Topics for Further Study

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Research how Antigua became independent from British rule and discuss the implications of that event for the modern-day Antigua of Kincaid’s memoir.

Kincaid never discusses psychology explicitly, but she is clearly interested in the mother-daughter dynamic. Research what psychologists say about children separating from their mothers and apply it to the feelings Kincaid harbors toward her mother.

Up until very recently, people suffering from AIDS in the United States didn’t want to discuss their disease publicly. Research how attitudes toward people with AIDS have changed, concentrating on how legal protection against discrimination of people suffering from this disease has helped change attitudes.

Consider how My Brother differs from more conventionally structured family memoirs. Ask yourself why Kincaid chose to arrange her story the way she did.

Kincaid describes at length how encountering the Antiguan woman from her AIDS support group and learning that Devon was a practicing homosexual was not like the falling and breaking of a miniature water-filled glass dome that is associated with childhood. Why does Kincaid use the metaphor of the glass dome in such a contradictory fashion?

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