Jamaica Kincaid Girl

993 Words4 Pages
Using a series of semicolons between words of wisdom and advice from mother to daughter, “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid gives us a wonderfully accurate display of the nature of relationships between matronly figures and their smaller female duplicates. The story isn’t long, however it does happen to be a single, astonishingly extensive sentence. The rapid fire advice begins immediately, rarely ceasing in it’s mission to reform. The mother’s list is full of good intentions and generously explains instructions from household chores, to how to cook, to how to handle relationships with men, mainly all based on how to preserve her standing in her community. Despite the title, the girl in the story lacks much of a voice and apart from asking the occasional…show more content…
In “Girl”, there are quite a few household responsibilities that women are in charge of handling. I believe that the reason the mother is telling the daughter all these instructions is because she needs to prepare her for the pressure of society’s need for everything to be aesthetically pleasing. If the girl executes the tasks correctly, she’ll maintain her place in society, her future husband and family will be happy with her, and her mother will be seen as a good parent. This piece displays many obvious examples of society’s expectations of women and the consequences they face if those expectations are not met. What I found sad about this piece is that the girl doesn’t seem to understand the bigger picture that the mother is trying to convey. She doesn’t understand that her mother is telling her how to survive, that she is basically already destined to a life of…show more content…
The mother accuses the girl of not only being a slut, but being determined about to be one. Notice that she never actually suggests not having sex, but only suggests that the girl should keep it a secret. This suggests that the sex itself isn’t what's shameful; it’s the idea of being sexualized. You may be thinking, “But wait, a mother telling her daughter not to act like a slut doesn’t really sound like a bad thing?”. However, consider the fact that our mothers are our first teachers. How our parents treat us is how we will begin to interpret the world. This mother is automatically assuming that her daughter wants to be a slut, even though it is clear she has no such intentions by the way she protests to singing benna in Sunday school. My belief is that if a mother assumes her daughter is a slut, or speaks to her as such, the daughter may begin to believe that she is one, despite her best efforts not to

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