As much as the mother would like to keep her daughter from having sex, from warning her, and teaching her things like letting then hem of her dress down to be longer, she does realize this may not happen. It is interesting how she feels it necessary to teach her how to get rid of a baby. This reference to abortion at this time shows how crucial the need to keep up appearances at any cost can be, even if it is illegal or against moral and religious beliefs. The mother shows the daughter how to cook pumpkin fritters, bread pudding, pepper pot and doukona.
Some of these dishes are traditional Antiguan which shows the importance of tradition and doing things the way they always have been done. The mother also teachers her how to set tables specifically for different meals. This shows how in the household, eating together is an important part of her ideal home and family.
The role of bread in this story is crucial. At the end, he mother teaches her how to squeeze the bread to tell if it is fresh. The role of the clothes is quite similar to that of food.
She teaches her daughter to keep things clean, how to separate the colors from the darks and lights, as well as when to wash each. This particular example shows how much importance the mother places on routine. The mother, too, constantly hints that the girl is intent upon becoming a slut, which creates even more dissension and hostility between the two. At times in the story it seems as if the mother does not like the daughter and is only giving her advice because it is her duty. It is hard to determine from the dialogue anything other then the fact that the mother has placed intense demands on her daughter, but that she does not feel that the daughter will become anything more than a slut.
As far back as biblical times women and their daughters were taught to submit to the head of the family for the rest of their lives. She spoke with honesty and with a format that was eye opening and different from others.
She made the girl come to life by allowing the mind to fill in the blanks for anything she left out. Kincaid also wrote in a way that made each time reading it, a new thing to infer or attach to as a reader. A story of an older woman who provides an endless list of rules or advice, using the discouragement of female sexuality and showing how it defines what it means to be a woman and shapes the way women are expected to behave to a young girl.
This short story limits to what women are able to do and what they cannot do.
She writes accusatorily and directly to her white readers: "Have you ever wondered to yourself why it is that all people like me seem to have learned from you is how to imprison and murder each other, how to govern badly, and how to take the wealth of our country and place it in Swiss bank accounts? This could be considered traditional, however we would consider it outdated in western society today. Upon closer examination, the reader sees that the text is a string of images in Westerner Caribbean family practices. Lastly, the relationship between the mother and daughter will be discussed, reflecting on if the views of the mother will ultimately make the decisions for the daughter, as to the path she will follow in her own life. The mother tells the daughter how to act.
The short story "Girl", by Jamaica Kincaid, is a prime example of this relationship. Perhaps her mother has a fear that her daughter is going astray from her values or living a modernized life that she is so unfamiliar with. These guidelines focus primarily on how to act and behave as a wife. Her constant fear of her daughter becoming a slut is stemming from what the mother now views as proper behavior.
How to cite this page Choose cite format:. It shows a whole different character for the mother and sheds light as to why the mother has these expectations and fears. Any aspirations that the daughter might have to be something different are not entertained. Some of these dishes are traditional Antiguan which shows the importance of tradition and doing things the way they always have been done. A story of an older woman who provides an endless list of rules or advice, using the discouragement of female sexuality and showing how it defines what it means to be a woman and shapes the way women are expected to behave to a young girl. We will write a custom essay sample on Girl by Jamaica Kincaid or any similar topic only for you Order Now Secondly, the importance of food and clothes in the story will be looked at, providing evidence to the central claim of being content with this lifestyle.
The mother tells the daughter how to act. However, the theme strongly suggests that elder woman feel that there is a right and wrong way to be as a woman. Related Posts:. There are foreigners in her country who could be judging the country as they interact with the natives.
Written in , Kincaid details in her short narrative, Girl, issues that the protagonist or Kincaid experiences as she and her mother's values clash against each other.
The mother places this vital importance on household knowledge and respectable appearances, believing they are the key to overall happiness. There is no sense that the daughter has a choice. Over the course of the text she come back to instructing on how to cook.
The central topics of gender roles in a family structure, and the expression of female sexuality and will be examined. She believes that a woman who can cook is valuable to their society. This reinforces the idea that elder woman feel that a woman's place is in the home. What did her mother mean by accusing her of this that the narrator feel she had to defend herself? Most of the commands the mother gave to her daughter are ambiguous; there is not enough content, however, it can be assumed. For some people this type of life could bring them a sense of fulfillment or accomplishment.
But then someone speaks on our behalf, a small voice: but I don't sing benna on Sundays, what if the baker won't let me feel the bread? This gives setting a role in the interpretation of the theme. Often the older women seem more insulting and scolding than helpful to the younger girl.
This leads to the issue of why the point of view in this story is so essential. Many women in society feel that a woman should act a certain way.