A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid

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In “A Small Place” by Jamaica Kincaid, Kincaid criticizes tourists for being heartless and ignorant to the problems that the people of Antigua had and the sacrifices that had to be made to make Antigua a tremendous tourist/vacation spot. While Kincaid makes a strong argument, her argument suggests that she doesn't realize what tourism is for the tourists. In other words, tourism is an escape for those who are going on vacation and the tourists are well within their rights to be “ignorant”, especially because no one is telling them what is wrong with Antigua. The biggest aspect of Kincaid's argument that makes it flawed is her anger. That is not to say that there aren't times where anger is justified. At the same time, the harsh language…show more content…
A tourist is under no obligation to know about the history of an island, city, state or country. It should be acknowledged that Kincaid displays anger at nearly every entity in Antigua, but at the same time it is her anger at tourists which seems to be the most misplaced because they are the ones who have the least power in fixing the problems the people in Antigua have. To the above point, one of the reasons that Antigua is a destination for tourists is because of its aforementioned aesthetic beauty. Antigua’s beauty belies the reality of the situation that the people have, but it is not something that tourists should feel any responsibility to change. More to the point, Antigua’s beauty is one of the reasons that tourists should not be challenged. Indeed, tourists have no reason to believe that the people of Antigua are miserable because of the beauty of the land and the hard work that the people of Antigua put in to make sure that the tourists have a good time (even if the tourists acknowledge that the workers may be poor). One example of how Kincaid’s argument is flawed is when she says that tourists appreciate the fact that Antigua has no rain, when the lack of rain actually leads to droughts which negatively affect the natives in the long-term. Kincaid’s discussion of rain is representative of the difference between her perspective and the perspective of the tourist. The tourist has no stake in Antigua beyond how it profiles as a vacation
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