Sexual Representation In Jamaica Kincaid's Short Story Girl

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It’s safe to say “A mother knows best” is a saying you’ve all heard before. Yet, during the transition from childhood to adolescence, each individual mystically turns into this evil and traitorous creature, called a “teenager”. During that time, a majority rebel, others will grow to be defiant and some even pick up an attitude, here and there. Yet, collectively, they all swear that their parents know nothing and that they somehow encompass the knowledge of the world in roughly 13-17 years. Realistically speaking, without your parents you wouldn’t know right from wrong, your left foot from your right, or even how to tie a shoe. It isn’t until you reach physical and mental maturity, that you are able to agree that maybe – just maybe – your mother really does know what is best. The short story “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid impeccably displays the relationship between a (assumed) teenage girl and her mother. This stream-of-consciousness, short story, is full of nothing other than commandments, advice and “How to’s” that are given in a very …show more content…

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

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