Identity In Kincaid's Lucy

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…
This was evident in the way Lucy attempted to separate herself from and reject the mother figures in her life in order to create her own individual identity. Lucy’s mother tried to impose her severely compromised colonized ways on Lucy and tried to force her to accept colonial culture and English ways of being the right way to be a woman. Kincaid depicted Lucy’s mother as the perfect wife and homemaker Lucy described her mother as being devoted to her father and “devoted to her duties: a clean house, delicious food for us, a clean yard, a small garden of herbs and vegetables, the washing and ironing of our clothes” (126). Lucy felt that her mother’s love for her was to solely become like her and so Lucy worked very hard to reject her mother’s image and display her own; she stopped attending school and refused to become a nurse. Kincaid depicted Lucy’s actions as clear signs that Lucy must reject the male-controlled position her mother supports in order to become a self-ruling …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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