Have you ever wished that someone had given you a guide on how live the right way? Jamaica Kincaid does just that in her short story, Girl. The narrative is presented as a set of life instructions to a girl by her mother to live properly in Antigua in the 1980’s. While the setting of the story is not expressly stated by the author in the narrative, the reader is able to understand the culture for which Girl was written.
Jamaica Kincaid seems to be the passive narrator, receiving the instructions from her mother on how to live in their present social setting. The mother figure focuses on two main categories in her guidance, social manners and domesticity. First, guidance is given for a …show more content…
According to Wikipedia contributors, Benna is a “genre of Antiguan and Barbadian music” (Wikipedia). While it is possible that the narration is for an immigrant girl or someone who already has learned cultural traditions, the rest of the narration indicates otherwise. The guidance on Sunday shows that the setting is a place that most likely practices their Christian religious service openly and with reverence. The final indicator of setting is the instruction on the care for a not only an okra tree, but a plant called dasheen (Kincaid 118). A dasheen is a “tall-growing tropical plant” (Stephens). Again, the specificity of the location this plant can grow is an indicator of the Caribbean location the story is set in.
Jamaica Kincaid’s narrative Girl can read as a reflection of the Antiguan culture in which it was set, as well as the mentality of a woman on how she should live her life in the 1980’s.
Kincaid, Jamaica. “Girl.” The Norton Introduction to Literature. Ed. Alison Booth and Kelly Mays. New York: Norton, 2011. 118-119. Print.
Wikipedia contributors. "Benna (genre)." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 12 Sep. 2010. Web. 6 Nov. 2011.
Stephens, James M. “Dasheen - Clocasia esculenta.” University of Florida IFAS Extension.University of Florida IFAS Extension. n.d. Web. 6 Nov.