Storytelling is an important aspect of the orality of Caribbean cultures. How does Kincaid use story telling in this novel?
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Storytelling is a common motif in identity formation across the diverse cultures of the Caribbean. Listening to stories of relatives and important life events plays a powerful role in forming one's identity. This oral tradition is a critical form of cultural preservation, largely untainted by colonialism. Kincaid uses Lucy's retelling of stories as a way for Lucy to keep up her connections despite her individualism; Lucy retells stories both to stay connected with her past and to claim that history as her own. The numerous flashbacks in Lucy are also a vehicle for Lucy to come to terms with her past and present selves. Kincaid's beautifully crafted prose allows these transitions from past to present to be fluid, just as these times remain connected in Lucy's mind.