Study Guide

Annie John Death

By Jamaica Kincaid

Death

Annie John gives Winona Ryder's character from BeetlejuiceĀ a run for her money when it comes to being uber-morbid.

Death becomes an obsession for ten-year-old Annie after she notices a cemetery one summer. The shadow of the death of her uncle John, keeps Annie perpetually chilled. Later, Annie feels that either she is going to kill her mother (yikes!) or her mother is going to kill her (also: yikes!). At a pivotal moment in the book, Annie herself seems to be at death's door after she falls ill with a mysterious sickness. Yup: Annie John has more references to death than an episode of Ask A Mortician, the contents of a Halloween Headquarters, or an Edward Gorey story.

Questions About Death

  1. Why is Annie obsessed with death?
  2. How many visions of death does Annie have?
  3. What is the relationship between death and the supernatural in the text?

Chew on This

Fear of death drives Annie to distance herself from her family.

Death is shown, in Annie John, to be both an end and a beginning.

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