Lucy By: Jamaica Kincaid


  • Lucy Potter- the 19 year old protagonist
  • Annie Potter-Lucy's Mother
  • Mariah & Lewis- Lucy's employers

Characters throughout the Novel:

Mr. Thomas- The local fisherman that molests Lucy's friend
Mr. Simon- a photographer and Lucy's emoloyer
Gus- Mariah's hired helping hand
Dinah Mariah's best friend
Paul- Peggy's co-worker and Lucy's lover
Peggy- Lucy's bestfried who grows apart from lucy when they move in together
Myrna- Lucy's childhood friend who gets molested by a local fisherman
Louisa, May,Jane, Miriam- Lewis and Mariah's children

Plot Overview:

The main character, 19 year old Lucy Potter leaves her native country of Antigua to come live in America external image 0374527350.jpgin hope for a better future for herself. She finds a job as an au pair for a famlly in New York. This family in Lucy's eyes has a enchanting life, something she wasn't exposed to back where she came from. after coming to America, she is feeling just how she was feeling in her homeland: out of place and alone. She tends to not feel so alone when she gets closer to her employer Mariah. But when she takes a trip with Mariah and her family, Lucy sees Mariah being just like her mother, controlling. Although she cannot stand the way her mother tries and controls her, she becomes more like her. She gives up on her dreams of attending an american school, instead she becomes a nurse. Her mother sends her letters asking to send money down to her and the other children in their homeland, Lucy ignores the letter. She continued to ignore every letter until she finds that her father has died, and her mother doesnt receive any money from his death. She then moves out of Lewis and Mariah's house, and moves in with her best friend Peggy. As time goes on they grow far apart. Lucy has an affair with Peggys co worker, who eventually has an affair with Peggy.As the story ends she realizes that Peggy and Paul are going out on outings alot with one another. She doesnt mind it. She knew she wasnt going to find love in Paul. The story ends with her writing in her book that MAriah gave her saying "I wish I could love someone so mush that I would die from ir”


Before Lucy left home, she felt neglected. The reason being was that at one poin in time she was the only child and all of her mothers attention was her. Then when her brothers came along the focus was no longer on her. Not only because she wasnt the only child anymore but because she was the oldest and she was going to have to learn to do things for herself.

Literary Devices[throughout novel]:

Lucy taking up photography shows that she is finding herself. She is doing something that she likes to do. She felt that someone of her background could pursue in art because she didnt feel she did good enough in school. When she saw photos in some of the books she's read, she thought why not give it a shot and try something new

It is ironic that she becomes a good photographer because as said before she though that someone of her background could not possibly take up an interest in Photography. Not only did she take an interest in photography but she also took interest in writing books


Jamaica Kincaid was born Elaine Potter Richardson to Annie Richardson who was an emigre and her stepfather David Drew who was a carpenter/cabinetmaker on May 25th, 1949 in St. John, Antigua. Her biological father's name is Roderick Potter, but he did not have any involvement in Jamaica's life. She attended government schools in Antigua. During school age years she was considered a "bright troublemaker". She was known to be a very smart student but always giving back talk to her teachers. Her mother taught her to read when she was 3 years old. Then the relationship between her and her mother became very distant as her mother had other children as she realized she was not the only child and all of the attention could not be on her.

“ I thought, if only I can get out of here, I will live forever” -Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica left Antigua to go to the United States in New York and work. When she arrived to New York she received a job with a family in Scarsdale, NY to be an au pair. An au pair is a foreigner who goes to live with family to do light housework in exchange for money. Her family back in antigua was sending letters to her expecting to receive money. She didnt send them any money and refues to write back to them. Instead she got a new job as an au pair with a wealthy couple in the upper eastside of Scarsdale. She found out that she although she could attenc college in antigua she could not attend college in the United States because her education to attend a United States school wasnt sufficient enough. She then became a nurse and then she also took up photography. She then put all those careers aside and she became a writer. She got married and had two children

Literary Criticism:

Personal Thought :

I thought the book was pretty good. It gave alittle detail of what her life was like after i had read about her. I would recommend this book to anyone. This book tells alot about finding yourself and finding out who you are in life and what is your puropse. Thats what Lucy was doing in this novel, trying to find herself.

Works Cited

Kincaid, Jamaica. Lucy. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2002. Print.Simmons, Diane. Jamaica Kincaid. New York: Twayne, 1994. Print.