Under western culture, the Caribbean has long been seen as an Edenic paradise. As a result, it has drawn legions of tourists coming from all over the world in search of an escape from your crushing banality of their day-to-day existence. Whilst popular culture would have a single think normally, many Caribbean natives resent the masses of innumerable vacationers that frequent the region yearly. Caribbean freelance writers, in particular, possess expressed contempt and indignation towards the traveler industry plus the economic and environmental fermage it entails.
Adele S. Newson-Hurst and Munashe Furusa attest that, for Antiguan author Jamaica Kincaid, “tourism involves more than accepted notion of the take action of vacationing for pastime or leisure purposes [¦] Significantly, [her] definition creatively connects travel and leisure with a new monetary order suffered by injustice (Newson-Hurst 142). Newson-Hurst and Furusa claims that Kincaid “connect[s] tourism with the real order and its design to commodify, relegating the other to a sub-human category for [colonial] consumption (142). They argue that Kincaid’s work “contest[s] and subvert[s] assumptions about the [Caribbean] that are based on the ‘imperial text’ which in turn posits people of the [Caribbean] because the ‘other’ whose primary role is usually to quench the recreational and economic hobbies of the North (141).
My goal is to broaden this declare by evaluating the ways in which Kincaid, in her short work A tiny Place, engages postcolonial counter-discursive strategies to resist and combat exploitative imperialist attitudes towards the Caribbean plus the West Indies.
Resistance through counter-discourse is a fundamental aspect of the formation and study of postcolonial texts. Helen Tiffin, in her work “Post-Colonial Literatures and Counter-Discourse, contends that “the task of post-colonial literatures [is] to investigate the European fiel capture and containment of colonial and post-colonial space and to intervene in that originary and continuous containment (Tiffin 101). This, of course , can be accomplished through counter-discourse, which Tiffin states “does not really seek to subvert the dominant with a view to taking its place, yet [¦] to evolve calcado strategies which usually [¦] uncover and erode [the biases] of the prominent discourse (99). In other words, the goal of counter-discourse, in least in this particular framework, is to never overthrow and replace the hegemonic task perpetuated simply by imperialist ideology but rather to expose and consequently exploit the cracks in its foundation. Counter-discursive strategies, in respect to Tiffin, “involve a mapping of the dominant talk, a studying and subjecting of their underlying presumptions, and the dis/mantling [sic] of such assumptions from your cross-cultural perspective of the imperially subjectified ‘local’ (101). Pertaining to the purposes my evaluation, I will be paying out especial attention to the final item in Tiffin’s list: the dismantling of long-held assumptions and biases established and considered fact by prominent ideology. Kincaid”the “imperially subjectified local with this scenario”subverts the Orientalist pregnancy of the Caribbean as a exotic paradise full with, inside the words of Leah Rosenberg, “‘island music, ‘ excellent beaches, [an] attentive dark waiting personnel, and the [¦] freedom to dance and make love with partners not really permitted in the north (Rosenberg 361). Kincaid accomplishes this through the use of two strategies: initially, by displaying readers the reality of Antiguan life; and second, by placing those self same readers inside the position of the “imperially subjectified local locked outside the hegemonic discourse with his/her tone of voice appropriated by the colonial expert narrative.
There have been some argument regarding the moment and why the Caribbean and the Western Indies had become viewed as a paradise in the world. Rosenberg lists several factors, among them “Britain’s loss of empire and the Combined States’ incline to imperial superpower on the one hand, and on the other the U. S i9000. struggle pertaining to Civil Privileges, and Western Indian nationalism; and by the interaction of these forces with culture: the calypso phenomenon, the rise of an internationally recognized Western Indian literary tradition, Britain’s need for a new literary artistic and eye-sight of itself in the wake up of Disposition, and Hollywood’s fascination with race, romance, and Cinemascope (362). Rosenberg further more contends that islands just like Jamaica, St . Lucia, Grenada, and Barbados appealed to North American and European sensibilities by offering “a countryside- and beach-based travel with the gentility associated with Britishness (361). When Rosenberg dates the rise of the popular image of the Caribbean as being a paradise for roughly 1950, Richard Grove, in “Green Imperialism, argues the fact that influx of tourists can be attributed to the search for Eden that prospered in the Middle Age range and extended well into the twentieth century. During this time, Grove asserts that “the activity of discovering Eden and re-evaluating character had currently begun being served by appropriation from the newly found out and colonized tropical island destinations as paradises (Grove 499). It is this kind of image of the Caribbean (and Antigua, in particular) as an Edenic utopia that Kincaid functions to weaken in A Small Place.
