Lucy: A Novel | Study Guide

Jamaica Kincaid

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Course Hero. "Lucy: A Novel Study Guide." November 1, 2019. Accessed September 27, 2023.


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Jamaica Kincaid

Year Published






Perspective and Narrator

The events of Lucy: A Novel are told by the novel's first-person narrator, Lucy Josephine Potter. She divulges her name in the fifth and final chapter of the book.


Lucy: A Novel is told in the past tense.

About the Title

Lucy: A Novel is a narrative covering one year in the life of Lucy Josephine Potter, who recently immigrated to the United States from the West Indies. She has never liked her middle and last names, which are reminders of an impoverished uncle and the white Englishmen who colonized her island. Although she wishes her first name was more solemn—like "Charlotte" or "Emily," the names of her favorite authors—she is proud that her mother named her after Lucifer, the devil. The name defines who she is not just in attitude and personality but in relationship to her mother, whom she views as a godlike being. Lucy reveals her name to readers in the last chapter of the book—when she feels she has finally become her own person.


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