Clare’s desire to self identify led her on a frustrating journey, that left her questions unanswered. Michele Cliff uses specific words to describe what Clare felt while traveling through Jamaica, New York and London; one such word being ‘nowhere.’

The word “nowhere” can be used as an adverb, noun and adjective. The definition on the word slightly changes according to the purpose the word serves in the sentence it is being used in. Below are the varying definitions (as well as examples of the word used in a sentence) of the word “nowhere” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

  1. Nowhere (adverb)
    1. not in or at any place
      1. Example: The book is nowhere to be found.
    2. to no place
      1. Examples: I’ve gotten nowhere with my research.Arguing will get us nowhere.
    3. not at all : not to the least extent
      1. Examples: …nowhere near as serious
  2. Nowhere (noun)
    1. a nonexistent place
    2. an unknown, distant, or obscure place or state
      1. Example: Rose to fame out of nowhere
    3. in an extremely remote place
      1. Example: miles from nowhere
  3. Nowhere (adjective)
    1. of or relating to a remote or relatively unknown location
      1. Example: a nowhere town

In a sense, the term “nowhere” can be thought of as being stuck, a feeling the Clare feels when thinking of being part of the militant group. Although Clare expresses that the jungle is where she belongs, she also makes reference to being “nowhere.” Michele Cliff uses the term in the sense that Clare has a goal in mind, she is working towards finding her identity, but is stuck on the journey. The feeling of getting nowhere impacts Clare’s experience in Jamaica as part of the militant group because she reminisces of good times. She thinks back to taking walks in the jungle with her mother, but now, in her adult life, these good memories are no longer develop a sense of happiness. In turn, she is surrounded by violence and anger.  


“Nowhere.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster,