Study Guide

Annie John Family

By Jamaica Kincaid

Family

Okay, so while it's not exactly Mommy Dearest, Annie John has some serious mama issues. Annie John is in an all-consuming relationship with her mother, and that relationship is not a walk in the park. In fact, it's more like a ride on the kind of roller coaster that flips you upside down, introduces you to the magic of g-force, and yells at you for not washing behind your ears.

Annie adores her mom and feels stifled by her. She looks up to her and is revolted by her. She thinks her advice is spot-on and thinks her advice is the ravings of a madwoman. There is massive love and massive hate between these two John women. Oh, and Annie's dad? He's in the too, somewhere.

Questions About Family

  1. What is Annie's family like in Annie John?
  2. What is the role of secrets in the family?
  3. How would you classify the relationship between Annie and her mother? How does it change over time?
  4. Why does Annie vow to never marry?

Chew on This

In Annie John, there is nothing stronger than a mother's love. Fathers aren't really that important, or that loving.

In Annie John, the mother-daughter relationship is portrayed as volatile, while the father-daughter relationship is portrayed as calm and more loving.

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