Prof. Christina Deka
March 6, 2015
Rhetorical Analysis “A Small Place”
Jamaica Kincaid, an author and poet, was born May 25th, 1949. She is native to Antigua, an island in the West Indies, located in the Caribbean Sea. In her nonfiction book, A Small Place, Kincaid discusses how her native country has changed and become worse because of its British colonial legacy. Kincaid expresses her opinions and feelings about Antigua. She elaborates on government corruption, the tourist's point of view on visiting the island, and greed. In the piece, Kincaid wants to inform the reader, about the hardships that the natives struggle with everyday, while discussing how tourists view this place. Most tourists do not realize the darkness of Antigua. Kincaid conveys her message to the reader through second person. Throughout the piece, Kincaid uses reality verses illusion to describe traveling to Antigua, but seems biased to western countries on her native home being a travel destination, and the tourist not caring for the island.
In the first chapter of the book, A Small Place, Kincaid goes on to explain what a tourist would do when visiting her home country of Antigua. She uses great imagery, such as detail of her words to tell the reader of a tourist visiting. Her argument is that tourists see a country, or a place they want to visit as a place to relax, enjoy the water, and take their mind off of their home. What she is trying to say is that a tourist is seeing the good side of a county. They see the glistering waters of the Caribbean, but they might not know that their food might be from the country, shipped to another, then sold back to the same country, and eaten by the tourist. What tourists don't see is the bad side of their vacation spot. They don't see how the county suffers, or even of the citizens suffer. They don't see the corruption of the country. Tourists just come and go without caring for the people that live there. Kincaid wants to inform the reader about how this is happening to her home country. She wants to inform people who have traveled, who do travel, and who have the money to travel. That instead of just visiting a country for a vacation, Kincaid encourages her readers to learn a little about the place. Then maybe help out the country/ citizens, instead of just viewing this place as a getaway, and how this place is suffering. Also, Kincaid uses second person to target the audience, and make them more involved in her writing. Maybe even trying to persuade the reading in making an effect.
When reading this chapter in this book, things come the mind as Kincaid seems to point most of her frustration towards the tourist. Her essay gives the reader an overview on what a tourist would do coming to Antigua on a vacation. From the beginning of the chapter; arriving at the airport, to seeing the blue waters of the Caribbean, the journey to the hotel, mining the surrounding environment that surrounds Antigua, and seeing other tourists visiting the country. As she writes, it's seems to be harsh. Showing negativity to the tourist without necessary stating she hates them. Now coming from Kincaid's position, she is an American novelist, essayist, and has taught at colleges in North America. Also an award-winning writer. So she has great credentials for writing and can be trusted for her work. So when reading this essay, you can believe her writing, as not being false or not logical. She was born in Antigua, that's her homeland, so her frustration is brought forth when reading the essay. She will forever have a connection towards her home, and wants others to see how this country can barely thrive, instead of just have Antigua be viewed as tourist destination. That there is more than the rich environment, glistering waters, and a place of paradise. Which Kincaid states “What a beautiful island Antigua is-more beautiful than any of the islands you have seen, and they were very beautiful, in their way”