What is a good introduction for an essay on Kincaid's A Small Place?

An introduction for an essay on A Small Place might provide historical context for Jamaica Kincaid's polemic against those who have exploited Antigua in the past and link them with the tourists who, she argues, continue to act in a similar way.

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Jamaica Kincaid introduces Antigua as a beautiful paradise for tourists at the beginning of A Small Place. It seems like an advertisement to draw visitors to the island, until some uncomfortable details (about local schools and hospitals, to begin with) signal that this is the reverse of the writer's intention. A good introduction might give some context to explain Kincaid's anger against the original colonists and the tourists who perpetuate their exploitation of Antigua.

Some contextual information is given in A Small Place, but this is a personal essay, not a history book, and the introduction to your essay is the perfect place for such informative and explanatory material. You could structure the introduction to begin with some historical information about colonization and slavery in the Caribbean and then contrast this with the way the area is often regarded as a luxurious and beautiful tourist destination in the twenty-first century.

Although people are no longer transported to the Caribbean to work on plantations, it is certainly true that there is a great deal of poverty in the area and that the influx of cruise ships does little to alleviate this. As with slavery, the immense wealth generated never finds its way into the hands of the poorest people, who are generally the descendants of slaves and who are still exploited. An introduction structured in this way complements both the organization and the message of A Small Place.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on June 25, 2020
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