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Annie John

Key Facts

Main ideas Key Facts

full title ·  Annie John

author ·  Jamaica Kincaid

type of work ·  Novel

genre · bildungsroman, Caribbean novel

language ·  English

time and place written ·  New York City, 1982–1983

date of first publication ·  1985

publisher ·  Penguin Books

narrator ·  Annie John

point of view ·  First person

tone ·  It varies according to the age of Annie John. As a child, the language and imagery is very rich. As she ages, the tone grows more serious while also having more comic touches.

tense ·  Past tense

setting (time) ·  Sometime in the 1950s

setting (place) ·  A city on Antigua

protagonist ·  Annie John

major conflict ·  Separation from mother and definition of self

rising action ·  Annie's fear of separation from her family Annie's viewing of her parents as a sexual unit Annie's rebelliousness and insolence against her mother Annie's friendship with Gwen and the Red Girl.

climax ·  Annie John has a breakdown as a result of the confrontation with her mother and her need to finally become a separate self.

falling action ·  Annie recovers and recognizes herself as a separate person. She leaves Antigua to study in England.

themes ·  Mother-daughter relationship Colonizer and colonial education Gender Relations

motifs ·  Water Obeah Death

symbols ·  Annie's mother's trunk Marbles Milton's Paradise Lost

foreshadowing ·  Annie's essay about separating from her mother Annie's feeling of a black ball of sadness inside her