The Global Cold War and Globalization
- Kincaid, A Small Place
- What is Kincaid’s view of British colonialism in Antigua? Address all of the quotes below (and explain their meaning in context) in your answer.
Do you ever try to understand why people like me cannot get over the past, cannot forgive and cannot forget? There is the Barclay’s Bank. The Barclay brothers are dead. The human beings they traded, the human beings who to them were only commodities, are dead. . . . So do you see the queer thing about people like me? Sometimes we hold your retribution.
Of course, I now see that good behavior is the proper posture of the weak, of children.
For the language of the criminal can contain only the goodness of the criminal’s deed.
- Kincaid indicts the British colonial system and the businesses established by the colonialists.
- Notably, she denounces their oppressive capitalism that benefited from the slave trade. These historical injustices are not forgiven or forgotten.
- The financial institutions the Barclay Brothers started from slave trade money operates worldwide today. Although the Barclay brothers are dead, they still make profits from the people they oppressed.
- Kincaid cannot forget or forgive the colonialists because the effects of their oppressive regime cannot be undone. Worse still, there are still things that remind people every day of the oppressive past.
- The Barclay cannot be punished and the victims of oppression cannot be saved. The only form of solace Kincaid gets is by preserving the thoughts of those past events.
[I]f you could hear the sound of [the old library’s] quietness . . . , the smell of the sea . . . , the heat of the sun . . . , the beauty of us sitting there like communicants at an altar . . . , the fairy tale of how we met you, your right to do the things you did . . . you would see why my heart would break at the dung heap that now passes for a library in Antigua.
- Kincaid seeks to explain whether Antigua was a better place after colonialization.
- The library creates some confusion and Kincaid cannot wholly understand its relevance.
- Kincaid’s description of the library shows how fond he was of the library. However, the library is now old and dilapidated which breaks her heart.
- The old library is a like a church to her. However, it also shows the positive effects of colonization. The library shows how the British colonialists brought culture and civilization to Antigua.
- Besides, the education system created by the British sought to make the natives believe that the British were good.
- Kincaid describes the library as dung heap, which illustrates the conflict in her mind about the state of Antigua after colonialism.
Our perception of this Antigua – the perception of this place ruled by these bad-minded people – was not a political perception.
- Here Kincaid displays how the locals perceived the British as bad people.
- The intentions of the colonialists for Antigua were ill placed.
Antigua is a small place. Antigua is a very small place. In Antigua, not only is the event turned into everyday, but the everyday is turned into an event.