Symbolism In Jamaicaaica Kincaid's Girl, By Jamaica Kincaid

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Jamaica Kincaid, the author of the short story “Girl,” was raised on the island of Antigua. During the time in which she was raised, Antigua was influenced by the British government. Because of the British control, Kincaid was raised in a culture immersed in the ideals of oppression and slavery. Being an African American woman in Antigua during the rule of the British government influenced how she wrote later in life. She eventually moved to America and landed a job as a writer for The New Yorker. Shortly after being hired, Kincaid published her first piece, “Girl,” in which a girl is given advice about how to act, dress, and work to ensure the girl is not viewed as a poor mother and husband. The topics addressed in this short story reflect …show more content…
This short story is very interesting because it is written in lists form. Presumably, the recipient of the advice in this piece is a young girl because of the title, “Girl.” In “Girl,” the identity of the person reciting this list is never revealed. A motherly figure in the girl’s life is often presumed to be the person delivering this list to the girl because the list includes many tasks associated with women during this time period. The message is often interpreted as advice given by a motherly figure educating one of the younger girls in the house about the things that the girl must do to be an appropriate …show more content…
Writing the story as a list being delivered to a nonexistent character, allows the reader to insert themselves into the shoes of the recipient of this list and it changes their perspective allowing them to feel more sympathetic towards the girl. The length of the list also draws attention to the alarming number of tasks that women living in this time period had to complete. Based on the length of this list, women were held to a very high standard and expected to complete all of these tasks while still finding time to raise their children and support their husbands when they needed support. In addition to the length of the list emphasizing the innumerable things that women had to complete, the list also included everyday household tasks that women were expected to perform. This list emphasized the fact that women weren’t allowed to pursue their dreams and were stuck with performing daily household tasks and taking care of their families. Without background information some readers may think that all of these different elements of the story shape it into a piece of literature that emphasizes the problems during the nineteenth century for women, but when they learn that there were other elements that affect the story as well the theme of this piece is

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