In the essay “On Paradise” Nicolette Bethel starts off by discussing reality based on perspective. To illustrate this Bethel uses two examples. The first example is the image of a beach seen through the eyes of two people; a tourist and a resident. From the tourist’s perspective the beach is a beautiful, warm place where he can lay around and get a sun tan, enjoy the warm air and clear skies; however, from the resident’s perspective it’s a harsh, hot desert like environment that he must escape. The second example is the view of providing hospitality to a guest. In one scenario the guest is welcomed by the host, given the best by the host and the host actively and willingly engages the guest. In the next scenario the host views the guest as an inconvenience, doesn’t care to interact and can’t wait for the guest to leave. The essay further goes on to describe how The Bahamas is marketed as a “paradise” and how Bahamians didn’t create this idea. In fact, they don’t believe this sells pitch. According to Bethel this is because Bahamians have to deal with the everyday realities and truths that come with being a resident of The Bahamas. For example, the magnificent sunshine that can damage crops, the beautiful seas that can become turquoise graves and the warm white sand on the beaches that can get stuck in our shoes and irritate us (152). Bethel states that marketing The Bahamas as a “paradise” is a wonderful advertising tactic to get tourist to visit; however, she is leery of what it implicitly means. She feels that in a “paradise” all the natives, Bahamians, are by default less important than the tourists and can run the risk of making their life’s work mainly serving them.
I think Bethel did an excellent job of illustrating how the same scenario can be described in several different ways based on a person’s perspective. However, I didn’t like how she made it appear as if Bahamians can’t fully appreciate the