Often times, individual cultures distinguishes themselves from one another, and one would expect this to be so when looking at the difference between Antigua and the west, however, what we see through this novel is that this is not (necessarily) true. The blend of the two, as we see throughout Kincaids book, serves as a reminder that, in Annies world, Antiguan and western cultures were constantly battling with one another, and that the actions of those in the novel are not just shaped by one. Annie john, annie john is an autobiography written by jamaica kincaid. In the autobiography, jamaica kincaid plays Annie john, and her mother's name is also Annie john. The background of this novel is about the activity in the society of children on a small island named Antigua. Annie john is separated continuously from her mother throughout the story, due to her increasing rebellion, resulting in Annie moving to England to be free, just as the African Americans were emancipated from slavery. This story takes place starting with Annie john's childhood and ending when she was a teenager. The story focuses on the relationship between mother and daughter.
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Thus, she is the smartest student in school and, as much as possible, identifies with her mothers desire to make her a good Antiguan woman. At the same time, she is an outlaw, often taking great pride in her thieveries. But these crimes, as shall be seen, are themselves negations of the gender rules of her culture and so link her in a profound way to that culture. In this sense, the stealing of library books represents both her questioning and affirmation of the British culture contained within them. The books she reads validate the island culture she is apart of, however, seeing as though these books contained the ideals and notions of western civilizations, the books also served to validate western culture. Within history, there are many ways that cultural fusion effect society. Trade, migration, and wars can bring people of different races and religions together, creating the blending of multiple cultures. Mixed traditions can change the way people do things. It can create new religions, with fresh and interesting views, it can change the way that governments rule or how people make their decisions. The blended ideas of all the different cultures spread and create a new pattern of behavior in society. We see the effects of this synthesis in Jamaica kincaids novel, Annie john, through her use of gender, the role business of information in society, obdeah, and the British school system throughout the story.
Ironically, however, we see that at the same time Annie is offering her criticism on Columbus and, by extension, western culture, it written that she writes the words in Old English lettering, saying that it was a script she had recently mastered (Kincaid, 78). Annies act of rebellion, then, thesis is caught like a fish within the complex net of domination that is western society- though she seems to despise it, without it, she would have no where to excel and nothing to excel in, like she does at school. The library is also a place that holds a significant power and symbolism for Annie in her life. In fact, she loves the library and the books it contains- so much so that she steals the books that she reads (Kincaid, 55). She justifies this by arguing that after reading a book, whether she liked it or not, she couldnt bear to part with it (Kincaid, 55). Annie has a strong desire to possess the word, which reflects her complex relationship to the society she lives within. She reads in order to seek knowledge of the world, and acts according to its teachings.
But it is the island culture, her spunky behavior behind the teachers backs, which shows that there is a very lively Antiguan spirit that thrives in her. She also takes much delight when it comes to seeing the picture of the imprisoned Columbus, which has Annie ruining the illustration of Columbus in her textbook. The particular phrase, the Great Man Can no longer Just Get Up and go (Kincaid, 78) that she writes, is one that she had overheard her mother use contemptuously against her own father. Thusly, annies thoughts contested what the eurocentric view it has contended upon teaching its subjects. By re-inscribing the phrase so large that it could be seen by the teacher, (Kincaid, 78) she makes Columbus seem a mere caricature and downplays the role the westernized-Antiguan school system gives to him. Another important aspect here, is that she does this by using the words of her mother, the person whose main concern has to do with the triumph of her daughters schooling. In this sense, annie turns a personal assertion into a political gesture that also serves as a prank.
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Kincaid also explores the relationship between island and western culture, particularly through her discussion of the school that Annie attends. As a boon whole, it is run as a british institution and the subjects taught there range from English literature to history, to culture. The girls attending the school are required to dress in a british style (that is very formal) and are generally dissuaded from occupying themselves with what they consider to be local activities, such as calypso dancing on the playground (Kincaid, 80). We also see the implications of culture whilst we see annies reflection on the failure of the school to discuss the negative history of slavery. Annie is highly amused that the harmful side of slavery is not taught, going so far as to say that it was probably because many Whites felt guilty.
She muses that if Africans had come to europe, instead of vice-versa, they would have remarked how nice (Jamaica, 76) it was, and then left the landscape and people untouched and unaltered. This situation highlights the ways in which the school teaches the students not to question the history and social order that is being handed down to them, to accept that the western identification of the Antiguan people, or of the west Indie people, is what. In this way, we see that island and western culture intermingles, as Annie recognizes that what is taught, is not (necessarily) the truth (Kincaid, 75). The western culture impacts her in a way that gets her to excel in school. She demonstrates that she has learned all of the skills necessary to prove her intellectual and social worth in the colonial world.
