“In a small place people cultivate small events,” states author Jamaica Candid in her novel A Small Place. The book illustrates a landscape in which she lives thus detailing who she is as explained by Jose Ortega y Asset. Born and raised in the twelve-mile long, nine-mile wide country of Antigen Candid has struggled with her small place her entire life as she narrates the paradise that many visit and the prison in which many live.
This reality is one that cannot be escaped due to centuries of reduction and maintenance within the country and Candid’s personal world.
It is apparent throughout the novel that Candid has a sense that the place in which she lives is one of major conflict and corruption from a young age but has no clues as to what that is as those who live in Antigen do not leave Antigen, hence, it is a prison. The only clue that is provided as to what life is like elsewhere is through tourists who come to vacation in Antigen, hence, it is a paradise.
This dual reality of paradise and prison is one that is constant throughout the novel as it is continuously produced ND maintained, not only, on a cultural but also a personal level. To begin, the dual reality of paradise and prison is one that is constant throughout the novel as it is continuously produced on a cultural and personal level. The reality of paradise is produced when the novel begins as Candid takes the reader on a first person tour of the city, going through winding roads, explaining the colors of the sky and sea; however, Candid also foils each beautiful aspect with a background.
The buildings that seems unique to the country are ones that Antigens despise: the capital is one no native wants to attend as it hold the three men who themselves fly to New York for medical attention; the library that may seem quaint as the natives are potentially are too laid back to repair the damages from the earthquake. This library is also the one that initially produces the idea of prison and paradise for Candid. As a child Candid would go to the library where the snobby librarian would keep a close eye on her.
This is the library where Candid would steal books unintentionally as she could not bring herself to return them after completion. This is the library that was destroyed in the Earthquake, the Earthquake that goes without name because natives give less meaning as importance of an event grows. This library was never rebuilt and is a clear demonstration of the beginning of Candid’s prison. She learns throughout the course of her life that Antigen is her home; however, it is also a prison as those who are born there very rarely escape.
The cultural is produced as a paradise and prison as its nature is one of beauty as described in the final section of the book, almost too beautiful in fact. It is a cultural f different foods and people to the outsider however, the society as a paradise is only an image put on for ugly tourists. The society, in all actuality is a prison. Being founded by Christopher Columbus, it was a stage for slavery and although emancipated, the natives knew nothing different. They continue the realm of slavery as “moving up” in society is attending the Hotel Training School that educates native on how to be good servants.
Servants once again in their own country, the natives know the word emancipation but not the meaning; however, this servitude is what maintains the country as both a prison but also as a paradise. Furthermore, the dual reality of paradise and prison is one that is constant throughout the novel as it is continuously maintained on a cultural and personal level. As aforementioned, the Hotel Training School maintains the country as both a prison and paradise. This is because the hotels are what the tourists visit and the hotel is the foundation of the image of paradise the tourists leave with.
The tourists do not know that they are hated by the natives, not only because of their lack of aspect but also out of new because the natives do not know what it is like to go on vacation, to be vacant in one’s own reality and enjoy the culture of another. They depend on the tourist’s reality of paradise to maintain their reality of prison. This prison is one that Candid knows of as she has realized that she does not have a father or motherland, a native god, or even a native tongue.
She only knows the language of her oppressor; Antigen only knows the language of its oppressor. The oppression does not only go as far as language, but in the fact that cars are all from Japan although the country does not have unleaded gas; the fact that many natives are not allowed on the beach because they are for tourists only; the fact that although independent from England the government is still corrupt, even “for sale” a Candid explains anyone with enough money can come and be a major political influence.
The dual reality of paradise and prison is one that cannot be escaped because in Antigen it is heavily maintained through corruption and lack of knowledge of the people, as even the education system receives no attention. In conclusion, the dual reality is constant in A Small Place because it is produced and maintained. The production of the paradise and prison reality is one that further develops throughout the novel as Candid creates the image of paradise through language and detailed descriptions but also of a prison as she explains the circumstances behind every beauty.
Cite this Novel “A small place” By Jamaica Candid
Novel “A small place” By Jamaica Candid. (2018, Jan 24). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/novel-a-small-place-by-jamaica-candid/