Affect in A Small Place: Jamaica Kincaid Reverses the Colonial Gaze

University essay from Södertörns högskola/Institutionen för kultur och lärande

Abstract: This essay uses Sara Ahmed's theory of affect to analyze Jamaica Kincaid´s A Small Place. I argue that Jamaica Kincaid uses anger to create a position for Western reader and to evoke emotions such as shame. Theorist Sara Ahmed argues that emotions have political dimension. Thus, I will use Sara Ahmed´s theory to examine what function anger and shame have in A Small Place. In her essay, Kincaid provokes her readers by attacking them for past injustice through anger. Because of this many critics have claimed that A Small Place has an angry tone. However, Kincaid´s aim seems to be to reverse the gaze by exposing the Europeans and Americans of exploitation, slavery, imperialism and colonization and this way reverse the traditional travel gaze, which allows us to see Antigua through the perspective of the third world.

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