In A Small Place, Knowledge And Power Are Codependent

1792 words - 7 pages

Knowledge and power are considered two of the most important assets of a society. In the context of Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place knowledge could be defined as a set of proficiencies or expertise attained through experience and education and power as a control of one’s own circumstances. While knowledge and power are individually definable, they do not exist in isolation. Knowledge and power are mutually constitutive to one another. In her aggressive and expository essay, Kincaid successfully demonstrates through the use of several examples, that knowledge, which is a necessary precursor to power, is severely lacking in Antigua, which in turn limits the power Antiguans hold over their own society.
Kincaid begins by pointing out to “you,” a tourist what is missing from Antigua in order to first make clear the reality that knowledge is not existent, valued, or accessible in Antigua. She illustrates “your” arrival, when she notes, “You are a tourist and you have not yet seen a school in Antigua, you have not yet seen the hospital in Antigua, you have not yet seen a public monument in Antigua.” But she abruptly interrupts this thought and continues in sarcastic and marked nonchalance, “what a beautiful island Antigua is—more beautiful than any of the other islands you have seen.” (3) Here, Kincaid demonstrates that knowledge is severely lacking or nonexistent in the land of Antigua by providing examples of physical manifestations of a well educated society that are not present. Knowledge is attained by learning information, data, and facts made available to children through education in schools. Knowledgeable people—educated children who grow up to be educated adults who have completed to several ambitious years of extra schooling, work in hospitals, where expertise in the fields of science and medicine is employed to heal bodies and save lives. And it must not be forgotten, that knowledge also includes an understanding of one’s own culture, nation, and personal history which might be represented by a public monument. Yet Antigua lacks all of these marks that may indicate to a vacationer, that there, knowledge dwells. Then Kincaid abruptly and sarcastically shifts the subject to the beauty of an island. What does a lack of education, medical and technological advance, and culture matter in an island so beautiful? Why would “you,” a tourist, care about the absence of knowledge in “your” vacation destination? Kincaid successfully points out in a mordant tone that, absurdly, a lack of knowledge in Antigua is considered unimportant in wake of the tourist-attracting splendor of the island.
Kincaid continues using the perspective of the tourist to mark the absence of knowledge by discussing the cars driven by Antiguans. She writes that “you,” the tourist, “notice that all the cars you see are brand-new…but they have an awful sound.” (6) She continues to explain this predicament when Kincaid’s tourist thinks, “It’s because they use...

Find Another Essay On In A Small Place, Knowledge and Power are Codependent

Power and Knowledge in Angela Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber’

1115 words - 4 pages The Oxford University Dictionary defines the word power as ‘authority or control’ over an individual and knowledge as ‘the sum of what is known’. In Angela Carter’s story The Bloody Chamber (1979) knowledge and power correlate with each other. The more information a character possesses the greater authority they have. In The Bloody Chamber Carter utilises a variety of literary techniques to express the importance of knowledge and power in the

Knowledge and Power: Dr. Faustus Essay

1050 words - 4 pages A brilliant scholar, Dr. Faustus’ thirst for more knowledge and power ultimately drive him to an eternity of damnation. No longer satisfied with worldly knowledge, Faustus turns to Necromancy, or black magic, which offers him new otherworldly knowledge, and thus, power. His goes on to live a life that many only dream of, but his tragic end was one of nightmares. Although some may argue that for all his faults, he was not a truly evil man

Are Schools a Safe Place?

1598 words - 7 pages matter that officials need to be responsible for and vice versa, the officials believe internal violence is a matter students can be responsible for. I will explain why schools are not safe, express my ideas to make schools safer, and even explore why some believe schools are already as safe as they can get. The world has become a violent place overall, not only in schools. Consider the bombing at the Boston Marathon or the shooting at the Colorado

Write an essay which explains what you understand about the importance of Imaginative Journeys as a means of gaining knowledge of self and our place in the universe.

1247 words - 5 pages Imaginative journeys are a great importance to one's life as it is a key that holds the experience to gain knowledge of self and one's place in the universe. There are several texts which explore this concept, such as "Frost at Midnight" and "Kubla Khan" written by Samuel Coleridge as well as Victor Kelleher's book cover of his novel "The Ivory Trail". All of these texts illustrate the immense power of a human's imagination through the creation

The Power of Small Businesses in America

2024 words - 9 pages It is a little known fact that small businesses make up a major factor of the American workforce. Since the word small is in the title most people think nothing of them, but when one takes the time to think that there are millions of small businesses, most with at least two to ten workers, the amount of people begins to add up. There are many factors that could contribute to a business failing, and it happens all the time in America. Small

Gothika: Can a Small Place Really Be Beautiful?

