Study Guide

A Small Place What's Up With the Title?

By Jamaica Kincaid

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What's Up With the Title?

Some places are just small, and the size of Antigua plays a large role (see what we did there?) in A Small Place. Antigua is filled with contradictions—it's a small, poor island in the middle of nowhere that is regularly visited by some of the wealthiest people on earth. Stuck on this drought-ridden but beautiful island, Antiguans are forced to be pawns in rich dudes' games. In other words, their place in Antiguan society is reduced, or made small by the rich folks who mold the island toward their own aims.

Importantly, the Antiguan people don't fully understand how special Antigua is because most have never lived anywhere else. And because of this, they lack the perspective needed to comprehend the things that are happening to them. They have not seen things done differently, so they don't know just how much better life might be socio-politically speaking. So while Antigua might be a small place, there are some big issues bubbling under the surface.

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