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The Red Girl is a character that is about Annie's age who represents the defiant person that Annie wishes to become. The Red Girl exists in a world that is very different from Annie's structured one. The Red Girl does not need to bathe, dress, and attend school everyday. Whereas Annie's life is defined by her attention to expected social behavior, the Red Girl's life lies outside of those expectations. The Red Girl represents the world outside of the British colonial order. The Red Girl does not adhere to the British form of dress or schooling. Without a name, she even seems to exist outside of the British language and code of legal documents. The Red Girl offers Annie a sense of self and of Antigua that Annie is not able to learn about in school. By spending time with her, Annie learns the possibilities that lie apart from her mother's dominion. When the Red Girl leaves Antigua, Annie dreams that the Red Girl's boat will capsize and Annie will save her. The two girls will then live together on an isolated island. Each time colonial ships pass, Annie and the Red Girl will send them confusing symbols so that the ships crash upon the shore. In this dream, Annie demonstrates her desire to become a person who will subvert the colonial system as she imagines that the Red Girl does. The ships that they will destroy represent the British Empire and by sending them to their destruction, Annie will defy the colonial system. The presence of the Red Girl plays a crucial role in Annie's development to become an independent person in a colonial country.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Annie John!