How does colonization shape the experience, ideas, and values of the characters and their culture?


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The legacy of colonialism on notions of power and social structure remains deep throughout the novel. Its pervasive influence resurfaces in contemporary settings. In coming to America, Lucy attempts to leave colonialism behind, yet even in this new land, Lucy consistently encounters phenomena that she can trace back to colonialism--tourism and racism. Mariah introduces Lucy to many peers who have been to her home on vacation. Just as Columbus would pass an island by boat and name it, the tourists claim a certain authority to roam from island to island for leisure, without worrying about whether they might be exploiting native peoples and hurting rather than helping local economies. Lucy's experience also makes her a keen observer of social structure in America. While riding a train for the first time, she observes that all of the people who look like her relatives are performing jobs as servants.