Theme Of Girl By Jamaica Kincaid

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Jamaica Kincaid wrote “Girl” in 1978. This short story is a continuous run on sentence, which a mother is giving advice and warnings to her daughter. The title “Girl” could have several meanings, a mother looking after her ‘little girl’, a young lady who is still seen as a girl to society, and the idea of females being domesticated in the household. With all these ideas for the title from 1978, one might wonder what the title could mean now in 2016. If one were to modernize “Girl” now she would not be focused on the domesticated lifestyle, but showing how female are now independent and are making lives for themselves. One could see this story as advice Kincaid’s mother is giving to her when she was a child. This would make the mother seem …show more content…
The mother has three different tones, which can be sensed throughout the reading: nagging, serious, and demanding. The nagging tone can be seen when the mother says, “don’t squat down to play marbles-you are not a boy,” (Kincaid 44). The serious tone when the mother is giving advice is, “don’t sing benna in Sunday school,” (Kincaid 44). Demanding tone can be seen when the mother is telling her daughter to do chores and behave like a woman. “Wash the white clothes on Monday and put them on the stone heap; wash the color clothes on Tuesday and put them on the clothesline to dry,” (Kincaid 44). This story is written in second person point of view, which makes it feel like the reader is being instructed from the mother. This can create a mood of pity but also touched from the mother. Pity would be when the mother has too much control of the daughter. A person could feel touched when the mom is giving advice to make the daughter a better person. These three elements help with understanding the mother’s perspective as she talks to her …show more content…
The title could still be “Girl” but ideas and topics used would become modernized. An example of modernization would be when the mother is discussing how the girl has the ability to abort a child. Kincaid states, “this is how to make a good medicine to throw away a child before it even becomes a child" (Kincaid 45). This would be approached differently today where a woman would need to go to a hospital to have an abortion performed and the political stigma attached to abortion. There could be home remedies still in practice but if a woman wanted to ensure an abortion the best way would be at a hospital. Other topics which would be modernized is “benna” which is Calypso music would probably become popular music and the type of food for regional foods which most people would know what it was. By modernizing the story it allows the girl to potentially become independent and not have a domesticated lifestyle, which would have been expected in

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