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Analysis of Girl by Jamaica Kincaid

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Analysis of Girl by Jamaica Kincaid

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“On Sundays try to walk like a lady and not like the slut you are so bent on becoming.” This particular line from Jamaica Kincaid’s story Girl quickly drew my attention. Most of what I had read otherwise sounded very much like what a tough mom would dictate to a young daughter. However, all of the slut references has me a little confused.

I believe that most conversations between mothers and daughters is probably a little less abrasive and the content is more modern. However, the basic idea is about the same. Young girls are a much less likely to take in barked orders like what is read in Girl considering a higher value on independence exists in present day. This story almost sounds like a compressed version of facts from several conversations.

If you were to consider disapproval or maybe a guilt trip mixed into the conversation then this may make it more relatable to modern day. Mothers of any time period disapprove of something that their daughters are or are not doing all the time. Certain styles that come in to fashion today for a daughter may have been completely unacceptable for their mothers when they were growing up. Perhaps the girl within this story had done something that her mother had considered very slutty and she wasn’t going to let her daughter get away with thinking it was acceptable behavior.

Perhaps the mother had a problem with her singing benna in church. Maybe there was something about benna that was affiliated with being a slut in her mothers head. If you pay attention with the spelling of Girl you will notice the letter “b” ends up in very unusual places within the story that it doesn’t belong. Perhaps this is her negative feelings for benna seeping into other parts of what her mother is saying.

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