Annie Hall, Caribbean, Education, Female characters/ figures, Fiction, Jamaica Kincaid

You have Your Mother’s Eyes

My Mother on the right. Myself on the left.

Most of the people I encounter in my life say that I look like my mother. Even I have to admit that the resemblance is uncanny. Not only in terms of looks, but I’ve also adapted her mannerism, her personality, her food preferences, and other things. However, one thing that I did not inherit from her naturally was the way she believed a young woman should behave or perform. That was something that I actually had to put the effort in to align with. 

  In her novel, “Annie John”, Jamaica Kincaid comments on mother and daughter relationships and the role that mothers play. The protagonist, Annie John, adores her mother and shares an intimate relationship during her childhood. However, as she reaches puberty, she starts to feel distant from her mother and concerned about disappointing her as she fails to meet the expectations of a young lady her age. In most West Indian texts, the child narrators are used to represent the postcolonial condition and this emphasizes how islands in the Caribbean still struggle to gain agency over dominant cultures that aim to define them. 

What a new thing this was
for me: my mother’s back turned on me in disgust. It was true that I didn’t
spend all my days at my mother’s side before this, that I spent most of my
days at school, but before this young-lady business I could sit and think of
my mother, see her doing one thing or another, and always her face bore a
smile for me. Now I often saw her with the corners of her mouth turned
down in disapproval of me

(Kincaid 25).

A mother plays an important role in a child’s upbringing. My mother taught me wrong from right. She taught me how to cook. She taught me how to comb my hair. She showed me how to sit properly, not to stare at strangers, to do what I love, and to be kind and generous to others. A connection with your mother can be beautiful depending on the state and nature of that relationship. Annie glorifies her mother at the beginning of the novel; she admires how capable and knowledgeable she is. However as Annie grows up, she comes to dislike her mother and it is initially revealed that she is different from her mother which causes them to clash/disagree.

Annie’s mother was raised traditionally so she holds values and expectations of young women that oppose what Annie wants. There are some similarities; as Annie’s mother shares the same free-spirited nature as Annie, which was shown when she ran away from her home in Dominica to go to Antigua but Annie fails to recognize this and instead gets upset about her mother’s changed attitude. Their relationship isn’t entirely negative though. Annie’s mother still showers her daughter with love and tries her best to guide her in the way she knows she should. She states near the end of the novel:

“It doesn’t matter what you do or where you go, I’ll always be your mother and this will always be your home.” (8.19)”

The mother doesn’t reject Annie and still stands in support of her. We may not be able to choose our mothers and they may not be perfect but it still can be a blessing to have them as figures in our lives. We mature and learn things on our own but one doesn’t simply forget a loving mother who did everything for the happiness of their child. We depend on our mothers to shape us and raise us but as we start to lean less on them it is good to give them credit for they do play an active role in our development. I believe my mom did a great job and I feel grateful that she was in my life.

Caribbean, Education, Jamaica, Uncategorized

Yeah, went to private school. What about it?

I still remember clearly the first time I experienced a  culture shock. It was my first time attending a public school. I’ve just graduated from prep school and was pretty excited to go onto the next phase in my academics.

Not gonna lie though. The first few months were tough for me. Some of my classmates noticed that I spoke proper English and hardly spoke patios. They guessed I cam from a private institution( which was correct) but they also assumed I was rich or had a lot of money (Which was incorrect). There was even this one girl who kept begging me for money, I wanted to punch her at the time and yell Mi ah hustle and ah try buss too! I was upset and had to explain to her that I was not loaded as she thought I was. I admit I felt shocked by this and it took me a while to adjust and settle in the school because of this.

It was then the reality of class separation really hit me, and it wasn’t really a pleasant experience. I didn’t like being treated differently. I felt upset about it, and thought: What if I attended a private institution? Another classmate of mine even asked if I was really Jamaican because I never spoke patios. I remember feeling very upset because I didn’t like how they were distinguishing me. Sure I cam from a private school, but hell, I wasn’t rich. And I didn’t speak in dialect often but I didn’t think that was required to really be considered Jamaican.

I don’t want y’all to get the wrong idea. Not all the students there were like this. Some did not seem to mind and I made some great friends there. But of course, there will always be folks around who will say negative things and you can’t do much about it. Some of them only heard the way I spoke and carried myself and immediately made conclusions about which weren’t true.

I was grateful for the experience though. It opened my eyes to how class conflict does exist and is very much present in the Jamaican society. Colonial structures that were built to accommodate the elite still exist today. It is a social paradigm that will be challenging to change but that change can start with us, the individual. As the old proverb goes: Finger neber say “Look here,” him say “look yonder.” We tend to look at other’s faults and shortcomings rather than our own. Let’s try not to produce notions or an opinion about each other without really getting to know one another. Let’s check ourselves to see if we are participating in this paradigm.

I had to go through a process of assuring myself of what I stood for and what my identity is. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of peer pressure or wanting to fit in especially during your teenage years. It’s not a nice feeling to feel excluded or like the “other” but I think once you know who are are, it gets easier to care less about what others think.

Caribbean, Ramble Bahamas, The Bahamas, Uncategorized

Ramble Bahamas Review

Have you ever been to the Bahamas?

Beautiful Island. Loved by most for its captivating beauty: exotic resorts and rich culture. It’s a great island to escape to spend time with your family or your loved ones and it has an interesting culture as well. From the Arts to photography, it’s an interesting place to visit. And if you want to know more about this lovely Island, then Ramble Bahamas is the perfect site to visit.  Link to Ramble Bahamas  

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No one loves to gloat about the Bahamas like Ramble Bahamas.  

It’s a great website that allows the user to explore the different stories, events, narratives and historical background on a certain matter or topic. The website is also interactive as it provides word maps for the users. It’s quite amazing as the stories are often under a trending issue or topic within the Island and they are somehow connected. If you love to fast in people business  want to know more about the current events and  really want the real tea on the people of Bahamas and the country, then look no further.

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I checked out some of the stories myself, and they were quite interesting. Sometimes you don’t need a book to hear a good story, because the people around us are already walking with the greatest story if you only lend an ear to listen.  And I know some of ya’ll have a distaste towards old stories and history but it can be fun once you are willing to hear about it. 

If you’re a student wanting to do some research on a certain aspect of the Island’s history, or you want more information on an attraction, location or place. Maybe you are doing a travel blog and want more historic information. Whatever the reason, this sight certainly has a fair share of stories that may help you. 

History is important. And this website certainly values it and contributes to maintaining the awareness and appreciation of history.

We can also play our part by supporting them. Check out their website and recommend it to those who need it. Let’s preserve history and share each other’s stories.