Syntax In Girl

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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 …show more content…

This syntax of unusual punctuation is employed to enforce the point that the story is a commandment of rules, “this is how to make a button-bole for the button you have just sewn on; this is how to hem a dress when you see the hem coming down and so to prevent yourself from looking like the slut I know you are so bent on becoming.” (Kinkaid 485). This glorifies the thoughts of the mother as she believes that by instructing her daughter with the traditional roles of women, she will stop her from going down the wrong path. The mother believes that this, in turn, will turn her daughter into the perfect domesticated wife, one that will not be a family embarrassment. From the start of the story, the mother orders her daughter to perform certain tasks. Kincaid writes that the mother commands: "Wash the white clothes on Monday and put them on the stone heap.” (485). The orders are not spoken gently, and the mother does not even use the world please, which could suggest that she is in control of her daughter. The tone in this story also opens the eyes of the reader and takes them back to the past, when parents demanded the attitudes of their children be different. Through these strict

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