(Short Stories for Students)

Da-duh is the narrator’s eighty-year-old grandmother. She has lived her whole life on Barbados and is confident and proud of her lifestyle, surroundings, and ways of looking at the world. She dislikes the trappings of the modern world, such as any form of machinery, and is uncomfortable in the city of Bridgetown. When Da-duh first meets the narrator, the narrator imagines that she saw ‘‘something in me which for some reason she found disturbing.’’ However, Da-duh also feels connected to her granddaughter, as evidenced when she clasps her hand.

Da-duh is completely at home in the countryside of St. Thomas where she lives. She takes her granddaughter on daily walks on the land surrounding her house. She shows off the glories of the natural world, and listens with an air of fear to her granddaughter’s descriptions of life in New York. She is not accustomed to having her life challenged, as her granddaughter does, and she attempts to assert authority through the royal palm tree, which is the tallest thing she has ever seen. When her granddaughter tells her about the Empire State building, Da-duh is finally defeated.

The small instances of surrender that the narrator had seen throughout the visit now pervades Daduh’s person. Instead of eagerly going on walks, she spends mornings staring out the window and spends her afternoons napping; grandmother and granddaughter take only brief, dispirited walks.

She dies shortly after her family leaves, and her death suggests both her stubbornness and her defeat. When Britain sends planes to fly low over the island in retaliations for riots...

(The entire section is 672 words.)