Tourists – An Ugly Human Being
The tourists are selfish people who destroy the peace of mind and oppress the feelings of the people living in Antigua for their own pleasure. A small place is a story written by Jamaica Kincaid and she talks about her hometown Antigua and how the local residents there do not like when tourists come to their island for a vacation. A small place is a really interesting read because it gives the readers a completely different perspective about tourism that they would have never thought about. The main theme of the writing is tourism and the writer does an amazing job in conveying her message as the start itself gave me a completely different perspective about tourism. She implied that the reason why the residents don’t like people coming over their island is because the tourists could escape from their reality and daily work and come and enjoy for a week but the Antiguans couldn’t do that because they are poor and couldn’t afford a holiday. This is a selfish behavior by tourists as they know how poor Antiguans are and have knowledge about their colonial history, but they still want to go there for a vacation and disturb their peace of mind. From the tourists perspective, they don’t want to think about any of it and just enjoy their holiday in Antigua.
On page 10, the writer said “and so you needn’t let that slightly funny feeling you have from time to time about exploitation, oppression, domination develop into full-fledged unease, discomfort; you could ruin your holiday”. The writer says this to address the reader directly and by the reader he targets the tourists from North America or Europe. The language throughout the story is harsh because the writer is really angry with tourists in her hometown. There is an informal diction used in the story as the writer puts her own point of view to express her feelings. The writer’s uses a sarcastic tone to deliver this specific paragraph to show her hatred towards the tourists as she starts the passage by saying “slightly funny feeling”. The word ‘funny’ may seem like the writer is happy and okay with the tourists but actually she is being sarcastic as she is really angry with them because the tourists have a selfish behavior. It is so because they plan to enjoy a vacation in Antigua regardless of acknowledging about its history and the fact that Antiguans are poor and they can’t afford a holiday like these. The writer has made an effective choice of vocabulary to emphasize on her viewpoint as she uses the words ‘exploitation, oppression and domination’. To show how tourist are distressing Antiguans lives the writer uses such strong words to describe their nature that she doesn’t even use to describe the politics and corruption in her country. She uses the word ‘exploitation’ because the tourists come and exploit the island as they disturb the people lives and use the scarce resources that are not even sufficient for Antiguans. She uses the word ‘oppression’ to imply that the tourists know the situation of Antigua and how poor they are but still they want to go there for a vacation. With the Antiguans who cannot afford a holiday, it is a mental distress to see people enjoying in their country and then see themselves working every day. She uses the word ‘domination’ with regard to the past when the British ruled Antigua. She implies that the tourists know that post colonialism didn’t turn out to be good for Antiguans, but still they tend to ignore the fact and be comfortable with it so that they don’t ruin their holiday. With such thinking of the tourists and the choices of words used in the passage, the writer is successful in implying that the tourists has a selfish nature and they don’t respect the situation of Antiguans because they don’t want to feel uncomfortable about it and ruin their holiday.
On page 14, the writer said “A tourist is an ugly human being. You are not an ugly person all the time; you are not an ugly person ordinarily; you are not an ugly person from day to day; From day to day, you are a nice person”. The language the writer uses to express her views in the paragraph is angry but with a subtle tone. There is a subtleness in the passage as the writer without mentioning the difference indirectly implies that she hates tourists but not ordinary human beings. The use of words is also very effective here as the writer separates a tourist and a normal person into two different categories. The passage clarifies that the writer does not have any problems with ordinary human beings but when that human being becomes a tourist and visits Antigua, he has changed his status from a nice person to an ugly human being. From the sentence structure and diction used in the passage, the writer clearly implies that she despites tourist because of their selfish nature. The writer is really successful in conveying its message to the tourists and as a reader it also makes me rethink of taking a vacation in some other country because nobody wants to become an ugly human being and disturb and oppress someone else’s feelings. With such diction and clarity in the work, as a reader I can say that the tourists who visit Antigua for a vacation are ugly human beings who destroy the peace of mind and oppress the feelings of Antiguans for their own pleasure.
1. Kincaid, Jamaica. “A Small Place Quotes and Analysis.” GradeSaver: Getting You the Grade, www.gradesaver.com/a-small-place/study-guide/quotes.
2. Kincaid, Jamaica. “A Small Place Quotes.” SparkNotes, SparkNotes, www.sparknotes.com/lit/smallplace/quotes/.