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Writing Seminar: Memoirs and Memory

Writing Seminar: Memoirs and Memory - My Brother by Jamaica...

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My Brother by Jamaica Kincaid FWS: Memoir and Memory Final Paper An Ant on a Mountain Dear Jamica, Hello, love. It took me a while to choose the right words for this letter. The right words to let you know how I feel after reading your book—a book in which millions of people will read, feel for you, and understand your emotions throughout your childhood. It pains me to think that I, your mother who loves you more than this earth we stand on, have to find out your thoughts and feelings through the same way that the entire world finds out your feelings towards your family and childhood. I cannot live what little time I have left knowing that my daughter feels this way about me. I cannot find what would compel you to say, “[your] death now, before [my] own, would make [me] feel regal, triumphant that [I] had outlived all [my] inferiors: [my] inferiors are my offspring,” (131). When I read those words—those unspeakable words, that I couldn’t bear to see, and yet couldn’t help reading over and over again, the small fraction of my heart that was still intact had broke. What had led you to think this way, my baby? What had made you silence yourself from your family instead of telling me what my daughter was thinking— what was going through her mind? Was it always these hateful thoughts? I want to tell you, dear, that I cannot love another thing in this universe more than I love you. I want to tell you that my only desire was to protect you until the right man came—a man who would take care of you, hold you in his arms when you were ill, love your children as much as he loves you…a man who would never leave you. I never had anyone to tell me that my life without a husband, a father for my children would be as tough as an ant climbing a mountain. As you’ve written, “[I] paid a visit to Dominica… 1
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to see the last of [my] living relatives.
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