Jamaica Kincaid Writing Styles in What I Have Been Doing Lately

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Structure

Perhaps the most striking aspect of "What I Have Been Doing Lately" is its plot structure. Plot structure is the way that an author organizes and tells the events of a story. For instance, a story that unfolds in chronological order is an example of a linear plot structure. Kincaid employs a circular plot, which begins and ends at the same place, with the narrator in bed. The plot essentially covers the same material twice: first when the recounted events ostensibly happen to the narrator and then when she answers the woman who asks her what it is she has been doing lately.

Point of View

As the title indicates, "What I Have Been Doing Lately" is written from the first-person point of view. Kincaid constructs the story from the narrator's perspective, and thus uses "I" to present all of the story's events. This keeps the main focus...

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This section contains 731 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the What I Have Been Doing Lately Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
What I Have Been Doing Lately from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.