What I Have Been Doing Lately by Jamaica Kincaid

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Topics for Further Study

(Short Stories for Students)

How can colonization affect the literature of a region? More specifically, how might writers who have been colonial subjects use their art to address issues of colonization?

How does Kincaid’s use of symbols contribute to or hinder your understanding of ‘‘What I Have Been Doing Lately’’?

Contrast the version of ‘‘What I Have Been Doing Lately’’ that appeared in The Paris Review with that which appears in At the Bottom of the River. How are they different? Do these differences change your first impressions and/or understanding of the work?

Discuss the similarities between the issues raised by Jamaica Kincaid and other contemporary Caribbean and/or African writers.

Research Carl Jung’s idea of ‘‘individuation’’ and his understanding of alchemical processes and reread ‘‘What I Have Been Doing Lately’’ to see what parallels can be drawn between the story and Jung’s ideas about personality growth and development.