Critical Thinking

In once grew up in doesn’t exist anymore.

In “A
Small Place” by Jamaica Kincaid, it is portrayed that “we” tourists are very
selfish for our own needs, this is shown in many ways throughout the book, for
example the first being Kincaid placing us (the reader) in the shoes of a
tourist. Jamaica starts off by doing this so we know how we act when we are
tourists and the things we do, but don’t really see things as they may seem. Kincaid does a good job of showing us this and
making us understand this as with the use of rhetorical devices such as ethos,
pathos and logos to appeal to the reader’s emotions and make the readers who
are tourists have sympathy towards Antigua.

 

Firstly,
with the use of pathos Kincaid starts to appeal to the readers emotions when
she says, “On a Saturday, at the market, two people who, as far as they know,
have never met before, collide by accident; this accidental collision leads to
an enormous quarrel-a drama, really- in which the two people stand at opposite
ends of a street and shout insults at each other at the top of their
lungs.” (Kincaid 56) In this quote Jamaica appeals to our (tourists)
emotions for us to gain sympathy for two people who had an accident and who are
rather yelling at each other, instead of trying to understand the situation and
ask each other if they are fine. This shows how two people who never met before
yell at each other over an accident which makes the reader want to have
sympathy for the people who had an accident to know if they are fine, making
the situation appeal to our emotions. Jamaica also
makes us tourist have sympathy for the people of Antigua, she does this by
making us understand and observe the harsh conditions that the locals go though
and live by: “Not far from this mansion is another mansion, the home of a drug
smuggler” (Kincaid 11). And lastly it is appealed to our emotions when she
says, ”That Antigua no longer exists. That Antigua no longer exists partly for
the usual reason, the passing of time.” (Kincaid 23) Kincaid touches on our
emotions by making us feel bad by letting us know that the country she once
grew up in doesn’t exist anymore. Appealing to our emotions and making us feel
sad, makes us think how we would feel if the place we grew up in and spend our
childhood, doesn’t exist anymore. These are some ways how Jamaica appealed to
our emotions using Pathos.

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Secondly,
the use of ethos help appeal to emotions and creates sympathy for people of
Antigua and their conditions, ethically. “It is not a secret that a minister is
involved in drug trafficking.” (Kincaid 59) This quotes shows how famous people
in Antigua like the minister commit crimes and go against the government law by
doing drug trafficking, which is going against their duty’s towards the people
of Antigua.  Also, another example, in which this ethos is showcased is
when she states, “Why you would be told that the banks are encouraged by the
government to make loans available for cars and not houses? And that the
minister plays a role in this.” (Kincaid 7) This also shows how the ministers
and the government go against their principals of serving the people in
Antigua, they become selfish and make it harder for the citizens of Antigua to
purchase things. Lastly, it is also showed how many people in Antigua were
victims of racism (mostly black people). This is shown with the use of ethos when
she states, “Mill Reef Club. It was built by some people from North America who
wanted to live in Antigua and spend their holidays in Antigua but who seemed
not to like Antiguans (black people) at all, as Mill Reef Club declared itself
completely private, and the only Antiguans (black people) that were allowed
were servants”. (Kincaid Page 4) Antiguans were treated differently than the (tourists)
and the ministers wouldn’t say anything to fight for the rights of Antiguans.
They would not follow their principals and would rather sit back and watch.
These are some example of the use of ethos in “A Small Place” to help us
tourists better understand the corruption, and make ourselves aware of this.

 

Lastly, with the use of Logos and logic Jamaica is
able to once again appeal to our emotions. An example of this is when in the
novel she says, “The ministers, the people who govern the island of Antigua,
who are also citizens of Antigua, are legal residents of the United States, a
place they visit frequently.” (Kincaid 3) This quote is powerful as it makes us
think why they would go to the US? Like do you think Canada would be okay and
cool with a prime minister who lived in the United States? Like would it be
okay for Australia if there Liberal party leader was also a citizen of China?
Then why does it seem to be okay here? Also do you think it’s logical for a
Prime Minister to name an Airport after him? It makes us think of many logical
questions, therefore Kincaid appealing to us logically. Another example, is
when she states, “You may be the sort of tourist who would wonder why a Prime
Minister would want an airport named after him—why not a school, why not a
hospital, why not some great public monument?” (Kincaid 1) After reading this
quote you might wonder why? But in Antigua the Prime Minister doesn’t care
about hospitals or schools as tourists don’t end up seeing this stuff when they
land at the airport. So, after reading this we know the government or Prime
Minister of Antigua doesn’t care, making this appeal to our emotions logically.

 

All in all, Jamaica Kincaid throughout the book
tries to appeal to our emotions for us to have sympathy towards Antigua and the
people of Antigua. She is very successfully in that throughout her using ethos,
pathos and logos in her writing.

 

 

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