Women are programmed to believe that they have to look a certain way to be accepted in today’s society. Even from birth, they do things in certain cultures to change a baby’s physical form. Such as squeezing the nose to make it smaller or stretching the neck or legs to make it longer. We as women are taught to look a certain way or do thongs to look beautiful. Images in the media, history, our upbringing, and culture has a lot to do with it. Starting from a young age, things, such as Disney princess and even the unrealistic shape of Barbie was showing us that, that is what we are supposed to aim to look like. In the end we lose our self-respect, dignity and even jeopardize our health to maintain today’s society beauty standards. We as women stop at no cost to be accepted and branded as beautiful. Throughout history, women has been objectified by the media and put down in order to buy into whatever the companies were …show more content…
As daughters our mothers, grandmothers and aunts has pass down advice and beauty secrets that dates back for generations. Women are taught to only be on this earth to bear children and serve men. Therefore we are only seen as sexual objects and slave to men because they are the powerful gender. In the short story “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid, it shows a mothers giving advice to her daughter on how to be a woman. She talks about ways of cooking and how to dress properly and to not succumb to whoreish ways. She fears for her daughter becoming promiscuous, so she tells her to stay away from certain men and also teaches her a remedy for abortion. Therefore implying that women are easily peer pressured into looking like a slut and becoming one for these men. She wanted her daughter to have self-respect and dignity for herself and be ladylike. She didn’t want her to succumb to society’s pressure on what they wanted women to be like versus what she
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It is fair to argue that dissecting one’s own ignorance is not an easy task to accomplish without a great capacity for self-analysis. In her essay “In History”, Jamaica Kincaid appears to criticize herself by exposing her ignorance and vulnerability to her readers. Why would she want to be criticized in this way? Is she challenging her readers by openly inviting them to judge her—yet also hinting at the fact that they should observe their own limitations? Indeed, this is precisely what Kincaid does, and she chooses the perfect theme through which to explore~ the flaws of her thought-process: history.
Everyone is assigned a gender role. There are no exceptions, if you are born a certain way; you are to behave as that certain someone. This means that you are expected to match your gender with your sex.” Is that why the stepdaughter was considered to be a prostitute in Six Characters? Due to the time period that the story grasp in, women was staying home as a housewife or accepting the lowest paying professions.
The morals and actions they see as a child affect the morals and actions they withhold and conduct as an adult. Jane had a very strong individual as a father. “He taught her tolerance, philanthropy, and a strong work ethic. He encouraged her to pursue higher education, but not at the expense of losing her femininity and the prospect of marriage and motherhood -- the expectation for all upper-class young ladies at that time” (“Jane Addams.” Women). In the 1800s a girl’s father encouraging her to pursue an education was not the “norm”; however, Jane Addams was never a the stereotypical “lady” during her lifetime.
In “Reading like a Writer” by Francine Prose she discussed how every word of every story has a significance behind it. For instance: “With so much reading ahead of you, the temptation might be to speed up. But in fact it’s essential to slow down and read every word. Because one important thing that can be learned by reading slowly is the seemingly obvious but oddly underappreciated fact that language is the medium we use in much the same way a composer uses notes, the way a painter uses paint” (15-16). Prose advises her readers’ that they should read carefully and look closely at the text itself as opposed to the argument.
A mother is one of the most influential figures in a child's life, and if the mother says something, most times the child will follow. Jamaica Kincaid writes a short story “Girl,” about a mother telling her daughter information about how she should do tasks. The information is quite a lot and talks about all types of examples, such as how to smile at somebody and how to walk like a lady. In “Girl,” Jamaica Kincaid argues that the amount of norms and expectations placed on women is unreasonable through her use of repetition and structure. Jamaica Kincaid illustrates her point of high expectations set on women with her unique use of structure.
How are those of the female gender supposed to act? In the 1930’s women were frill members of society and their only purpose was reproducing and doing domestic or menial jobs. However, in modern times, women are independent and have significant roles in society. Although society’s view of this subject has changed drastically for the better, some matters don’t change. Women in the 1930’s were considered naturally weaker than men, squeamish, and unable to perform work requiring muscular or intellectual exertion.
