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There is no doubt that Jamaica Kincaid has strong opinions. It is what makes her work attractive. “A Small Space” addresses the almost too-close-to-home repulsive nature of the tourist. It takes a few lines to realize but the intended audience (mainly white Americans and Europeans) is being criticized for their clueless, selfish nature. 

Kincaid goes through a travel log to Antigua, her homeland, from the perspective of you, the tourist, displaying her distaste for you through not-so-subtle contrasting phrases. For example, “You wonder why a Prime Minister would want an airport named after him--why not a school… you have not yet seen a school in Antigua.” There are several more examples of this same comparison throughout the writing. Kincaid tells the tourist what they are seeing from their perspective, how beautiful Antigua is, how it compares to their homes. Then you read lines alluding to what the life of a native is here. The best way to describe it is that reading this brings you shame. Shame for having most likely been a tourist once, with an experience very similar to what Kincaid depicts. That emotional connection to the writing, albeit negative, is what makes this essay powerful.

Kincaid's grip on her readers lets her really dig into that guilty feeling in our gut as she jumps from simpler issues like things like paved roads to slavery and murder. What does Kincaid want to tell us? It’s hard to know. Is she trying to train a new generation of apathetic travelers? Or is she content with simply degrading our self confidence and calling it a day?

It isn’t until the end of her essay that we see Kincaid's true feelings. Not exactly hate towards the tourist, but disappointment. Disappointment in a human world where people only focus on their differences and readily ignore the similarities which are much greater. Aren’t we all just people, traveling in strange lands?