Out of Country

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Category: Literature

Date Submitted: 02/17/2011 07:17 PM

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Christian Llerena


Global Women Writers

Prof. Posmentier

“Out Of Country”

Imagine leaving the home, neighborhood, and even country that you’ve lived in your entire life to go live in another country in a completely different part of the world by yourself. How would that make you feel? How would you react? The answer to these two questions would probably vary greatly depending on several factors such as: socioeconomic status, general feelings towards your family, feelings towards your government, etc. Most people in the U.S. would most likely feel devastated and wouldn’t even want to entertain the thought of such a thing. On the other hand, lots of people living in third world countries would gladly leave their homelands in a split-second for the pursuit of a better life someplace else, and they do. I am sure that there are exceptions to these patterns; however these are the general trends. Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy tells the story of Lucy Potter, a nineteen year-old girl from the West Indies who has just moved to New York City into the home of Mariah and Lewis, a wealthy couple with four children (all girls). She is working as an au pair for them while attending night school to be a nurse. She escapes her homeland to get away from her parents, but not after long does she begin to feel homesick. This causes her to ultimately be unhappy with her life no matter what experiences she goes through or how good things are at any point. It is also evident throughout the novel that Lucy does not want to be identified solely by where she is from. This is another reason why she decided to leave her homeland. Salman Rushdie, a novelist, explains that being out-of-country and even out-of-language is a way to escape one’s past and a way to start over. This is what Lucy was trying to accomplish by moving away from the West Indies. She did not have a pleasant past especially with her mother and she felt that if she came to America and got a fresh start that she...