sept. 11

September 10, 2008 pottersp

“On Seeing England for the First Time”


1. Some details that Kincaid uses that are significant and vital to my understanding are that when she was a child, not only her teachers, but the society put a special meaning on England. Such as when her teacher put the map upon the board with a certain seriousness and adoration. She began to notice that pretty much everything she ate, wore, or saw, was from England. England was set upon a high pedestal from the time she was a child. She said that when she heard the word “England,” she felt small because she wasn’t from it. She couldn’t relate because she had never stepped foot in England, or even met anyone who did. She mentioned the views upon which made a big impression on her. “When the morning touched the sky,” because she says where she lived, no morning touched the sky. She was told not to gossip, but they did. And the foods she was told not to eat (gluttony), they ate plenty of. By the way she was describing England at first; I would have thought that when she actually set foot in England, she would love it. However, it was the exact opposite.


3. I didn’t really like the essay. At first, she was writing as if she loved England. She also held England upon a higher pedestal and showed that everything she ate, wore, and sang about was related to or from England. She makes it seem as if she is actually from England or resides there. I began to get confused because everything was related to England but she did not live there. She learned England’s history in school, they way they live and dress and the things that they eat. I assume that she is forced into this lifestyle by her parents, and possibly the society that she lives in. She finally gets to the point where she is grown up and goes to England for the first time. She explains why she hates it and why she wishes it would all die. I found this essay very confusing; therefore, I didn’t enjoy it.


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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joseph Cheatle  |  September 11, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Good response, I look forward to hearing more about your ideas during class discussion.

  • 2. sully320  |  September 11, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    I liked how you mentioned Kincaid feeling small because she wasn’t from England. I think that is a very important detail, one that I skimmed over in the reading.

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