My Journey into Discovering My True Self
Jamaica Kincaid’s success as a writer was not easily attained as she endured struggles of having to often sleep on the floor of her apartment because she could not afford to buy a bed. She described herself as being a struggling writer, who did not know how to write, but sheer determination and a fortunate encounter with the editor of The New Yorker, William Shawn who set the epitome for her writing success. Ms. Kincaid was a West-Indian American writer who was the first writer and the first individual from her island of Antigua to achieve this goal. Her genre of work includes novelists, essayist, and a gardener. Her writing style has been described as having dreamlike repetition, emotional truth and autobiographical underpinnings (Tahree, 2013). Oftentimes her work have been criticized for its anger and simplicity and praised for its keen observation of character, wit and lyrical quality. But according to Ms. Kincaid her writing, which are mostly autobiographical, was an act of saving her life by being able to express herself in words. She used her life experiences and placed them on paper as a way to make sense of her past. Her experience of growing up in a strict single-parent West-Indian home was the motivation for many of her writings. The knowledge we garnered at an early age influenced the choice we make throughout our life and this is no more evident than in the writings of Jamaica Kincaid.
Her novel ‘Lucy’ explored the characters Lucy’s life experience in flashback of growing up on a small island and her present life in the United States as well as the relationship between the mother and daughter. This portrayal echoes similarities to that of Kincaid life. Like Kincaid, the character in her book ‘Lucy’ were taught to read early in her childhood. As a child, Kincaid found solace in the books she read from the library where she spend most of her time because she lacked the friendship of girls her age. She was so enthralled by the powerful and defiance nature of the main character Lucifer in one of the books, that the title of her book ‘Lucy ’derived from the name Lucifer. Like Kincaid, the character Lucy Josephine Potter; Potter being Kincaid’s given name at birth was born on a small island May 25, 1949. Kincaid was raised in a home with an overly protected mother, a stepfather and three brothers. Although she was very intelligent, Kincaid received no encouragement at home and because of this, her relationship with her mother remains very stagnant throughout her childhood and into adolescence.
In ‘Lucy’ the character Lucy, an immigrant girl, leaves her home in the West Indies to come to America in order to reinvent herself and to discover her own identity. Her struggles for personal freedom and independence would require her complete disconnection from her family especially her mother. To do so, Lucy not only had to let go of her former identity, but she also has to void herself of the...