Study Guide

Lucy: A Novel Foreignness and the Other

By Jamaica Kincaid

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Foreignness and the Other

So picking up and moving to a foreign country sounds pretty awesome, right? Not only do you get the chance to check out cool new people and places, you get the chance to leave behind everything lame about your hometown. When Lucy arrives in the U.S., she's totally stoked to have traded her humdrum existence back in the Caribbean for the promise of big-time adventure in North America. But despite the fact that the U.S. is supposed to be one big old welcoming melting pot, Lucy finds herself struggling to fit into the mix.

Questions About Foreignness and the Other

  1. How do Lucy's experiences in North America help her to appreciate her home in the Caribbean?
  2. Would you say Lucy's experience in the U.S. is a positive one? Why or why not?
  3. How does Lucy's position as a foreigner give her a unique perspective on life in the U.S.? What insights about North American culture does this position allow her to have?
  4. How does Lucy's status affect the way she's treated by the members of the family she works for?

Chew on This

Land of the free? Lucy reveals that the U.S. can be a hostile and unwelcoming place for foreigners.

Free at last: living in North America allows Lucy to explore her identity in ways that life in the Caribbean could not.

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