Jamaica Kincaid’s In the Night: Summary
Writer: Jamaica Kincaid
Born: May 25, 1949
Write a summary of the essay ‘In the Night’ in your own words.
“In the Night” is an essay which was written by Jamaica Kincaid, a remarkable novelist, essayist and memoirist. This essay illustrates elegant of writing and extraordinary method of expression in her writing.
The essay is about the life of night soil man and his family. The soil men walk in the night time. Night soil men are the people who collect the human excrement collected at night from toilets of cesspool, especially for use as fertilizer. They come and go walking on the damp ground in straw shoes. Their feet in the straw shoes make a scratchy sound.
The night soil men can see a man walking in trees. It is not a bird. It is a woman who has removed her skin and is on her way to drink the blood of her secret enemies. It is a who has left her skin in a corner of a house made out of wood. It is woman who is reasonable and admires honey bees in the hibiscus. It is a woman, as a joke, brays like a donkey when he is thirsty.
At night, they hear different types of sounds such as sound of a cricket, sound of a church bell, sound of house creaking and many to mention. The rain falls in different places which make somewhere wet and somewhere warm. Mr. Gishard is standing under a cedar tree which is in full bloom, wearing that nice white suit. He is holding a glass full of rum that he had in his hand shortly before he died and looking the house in which he used to live. The people who now live in the house walk through the door backward when they see Mr. Gishard standing under the tree. In the dream the speaker can hear a baby being born. And she sees all of the physical appearance of the baby. The baby and the narrator are talking to pasture. The baby is eating green grass with its soft and pink lips. The narrator’s mother shoke her and says “Little Miss, little Miss” the narrator’s mother blamed that she made the bed wet. Her mother changes all the night goan and bed sheet. She is in the night in her dream.
The jablesse, a person who can turn into anything goes up in the mountains and gallivant. A jablesse always tries to look like a beautiful woman so one should be careful when they see a beautiful woman. Jablesse is different from man because of their eyes which shine like lamps.
The narrator’s father i.e. a night soil man is very nice and very kind .once while running to catch a bus, he fell and broke his ankle and had to spend a week in hospital. This made him miserable .What he likes to do most is to sit on a big stone under a mahagany tree and watch small children playing play- cricket. He is always reading botany books and knows a lot about rubber plantations and rubber trees. The narrator, her mother with everybody loves the night soil man he is very handsome.
In the night, the flowers close up and thicken such as hibiscus irises and marigold sets people are doing different works and actives such as someone is making a basket, some one is making a girl address etc.
The narrator is now a girl and she will marry a woman one day because that woman wears a big skirt and she can burry her head in the big skirt. She would like to marry this woman and like with her in a mud hut near the sea.
The hut will be full of beds, clothes dishes, furniture’s etc. Everyday the woman and the narrator will eat bread and milk for break fast. Every day the narrator will sing that woman a song. That woman she would like to marry knows many things, but to the speaker she will only tell about things that would never dream of making her cry. The narrator will marry the woman discussed above and become completely happy every night.