Annie John Book Summary

Annie John
Overview
Themes
Author
The spirited Annie John has an idyllic childhood on the paradise island of Antigua, inseparable from her doting mother. When Annie turns 12, her mother pushes her away. Sad and embittered, Annie questions her identity and has to grow up as she seeks independence off the island.
Growing Up in Colonial Antigua
Motherhood
When her mother distances herself, Annie must figure out life without her.
Colonialism
Life under British rule complicates Annie's sense of culture and identity.
Coming-of-Age
As Annie matures, she learns what it means to be an individual.
JAMAICA KINCAID BORN 1949
Kincaid borrows from her Caribbean childhood to write her highly personal novels. Raised in Antigua during British colonial rule, Kincaid writes forcefully about Caribbean life, the clash between British colonialism and local Antiguan culture, and the heartbreaking loss of her relationship with her mother.
Main Character
Annie John
Strong-willed girl forced to mature quickly after her mother's apparent rejection
The Red Girl
Dirty, undisciplined, rebellious girl; Annie's secret friend and crush
Mother
Annie's gorgeous, doting mother; pushes Annie toward independence when she reaches puberty
Gweneth Joseph
Annie's friend; follows all the rules and hopes to become a wife and homemaker
Symbols
Trunk
Black
Snake
Represents Annie's identity independent of her mother
Signifies deception and the depression that takes over Annie
Symbolizes how Annie's mother deceives Annie to make her confess
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