Identity And Identity In Lucy

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In Kincaid’s novel Lucy, Lucy desired to create an identity outside of her cultures traditions in her desire to define herself. Lucy, an innocent nineteen year old girl arrived in a new environment and a new world in search of finding herself in order to become the young woman she had always wanted to be. Lucy entered the United States to work as an au- pair for an upper middle class family; Mariah Lewis and their four daughters. She presented herself as a very outspoken and extremely dogmatic young lady. Lucy’s role as the domestic laborer and a woman of color was typical of a Caribbean and American world colliding and her identity as a woman of color is introduced. Lucy came to America to study to become a nurse while “…being the young …show more content…
Her identity as someone from another culture and an immigrant is depicted throughout the novel as she constantly remembered and referenced to her homeland of Antigua. Although Lucy occasionally referred to her identity or race in the novel, she constantly hinted to her Caribbean upbringing and her post –colonial background which had imprisoned and placed her in bondage. Lucy never verbalized that she was a woman of color, but the text forced the reader to infer that she was a woman of color. Her racial identity was evident during her trip to Mariah’s childhood home when she made the observation on the train, she noted, “The other people sitting down to eat dinner all looked like Mariah’s relatives; the people waiting on them all looked like mine…On closer observation, they were not at all like my relatives; they only looked like them…” …show more content…
She attempted to create her own identity by refusing the name her mother gave her and renaming herself. However, the names that she chose, “Emily, Charlotte, Jane” (149) and “Enid” (149) were all British names and so her failed attempt to rename herself proved that the colonizers still had a hold on her; even in her name. Also, Lucy defined the past as "the person you no longer are, the situations you are no longer in." This statement showed that although her identity as an immigrant was expressed by her and by the newly found cultural forces around her, Lucy still managed to emotionally hold on to parts of her heritage. Lucy ultimately gained her independence and her identity. She sat down to write her name in the book that Mariah had given to her . As she wrote her full name, Lucy Josephine Potter, the author forces the reader to realize how symbolic the book was in the novel. The notebook was given to Lucy from her employer who was also a white woman and a mother figure in Lucy’s life. The idea that Mariah gave Lucy the note book and she wrote her name on the top of the page showed that Mariah gave her the opportunity to start a new page in her life and realize that she can be whoever she wants to be. Her identity was not dependent on a name; it was dependent on who she thought she was. In-fact, at the sight of her name, Lucy writes “I wish I could love someone so much that I would die from

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