Lesley Larkin, in her essay “Reading and Getting Read: Discovery bay, jamaica Kincaid’s A tiny Place since Literary Agent, appropriately describes Kincaid’s slim essay collection as an “anti-guidebook in the sense it shows someone what basically occurs in her residence island of Antigua in contrast to what advertising and marketing and neocolonial representations with the Caribbean would have one consider (Larkin 195). Indeed, Kincaid presents you with a face of Antigua that is highly different from the romanticized rendering perpetuated by Western mass media. Kincaid’s Cayman islands land is a nine-by-twelve-mile hotbed of political problem and environmental exploitation; the girl laments the perpetually dried out climate of the island and how it has become being viewed by simply tourists as being a positive characteristic. Kincaid bemoans, “[T]he considered what it could possibly be like somebody who had to live day in, day out within a place that suffers regularly from drought, and so has to watch properly every drop of fresh water used [¦], need to never cross your [the tourist’s] mind (4). Kincaid proceeds to actively undermine the popular tropes and images associated with the Caribbean: for example , while thinking about the image of tourists wading out in the ocean, Kincaid snidely comments, “You should never wonder what exactly happened for the contents of the lavatory when you flushed that [¦. ] Oh, it might all result in the water you are thinking of taking a go swimming in; the contents of the lavatory may possibly, just might, feed gently against your ankle joint as you wade carefree in the water, for yourself see, in Antigua, there is absolutely no proper sewage-disposal system (13-14). Antigua can be politically dodgy, as well. The island’s government regularly sacrifices the cultural stability and well-being of its residents in order to support the lots of tourists that recurrent the island. Afterwards in the book, Kincaid relates to someone a string of suspicious deaths that bear the unmistakable smell of politically-motivated assassination. The regular tourist, naturally , hasn’t kept entertained the smallest thought or concern regarding these political troubles. Kincaid’s seething hate of the exploitative nature of tourism culminates when the girl contemptuously declares that inch[a] tourist is an unpleasant human being (14)”a affirmation that, while Adele H. Newson-Hurst and Munashe Furusa point out, “is tantamount to sacrilege as the economy of the nation depends on tourism (Newson-Hurst 148).
While Kincaid obviously will not hold visitors in excessive regard, Lesley Larkin disagrees that “Kincaid’s primary target is certainly not tourism by itself but tourist-reading and the subject it creates [emphasis in the original] (Larkin 195). According to Rosemary V. Hathaway, tourist-reading is usually “a form of selective reading that “threatens to ‘subsume’ cultural peculiarity within preconceived notions (qtd. in Larkin 195). In respect to Larkin, Kincaid “shows how tourist-reading is a productive discourse, the one which constructs not merely the visitor site and its particular inhabitants although also the tourist himself (196). Larkin also suggests that Kincaid’s job “anticipates the touristic behavioral instinct of [its] readers”many of whom, the girl argues, happen to be “privileged white colored people, through the readers in the New Yorker, for whom Kincaid originally intended her work (and who will tend to be experienced tourists) to American college students who also, regardless of touristic impulse, are regularly invited to ‘visit’ other cultures by the range requirements of university curricula (194). Larkin further argues that Kincaid’s distinct make use of second-person addresses, “points the finger at its [¦] viewers, critiquing modern-day reading procedures for their affinity with global tourism and imperialism (194). Thus, you is placed in the position in the imperialized local”his/her voice has become silenced and appropriated by simply Kincaid wherever necessary. To compound this kind of representation, Kincaid makes sweeping general claims that are not able to take into account the heterogeneity of her audience. Pertaining to Kincaid, her audience coalesces into a formless white blob”they have been efficiently dehumanized in the same manner that imperialist ideology features dehumanized all those who have been straight marginalized by colonial discourse.
It becomes significantly evident that Kincaid contains the reader immediately responsible for the injustices Antiguan people have confronted at the hands of Euro colonizers. “Have you ever wondered to yourself why it is that every people like me seem to have discovered from you can be how to imprison and homicide each other [¦]? seethes Kincaid (Kincaid 34). She proceeds, “Have you ever wondered why it truly is that all we seem to have discovered from you can be how to dodgy our societies and how to end up being tyrants? (34). In respect to Kincaid, the unwitting reader “will have to recognize that this is mainly [their] fault (34-35). The lady then earnings to let loose a deluge of claims against that the reader is definitely powerless to defend themselves: “You murdered persons, the lady fumes (35); “You imprisoned people. You robbed people. You exposed [… ] banks make our money in them. […. ] There has to have been some great people between you, Kincaid confesses, “but that they stayed house. And that is the purpose. That is why they are good. They stayed home. (35). Kincaid hardly ever gives the reader the opportunity to protect themselves against these claims and give their side of the story. By simply robbing you of his/her voice, Kincaid forces him/her to experience this kind of subhuman position for themselves.
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