The narrator in the story teach the girl how to get thing done at home. She says, “This is how to sweep a whole house; this is how to sweep the yard” (Kincaid 120), making sure that the girl know how to physically take care of her home. Also the narrator advise her on how to act in front of strangers, she says; “This is how to behave in the presents of a man who don’t know you very well, and this way they won’t recognize immediately the slut I have warned you against becoming” (Kincaid 120). She wants her to avoid any unnecessary comments and any motive for anyone to think that she is a
The mother’s ignorance of any contradiction is a way for the girl to tell herself that she shouldn’t contest these gendered norms and stick to them. Meanwhile, the mother’s remarks about the ‘slut’ the girl is becoming can be interpreted as a way for the girl to warn herself to follow the mother’s instructions to uphold a good reputation. By recounting and remembering her mother’s comments, it is clear that the girl tries to obey them. The girl has grown up with these gendered behaviours and instructions and has become used to them. By force of habit, there is a big chance that the girl will pass these behaviours and norms to her own children.
“Girl”, a short story written by Jamaica Kincaid, illustrates the constant pressure many women receive in order to be shaped into the ideal girl – or woman. It explores themes of gender, identity, and cultural expectations. Its format, although somewhat shapeless, brings readers into the shoes of a woman being told a constant stream of random constructs and ideas to try and fit her into a close to impossible mold to achieve. The story is structured as a series of instructions given by a mother to her daughter, and it is through these instructions that the mother's expectations for her daughter's behavior can be learned. Being from the west Indies, Kincaid details some context that may be unfamiliar to most Americans.
In Jamaica Kincaid’s short story “Girl,” the narration style of a mother lecturing her daughter with sharp, commanding diction and unusual syntax affects the evolution of a scornful tone regarding the daughter’s behavior which will eventually lead her to a life of promiscuity that will change the way people perceive and respect her within her social circle. It also emphasizes expectations for young women to conform to a feminine ideal of domesticity as a social norm during this time and emphasizes the dangers of female sexuality. The narration of the mother lecturing her daughter with forceful diction contributes to the theme of women conforming to domesticity and the warning that if they do not conform, then they will lead a life of promiscuity
In the satirical article, “On Seeing England for the First Time” (1991), Jamaica Kincaid, a proud Antiguan-American writer, condemns England’s unacceptable acts of erasure upon a nation’s culture. She remarks that England has unrightfully censured the death of the Caribbean culture and the people's long-held nationalism for Antigua; and yet although Antigua had freed itself from England's chokehold, the nation has already been constructed in such a way that it had become economically dependent on the English. Kincaid illustrates this impassioned resentment towards England by her usage of ironic imagery and sarcastic repetition within her childhood anecdotes of conformity. She criticizes England’s unjust authority in order to present the condemning
The final acknowledgement of this change manifested when instead of helping her father catch a loose horse, she opened the gate to let her run free. Then, when she thought she would be punished for defying her father, he made the ultimate declaration by absolving her of her actions as he stated “Shes’ only a girl” (para. 64). As stated above, throughout this story there are defined cultural and societal traditions and expectations for boys and girls. The narrator clearly wants to deviate from the expected and pave her own way which would allow her disregard her duties as a girl inside the house for the preferred work of a boy outside with her father.
As one can see, many mothers in today 's society would not be nearly as picky and constructive as the mother within "Girl" written by Jamaica Kincaid. Young girls almost always look up first to their mother for guidance and instruction on how to be a woman. Although the advice used in this story was used to help the young girl, it was also used to scold her as well. The mother 's strong belief in a woman having domestic knowledge is what drives her to preach the life lessons of a good woman to her daughter. It is through these lessons that she hopes for her daughter to be respected within her own home and by her community as well.
Throughout the story, the mother rattles off a list of duties that you must excel at as a woman; from how to set a table to how to prep a meal. Yet, the most assertive instructions she tells her daughter, involves how to behave in front of people – specifically men. On two different occasions she states that she is only trying to prevent her daughter from acting as “…the slut I know you are so bent on becoming”, and “…the slut I have warned you against becoming”. She goes on to instruct her daughter, how to ultimately hide her true self, how to smile properly, and most importantly, how to speak to a man, so that they will not assume she intends to be sexually promiscuous. The reiteration of the word “slut” centralizes the theme of sexual reputation to be one of the most significant focal points of the
With her father supportive of this behavior, she feels needed in the farm, as she “[has] the real watering can, [her] father’s”. She feels pride in herself, as she feels more powerful in the farm compared to her brother. Unlike her father, her mother disagrees with this kind of behavior from a girl, and insists that the young narrator should assist more on house duties. For her mother “It’s not like [she has] a girl in the family at all”. As the young narrator matures into a woman, she see’s the reality of women in the society, until she unintentionally disobeys her father’s orders.