"Girl" by Jamica Kincaid

Topics: Gender, Gender role, Woman Pages: 2 (715 words) Published: February 5, 2013
“Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid is a short story/poem was published in The New Yorker in 1978. There are many things that the story “Girl” shows us. One is the oppression of women and the lack of the options that women got. Another is the change in parenting techniques as orders like these wouldn’t be issued in today’s world. The narrator also shows how the gender role has grown since the late 1970s, shows the little girl protesting toward her mother, and shows the love a mother has for her daughter. Since the late 1970s the gender role has seemed to slightly switch up from where it was. Cooking and cleaning were mandatory house work for wives a few decades ago. In today’s time it really does not matter who does it, as long as everything gets done. Being proper and lady-like was a must and being indiscriminate and “talking to wharf-rat boys”. (Kincaid, 1978 p.352) Nowadays women are thrown into categories based on how they act and present themselves, and it should not be this way. Women have fought their way up to where they stand today, and even though we are still being categorized we stand tall and keep pushing forward. As the old fashioned mother is telling her daughter how to become a proper lady and not a slut her daughter interrupts her by saying, “but I don’t sing benna on Sundays at all and never in Sunday school; this is how to sew on a button; this is how to make a button-hole for the button you have just sewed on; 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” (Kincaid, 1978 p. 352). This statement was the first time her daughter protested what she was telling her. She protested her mother once more by saying, “But what if the baker won’t let me feel the bread?” (Kincaid, 1978 p. 352) The reason her daughter protests is to show her mother that she has learned things quickly and is still learning how to become a proper lady not a slut. “A mother's love...
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