A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid

This, it can be argued, is due to the fact that while the island may be full of beauty, it is also ridden with a corruption so great that it has become an integral part of the society. It can further be argued that the main them of the novel is corruption, which is so rife in the Antiguan society that it has led to its underdevelopment. Kincaid describes the beauty of Antigua and makes a sharp contrast of this beauty to the harsh realities which plague this island. When one considers the argument to support this view of her country, one comes to the conclusion that it is all indeed true. One of the arguments that Kincaid makes in support of her argument that Antigua is a corrupt society is based on the fact that while the island has many expensive Japanese vehicles, most of them seem not to be working properly (Kincaid 7). She further makes the observation of there being various mansions all over the islands, most of which were gained through illicit means. The corruption in the government is so bad that ten years after an earthquake, the public library that was damaged in the event has yet to be repaired. The example of the library’s dilapidated nature, it can be argued, is a symbol of the moral and ethical corruption that is prevalent in Antiguan society. It can be argued that Kincaid, in her novel, is against tourism as it is packaged by the government and businesses of Antigua because of its insincere depiction of life on the island. While tourists are only shown the beautiful aspects of Antigua, they are not normally shown what has come to be the reality among most of the people on the island. that they are living in deplorable conditions because of the mismanagement of their economy. Kincaid’s arguments seem to be overly critical of the government and all of those who are involved in it, because of their massive corruption which has led to the destruction of the country. In the novel, there is even speculation concerning whether the colonial day may have been better than the present, where everything seems to be going wrong. It can be argued that Kincaid looks upon the government and the people of Antigua in general as being too complacent and accepting of the moral ugliness that it taking place in society, slowly destroying it. In addition to this, Kincaid seems to be highly critical of the culture that the people on the island seem to be practicing and this is because of the fact that most of them practice English culture, which is not their original culture (Kincaid 12). While the people of the island hated the English treatment of them during the colonial period, they seem to have gone against all logic by abandoning or creating their own culture and have instead adopted the culture of their former oppressors. The latter argument seems to be highly critical of the people of Antigua because it seems to show their feeling of inferiority towards the English despite their resentment towards their treatment of them. It seems that Kincaid is attempting to display the irony that exists in Antiguan society, that while the people hate the oppressor, they love the oppressor’s culture. Among the most prominent issues that are discussed in the novel is concerning the library, which, despite the ability of the wealthy members of the Mill Reef Club to fix it, they choose not to do it. They instead demand that the library be rebuilt first before they can offer any assistance of their own. It can be argued that the Mill Reef Club, being an all-white establishment does not consider the current state of affairs in the country, being out of their control, to be undesirable, and that they are only being nostalgic for the colonial days, when they were the ruling class of Antigua