Argumentative essay Writing

Argumentative essay on A Small Place and Cracking India books

Jamaica Kinkaid’s literary piece “A Small Place” enables the reader to assume the role of
a tourist as she brings the town of Antigua to them and criticizes tourism’s moral ugliness and
European imperialism negative impacts. Her clear description of the landscape’s infrastructure
and daily struggles, she emphasizes how hard colonialism hit Antigua and the lingering effect it
still holds on the nation’s residents and the town as a whole (Kincaid 21). The colonial foreigners
might be long gone, but their political footprint of moral erosion has resulted in the country
being stagnant in terms of development. She writes in the second person narrative to describe her
town to the reader in their perspective, which is evident at the beginning of the piece. “As a
tourist, if you reach Antigua, you will see the following…” (Kincaid 16) she does this to
implicate the audience in the imperialism crime as if to directly accuse them of being part of the
foreign undertaking that robbed Kincaid’s nations of its culture and antiquity.
On the other hand, the small book titled “Cracking India” by Bapsi Sidhwa is based on
the violent acts faced by people of all religions, ages, and genders in India. The novel setting was
in the late 1940s when India and Pakistan were divided along religious lines (Sidhwa, 23).
During this period where European imperialism was at its peak, nations or rather people could
not afford to be squabbling but would be focusing on growing their bonds, but it was contrary to
one’s rational thoughts. This disconnect, coupled with colonialism, leaves a nation at peril,
which affects its history and culture. Additionally, this partition led to the objectification of

women from an early age to adulthood. Their rights were limited and were not considered at the
same level as men hence giving way to rampant sexual violation. Men had all the power, and
decisions were implemented coupled with violence. Thus power and gender are significant
themes Bapsi used to drive his message. In the novel’s inception, we can see the world through
the eyes of a young woman, Lenny, who had polio, and this seemed like her great escape from
her perilous future (Sidhwa, 14).
Kincaid’s’ criticism of the tourism industry is quite evident throughout the book and
spares no one from the British colonialists, the audience, and Antiguans (Kincaid 32). She has a
strong desire for change, and this can be acknowledged in her use of symbolism, strategic
repetition, and second-person narrative employed in the book. The author seems to attack the
tourist’s conscious and unconscious entitlement attitudes, which are present when a foreigner
visits another country. You find that the natives rush to satisfy their whims and expect the same
from nature. The locals have been accustomed to a life where they have to please foreigners, yet
their lives are miserable. Kinkaid then turns his recriminations against thoughtless foreigners
during their visits. Most tourists visit Antigua for pleasure, amusement, or business. The majority
of them are there for a short time, a few weeks only to avoid straying from their pursuits. On this
note, they do not concern themselves on the workings and conditions of the island and its
inhabitants (Kincaid 38). They are viewed as inconsiderate leeches as they pay no attention to the
inhabitants’ inability to enjoy leave alone afford such comforts. Antiguans have to pay for water
daily, yet the tourists who are less or more privileged do not appreciate the commodity.
Similarly, Lenny thought by having an ailment; her life would be different from that of
other ladies in her community. Her age and naivety make her not be aware of the problems
surrounding her hence involved with the simple things in life (Sidhwa, 51). But as she is

continually exposed to what is going on around her, especially during temple visits and
interaction with relatives and other people. She becomes aware of the religious influence and
divides in her society. The two books share this commonality of being aware of one’s
environment even though in different contexts. In Bapsi’s text, we see Lenny as the “other” from
a societal perspective, and in Jamaica’s book, the author and his Antiguan people take on the
“others” role as they feel like foreigners in their own space.
The exclusion theme serves to drive the author’s intended message. Both books share a
postcolonial aura that was composed of various challenges directly or indirectly influenced by
imperialism. Bapsi’s text encompasses women’s exclusion from multiple aspects of society.
Their freedom is curtailed ad their rights abused without any apparent reason. Men have
perpetrated this rule of violence against women; hence, most have grown up in fear and have
come to accept the atrocities being done to them as normality. Additionally, Bapsi shows how
society reaches a point where one is judged based on religion, which also stressed the idea of
exclusion since, in India, there are various religions, Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims, among
others. Moreover, Kincaid’s book uses the exclusion phenomenon to show Antiguan’s loss of
culture and pride in their nation’s abundance of resources.

Works cited

Kincaid, Jamaica. A Small Place. Epub, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000.
Sidhwa, Bapsi. Cracking India: A Novel. Epub, Milkweed Editions, 2010.