Devoir de Philosophie

Discuss the ways in which Jamaica Kincaid explores Annie's relationship with her mother in the first two chapters

Publié le 18/02/2014

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Discuss the ways in which Jamaica Kincaid explores Annie's relationship with her mother in the first two chapters In the first chapter of the book, Kincaid completely portrays the closeness between Annie and her mother while describing their activities: when they would go shopping for dresses or the market, bathing together… "How important I felt to be with my mother." (Page 15) In this scene, Annie is shopping with her mother who knows the market well in terms of nutritional products. Here, her mother is playing her role as a domestic educator: in other words, she’s teaching her how to shop, get the best food, how to be a good wife and mother. The tone Annie uses during this moment is very likely to be admiration. Her mother, here, is pushing her down to a different path which is to become a good wife and mother. When Annie later becomes educated she realizes that she could go above than ending up like her mother, uneducated and a housewife. "My mother and I often took a bath together” (page 14) Annie here is illustrating the fact that she shares a strong physical bond with her mother. Generally speaking, water plays an important role: it symbolizes cleansing, a sense of purification and especially life in a way that we are born in water; we need water in order for ou...

« parents have trouble expressing their parental affection especially physically either because the parent is imposing a kind of distance between him and the child, or simply because he is not comfortable being involved in this type of contact.

From this part, love and affection are explicitly expressed in this: Annie's mother is very lovable and tactile with her daughter.

During the early stages of childhood, children are very dependent of affection and a mother's love is also a first step to love since, at this time it is the only love they are introduced to. What we can also observe is that her mother is very protective of Annie"(...) she would suddenly grab me”, especially when they both face the numerous women with whom her father has a certain amount of children with, making Annie an illegitimate child.

These women are angry at the fact that her father chose her mother and not any of them so they attack them in a form at getting back at Annie's mother. At the beginning of the novel, Annie and her mother live in perfect harmony which is such that she considers it as “paradise”. "It was such a paradise I lived in", paradise symbolizes simplicity and a sense of eternal peace and when speaking of it, we obviously think of the religious connotation concerning the Garden of Eden.

In the Garden, Adam and Eve lived in harmony until they met the snake that tempted them with the Forbidden Fruit.

Once they've eaten the Fruit, God is furious and chases them away from the Garden.

They then realize that they are naked and are ashamed about this nudity.

This religious story completely relates to the novel because as Annie's relationship with her mother deteriorates, she becomes much more concerned about her body up to the point where she feels ashamed and hates it. This image of paradise she has in mind is completely shattered from the moment her mother informs her that once she becomes an adult she will live in her own home, get married and basically become a housewife.

In other words, she's going to have to live her own life without her mother.

This information breaks Annie's heart "That the day might actually come when we would live apart I had never believed.

My throat hurt from the tears I held bottled up tight inside”.

The idea of her being separated from her mother didn't even occur to her mind as she is used to always being with her.

However, right after this “revelation”, she feels neutral and claims that it “didn't last very long”. When she first began to be insolent with her mother, it is the stepping stone of a rocky relationship with her; the. »


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