Study Guide

Annie John Exploration

By Jamaica Kincaid

Exploration

Yeah, Annie John has the kind of insatiable curiosity that is the leading cause of death among cats aged zero to twenty.

Driven by the burning question why?!? Annie wants to know how the world works around her. She's curious about her environment, her own body and emotions, her feelings of love toward her mother and female friends, and relationship to her home. In Annie John, curiosity is definitely responsible for more than a few dead felines (and getting Annie in trouble), but both satisfaction and the process of exploration resurrect those kittehs (and pave the way to Annie's true happiness).

Questions About Exploration

  1. Does Annie explore the outside world more, or does she spend more time exploring her "inner" mental world?
  2. How does Annie explore her changing body?
  3. Does curiosity even hurt Annie? If so, how?
  4. In what ways does Annie embark on intellectual exploration? How does she push herself in school?

Chew on This

The sexual exploration that occurs between Annie and her friends is not evidence of romantic desire, but of childish curiosity.

It is only when Annie is seventeen-years-old and on the verge of exploring the world beyond Antigua that she finally realizes who she is.

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