Verbal Abuse In Jamaica Kincaid's Girl

607 Words3 Pages
Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” is a very interesting story. In short it is about an unspecified guardian giving life advice to a young girl; the range of this advice varies from dress and grooming to medicinal recipes. The older woman, also referred to as the “guardian”, is not censored about this advice either. While people may think that “Girl” is a minor tale of verbal abuse, I prefer to think of it as story of tough love as well as hope that the girl will do better in life then the adult.
At the outset the “guardian” starts spouting off their list of what seems like chores. Then they tell her how to cook good food, as well as how to act socially in a proper manner. These are all things a parent or guardian says to their child, this is in order to prepare them for the “real world.” This gives me the impression that it is possible that the girl is about to leave home.
However, past all of these arbitrary things, “guardian” starts to bring the hammer down just a little bit on the girl. One critic wrote that “harsh evaluative judgements like this one are not in any way differentiated from the rest of the flow of the mother’s advice.” (Becnel, 2014) Guardian’s usage of the derogatory term “slut”, even though it would be considered offensive and insulting, could really pound in the brevity and
…show more content…
This is shown in their condescending comments and derogatory terms; if you excise these comments and offensive names, the “guardian” is actually giving great life advice. If a person gets too hung up on the way something was said rather than the words said, the speaker will have wasted their breath; however it is their responsibility to know what tone to use. This story overall gives me a sense of hope because the “Guardian”, even if they might be going about it the wrong way, is giving tough love and great advice in hopes that the young girl will have an easier life by applying these words of
Open Document