In our presentation we want to demonstrate how Kincaid in her body of work
demonstrates from personal experience having lived as a colonized, and becoming a
colonizer. Someone who imposes their own culture and tries to erase that of the native.
She also demonstrates how easily one can go from being colonized to being a colonizer.
She’s able to take a step back to scrutinize and criticize these behaviors.
What is “Girl” about?
How is our binary opposition represented in the story?
England/ The girl and her mother.
Simulacra: Tea table as England culture and traditions.
Third Space: Benna
“The England she sees is the perfect antipode of the country she was constantly
forced to compare her reality with. The majestic white cliffs of Dover turn out to be
dirty and the beauty of the landscape escapes her as the weather feels like a jail
sentence. The England she visits is ugly, its food is like a jail sentence too, and its
ugly and dead looking people have an “unbearable smell”.” (Source)
• “…this is how you set a table for tea; this is how you set a table for
dinner; this is how you set a table for dinner with an important guest;
this is how you set a table for lunch; this is how you set a table for breakfast;…”(Kincaid
“A Small Place”
What’s “A Small Place” about?
Third Space: Jamaica Kincaid
What’s “Reading (Gardening)” about?
“…But snow will occupy all the spaces you know, the space above the ground, the
space below the ground, and if you try to turn inward, as long as it is in front of you, it
will occupy that space too.” (Kincaid)
“I love the event called spring and accept that it comes after winter and that it cannot
come without winter.” (Kincaid)
Third Space: The Garden
“England was a special jewel all right, and only special people got to wear it. The people
who got to wear England were English people. They wore it well and they wore it
everywhere: in jungles, in deserts, on plains, on top of the highest mountains, on all the
oceans, on all the seas, in places where they were not welcome, in places they should not
have been. When my teacher had pinned this map up on the blackboard, she said, "This is
England" and she said it with authority, seriousness, and adoration, and we all sat up. It
was as if she had said, "This is Jerusalem, the place you will go to when you die but only if
you have been good." We understood then we were meant to understand then that
England was to be our source of myth and the source from which we got our sense of
reality, our sense of what was meaningful, our sense of what was meaningless and much
about our own lives and much about the very idea of us headed that last list.”
(Kincaid, Jamaica. "On Seeing England for the First Time.”)
Life and Debt
What’s “Life and Debt” about?
Who are the colonizers in this story?
Third Space: The Hotel
What’s “Among Flowers” about?
“The Holocaust happened in Europe, and that’s important to how it is viewed. Had
Europeans done such a thing in the far corners of the earth, rather than on their own
doorstep, it might not be mentioned in the history books.” (Kincaid)
Third Space: “But to think of Kathmandu again: when I
suddenly was in the middle of that part of it, the Thames, I
was Reminded of feelings I had when I was a child, of going
to something called "the fair," something beyond the every
day, something that would end when I was not
asleep, when I was not in a dream.”
Simulacra: “Here I was in a village in the foothills of the
Himalaya. I could still remember the feeling of living in a village
in the mountains of Vermont.”
Is it human nature to become a colonizer? Can it be avoided?
Does colonization breed more colonization? Think about it, does being colonized
make you want to have more?