Damita Smith Dr. Heltzel / Ms. Fernandez

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Damita Smith

Dr. Heltzel / Ms. Fernandez

World Literature B2

13 November 2013


  Tourism in Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place

In Antigua corruption leads to poverty and there are many government scandals. A Small Place was written by Jamaica Kincaid in 1988. In this book Jamaica Kincaid informs readers about how she hates tourists, and how the government is cruel to their own people in Antigua. She shows how colonization  and tourism have had a negative effect on the people of Antigua. In “A Small Place” Kincaid conveys the idea that the tourist and colonizers both cause corruption in the country in the country, which causes the people of Antigua to live in poor conditions. Kincaid shows the relationship between tourism and colonization when she discusses how the government does not pay for education, how tourists are blind to the problems that Antiguans have, the library never being repaired, and the people of Antigua being too poor to be able to escape their conditions.

In the book Jamaica Kincaid expresses how she feels about the government giving money for shows but not for education. In this situation this is just one many scandals. Paying for education does not make profit but paying for shows makes profit. Kincaid is trying to show readers how the government of Antigua causes much corruption among the people of Antigua. In A Small Place Kincaid says “In the middle of the street was the Barclays Bank. The Barclay brothers, who started Barclays Bank, were slave traders. That is how they made their money”(Kincaid 26). The Barclay Brothers were named after the hotel. This is a government scandal because it was another way to make money that was not given to Antigua’s society to make the place they live in a better place.

Secondly, in the book Kincaid shares with the readers how an earthquake occurred and it damaged a library building. In A Small Place Kincaid mentions “This building was damaged in the Earthquake of 1974. Repairs are pending. The sign hangs there, and hangs there for more than a decade later”(Kincaid 9). This library was never repaired and it symbolizes how the government cares about Antigua's society. This specific example shows how the government does not care about education. A library is mainly used to do research, become a better reader, and to study. Doing research, reading and studying all result in building a higher education. Without an education system you can not work many jobs, so this situation causes unemployment. While considered unemployed you have very little to no money at all to provide for your family. This situation shows the government does not  care about the people or their family's.

The people of Antigua are so poor they can not pay to become not poor and escape their conditions. A hospital is supposed to be a place where you are to become better, be comfortable, and presentable to patients. In the book the hospital was described as run down. In  A Small Place "The hospital in Antigua is so dirty, so run-down, that even if the best doctors and nurses in the world were employed, a person from another part of the world-Europe or North America-would not feel confident leaving a domestic animal there"(Kincaid 65). This is an example as to how the government treats Antiguans and gives them no options. If the hospital is described as run down some people would rather not go.

The author states every native would like to find a way out. Residents of Antigua  can not live better if they do not even have a presentable hospital. In A Small Place Kincaid says "Every native everywhere lives a life of overwhelming and crushing banality and Boredom and desperation and depression, and every deed, good and bad is an attempt to forget this"(Kincaid 18). This gives evidence of  how tourists come to Antigua and enjoy their stay while people who actually live Antigua do not enjoy their lives there because of the conditions. In A Small Place Kincaid mentions “Every native would like to find a way out, every native would like a rest, every native would like a tour. But-some natives-most natives in the world-cannot go anywhere”(Kincaid 18). Kincaid mentions this because Antigua has a poor society, they barely have live in Antigua and survive so how will they travel?

Tourist are people who travel other places or visit other places. Some people go for vacations. In A Small Place Kincaid mentions"A tourist is an ugly human being. You are not an ugly person all the time; you are not an ugly person ordinarily; you are not an ugly person day to day"(Kincaid 14). In the book Kincaid clearly states she does not like tourist because they come to Antigua and make it worse for the people who live in Antigua. She explains how tourist visit Antigua and take baths or showers and don't notice the sewage problems. She also mentions how tourists visit and they do not see the conditions of the hospitals, the schools, and the damaged library.

In conclusion, in Antigua corruption leads to poverty due to many different government scandals. Kincaid informs readers how the government is money hungry and does not care for their own society. Kincaid also shows readers that the people of Antigua have very limited options and basically have to deal with whatever is thrown their way. Kincaid states she hates tourist who appear to be ugly people because of their actions. They come to her country and can not view their problems and only  make it worse.

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