648 words - 3 pages people. That's one thing that I liked about Arkansas. The part that I was in was a medium sized place. The land is beautiful; the houses are on plots of land that is huge. You could drive down the road and maybe only see a couple of houses, and they are pretty far apart. I loved that. The land is full of huge trees, and in some places you can't see that far through them. I didn't have to see huge buildings that you could see from miles away. I

Analyse the historical and contemporary conditions in Italy leading to a fascist government in 1922, and comment on the view that a seizure of power took place

2184 words - 9 pages been cheated, demonstrated by the Fiume affair and that these factors stimulated and energized the growth of nationalism, the driving force of fascism. In addition to these industrial and contemporary factors there is also a consideration that the fascist's rise to power was aided by Mussolini's apparent seizure of power.Since the unification of Italy in 1870 the new state suffered from economic weaknesses. Italy's degree of industrialisation was

Knowledge is Power: A Timeless Concept

1140 words - 5 pages stereotypical positional sense. He did, however, experience increased power gained from knowledge in other ways. Douglas knew how to behave as a slave, and that knowledge allowed him the ability to make wise decisions that protected his life; although there were laws in place to protect slaves against unjust treatment, these laws were “utterly incapable of being enforced” (Douglas 127). The role of a slave was to obey without question and to not even

Solar Energy's Place in the Power Industry

1611 words - 6 pages other company; they are in the business of making money. Because of these two facts, solar energy at its current technological state doesn’t hold a place in the power industry’s current generation fleet. Solar power is clearly the most effective during the daylight. The output of a solar panel slowly increases starting at sunrise until it reaches its peak around noon. Then it slowly decreases until sunset. Because there are more hours of sunlight

“Revisiting ‘Bakhar’: Power, Knowledge and Communities”

2198 words - 9 pages how one can see the cultural and organizational differences between Marathas, Rajputs and Afghans through the representations embodied in the bakhars. Using three frameworks mentioned above i.e. Sumit Guhas argument about social origin of the bakhar and making knowledge through it, Prachi Deshpande’s bakhar as a source of legitimization of power and Anirudh Deshpande’s representation of communities, this paper is an attempt to fresh reading of

Future in a Small Town

1141 words - 5 pages Children are the future.Without children, the world would die off in one generation. Thus an investment in our children, is an investment in the future. In the small community of Cascade from the perspective of a child, to put it lightly, is inactive and dull. Even though I believe educational system is excellent, beyond school hours, students are limited to athletics to fill about 6 to 7 hours. Excluding those who do not enjoy athletes or do

Similar Essays

Comparing The Impact Of Colonization In A Small Place, A Passage To India, And Robinson Crusoe

1105 words - 4 pages Impact of British Colonization Exposed in A Small Place, A Passage to India, and Robinson Crusoe British colonialism began in the early fifteen hundreds and even continues today with the British rule of the British Virgin Islands.  For centuries, literature has served as a type of historical documentation of colonization as many authors wrote about colonization from both a colonized and a colonizer's point of view. During colonization, and

A Small Place By Jamaica Kincaid

1430 words - 6 pages A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid presents the hypothetical story of a tourist visiting Antigua, the author’s hometown. Kincaid places the reader in the shoes of the tourist, and tells the tourist what he/she would see through his/her travels on the island. She paints a picturesque scene of the tourist’s view of Antigua, but stains the image with details of issues that most tourists overlook: the bad roads, the origin of the so-called native food

A Small Place By Jamaica Kincaid

1375 words - 6 pages ” (p.32). Even reading, one of Kincaid’s greatest interests makes her bitter because she is learning the dominant culture from the dominant position. Kincaid feels torn and does not feel like she belong with the thoughts of the Antiguan people, or with the English whom she shares her first language with. Kincaid feels that the experiences of the people in Antigua, a small place, are seen as less important, compared to the British, who are people

Things Fall Apart And A Small Place: Comparing The Theme Of Cultural Integrity

1856 words - 7 pages course, I now see that good behaviour is the proper posture of the weak, of children)" (Kincaid 30). In A Small Place, Jamaica Kincaid states that the Antiguans believed that the English were terrible because of their manners and behavior. She follows that the good behavior of the Antiguans is actually a sign of weakness. Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart also portrays a struggle between two cultures. Okonkwo tries to act against the British