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Jamaica  Kincaid
牙買加.琴凱德
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主要文類:Novel
資料提供者:Dr. Kate Liu (劉紀雯)
關鍵字詞:World Literature in English

 

Jamaica Kincaid

 

 Biography

 Major Themes

 
 Biography
 
  • born in 1949 as Elaine Potter Richardson on the island of Antigua.
  • Her stepfather, a carpenter, and her mother
  • Received British education in Antigua.
  • 1965: sent to Westchester, New York to work as an au pair. ("As the eldest of four, and the only girl, she was apprenticed to a seamstress, then plucked from school, where she was excelling, and sent to the US as an au pair ["really a servant"] from "Kincaid in Revolt". )
  • 1967: studied photography at the New York School for Social Research after leaving the family for which she worked, and also attended Franconia College in New Hampshire for a year.
  • Her first writing experience involved a series of articles for Ingenue magazine.
  • In 1973, she changed her name to Jamaica Kincaid because her family disapproved of her writing. (About her name: "'Jamaica is an English corruption of what Columbus called Xaymaca.'" This renaming is a theme in Kincaid's works both fiction and non-fiction. According to Kincaid, renaming is a metaphor for conquest and colonial domination. )


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 Major Themes
   
  • Kincaid and Angigue's English education/system


    "I was always being told I should be something, and then my whole upbringing was something I was not: it was English." (Cudjoe 219.  Cudjoe, Selwyn R., ed. Caribbean Women Writers: Essays from the First International
    Conference. Wellesley: Calaloux Publications, 1990.)

    Antigua became self-governing in 1967, but did not achieve the status of an independent nation within the Commonwealth until 1981. Within the structure of the British educational system imposed upon Antiguans, Kincaid grew to "detest everything about England, except the literature."  (Vorda 79).  She felt first-hand the negative effects of British colonialism as the colonists attempted to turn Antigua "into England" and the natives "into English" without regard for the native culture or homeland (Kincaid 24).  The effects of colonialism serve as the major theme for A Small Place in which Kincaid expresses her anger both at the colonists and at the Antiguans for failing to fully achieve their independence.   (from Jamaica Kincaid).

  •  Mother-Daughter relationship and a daughter's socialization
    • Kincaid about her mother: She  "should never have had children."
      "She loves us when we're dying - not when we're thriving because then we don't need her." (from Kincaid in Revolt )
    • Mother-Daughter Relationship in Annie John
      Major Factors:
      1.  Caribbean society: a male-dominated society in which the men are allowed to be irresponsible about housework, and enjoy sexual relationships outside marriage.
      2. Mother as a social institution
      3. A young girl's socialization: feminine Oedipus complex
    • Mother-Daughter Relationship in Annie John: Examples
       -- "The Circling Hand" -- Forced to separate herself from the mother; sent to be educated, witnessing the parents¡¦ sexual intercourse (primal scene).
       -- "Columbus in Chain": mother turned into a crocodile p. 84
       -- being called a slut by her mother after conversing with a boy -- "Well, . . .  like mother like daughter"  (p. 102)

       

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