A point of contention within this novel, is the relationship between the western and Island cultures- particularly, the way that the two cultures intermingle with one another. Often times, within the theory of colonialism, the identity of the ruling culture- the ones who colonized, was the identity of whomever was colonized. However, through the use of gender, the role of information in society, obdeah, and the British school system, we see that this projected image of a ruling culture, is not necessarily true in Annie john- and there is an interesting blend of both western and. Annies mother is a clever and beautiful woman whom we see that Annie deeply esteems and loves. Interestingly enough, her mother is also a key character in this bildungsroman. We see this, in that she is representative of the British culture, in the sense that we see her trying to instill within Annie, the standards and practices of it (Kincaid, 15).
Annies mother accepts the information she passes on and does not rock the boat. for instance, she does not inquire about the relationships her spouse has with other women, and we see that Annies mother is affected by the Island culture, in that she seeks help from the obeah practitioners, so that she may protect her and Annie from. Obeah being a spiritual practice that involves sorcery and herbs that can be used to help or curse others. We see here that while her mother has been influenced by the western culture, she also has a firm grip on Island culture, which serves to create a type of Antiguan dual identity. We see again that Annies mother is able to adapt to the duality of the Antiguan culture when Annie becomes ill, and her mother, in seeking treatment, confers with an obeah (Kincaid, 117) in addition to a westernized physician, (Kincaid, 110) giving Annie the medications. The culture of the island means refusing to see any conflict in these two perspectives, one is of the island people and one is of the western influence, which we see blends together in this example, in order to illustrate their intermingled relationship.
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"Summary Of The book annie john.". Accessed August 5, 2018. At one point in loyalty history, imperial Britain spanned the globe- so much so that it was once wildly proclaimed that the the sun never sets on the British empire. however, that isnt to say that discontent never brewed. Jamaica kincaids, Annie john, follows the coming-of-age story of a girl, Annie in business Antigua, a former British colony, who, over the course of the novel, takes steps to break away from her mother and the underlying British culture once she realizes that it is within. Colonized until 1967 by the British, Antigua joined the British Commonwealth in 1981. With the story set in the 1950s, Annie john is set within the colonial period.
They are reflective of her own memories and feelings towards Antiguas colonization, and through Annie johns journey, gives insight into how a once controlled culture seeks its independence. BottomLinkPreText bottomLinkText, this page is based. Wikipedia article written by contributors ( read / edit ). Text is available under the, cc by-sa.0 license; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses. Cover photo is available under :me 'unknown' license. Credit: ( see original file ). Summary Of The book global annie john. Retrieved August 5, 2018, from "Summary Of The book annie john.".
writes it out with her fountain pen (Kincaid 78). This act proves to be a heinous crime, that after the discovery by her teacher, miss Edwards, her whole face was on fire. Her eyes were bulging out of her head (Kincaid 81). Miss Edwards is a representation of the English social order and has defined herself according to the rules of this order. Annies action against the discoverer of Antiguas honor is against Miss Edwardss system of belief so she refers to Annies action as blasphemous. Because columbuss importance is essential to the colonial system, Annies act not only criticizes him, but also subverts the whole dominant colonial order. For this reason, miss Edwards sees to it that Annie must be punished. Kincaids experiences clearly parallel the experiences of Antigua and its colonization by its British protectorate.
Annie believes that Ruth possesses an innate sense of guilt because black people were once enslaved by white and everyone knew. She pities Ruth knowing that she knows less about the west Indies than them. Through the interaction of these two girls, kincaid provides an individualized perspective upon the dynamics of life in a colonial state. Annie also briefly comments on the irony of colonization, considering that, all of us celebrated queen Victorias birthday, but we, the descendants of slaves, knew quite well what had really happened (Kincaid 76). The Antiguan children still celebrate even when they are aware that the British once enslaved them. Annie continues on the topic of colonization as she contemplates Columbus who returned to Spain imprisoned in chains. King Ferdinand and queen Isabella had sent Columbus back to Spain fettered in chains attached to the bottom of the ship. How I loved this pictureto see the usually triumphant Columbus, brought so low, seated at the bottom of a boat Just watching things go by (Kincaid 78).
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Martha lee eng 92W 4/13/10 In Annie john, the lasting effects of Antiguas colonization are reflected through Kincaid paralleling her own experiences with those of the west Indian colonies where she has lived. In, columbus in Chains, the issues of Antiguan colonialism and postcolonial culture are apparent in the text, beginning with Annies discussion of the history of slavery in Antigua through Ruth. L could see how Ruth felt from looking at her face. Her ancestors had been the masters, while ours had been the salves. She had such a essay lot to be ashamed of, and by being with us e very day she was always eing reminded (Kincaid 76). We will write a custom essay sample. Colonization in Annie john or any similar topic specifically for you.