Samuel James Conroy

Kincaid Thesis Progymnasmata

Kincaid Thesis Progymnasmata

            Jamaica Kincaid’s book “A Small Place” quite accurately describes the current issues surrounding the travel industry. While certain countries have no issues with tourism, a lot of smaller, less wealthy countries do. Kincaid comes from Antigua and Barbuda, a small Caribbean island country formerly ruled over by the British empire. This is where the issues arise. As is common with many former colonial countries, the colonists still have lingering effects all over the place, and this can be heavily reinforced through tourism. The tourist population in Antigua largely consists of white, wealthy westerners who have no real care for the history of the country or the people inhabiting it, instead, they just wish to get away from their current way of life.

The tourists only see the good things, such as the beautiful water, the beautiful landscape, and of course the beautiful weather. What is not seen, the mass corruption, the hospital with fake doctors that the Antiguan people do not trust, and rising poverty levels. This is why Kincaid states, “The thing you have always suspected about yourself the minute you become a tourist is true: a tourist is an ugly human being” (Kincaid). Kincaid does not mean that these people are bad people, just that when they become a tourist, then they become an ugly human being.

I disagree in that I do not believe these people automatically become bad human beings due to tourism. I would instead argue that they are oblivious and do not really understand the impact they have as a tourist.

Overall, tourism has a negative effect on these once colonial countries as the money made is not helping the common person, but rather supporting corrupt politicians. Kincaid does a great job in explaining this to the world through her writing and hopefully there will be a change soon.


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