Study Guide

Lucy: A Novel Friendship

By Jamaica Kincaid

Friendship

In Lucy, our title character's friendships pretty much drive her crazy. Sure, Lucy's friendships appear hunky-dory on the surface. Mariah acts like the two are BFFs at times and Lucy becomes so tight with Peggy that they end up roomies by the novel's end. If Lucy had a Facebook page, there'd no doubt be pics of her and her new buds splashed all over it. But the truth is that misunderstandings, differences, and conflicts plague each of Lucy's friendships, leaving her feeling alienated and alone. Yeah, it's a huge bummer.

Questions About Friendship

  1. How do their different cultural backgrounds affect the friendship between Lucy and Mariah? (Hint: You might consider, for instance, the daffodil episode or the scene in which Mariah tells Lucy about her Indian heritage.)
  2. How important is friendship to Lucy? What qualities does she value in a friend? Is she a good friend herself?
  3. The friendship between Lucy and Peggy is loaded with ups and downs. Is Lucy too intolerant of Peggy's differences? Do their difficulties in getting along end up strengthening or weakening their relationship?

Chew on This

Ouch: Lucy suggests that friendship can be painful.

Most of the characters in Lucy are way too self-centered to form true friendships.

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