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Annie John's Farewell Breakfast: A New Criticism Paper On A Passage From Jamaica Kincaid's Novel "Annie John"

921 words - 4 pages

Joshua Cook Cook 1Professor IglesiasENG 34018 September 2007Annie John's Farewell Breakfast: A Close ReadingAs Annie John sat to eat with her family before her journey to Britain, some things have obviously never changed. The family is still seated the same as they always have been, Annie John still shifts her head to watch her parents eat, and it is a very common breakfast for special occasions. However, there is one particular thing that has changed greatly. Annie John now has resentment towards her mother despite the fact that her mother only wants the best for her.This resentment towards her mother is very evident in this breakfast passage. Annie John describes the way her mother eats as being similar to a donkey (136). The thing that is so intriguing about this is that a donkey can be used to describe a "stupid, silly, or obstinate person" (Dictionary.com Unabridged) which portrays a very vivid picture of resentment towards her mother. Annie John also says that she was looking at her parents "with a smile on my face, but disgust in my heart" (136). To have a feeling of disgust with someone or something is a very strong description. To be disgusted is defined as a "feeling of loathing or nausea" (American Heritage Dictionary). This description is not one that is at all pleasing. To say that the very sight of her parents causes Annie John to feel disgusted shows extreme evidence of Annie John's resentmentCook 2of her mother. This resentment seems to stem from her mother's "young lady" vision (136).However, this "young lady" vision of Annie John's mother does not seem to be one that would breed resentment. Annie John's mother seems to be full of pride when it comes to Annie John. Annie John's mother has nothing but praise for Annie. Annie John says that her parents were in a "festive mood" (135). Festive is defined as being joyful or merry (Dictionary.com Unabridged). Annie John also says that her mother went on and on about what a good time she would have in her new life, what a wonderful opportunity this was for her, and what a lucky person she was (136). This type of attitude towards Annie John does not seem to be one that would bring resentment from Annie John, in fact, it seems most like an attitude of praise. It seems like an idea of wanting what was truly best for Annie John in her new life.This same idea of wanting what was best for Annie spilled over into Annie's mother saying that she would not be surprised if Annie wrote home some to announce an engagement to be married. This was just a continuation of the pride that Annie's mother had in Annie John, but for Annie it seemed to be the straw that broke the camel's back, if you will. These ideas of Annie John's mother were simply...

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