Symbolism Of Freedom In Annie John, By Jamaica Kincaid

1368 Words 6 Pages
Annie John, by Jamaica Kincaid, is the coming of age story of a witty girl named Annie. When she was younger, her mom would coddle her, bathe with her, and comfort her, however as Annie grew older, she felt as though her mom was suddenly forcing her eyes open to all of the realities of the world. As Annie and her mom grow apart, their relationship becomes even more sour, making Annie feel as though she must rebel against her mom’s controlling rules and judgmental finger to receive some attention. One of the symbols of her rebellion, is a lighthouse that stands on top of a hill behind her house. All of the mothers in her neighborhood forbid their children to go to this lighthouse, however for several weeks, Annie climbs to the top of the lighthouse …show more content…
These ships are symbolic for her mother, who traveled to Antigua on a boat after having a disagreement with her father. For Annie’s mother, the boats represent freedom from her parents, and the beginning of life on her own. Similarly, at the end of the story, Annie boards a boat to England and leaves her parents. These ships are a symbol of freedom, because for both Annie and her mother, the boats were their way to escape their unhappy life that they lived. Annie feels as though she is constantly controlled by her mother. Her mother determines how she bathes, what games she can play, who she can be friends with, etc. Annie envies the freedom that her friend, Red Girl has. Red Girl’s mother allows her to decide when she wants to bathe, whether or not she brushes her hair, and how she dresses. Since Annie can’t change her mother’s ways, she knows that the only way to freedom is by leaving her parents on the ships she spots from the …show more content…
Throughout the story, Annie rarely mentions her dad. He does not have any true father-daughter connection with Annie, and for this reason they are rather distant. The physical distance between the lighthouse where Annie is, and her father, represents how their relationship is. There are miles between them, and Annie feels as though she cannot be her true self around him. For example, when Annie and her mother’s relationship reaches a climax of its bitterness, they both display their hatred for each other when Annie’s father is not around, however as soon as he is present, they both pretend like everything is fine. The fact that Annie feels as though she cannot talk to her father in a true and honest way, may have contributed to the slippery slope with her relationship with her mother. If Annie’s father had been there for her to discuss her frustrations and feelings, she might have not bottled up her anger causing her to rebel, hate her mother, and vie for more attention. Furthermore, the fact that Annie can see her father from the lighthouse but he cannot see her, is also a depiction of their bond. Annie is able to see her father’s true self as he makes her mother laugh, and shows pride in his artistry. On the contrary, her father is not aware of who Annie really is, again, because of their lack of communication and real father-daughter

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