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Independence Measured By Friendship In The Novel "Annie John" By Jamaica Kincaid.

989 words - 4 pages

In the book Annie John, Jamaica Kincaid writes about the journey of a girl who goes through many different trials. From the beginning to the end of the novel, Annie John tells her story in the first person narrative, giving insight to personal experiences and helping the reader truly feel and understand each scenario separately as well as comparing them in a whole. Throughout the story, Annie John becomes friends, or recalls friendships she has had, with many people. The first and most loyal friend mentioned in the book is Gweneth, who is followed by the Red Girl and Mineu. Annie John holds her own views on friendship, which are undertones throughout the story, and on what friends are truly for. The separateness of her own ideals and those of society conflict greatly.Gweneth becomes Annie John's best friend very quickly. "Gwen and I were in love," (pg. 33) Annie John states of their very first time together. "Gwen and I were soon inseparable. If you saw one, you saw the other," (pg. 46) she says later, drawing out further the picture of the narrator and her friend, becoming close and sharing secrets as friends do, vowing true love to each other and friendship forever. This is a picturesque scene of a socially acceptable friendship, where both friends show compassion and care for the others feelings and hardships. However, Annie John finds that her fancy with Gweneth does not last forever, and that she hardly loves the girl. "...In spite of the fact that she met with my mother's complete approval," (pg. 59) Annie says, showing that anything and everything her mother agrees with, except for Gwen, goes against what she agrees with, and vice versa. It does come to be that Annie finds the presence of Gwen to be a bit less thrilling than it once was.In short time she comes to meet and befriend the Red Girl, who Annie John has interesting experiences with and who as well opens her mind to close Gwen off of her life. Annie John may claim that she has undying love for Gwen, who is her truest and most loyal friend, but she would easily, and eagerly, cast her away for the companionship of the Red Girl. The Red Girl does many things that Annie John's mother does not think are proper in a young woman, or proper in a friend of her daughters. Between the Red Girl and Gweneth, Annie John does suggest that she might enjoy Gweneth's company much more if she was not as accepted by her mother as she is. When picking friends, and choosing between friends, such outlines are not necessarily valid points in deciding whether or not a person's friendship is valuable. While Annie John made the right decision in choosing to continue to be friends with Gwen while she had an "affair" with the Red...

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