Annie John Essay - Annie John Water is introduced...

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Water is introduced repeatedly in powerful form throughout the novel. In the novel Annie John, by Jamaica Kincaid water has the ability to protect, heal, and transform. Water appears throughout the novel taking various forms and becomes significant in many ways. Water appears when Annie and her mother bathe at the beginning of the novel, salt water heals Annie’s kidneys, when Annie falls ill it rains constantly, and also at he end of the novel creating Annie’s voyage to England. All of the instances when water is present symbolize different levels of importance to the novel. At the beginning of the novel, Annie describes the baths she and her mother took together. “My mother and I often took a bath together…a special bath with barks and flowers of many different trees, together with all sorts of oils, were boiled in the same large caldron” (Kincaid 14). Annie explains that after consulting with her obeah woman, her mother, and her friend, her mother began preparing these special baths that they would share. In a dark room with a lit candle and a strange smell, Annie and her mother would bathe in the warm water with the flowers, bark and oils. It was decided by the women that this special bath was necessary after many instances of evil were evaluated. After assessing small instances in which Annie got a scratch and it became worse, or her mother dropping a plate that had been passed down through generations, the women concluded that, “one of the many women my father had loved, had never married, but with whom he had children was trying to harm my mother and me by setting bad spirits on us,” (Kincaid 15). In this example water is present to protect Annie and her mother. Annie’s mother believes in the power of the obeah and believes that the oil and leaf baths
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course FRESH COMP 003 taught by Professor Morris during the Spring '08 term at Howard.

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Annie John Essay - Annie John Water is introduced...

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