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Literature & Language
English (U.S.)
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Kincaid Author Article On Seeing England For The First Time (Essay Sample)


Part 1: Reading
Choose an essay from the progression two essay selections.

Re-read the essay more closely. Highlight/underline moments/passages that catch your attention. These may include moments that aren’t particularly clear to you yet, but that you feel are important nonetheless.
Part 2: Writing
Write 1-2 page response (double spaced) that goes beyond basic summary. Don’t worry too much about the form or logic of this writing. This is an exploratory exercise. Consider the following questions as prompts to help you construct your response. These questions are meant to inspire thinking, not limit it.
**Use direct quotes from the text to support your claims whenever possible.
1. Play the Believing Game.
a. What critical problem or question is this writer exploring?
b. What key concepts does the writer focus on?
c. What is the writer’s idea? How are they challenging the status quo, or an old way of seeing/believing?
d. How does the writer explore their idea? How does the idea evolve throughout the course of the essay?
e. Who are the stakeholders in this argument?

2. Play the Doubting Game.
a. What assumptions are inherent to the writer’s perspective?
b. Identify a limitation or a shortcoming of the way the essayist answers—or conceives of—his/her problem/question?
c. Look for gaps in their argument. What are they not addressing and how does that change their argument?
d. What stakeholders are they not considering in their argument?
e. Are there any exceptions to the rules/truths they outline?
f. Write out one sentence that you really disagree with. Why? What questions do you have?

3. Extend your Thinking.
a. What makes you want to write about this essay? What perplexes you or otherwise makes you curious?
b. What other experiences or phenomenon can you see in the light of the assertions?
c. Remain open; find ways to believe and be willing to change your mind (at least during the game)
d. What are the positive implications of claim.
e. Find places of dissonance. What elements of the essay conflict with your own ideas? Where do you feel friction or tension between the text and your own thoughts/expectations?
f. Write out one sentence that you really like/agree with. What draws you to this moment?

4. Towards the end of your response, pose a critical research question that emerged from your work with the essay. What larger, conceptual questions does this essay make you ask? This question should have multiple layers and should be about an idea or concept. This question should be inspired by your primary essay but not about the essay/essayist itself.


Due Date
Kincaid is the author of the article “On seeing England for the first time.” One of the main themes the author is trying to explore in this article is the way imperialism promotes the culture of the ruling nation and rejects that of its colony. The article is the autobiography of Jamaica Kincaid growing up in Antigua with the dark shadow of England looming over her. In this story the author, Jamaica Kincaid, is talking about how she reacted to this and what happened to her after going to England (Kincaid, 32). The main idea of the author is “the space between the idea of something and its reality is always wide and deep and dark.” However, after the author finally makes it to England, she finally sees the real England far different from the other England whose maps and history she was made to memorize in Antigua. The main stakeholders of this article are the people of England.
Kincaid draws the reader into her article and engages them on a personal journey through the use of sarcasm, sen

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