Incarnations Of Burned Children Essay

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The “Child”

The literary representation and social construction of children is present in many different pieces of literature. The “child” is used in many different way, it is used in relation to others around them, such as their families and others around them as well as the society that they are living in. There is also a way to see that the child is a marker of past, present and future. When looking at childhood, we can also see that one of the main points is that it is a literary narrative, meaning that it is telling a story, and we can see that childhood can be a big part of their literary narratives. In Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild,” David Foster Wallace’s “Incarnations of Burned Children,” Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl,” Ursula Le Guin’s
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The entire short story written by Kincaid is the narrator talking to a daughter about life. About what to do in life, it begins with simple tasks, which can be seen as the past, such as “wash the white clothes on Monday…” and “don’t walk barehead in the hot sun”. These temporal markers can be seen as past, as they are simple things, that were done by the mother in the past, and are known well by her, and that she can share with her daughter. Continuing through this short story, that is really just one long sentence, the mother starts to give her daughter advice in the present, “this is how you iron your father’s khaki pants so that they don’t have a crease”, “this is how you grow okra”. These markers of the present tense are evident in the sense that the mother is telling her daughter how to do things in the now, how to do them right where she is at the age she is in. In the future, the mother is telling the girl about conditions that could come soon… “this is how to make good medicine to throw away a child before it even become a child”,“this is how to love a man”, “this is how to make ends meet. These markers of past, present and future help to make Kincaid 's story flow and make more sense in a literary

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