Bernard Rodgers’ Criticism of Jamaica Kincaid’s Novel, Annie John BY kmk921 In Bernard Rodgers’ criticism of Jamaica Kincaid’s novel, Annie John, he points out the relationship Annie had with her mother growing up. He mentions how in the beginning, Annie loved being with her mother and doing things with her like taking baths, shopping, cooking, and Just following her around and observing the things she did all day (Rodgers). Also, Rodgers reveals the change that took place in the relationship between Annie and her mother when she became an adolescent, around the age of twelve.
His evaluation of this novel relates to the theme of mother- daughter relationships. Annie first noticed a change in the way she was treated by her mother when she turned twelve years old. While she and her mother were out buying fabric for a new dress, she wanted to get the same fabric as her mother, like always. However, this time, Annie’s mother suggested that they get different fabrics and told her, mfou Just cannot go around the rest of your life looking like a little me”(Rodgers).
Annie saw that since she was growing up, that her mother was trying to make her more ndependent, and she did not like this. Therefore, Annie asked her father to make clamps for her to wear so that she would stop growing (Rodgers). Rodgers pointed out how this change in Annie’s life led to an attitude change in her. She began losing interest in the things she had always done, like piano lessons and manners. This made Annie’s mother look at her with disgust and disapproval (Rodgers).
Annie began looking back at her mother with disgust, especially after catching her mother and father in bed together one day after school. As a result of his, Annie felt that her parents no longer had as much love for her as they did for each other, and she turned all her attention to school and friends. When she met the Red Girl, she began participating in activities that her mother did not approve of, so she would lie to her mother about it. She even stole money from her parents to buy this girl presents (Rodgers).
Also, she stole books form the library and hid them underneath the house and began to misbehave in school (Rodgers). As time went on, Annie’s relationship with her mother became worse, even o the point that they both had two faces: One for her father and the rest of the world, and one for when it was Just the two of them together (Rodgers). He explained her finally becoming independent from her mother at age seventeen, when Annie finally got out of her house and moved to England where she would live on her own without the burden of her mother.
Bernard Rodgers’ criticism relates to the theme, “An ambivalent bond between mother and daughter,” in many ways. He talks about the change she experienced in regards to her relationship with her mother, Just as this theme does. The change took place around the time of Annie’s twelfth birthday when her mother told her that since she had become a young lady, that she had to make some changes. When she finally started making some changes, they did not satisty ner mother.
For instance, Annie lied to her mother about why she no longer took piano lessons, and Annie tells how her mother felt about this by saying, “When the piano teacher told her of my misdeed, she turned and walked away from me, and I wasn’t sure if she had been asked who I was she wouldn’t have said, ‘l don’t know,’ right then and there. What a new thing this was for me: my mothers back turned on me in disgust”(28). This theme relates to Rodgers’ reference to the Red Girl and her affect on Annie’s attitude change because she began doing things that her mother did not approve of, such as playing marbles.
Annie found that she only wanted to do things opposite of what her mother would have liked. For example, she said that “Perhaps it had stuck in my mind that once my mother said to me, ‘l am so glad you are not one of those girls who likes to play marbles,’ and perhaps because I had to do exactly the opposite f whatever she desired of me, I now played and played at marbles in a way that I had never done anything” (61). Another relation between Rodgers’ criticism and this theme is the two faces Annie and her mother have.
In the novel, Annie stated that “My mother and I each soon grew two faces: one for my father and the rest of the world, and one for us when we found ourselves alone with each other” (87). They could not stand being together anymore because they had grown so far apart over the past four years and no longer agree on most things. Bernard Rodgers depicted an excellent point in his critical analysis essay in regard to Jamaica Kincaid’s novel, Annie John.
Most of the points in his essay relate to the theme, “An ambivalent bond between mother and daughter,” which describes the change in Annie John’s relationship with her mother as she grew up. Both Rodgers’ criticism and this theme portray a situation that is common among many adolescents and their parents, yet show a case of an extremely drastic change in a mother- daughter relationship over such a short period of time. BIBLIOGRAPHY 1 . Cassidy, Thomas. Rev. of Annie John. Literary Reference Center.
Tyngsboro Public Library. 10 Apr. 2009 . 2. Garbett, Ann D. Rev. of Annie John. Literary Reference Center. Tyngsboro Public 3. Kincaid, Jamaica. Annie John. 1985. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997. 4. Olubunmi Smith, Pamela J. Rev. of Annie John. Literary Reference Center. Tyngsboro Public Library. 10 Apr. 2 5. Rodgers, Bernard. Rev. of Annie John. Literary Reference Center. Tyngsboro Public 6. Wiedemann, Barbara. Rev. of Annie John. Literary Reference Center. Tyngsboro Public Library. 10 Apr.