A Small Place is a book by Jamaica Kincaid, a Caribbean writer who was born in Antigua and moved to the United States at the age of 16. The book is a short but powerful critique of colonialism, tourism, corruption, and neocolonialism in Antigua, Kincaid's homeland. The book is divided into four sections, each addressing a different aspect of Antigua's history and present situation.
The first section is a sarcastic and scathing description of Antigua from the perspective of a tourist, who is seen as a naive and ignorant person who enjoys the beauty and luxury of the island without knowing or caring about its past and current problems. Kincaid exposes the hypocrisy and exploitation of tourism, which she calls \"a new kind of slavery\". She also reveals the environmental and cultural degradation caused by tourism, such as the pollution of the water, the destruction of the natural landscape, and the loss of local traditions and identity.
The second section is a personal and emotional account of Kincaid's childhood in Antigua, when it was still a British colony. She recalls the harsh realities of living under colonial rule, such as the racism, violence, oppression, and injustice that she and her people faced. She also remembers the influence of British education and culture on her and her fellow Antiguans, which made them feel inferior and ashamed of their own heritage. She criticizes the colonial system for creating a dependency and a lack of self-determination among Antiguans.
The third section is a historical and political analysis of Antigua's independence from Britain in 1981, which Kincaid argues did not bring any real change or improvement to the island. She denounces the corruption, nepotism, and incompetence of the postcolonial government, which she accuses of being a puppet of foreign interests and betraying the hopes and aspirations of the people. She also laments the lack of social and economic development, human rights, and democracy in Antigua, which she attributes to the legacy of colonialism and the influence of neocolonialism.
The fourth section is a philosophical and moral reflection on the meaning and value of Antigua for Kincaid and for humanity in general. She expresses her love and nostalgia for her homeland, but also her anger and disappointment at its current state. She questions the role and responsibility of history, memory, culture, and identity in shaping Antigua's destiny. She also challenges the reader to confront their own complicity and indifference in perpetuating the problems that afflict Antigua and other small places in the world.
A Small Place is a provocative and compelling book that offers a unique and insightful perspective on Antigua's history and reality. It is also a universal book that speaks to anyone who cares about justice, dignity, and humanity. It is a book that invites us to look beyond the surface of things and to see the truth behind them. 061ffe29dd