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Aongus Mui

A Small Place – Jamaica Kincaid

A Small Place – Jamaica Kincaid
Progym: Thesis/Theme

Although the meaning of the book applies to tourists and vacation spots all over the world, the setting of this book revolves around the islands of Antigua and Barbuda. More importantly the people and culture that reside on the island. Jamaica Kincaid begins her book seemingly attacking tourists. She speaks a lot about the tourist’s naivety and how they look at travel destinations in a very narrow way. Kincaid talks about how tourists are inconsiderate to locals, she speaks out on the lack of awareness from visitors. They only see the nice places but they do not see or understand issues like poverty and corruption. The tourists are blinded by the beauty promised to them, to the point where the issues seem to go right over their head. Kincaid talks about the unfairness brought upon Antiguans by their government, how they can make loans for cars but not for houses, how the ministers in government can escape to New York for quality health care. “The hospital is staffed with doctors that no actual Antiguans trust,” there is no quality health care for the people that fall ill. This is the type of corruption that the locals of the island have to deal with, but tourists will never realize this because they fail to see the serious issues of their ideal vacation spot. Kincaid argues that islanders see all perspectives of the life they live while tourists only see the sunshine. Although Kincaid started off the book by pointing out the flaws of the tourists, her book was very eye opening. The way that she perceives tourists is very justified, given their misconceptions about vacation destinations all over the world.

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