Story Girl By Jamaica Kincaid Essay

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It concludes abruptly with a rhetorical question from the mother wondering if her daughter didn't understand how to behave based on everything she was told.

There are three central themes to the story: sexual reputation, domesticity, and mother/daughter relationships.

Also early in the story, the reader senses that the daughter is at the edge of sexual maturity.

The mother’s direction to her daughter to “soak your little cloths” as soon as she takes them off—a reference to menstruation—establishes that fact."Girl" consists of a two-page dramatic monologue in which a considered mother gives advice to her daughter, the "girl." Realizing that her daughter has reached sexual maturity, the mother tells her to be careful and never allow herself to become the "kind of woman the baker won't let near the bread." Like Kincaid’s other short stories, “Girl” is extremely brief and can hardly be said to have a plot, although the reader can easily imagine a dramatic context in which this monologue might be spoken.The central voice is that of the unnamed mother; the reader must assume that the “girl” of the title is her daughter, although the relationship is never stated.Kincaid is from Antigua, and most of her work contains stories of Antiguan life as a colony of Great Britain and as an independent nation dealing with the aftermath of colonial rule.As a woman of African descent, Kincaid explores gender, race and class issues in her work.Twice the daughter’s voice (indicated by italics) interrupts the mother to protest the implications of her instructions, but the mother continues her directions.The mother is directing her daughter about how to live as an adult woman, and many of her comments comprise practical advice.From the first clause, when the mother tells her daughter to put freshly washed white clothes on a stone heap and to wash the “color clothes” on Tuesday, the reader recognizes that the story’s setting is not the United States.The speaker tells the daughter how to soak salt fish, how to cook pumpkin fritters, how to iron her father’s shirt and pants properly, how to grow okra and dasheen, how to sweep the house and yard.The advice consists of how to do certain domestic behaviors, including making Antiguan dishes, as well as the more assertive points of being a respectable woman and upholding sexual purity.There is a lot of discussion from the mother about how the daughter must interact with people as well as how to behave in a romantic relationship with a man. First she stands up for herself against one of her mother's questions that turned into an accusation, and again at the end where she asks her mother a clarifying question.


Comments Story Girl By Jamaica Kincaid Essay

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