The theme that stands out the most in Jamaica Kincaid's "Annie John" is the mother-daughter relationship. Kincaid accurately portrays how adolescence can strain these relationships by explaining and giving insight into mother- daughter relationships. Kincaid expresses this relationship through her main character Annie who is on the journey of finding her own identity. In the beginning of the novel, the relationship between Annie and her mother was very strong. By the time Annie turns twelve, she starts to go through some changes which many teenagers normally goes through. In order for Annie to mature and prepare for the world, Annie's mother pushes her away in order to establish Annie's individuality. I will explain in-depth on each of these examples.
From the beginning of "Annie John", the relationship between her and her mother was described. The first half of the book she explains how they bathe together, wear the same clothes, she sings to her and they even reminisce on her mother's past by going a into her mother's truck of memorabilia. Annie goes on speaking about how beautiful her mother and she believe their life together to be a virtual paradise. Annie says, "I spent the day following my mother around and observing the way she did everything. When we went to the grocer's, she would point out to me the reason she bought each thing." (2.3) This proves that she admires her mother's every move. Annie even feels bad for her father, who lost his parents and found his grandmother dead at a young age. "How important I felt to be with my mother." (2.4) This supports my findings when I say she is afraid to be left alone because she loves everything as it is. She cannot imagine life any other way and never expected any changes.
The relationship between Annie and her mother is altered as she gets older. Annie's body is maturing and they begin to have opposing views on almost everything.