full title Annie John
author Jamaica Kincaid
type of work Novel
genre bildungsroman, Caribbean novel
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