A Small Place

Counter-Discourse in Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place College

In the Western world, the Caribbean has long been viewed as an Edenic paradise. As a result, it has attracted legions of tourists from all over the world seeking an escape from the crushing banality of their day-to-day existence. While popular culture would have one think otherwise, many Caribbean natives resent the masses of innumerable tourists that frequent the region annually. Caribbean writers, in particular, have expressed contempt and indignation towards the tourist industry and the economic and environmental exploitation it entails. Adele S. Newson-Hurst and Munashe Furusa attest that, for Antiguan author Jamaica Kincaid, “tourism involves more than the accepted notion of the act of traveling for recreational or leisure purposes [...] Significantly, [her] definition creatively connects tourism with a new economic order sustained by injustice” (Newson-Hurst 142). Newson-Hurst and Furusa claims that Kincaid “connect[s] tourism with the imperial 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 posits people of the...

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