Study Guide

Lucy: A Novel What's Up With the Ending?

By Jamaica Kincaid

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What's Up With the Ending?

It's usually a bummer when the main character dies at the end of a book, right? Well, it's not much better when we have to leave our protagonist bawling her eyes out on the novel's last page.

At the very end of the novel, Lucy opens her journal and tells us:

At the top of the page I wrote my full name: Lucy Josephine Potter. At the sight of it, many thoughts rushed through me, but I could write down only this: "I wish I could love someone so much that I would die from it." (5.36)

Cue the waterworks.

Yet this all may not be as bad as it at first seems. In fact, this bittersweet image makes us think that maybe Lucy is on the brink of yet another big, possibly more positive change in her life.

Sure, her statement is a little dark and morbid (does she really have to die from love?), but at least it's a step in the direction of recognizing that she needs love and attachments to others (one of the signals that this character has truly undergone a transformation, as we discuss in her "Character Analysis").

And that makes for a colossal change in the lone wolf character we met on page one.

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