A Small Place

The turning of a blind eye - a conversation between “you” and “I” College

Woven between Jamaica Kincaid’s emotionally charged memoir of Antigua is a strong rhetorical message to her audience to try and be different than those of them - middle class North American/European tourists - who came before to her land. These tourists, an audience of which I am not a part, are effectively persuaded of this argument due to her sophisticated interplay of ethos, pathos and logos. Emotions (and, by extension, emotional language) founded upon a logical basis, can be a very strong persuasive combination, which works effectively in Kincaid’s work due to the fact that she manages to make herself seen as a credible narrator. We (her audience) are left, by the end of her tale, acutely aware of our flaws and of our ignorance of the several harsh truths we fail to see when visiting a place or a culture less privileged than us, such as Antigua.

Using “we” to refer to Kincaid’s target audience, one of the most interesting choices in her essay is her second-person narrative, wherein, from the start, we are led through a tour of Antigua with her narrating not only what we see, but also what we feel and think inside our heads. The use of “you” is one of the primary forms of pathos that Kincaid uses in order to persuade her...

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