Literary Analysis of the Girl by Jamaica Kincaid

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Feminist View of “Girl”
Erin O’Brien
South University Online
Composition II/Literature
November 3, 2011
Professor Chwala

Feminist View of “Girl”
In order to properly view a story from a feminist perspective, it is important that the reader fully understands what the feminist perspective entails. “There are many feminist perspectives, and each perspective uses different approaches to analyze and interpret texts. One is that gender is “socially constructed” and another is that power is distributed unequally on the basis of sex, race, and ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, ability, sexuality, and economic class status” (South University Online, 2011, para. 1). The story “Girl” is an outline of the things young girls reaching adolescence must do in order to conform to society’s expectations in an era before feminist laws. “In this section, we examine some of the literary means used to depict the world of the child from the child’s point of view and the world of the adolescent — “the folly of youth,” as the cynical Ambrose Bierce would have it — from an adolescent point of view” (Pike & Acosta, 2011, p. 351). As the list of society’s standards in the story “Girl” can be related to an era in which a woman was defined as the caretaker so to say, these types of rules no longer pertain to the role of a woman in our modern day style of living in society today. “In American culture today, for instance, women have access to broader roles than those outlined by the narrator” (South University Online, 2011). Jamaica Kincaid (1978) published the story “Girl” as to show her knowledge of a feminist perspective when relating to a mother’s fear of breaking traditional gender roles, and the tension it may cause on the mother and daughter’s relationship. The story “Girl” is a list of standards that starts out by listing a typical everyday chore, even in the modern day twentieth century; laundry. The narrator says “wash the white clothes on Monday and put them...
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