Jamaica Kincaid Writing Styles in My Brother

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Diction

The diction of each family member is revealing. Kincaid's writing is formal, almost distant, and her carefully constructed sentences stand in direct contrast to the casual island diction of her mother and brothers. Devon speaks in an island dialect by which AIDS is always referred to as "de chupidness." Kincaid can no longer readily understand her brother—she's always asking him to repeat himself—and he finds her way of speaking comical.

Metaphor

Diction is one metaphor for what separates Kincaid from the family in which she was raised. There's also a sense in which the cruelty of Kincaid's childhood has now manifested itself as adult sickness, a physical metaphor for the psychological pain she and her brothers experience. Not only has Devon become fatally ill, but after Kincaid's mother visits her in the United States, she recalls, "I was sick for three months. I had something near...

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This section contains 488 words
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My Brother from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.