Somewhere in the Caribbean, narrator tells a story which describes her psychological changeover and talks about relationships of mother- daughter, racism, and education. ‘Annie john’ is an emotive story of a growing girl in Antigua. The novel was authored by Jamaica Kincaid in the year 1985. The story talks about Issues like clinical depression and struggle for the supremacy between medical science and native superstitious are also covered by the author in her novel. This paper discusses the novel, Annie John and talks about several other related aspects of the story.
Annie john is the main character as well as the narrator in this story. She used to share a beautiful and very close relationship with her mother. She is a growing child and has developed her own understanding of different things. Once Annie john saw her mother participating in a burial of a child of her age and Annie developed a feeling of hatred against her mother. This incident affected her psyche, she, as a child could not digest that children die. Annie started hating her mother’s touch because it was not that soothing touch anymore. She started seeking other things to dislike in her mother which she found very soon.
When Annie was merely 12 years old, she was told by her mother that she is a young lady and their paths are about to be separated very soon. Annie was unable to understand the idea of separation and imagination of being separated filled Annie’s mind with abhorrence, she considers this changed behavior as betrayal by her mother. The young girl finds herself in an isolated world and a number of questions come into her mind regarding her existence and her future. Annie seems to be a bit skeptical and immature who has no understanding of things but considers herself a mature who can take decisions.
On the other hand, Annie’s mother seems to be very practical when she says that they are separate and as a grownup, she will have to make her own world which is different from the current one. It is a bit difficult for young girls to separate themselves from their parents and especially from the mother and it is very common to see that whenever they come with such things they have a tendency to revolt.
After feeling detached with her mother, Annie searches a good friend, Gwen. Both friends share everything and enjoy the company of each other. Due to her own perceptions, Annie starts feeling some distance in the relationship with Gwen after she falls ill. As Annie became it started raining and her mother feared that it will last long. Annie was suggested bed rest as she became very weak and unable to go anywhere.
Annie was passing through psychological transitional period. She used to interpret things that suited her. Annie came to learn in her history lass about Columbus. She had heard a lot about Columbus who searched her islands but after reading more about him that he was arrested and placed in chain, she felt satisfied. She considers his arrest as good lesson for those who used to think that influential people can do anything and just go free.
In such a state of affairs, her grandmother appeared from Dominica and that too in very mysterious manner. She came and stayed with Annie for three days and took good care of Annie. She told her how Annie’s uncle was died because of this illness. She with her special treating method cured Annie and without any medicine. The rain continued for more than three months and life of people became miserable. Annie being under a shock due to the emotional detachment with her mother fell ill and developed a number of other things in her mind regarding her parents. Annie after the long rain was healed and in a good health.
Annie turns seventeen and decides to study in England. She heads for the ship with her parents. At this point, a lot of things come into her mind. She recalls a number of incidents. Her thinking has been changed and probably she has accepted that she is separate from her parents and is ready to live her life.
The story of this novel is very close to the real life of the author, Jamaica Kincaid. Incidents are portrayed in the same manner as they took place in her real life. It is about the changing from adolescence and adulthood and the feelings that people face in those times. The author herself has left her ancestral place and settled into America and this novel was an example of how she used to remember things.
After having observed the abovementioned analysis of the novel, Annie John, it is good to say that the novel is a luminary piece of literary work. It is not only interesting and useful but also very informative and a number of people may find it very close to their lives. The novel focuses on the psychological aspect of the human behavior and relationship. A number of things are left on the readers to interpret including the issue of lesbianism and racism.
Kincaid, Jamaica. Annie John: A Novel. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997.