Study Guide

Annie John Women and Femininity

By Jamaica Kincaid

Women and Femininity

It's not just mamas and daughters in Annie John. This novel deals with more issues of femininity—and more womenin one chapter than most books cover in their entirety.

Annie's changing body. Annie's friendships and romances and romantic friendships. Annie's relationship to her teachers (who are all women). At every turn, this novel asks questions about what it is to be a woman, what women should do, who women should love, and how women should act. Ugh, it's exhausting! No wonder Annie John ran away from it all. That growing up female stuff is hard.

Questions About Women and Femininity

  1. What does Annie John teach us about femininity and friendship?
  2. What kind of love does Annie feel for the main women in her life (mother, Ma Chess, Gwen, the Red Girl)?
  3. In what ways are the home and femininity interrelated?
  4. What distinguishes a woman from a man in Annie's world?

Chew on This

In Annie John, women are portrayed as being safer than men.

In Annie John, women are portrayed as being more dangerous than men.

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