By Jamaica Kincaid
An excellent examine colonialism and its results in Antigua--by the writer of Annie John
"If you visit Antigua as a vacationer, this can be what you can see. in the event you come by means of aeroplane, you are going to land on the V. C. chook foreign Airport. Vere Cornwall (V. C.) poultry is the leading Minister of Antigua. you can be one of these vacationer who might ask yourself why a major Minister would need an airport named after him--why now not a college, why now not a health center, why no longer a few nice public monument. you're a vacationer and you've got now not but obvious . . ."
So starts off Jamaica Kincaid's expansive essay, which exhibits us what we've not but visible of the ten-by-twelve-mile island within the British West Indies the place she grew up.
Lyrical, sardonic, and forthright through turns, in a Swiftian mode, A Small Place can't support yet magnify our imaginative and prescient of 1 small position and all that it signifies.
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The only large animals the Aztec had domesticated—they had killed off all the wild game except that to be found at the edges of their empire—were turkeys and dogs. ) Other, smaller societies have consumed much less spectacularly large numbers of people—whether the latter were their enemies or their own kind—for similar “biological” reasons. Where food is concerned, hunger must always play its role. But we should not be so carried away by our modern pride in practicality and in our demythologizing skills that we deliberately ignore what accounts we have of actual Aztec behaviour.
Somewhere at the back of our minds, carefully walled off from ordinary consideration and discourse, lies the idea of cannibalism—that human beings might become food, and eaters of each other. Violence, after all, is necessary if any organism is to ingest another. Animals are murdered to produce meat; vegetables are torn up, peeled, and chopped; most of what we eat is treated with fire; and chewing is designed remorselessly to finish what killing and cooking began. People naturally prefer that none of this should happen to them.
As social beings, however, cannibals must inevitably have manners. Whatever we might think to the contrary, rules and regulations always govern cannibal society and cannibal behaviour. It was suggested by W. Arens in 1979 that there never has been any such thing as deliberate cannibalism, unprovoked by a threat of starvation; that cannibalism is merely a literary device and a libel against races we wish to cast as “other” than ourselves. The Spanish, according to this theory, made up the man-eating of the Aztec; Hans Staden, who was kept by a South American tribe as a possible future cannibal victim during the sixteenth century, and who lived to describe what he had seen, was accused of simply fabricating the entire horrific story; other reports of cannibalistic behaviour were similarly disbelieved.