Independence Measured by Friendship in the novel "Annie John" by Jamaica Kincaid.

Essay by ErienneHigh School, 11th gradeA, July 2003

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In the book Annie John, Jamaica Kincaid writes about the journey of a girl who goes through many different trials. From the beginning to the end of the novel, Annie John tells her story in the first person narrative, giving insight to personal experiences and helping the reader truly feel and understand each scenario separately as well as comparing them in a whole. Throughout the story, Annie John becomes friends, or recalls friendships she has had, with many people. The first and most loyal friend mentioned in the book is Gweneth, who is followed by the Red Girl and Mineu. Annie John holds her own views on friendship, which are undertones throughout the story, and on what friends are truly for. The separateness of her own ideals and those of society conflict greatly.

Gweneth becomes Annie John's best friend very quickly. "Gwen and I were in love," (pg.

33) Annie John states of their very first time together. "Gwen and I were soon inseparable. If you saw one, you saw the other," (pg. 46) she says later, drawing out further the picture of the narrator and her friend, becoming close and sharing secrets as friends do, vowing true love to each other and friendship forever. This is a picturesque scene of a socially acceptable friendship, where both friends show compassion and care for the others feelings and hardships. However, Annie John finds that her fancy with Gweneth does not last forever, and that she hardly loves the girl. "...In spite of the fact that she met with my mother's complete approval," (pg. 59) Annie says, showing that anything and everything her mother agrees with, except for Gwen, goes against what she agrees with, and vice versa. It does come to be that Annie finds the presence of...