Tourists in "A Small Place" of Kincaid
In her book, “A Small Place” Kincaid is angry towards the tourists and she depicts them as ugly due to the way they pose enjoying the view of the locals’ miserable lives. As such, the writer does not like the tourists because according to her it is a form of colonialism, but the locals do not realize it. Kincaid has therefore painted an ugly picture of the tourist. According to her, the tourists do not care about the deteriorating conditions in which the locals live. Thus, the only interest of the tourist is to take for granted the favorable weather conditions at Antigua. Instead of taking pity for the poor Antiguans, the tourists are busy enjoying the native culture which does not exist anymore. According to Kincaid, the tourism industry brings money to the country, but it has in return corrupted the culture, economy as well as Antiguan politics (Larkin, 2012).
In a real sense, the writer is not angry with the tourists but is angry at how the industry is managed. The government has turned the locals into puppets and instead of using tourism to enhance their lives the locals have been corrupted by the tourism craze. For instance, the writer is not pleased with the fact that a reputable teaching school has become an institution for the youth where they learn to entertain tourists. The writers see this act as a way of slavery thus indicating that slavery is not yet over even in the self-ruling times (Diana, 2015). The locals have enslaved themselves for taking education to entertain people who not care about them. Instead, people should go to school to learn how to do great things in life instead of entertaining tourists.
Effects of tourist industry
Kincaid is also skeptical about how the tourist industry has brought about immorality acts in Antigua thus demolishing the native culture of the people. Prostitution, gambling, and corruption are vices being practiced freely in the name of entertaining tourists. The government should be keen to regulate and establish moral standards among the locals but is afraid that tourists will run away thus lack money to carry on their cheap politics (Diana, 2015). As such, the poor Antiguans are desperate enough to engage in all forms activity to earn some money. According to Kincaid, these actions depict neo-colonialism by the government as well as the tourists. Kincaid is therefore displeased because the government is not using the resources from the tourism industry to better the lives of the locals who are the entertainment to these tourists.
Kincaid is angry with the government for neglecting the poor through neglecting public amenities. For instance, the library has been demolished for many years, but the minister of education does not bother to repair this essential amenity. As such, the government resources have been channeled in the wrong direction due to increased acts of corruption (Brodbeck, 2013). As well, the health sector has also been forgotten, and Kincaid is, therefore, resentful of the ignorance of tourists who are not concerned about the tattered hospital buildings. There lacks drainage systems in Antigua and the freshwater areas have therefore been compromised due to negligence by the government. As such, tourism does not add any value to the lives of the locals.
In most third world countries, tourism is of much benefit. The locals are proud of their culture, and they use it to entertain tourists. As such, people are eager to show off their uniqueness to the visitors. However, in Antigua, the culture has been forgotten. As Kincaid explains, the locals are quick to copy the ways of the tourists since they envy them. As such, they have abandoned their ways in the process becoming slaves to the tourists. Kincaid describes to the tourists who are eager to experience the Antigua culture that the old Antigua is dead (Loh, 2013). The heritage of the island has disappeared together with the rich culture. As such, there is nothing special about Antigua culture because the people are no longer proud of their forefather's way of life. Kincaid is quick to note that a minister of culture is only needed in places where the people do not have a culture. Thus, the presence of a minister of culture in Antigua means the country has no culture hence nothing to offer to the tourist. Antiguans are also to blame for their lost culture because they have failed to recognize themselves beyond their colonizers. They are therefore stuck in the culture of the English people, yet they are not classified as English (Loh, 2013). The government has named heir major streets after the colonial and slave traders making even more difficult for the locals to have their own identity. As such, despite being a self-ruling economy, the people are free because they still embrace and practice the way of their oppressors. Despite the degradation of Antigua culture, the tourists are still eager to visit the island, but their presence has influence corruption of the government hence unable to change the harmful actions.
Culture and tourism
If I were to manage the island, the first I would do is to improve the living standards of Antiguans to ensure that enjoy their lives. This would be done through enforcing a proper education system so that locals can become educated and rely on their education of their daily needs. As such, I will help to be confident and stop envying the tourists. They will, therefore, be able to behave by their culture thus attract even more tourists due to their cultural practices (Scribellito, 2014). Culture is an important aspect of tourist attraction and trough embracing their culture, Antiguans will be able to attract tourist. By offering better sources of income, people will stop engaging in immoral acts such as prostitution.
The next agenda will be to control the tourism industry to ensure the locals benefit from the activity. As such, tourists will be required to uphold high moral values to boost the image of the island. Antigua is a beautiful place and if well enhanced can attract large numbers of tourists thus earning large amounts of foreign exchange for the benefit of the people. These funds will be important for the restoration of the public amenities as well improving the lives of the poor locals (Scribellito, 2014). Also, the violent acts of corruption will be eradicated thus allowing equity among the people. The locals will, therefore, be free and hence will not find time to insult each other at the top of their voices. The locals will, therefore, be able to maintain a proper lifestyle without relying on the constantly changing environment.
Brodbeck, J. (2013). Traveling Old Policies: A Guided Tour by Jamaica Kincaid's a Small Place. TEXTURA-ULBRA, 4(6-7).
Diana, H. (2015). Affect in A Small Place: Jamaica Kincaid Reverses the Colonial Gaze.
Larkin, L. (2012). Reading and Being Read: Jamaica Kincaid's A Small Place as Literary Agent. Callaloo, 35(1), 193-211.
Loh, L. (2013). Historicising Neocolonial Globalisation and Political Revolution: Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place. In The Postcolonial Country in Contemporary Literature (pp. 178-207). Palgrave Macmillan UK.
Scribellito, G. (2014). An analysis of Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place (1988): Between History and Auto-Biography, Modernism and Postmodernism (Bachelor's thesis, Università Ca'Foscari Venezia).
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