Thesis - ExposureofDevoninMyBrother

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Exposure of Devon in My Brother Jamaica Kincaid, in My Brother attempts to show how a tragic death and illness affects the people surrounding it. However, instead of bringing positive awareness to a deadly and heartbreaking disease, she instead sheds a negative light on it in by the way she portrays and reveals her brother. The way she represents her brother, although it may be an honest representation, is so degrading that it impedes on the point she is trying to get across. This can be seen through the way she discusses the way he speaks, his negative relationship with women, and the fact that she does not love her brother. She makes Devon seem like an unworthy, and unintelligent person and portrays his death as an almost justified consequence for his actions. Kincaid’s depiction of how her brother speaks makes him seem unaware of reality. Kincaid says, “I told him to use condoms…I told him to protect himself from the HIV virus and he laughed at me and said he would never get such a stupid thing (Me no get dat chupidness man”)” (8). In this passage Kincaid not only tries to make herself out to be much more intellectual then her brother, but also humiliates her brother by displaying his broken English. Thus is humiliating because it elevates Kincaid, and lowers Devon to a level of ignorance. Many times throughout the story Kincaid feels the need to clarify what her brother is saying. Kincaid says, “…I asked him if he had done it all himself and he said, of course (“How you mean, man!”)” (11). Instead of conveying what Devon says, Kincaid often follows up with how he 1
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really said it. Kincaid wants to separate herself from her brother and the way he speaks. Devon’s speech is heavily contrasted throughout the memoir by Kincaid’s own eloquent writing. This contrast shows that Kincaid feels above her brother and his way of speaking.
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This note was uploaded on 10/20/2008 for the course ENGL 1105 taught by Professor Bailey during the Fall '08 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Thesis - ExposureofDevoninMyBrother

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