What Is The Tone Of Girl By Jamaica Kincaid

Improved Essays
The view of women in society has always been a prevalent issue throughout history. In the short story “Girl”, by Jamaica Kincaid, she expresses those inequalities and double standards. The story reflects a mother, who by her own past experiences of being a woman in her time and tradition, gives advice to her own daughter, to change her modern ways and views on society and their culture.
It’s obvious to the readers that the mother is very traditional. For example, her mother explains traditional ways to cook their Caribbean dishes, most likely in ways in which she was taught. She tells her daughter “Cook pumpkin fritter in very hot sweet oil”(504), “Soak salt fish overnight before you cook it”(504), and gives other traditional advice. The tone
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Throughout the story the mother continuously refers to her daughter acting like a “slut”. She tells her “On Sundays try to walk like a lady and not the slut you are so bent on becoming.” She tells daughter how not to entice men, by telling her daughter how to dress appropriately and look respectable. The mother gives off an impression of having no faith in her daughter having the ability to handle herself as a respectable young lady. Although the mother’s tone is harsh, she is probably giving advice off of her own experiences and from what she was taught. She doesn’t want her daughter to live a promiscuous life. Her mother knows how people are criticized by the way they dress and act, especially women. So she’s giving this advice to her daughter to save her from the harsh criticism of society, even though some of the advice given may seem a little …show more content…
The mother thinks her daughter has already set herself up for a life of promiscuity. The mother even goes to the extreme on explaining “how to make medicine to throw away a child before it even becomes a child.”(505), this is clearly an abortion recipe. For her mother to include this in her instructions, shows that her mother doesn’t feel like her daughter can handle herself in a respectful manner. Throughout the story, the daughter only speaks two times. The first time it is to tell her mother she doesn’t sing benna in Sunday school. The second time is a little more significant. She says “but what if the baker won’t let me feel the bread.”(505). Her mother then gets angry and says “you mean to say that after all you are really going to be the kind of woman who the baker won’t let near the bread?”(505). The baker represents society and the daughter not being able to touch the bread, represents society not approving of her “unwomanly” ways. The mother is caught off guard, and left feeling disappointed that after everything she had said, her daughter may be a lost cause. This can also explain why the mother’s tone is so harsh. For the mother to be so traditional, it is understandable to see why she thinks her daughter is leading to a life of promiscuity. The daughter could be simply misunderstood by her mother, feeling as if

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