A Small Place
– Jamaica Kincaid
This essay is about the Island of Antigua. In the essay, the author is addressing The Tourist. The Tourist is referred to using “you”.
The essay has the following themes:
• The way tourists see Antigua is different from the way local people see it.
• What tourists think of themselves is different from the way local people view them.
• Antigua is a poor country and tourists come from rich countries.
• There is corruption in Antigua.
These themes are developed in the following ways:
- Tourists see the clean airport but do not see the poor schools and hospitals.
- Tourists do not want rain. Antiguan farmers want rain.
- The taxi driver drives dangerously. They live in small houses but they drive expensive Japanese cars. This is because the Japanese banks will lend them money to buy Japanese cars.
- Antigua is in a bad way. When the Prime Minister is ill he goes to the U.S.A because the local hospital is very bad. In 1974 the library was destroyed by an earthquake. It has never been repaired.
- Antigua used to belong to Britain and the British people used Antiguan people as slaves. Now rich foreigners and drug dealers own most of Antigua.
- The food the tourists eat was brought in from other places.
- The tourists love the sea but they do not know it is much polluted.
- Tourists travel because they want to get away from their own countries.
- Antiguans hate tourists and laugh at them.
- Antiguans are poor and do not have enough money to travel.
- The tourists come to the place that the Antiguans want to get away from.