Study Guide

A Small Place Three-Act Plot Analysis

By Jamaica Kincaid

Three-Act Plot Analysis

Act I

You're a tourist, okay? You like doing tourist stuff but aren't very interested in getting to know the people who inhabit the places you visit. Frankly, you're just happy to be away from your boring life back home in a first-world country. Next stop: Antigua.

Act II

Not so fast. A disembodied narrator enters the picture, pointing out the many ways that the Antiguan people have been oppressed—starting with the slave trade, passing through the era of British rule, and culminating in the current corrupt government. The narrator uses the old Antigua Public Library as an example of this: The library has been a wreck for over a decade, but she can't convince any of Antigua's wealthy residents to help fund its reconstruction

Act III

The narrator lightens up a bit and tells you that Antigua is a simply stunning place; that's why so many people (like you) are drawn to it. Antiguans, on the other hand, have no other context for its wondrous beauty, no way of fully appreciating the thing they have. Despite all of the horrible tragedies that have occurred over the country's existence, this natural beauty remains unchanged.