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Jamaica Kincaid Gender Roles Essay

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Since the beginning of time, gender roles have played a large part in the structure of life. Gender roles are simply defined as the appropriate behavior roles set on people by society and cultural norms. Although gender roles play an equally tremendous part in life for both genders; the internal roles for each gender are very different from each other. Apart from the standard that men are supposed to be masculine and women to be feminine, gender roles have much more to them; which can differentiate through region or time period. A great example that proves that there is a difference and change in gender roles through different scenarios is the short story “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid which also pertains the themes of Parent/Child Relations and…show more content…
In this passage there are only two characters, and for both of them, their identity cannot be clearly defined, but throughout the passage the reader is able capture and understand with text evidence that one monologue expresses a motherly role while the other expresses a daughter role. Throughout the whole story, most of the sentences consist of demanding orders and rules from the strict “mother” towards the “daughter” in which she consistently remarks as her way of of saving her from “looking like the slut I know you are so bent on becoming” (pg 43). Many of the “mother’s” orders were set out in a very harsh tone, and although some of these were normal such as teaching her how to clean or how to cook, the mother briefly teaches her “how to bully a man” which completely goes against the mother’s moral. Overall, most of the story consists of the rules set upon the young girl by the older woman to keep her lady like and with good manners. The mother intends to give the young girl a respectable character through the aspect of following all the implemented rules. The story then ends with the daughter questioning “but what if the baker won't let me feel the bread?” (pg 44) in which the mother responds with a rhetorical question: “after all you are really going to be the kind of woman who the baker won't let near the bread?” (pg
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