An Analysis Of Jamaica Kincaid's Girl

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In Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl”, a very short story written in one single paragraph, is advice from a mother to her daughter on how to be a lady. As the reader, I felt overwhelmed reading all of the do’s and don’t’s the narrator tells her daughter “this is how to sew on a button; this is how to make a buttonhole for the button you have just sewed on;”(p.320) Perhaps Kincaid purposely wrote this story in one large paragraph to make the reader feel as stressed out with all this information as the daughter did. Although, the narrator never tells a place or time, her advice depicts where this story takes place. For example, “don’t sing Benna in Sunday school; this is how you grow okra; this is how to make a pepper pot;” (p.320-321) evidently,…show more content…
Consequently, is this the advice coming from a young mother who was never given this advice herself? Is this mother giving her young daughter this advice so she does not make the same mistakes she did? For instance, when the mother says “this is how to make a good medicine to throw away a child before it even becomes a child;” (p.321) in my opinion, she gives this advice because as a young girl, the mother was a slut and maybe even became pregnant with the “girl”, but since she did not have this wise advice she did not know what to do in this situation. Therefore, the mother must give her daughter tough loving advice so that she does find herself in the same situation. Clearly, the moral of mom’s lessons is to take care of your reputation. Likewise, the way you portray yourself is the way society will see you. At the same time, it seems as though the daughter is listening and learning “but I don’t sing benna on Sundays and never in Sunday school:”(p.320) here we can see that the daughter has some concern for her reputation since she already knows not to sing these songs on Sunday or at

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