October 17, 2011
What types of expectations are placed on you? Have so many of them piled up over time that is seems so overwhelming that you could run through them in a mad list in your head? Well then welcome to one of Jamaica Kincaid’s famous short stories, “Girl”. In the essay “Girl,” Jamaica Kincaid portrays the stereotypes and expectations placed on women and girls of her culture in the 1950’s. She uses authoritative tone, syntax, and progression of thought to show the expected responsibilities of girls and women in the narrator’s culture.
Throughout the essay the narrator of the essay “Girl,” uses a lot of examples to show the expectations placed on women and girls, actually the whole essay is mostly examples of this. One of the most important expectations, it seems, is to make sure one never seems like a slut. This seems very important because it is mentioned throughout the essay as if to drill the fact into ones head. There are many examples, such as, “on Sundays try to walk like a lady and not like the slut you are so bent on becoming;”(p. 200). She is showing examples of the expectations such as, walking like a lady and going to Sunday school. She also puts an emphasis on one of the main points she is trying to convey, which is not to act like a slut. It is so important not to be a slut it is tied into simple tasks such as walking and going to Sunday school. She also states, “this is how to hem a dress when you see the hem coming down and so to prevent yourself from looking like the slut I know you are so bent on becoming;”(p. 200). She again is nailing in the point of girls duties, in this case as simple as hemming a dress. It is showing the domestic duties girls are expected to carry out. Once again though it ties in an important point to the women of the culture, to make sure you are not a slut. The repetition of the fear of a girl becoming a slut makes it clear it is a big deal in her culture. She continues to...
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