Autobiography post 1

December 8th, 2010

A Small Place and Native Guard

Posted by Tricia Zephyr in Uncategorized

A Small Place is Jamaica Kincaid’s autobiography which enables us to see what the experience must be like to be from an island. A Small Place begins with, ” If you go to Antigua as a tourist, this is what you will see.”  Kincaid places herself as some sort of tour guide, perhaps to provide some sort of distance form the place she once called home. Kincaid writes, Do you know why people like me are shy about being capitalist? Well it’s because we, for as long as we have known you, were capital, like bales of cotton and sacks of sugar, and you were the commanding, cruel capitalist, and the memory of this is so strong, the experience so recent, that we can’t quite bring ourselves to embrace this idea that you think so much of.”( p. 36-37) Here Kincaid refers to her geographic location when describing her sense of identity. She is from Antigua, and island where slaves were brought over so they can work plantations and cut down sugar cane and crop. In the quote listed above, she indirectly refers to her geographic location, but directly relates to her ancestors.

Natasha Thretheway does something similar in Native Guard. One example which is similar to what Kincaid does is in the poem “Scenes from a documentary History of Mississippi.”  This poem was written by the speaker in 1907, but was written by Natasha Tretheway. It is known that Tretheway was not around in 1907, so she does not have that first hand experience, but she writes “The History of Mississippi” to relate to the people before her. She too is from Mississippi, and this poem is ancestral history in which she does not identify with, but understands. Her ancestral past makes her who she is.

December 8th, 2010

A Small Place

Posted by Tricia Zephyr in Uncategorized

I really enjoyed A Small Placeby Jamaica Kincaid. She really allows readers to experience what it is like to be from an island, that is somewhat exoticized.  The quote that spoke to me the most was when Kincaid writes, ” We thought these people were so ill mannered and we were so surprised by this, for they were far away from their home, and we believed that the farther away you were from your home the better you should behave. ( This is because if your bad behaviour gets you in trouble you have your family not too far off to defend you.) We thought they were un-Christian-like…” I found this quote interesting because it was like the one who was colonized looking at the colonizer ( The English).  I found “we thought they were un-christian-like: to be powerful because the English were the ones who imposed Christianity upon Antigua, and for her to basically say, you are acted like the people you want us to be eas meaningful. A Small Place really allows us to see what it is like to be a native in a very “touristy” location, and what it is like to feel the effects and backlash of colonization.

December 8th, 2010

Fun Home

Posted by Tricia Zephyr in Uncategorized

The main idea of Watson’s paragraph appears at the end where she writes, ” Fun Home’s improvisations upon the terms of autobiography in its graphic disclosures draw on the hybrid form of autobiographics to explore complex formations of gender and sexuality in the modern family”. She gives supplementary text in the beginning that foreshadows this in which Watson writes, ” Fun Home invites- and requires- readers to read differently to attend to disjunctions between the cartoon panel and the verbal text, to disrupt the seeming forward motion of the cartoon sequence and adpot a reflexive and recursive reading practice”.  Watson argues that Fun Home’s genre of an autobiographical comic is a different and inventive genre that does not usually speak to gender and sexuality issues, which are complicated in text let alone autobiographical comics. Watson introduces her quote by naming the author first, then proceeding to use the quotation. The quotes support her argument as opposed to providing a counter argument.

I agree with Watson. This genre is a unique way to discuss gender and sexuality. I found p.74 interesting, where Allison Bechdel decides to look up the word “Lesbian”, as if it could only be defined in one way. That was a part of Bechdel’s exploration in both finding and defining who she is. The comic made the image that much more vivid, because we saw the drawing in the frame. The words were printed. The drawing allowed us to see Bechdel’s Point of View as opposed to imagining it as we must in other genres.

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