' Girl: An Analysis Of Jamaica Kincaid's Girl

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Molding of the Perfect Woman: An Analysis of Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” “…on Sundays try to walk like a lady and not like the slut you are so bent on becoming…” (Kincaid, 320). This phrase accurately represents the point that is being made in this passage. In Jamaica Kincaid’s piece, “Girl”, her mother is giving her advice on how to be and act like a proper woman. Her mother describes everything from how to properly do laundry to how to set a table for all occasions (Kincaid, 3-4). Kincaid manipulates several literary techniques, such as juxtaposition, sentence structuring, tone, and repetition, in order to demonstrate the societal expectations placed on women. Juxtaposition is the placement of words or phrases close together in order to…show more content…
Kincaid uses the phrase “this is how” twenty-seven times. For example, “…this is how a man bullies you; this is how to love a man…” (Kincaid, 5). Kincaid’s mother uses this phrases to emphasize the importance of her learning the things she is describing because if she did not do these things, she would be looked down upon by the rest of the population; she would not be the proper woman. This is established by the quote, “…you mean to say after all you are really going to be the kind of woman who the baker won’t let near the bread?” (Kincaid, 5). By this phrase, her mother is implying that other people’s opinions matter more than her own; she has to act a certain way and do certain things to be socially accepted. The mother is telling her what to do and what kind of woman she needs to be, instead of leaving that decision up to her. By implying that her daughter’s reputation is important, she contradicts herself. Towards the end of the piece, Kincaid’s mother states, “…don’t throw stones at blackbirds, because it might not be a blackbird at all…” (Kincaid, 5). This phrase means one cannot believe everything they hear because it may not even be true. The use of repetition is used to make this phrase stick out more; it is more noticeable because it does not start with “this is how” like the text surrounding it. She is telling Kincaid not to judge others, but to worry about other people judging her. This is essentially showing how ridiculous the standards that women are held to are; they are contradictory and basically fall apart when they are questioned because they do not make any
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