Outline, Summary, and Discussion Questions for Maria Helena Lima’s “Imaginary Homelands in Jamaica Kincaid’s Narratives of Development”
Section 1: Writing to rescue her life—It seems as though writer Jamaica Kincaid has written a number of novels in an effort to understand her past and her growth and development throughout it. Almost all of the novels Kincaid has written seem to be interconnected in that they all shed light on certain struggles of her past (paragraphs 1-4).
Section 2: Function of bildungsroman—The bildungsroman form, in which a novel focuses on a “person’s development or spiritual education,” is used specifically by Kincaid and other Caribbean writers to unravel the difficulties and disputations of growing up across the margins of different traditions and cultural universes. The acculturation of a self can be portrayed through the form, however in Kincaid’s novels specifically, the bildungsroman is not so much used as to show the growth in Lucy and Annie John’s adolescent life, but rather to show their reactions respectively to more worldly matters such as racism and colonialism (paragraphs 5-7) (freedictionary.com).
Section 3: Far from home—Exile for characters like Lucy and Annie John does not serve the purpose of testing life without their parents, but rather opens their eyes to the escalating world. It is in this big bad world that the characters are forced to find their new identity and beliefs. Not only are these characters left with a sense of strangeness to the new world, but they also signal struggles with the place in which they came from. The longer they spend time in the new strange world, the further they find themselves from their first home. These colonial characters face the challenge of identifying themselves and their cultural origins (paragraphs 8-11).
Section 4: Effects of reading literature—Literature is claimed to play an important role in a person’s...
Cited: Lima, Maria Helena. “Imaginary Homelands in Jamaica Kincaid 's Narratives of Development” Callaloo 25.3 (Summer 2002): 857-867.
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