefore, Britain’s post colonialism has ensured a permanent control over the island. However, Kincaid holds the natives accountable for remaining a colony due to the countries failure to adopt the positive aspects of colonialism, such as their good educational system. Although, Kincaid has every right to be upset at both parties who should be responsible for the total Anglicization of Antigua? Is it the English colonist and or the Natives? I say it was the English colonist!
The ugliness of tourism. In the passage, “A Small Place”, Kincaid first illustrate a tourist ideal perspective of visiting Antigua verse the reality of the island status. A typical tourist travels to the beautiful island for a sweet escape in paradise from their own boring life. Next, he or she halls down an expensive Japanese taxi to get to their destination. Then, the driver tries to swindle a traveler but gets declined when the visitor knows that the request is an overcharge. Finally, the driver apologizes to the traveler for trying to make extra money. Finally, on the to the destination, tourist are amazed at the poverty of Antigua, doesn’t mind the bumpy out dated roads, doesn’t know that the driver is using leaded gasoline, and ignores the library sign stating “This building was damaged in an earth quake since 1974”.Moreover, the natives can’t even afford to enjoy the luxury of a resorts on their own island! Therefore, Antiguans resent tourists and call them “Ugly” but the Minister of the country are the one to be blame.
Antiqua corrupt government. According to Kincaid the ministers in the government abuse their power to benefit their own businesses, such as Car dealerships. The ministers purchase only Japanese cars because they’re expensive then makes loan easily to obtain while a house loan is difficult to retrieve. This supports her theory that “Britain’s post colonialism has ensured a permanent control over the island” by creating “a glass ceiling”. The term “a glass ceiling” origin from the 13th amendment, “the abolishment of slavery”, and is a barrier is in place to ensure that poor social class can’t make it to the upper social class. Furthermore, the Politicians ignore the need of the
The history of coloization.
I support Kincaid’s claim because the ministers makes it hard for the natives to escape poverty.
“A Small Place”