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What I Have Been Doing Lately Jamaica Kincaid

What I Have Been Doing Lately is a short story by Jamaica Kincaid. In the story, the narrator reflects on her recent activities and how they have been impacting her life. The story provides a glimpse into the mind of the narrator as she tries to make sense of her current situation. What I Have Been Doing Lately is a powerful story that will leave readers thinking about their own lives and what they have been doing lately.

In Jamaica Kincaid’s short story “What I Have Been Doing Lately,” a young girl has a dream. She encounters many issues in her dream, which are caused by personal difficulties. The tale is composed in a circular structure that keeps going without conclusion because her problems never get resolved.

The girl is never named which could represent how lost and without identity she feels. She is coming of age and is experiencing many changes in her life, some of which she does not understand. This could be why the story lacks a concrete resolution, because she has not yet resolved these issues herself.

The story starts with the girl flying high above a city on what seems to be a magical carpet. She is free and happy at this moment, but soon enough she plummets down into the middle of a busy street. A woman scolds her and she runs away embarrassed. This could symbolize how she feels falling from grace or how she perceives herself to be inferior to others. The dream then shifts and she is now in a dark and foreboding forest. This could represent the darkness and confusion she feels inside herself.

She is soon accosted by a group of animals who are trying to steal her food. She is able to fight them off, but is left feeling shaken and alone. This could symbolize the everyday struggles she faces and how she feels outnumbered and helpless at times. The dream then changes again and she finds herself in a beautiful garden filled with flowers. However, this paradise is quickly ruined when she sees a snake coiled around a tree. This could represent the fear and danger she feels lurking beneath the surface of her life.

The dream continues to change and she find herself in a dark cave with bats flying overhead. She is scared and feels like she is going to die. This could represent the fear and isolation she feels in her life. The dream then changes again and she is now in a bright and sunny meadow. She is surrounded by butterflies and feels at peace. This could represent the hope and beauty she sees in her life despite the darkness she also experiences.

The story ends with the girl waking up from her dream, but it is unclear if she has actually resolved any of her issues. This could be because she is still working through them or because they are unresolved in her life. Either way, the story provides a insights into the mind of a young girl who is struggling to find her place in the world.

The tale uses short, choppy phrases to keep the reader engaged in the dream’s fast-paced events. The non-traditional circular structure highlights the young ladies’ continuing difficulties with herself that are never resolved.Themes of identity, sexuality, and family are explored throughout the story.

Jamaica Kincaid was born in Antigua in 1949. She moved to New York City in 1965 to study photography at the Fashion Institute of Technology. After a year, she transferred to Sarah Lawrence College where she earned her B.A. in English literature.

Kincaid’s short story “What I Have Been Doing Lately” was first published in The Paris Review in 1984 and later collected in At the Bottom of the River (1983), her debut fiction collection. “What I Have Been Doing Lately” is told from the perspective of an unnamed adolescent girl living in Antigua with her mother and father.

The young girl’s inner conflicts are most evident near the story’s conclusion. The reader is never really sure what she is struggling with, which adds to the tale’s intrigue. She murmurs, “I felt so bad I couldn’t imagine feeling any other way,” at the story’s conclusion. It becomes apparent that her problems are endless.

Her internal issues resurface every time the doorbell rings. Not only is she dealing with interior concerns, but she also has numerous external difficulties in her dreams. In her first dream, she complains “I wanted to convey it but I couldn’t swim.” Another exterior problem appears in her second dream.

In her dream, she is with a group of people and she is the only one not invited to a party. Even though she is not included in the party, it still goes on without her. The final conflict is that she tries to go back to sleep but can’t because “the telephone was ringing and somebody was at the door”. The tone of this story is depressing and dark. Jamaica Kincaid uses descriptive words to help readers feel empathy for the protagonist. Short stories are usually plot driven, so the conflict is a very important part of the story.

In What I Have Been Doing Lately, there are three main conflicts: inner, outer, and interpersonal. The inner conflict is within herself; she’s fighting with her dreams and trying to stay afloat. The outer conflict is with the people around her; she feels left out and alone. The interpersonal conflict is between herself and others; she’s constantly trying to communicate but failing. These conflicts help drive the story forward and keep the reader engaged.

The girl and the monkey begin pelting one another with rocks, resulting in her telling him, “The stone struck me on my forehead over my right eye, producing a major gash.” The external and internal conflicts lead to the narrative’s forward propulsion, keeping readers engaged.

Jamaica Kincaid’s “What I Have Been Doing Lately” is a short story that follows the life of a young girl who seems to be going through an internal and external conflict. The story opens with the girl throwing stones at a monkey, which results in her getting a deep cut on her forehead.

This event leads to the girl’s explanation of what she has been doing lately, which includes working at a factory and being unhappy with her current situation. The story ends with the girl getting fired from her job, which leaves her feeling even more lost and confused. Despite the ending, the reader is still left with some hope for the girl’s future.

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