Home and Away': Reconstructing Identity in Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy
Dasi, Eleanor Anneh
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After the forceful displacement of people during the trans-Atlantic slave trade came another wave of migration from the one-time colonies to the colonial metropolis. This other shift was the result of political, social and economic instabilities that were witnessed during the clamour for independence of the colonies. The Africans and West Indians were particularly affected by this phenomenon as they struggled for a better and satisfying life. But the experiences of migration have not been very fulfilling to the migrants as they grapple with the experiences of race, class and gender hostilities and the ensuring sense of alienation. The discussion that follows looks at how Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy translates experiences of migration and how these experiences work in reshaping and reconstructing new identities based on the individual’s perceptions of life. It focuses on how the protagonist creates a delicate balance between native culture and colonial integration to build a new identity that transcends gender, race and class. Therefore, migration constructs spaces for the renegotiation of cultural polarities that permit the formation of transnational identities.