Jamaica Kincaid's Girl

Words: 474
Pages: 2

Jamaica Kincaid is a female author and writer known for her works which draw from her experiences of growing up in the West Indies. In 1978, she released a story in an issue of The New Yorker which she titled Girl. Girl is a single sentence story in which a mother tells her daughter the tips and tricks of becoming a proper woman. The author starts every point within the story with “this is how” then proceeds to tell how to achieve a task. Each task is focused upon the goal of forming a good and respectable woman. The story “how to” list on how to become a “useful” woman. Despite the story’s blaring sexism and stereotypical gender roles, I would consider it opposing to the patriarch system but instead a passive feminist work. The brilliancy of the story …show more content…
Though the content of the sentences might be lackful, they show that their is a human behind the daughter. Her mother is constantly questioning her daughter's promiscuity calling her a “sult” and the mother labors over getting her daughter to turn out “right”. Even the context of the story suggests that this has been a struggle for the mother for some time. I think this is evidence toward the daughters aspiration for freedom, but she cannot pursue her dream because of the oppressive gender-roles she had been born into. This was the author subtle hint towards the true meaning of the story from what I believe.
I believe that Jamaica Kincaid is a creative writer, and Girl uses excessive gender based roles to overwhelm the reader and to prove that the “Girl” wants to be freed from her inferior status. The main reason for forming this conclusion is from the author writing. The first begin how she only focuses on the jobs and expectations of women, and the second being the daughter comments. Girl is a wonderful written and and powerful story that, if you look at from the right angle, can have a lot more