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The Topic Of Colonization In The Short Story Girl By Jamaica Kincaid

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The setting of this novel is in a part of the Antigua and Barbuda a British country in the West Indies. The country is very hot, charming sceneries and elegant mountains and valleys. Compared to other countries in the West Indies, This part of Antigua and Barbuda was under the British colony and the whites ruled for many years. In the colonial period, British colonizers imported slave workers from India and African countries so that they can work in sugar cane plantations and also harvest essential crops such as tobacco. Besides this unpleasing and challenging account, it helped a lot in exchange for culture within this small country. Barbuda and Antigua gained independence in 1967 and joined the British Commonwealth organization in 1981 (Boyd and Natasha 105). Concerning these two countries being independent like Canada the state is under the rule of Queen Elizabeth II.

Regrettably compared to other nations in the West Indies, Barbuda and Antigua depended on a lot of o tourism, and the country developed poorly in terms of economic after they got the self-rule. In this novel Kincaid was extremely troubled with this poverty in her own country; she grew a sensation that Antigua was less concerned with developing talents in her citizens. For instance female gender which has affected a lot of the activities.

In this novel, the protagonist Girl is growing up in a mixed reaction having diverse cultural values. Whenever she went to public and even private institutions, she found the British in control of everything. Kincaid narrates her bad moments of studying the literature of the British with no knowledge of what the real picture of England is. Though back at home and even on the street, there was a mix of different races which was much significant in her life. Language and culture mattered a lot in this novel, whereby one could shift from one language to another depending on the person she is interacting with (Gale 73). This was not of help to many people who lived in Antigua especially Africans who had to embrace their culture.

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Antigua people and Africans were known as less superior, and their culture was never appreciated by British this made the Barbadians and Antiguans to live a sad and miserable life. The fear of Antigua people to interact and exchange of cultural activities with the British makes Kincaid to be much irritated. She draws writings in an identifiable destroying her culture and forcing her to adopt their history. In this novel ‘Girl’ the reader can easily tell the fear being expressed between Antiguans and the British. The culture of the colonizers and that of Kincaid was perceived not to be the same in whichever case. But during some point, the perception becomes the same. The Girl knows how Antiguan food is being prepared, although she goes ahead to teach her how to make British food such as making tea and pudding bread.

This being much contrary to the mindset of the Kincaid’s’ life but it is much significant for a reader to understand ‘Girl.’ Kincaid being Elaine Potter Richardson was born on May 25, 1949. Her mother and father never married; besides, this never brought impact to Kincaid’s lifestyle (Boyd and Natasha 109). Though she was much close with her mother. Antigua being dominated and colonized by British, Kincaid learned whites system of education. During this point, she starts knowing that she hated a lot how the Antiguans were looked down upon by the British. As a result of their culture being seen as inferior compared to the culture of the British.

Kincaid’s life changed the time when her younger brother stepped on the earth. She lost all the attention she had from her mother being shifted to her smaller brothers. She was stopped from learning by her mother and asked to go to New York to look for a source of income while her brothers are encouraged to study hard to higher levels (Boyd and Natasha 112). They are encouraged to join college. Concerning culture, family and gender are much significant to the personal life of Kincaid. There are the most critical features that will help the reader comprehend “Girl” which is concerned with her life activities. Also, these are common skills of a young girl who is on her way to maturity

In conclusion, the setting of this novel is much elaborate in terms of being understood by the reader. The person reading can internalize the growth experience of any given young girl who is affected by the new culture. As for the case, young people who were born during the time of colonization in Antigua were raised in a mixed culture whereby they had a hard time to embrace their religion at the same time being forced drop it and adopt the one for the colonies.

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The Topic Of Colonization In The Short Story Girl By Jamaica Kincaid. (2021, August 06). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 29, 2022, from
“The Topic Of Colonization In The Short Story Girl By Jamaica Kincaid.” Edubirdie, 06 Aug. 2021,
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