Reading Assignment: Jamaica Kincaid, Lucy (1-132; up to chapter titled "Lucy")
May 25, 1949
St. Johns, Antigua
*novelist (Annie John, Mr. Potter, See Now and Then)
***Work criticized for subject matter (drawing on her life, the tones and the anger)
Story centers around Lucy, a young 19 yr old girl, who has come from the West Indies to North America as an AU-PAIR (live in Nanny) for an upper class family.
Lucy is looking to escape her past life in "de islaans".
The book details her experiences while working for Mariah and Lewis, her employers.
~~Connecting with Mariah as a mother figure
~~Embracing the children as family (15)
~~Opening up to the American teenage culture
***meeting people outside of her immediate comfort zone (Peggy, Hugh, Paul)
***coming to terms with her "distain" for her mother(upon death of father)
***experiencing things shuned at home- freedoms, culture differences, drugs, parties ( Things she may have expereicned at home yet not to the magnatude in NA, given the restraints of her mother)
~~"leave the nest" embark on her journey into adulthood- being responsible for self in the NEW WORLD
1)-COLONIALISM-Dictionary.com: the control or governing influence of a nation over a dependent country, territory, or people.
Same hierarchy - Mariah/employer/Master and Lucy/employee/slave
See the differences in lifestyle
Mariah is afforded luxuries in life;
~at home does not work outside of the home
~life of leisure- summers at lake house, concerned with causes (advocates for indangered areas)
~involved in charities
~dependent on husband
~Lewis handles finances
Lucy is in the role of servant- not coerced servitude yet places minority in servants role(95)
~leave home for a better life
~adhere to house rules/ times
~dependent upon their support (pay, room and board)
~at the beckon call of children
~not able to discipline
Postcolonialism- as a text that details the transitions in history as impacted by colonialism (Lucy running from her past life)
TRANSITIONAL MIGRATION-As defined by Migration Policy Insitute-departing from traditional ideas, doctrines and cultural values in accordance to one set of national and cultural norms.
~~~ cultrual values- stay within your own culture-dating/ marry
Lucy is very liberal in her partners(shunned at home for same behavior)
~~~doctrines-dispelling the judgements of others(51) no longer concerned about what others think of her
~~~traditions-break her mothers control- seeking employment outside of servitude
dating outside of her own
~leaving her motherland to travel to North America
~embraces new surroundings, questions but seeks it (17,20)
~forges out her own path although haunted by her mother and her past
struggles between what to hold on to from OLD WORLD (1st world)
what to create in/avoid in NEW WORLD(2nd world)
~doesn't want to return
~puts as much distance as possible (31)
~cutting ties with mother
~kill the memories by creating new memories in her new surroundings to drown out the past-(as if her memories are stifling her progress)
Page 31- "If I could put enough events..."
Misses certain nuances (6)
~longs for bed, food, past relationship with mother
2)-IDENTITY - Island under English Rule
Lucy attends the Queen Victoria's Girl School
Made to conform to English vernacular- Poem (20)- "I had pronounced everyword..."
Mariah although kind caring embracing and paying her- Employer/Master
Lucy there for her convenience( much as slaves were for masters)
mariah wants Lucy to view life through her eyes
"spring"as a savior to Lucy
his business involved in globalization and cultural imperialism
*capitalism is needed to live the life and Lewis builds on areas Mariah trues to preserve(73)
Bildungsroman-coming of age
Modernity- colonialist set up
Mariah as employer/master
4) Original sin- "being dissatisfied with station of life"
~ok, warranted as given the betrayal of her mother
~she runs from it
~buries it in not reading the letters
5)She then becomes the enticer and not the enticed, giving her the power to destroy/create)
6)Flips the norm- White men with women of color to women of color with white men-thoughts??