No Pain No Gain

Topics: Family, Parent, Jamaica Kincaid Pages: 3 (1276 words) Published: April 6, 2011
No Pain, No Gain
Families everywhere deal with great challenges. With each obstacle they face generally the outcome will make each individual a little bit stronger. With these experiences our perspective in life changes and we become more knowledgeable. “Girl” and “Tiger Mending” are two stories that I believe reflect this in two very different ways. Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” is a story about reflection. It is about a girl reflecting back upon the past. Maybe she just lost her mother or maybe she is grown and finally realizes why her mother told her all of these things. At the time, I’m sure she thought her mother was always on her and barking orders at her. She grew up in a different era. Times were different obviously then based on the way they washed their clothes. “Wash the white clothes on Monday and put them on the stone heap,” and “soak your little clothes right after you take them off.” All of the things the mother said were to mold her daughter into a good strong woman. The reference the mother makes to the daughter on not becoming a slut is kind of odd and disturbing. “On Sundays try to walk like a lady and not like the slut you are so bent on becoming,” and “this is how to behave in the presence of men who don’t know you very well, and this way they won’t recognize immediately the slut I have warned you against becoming.” This maybe the mother’s way of reverse psychology. By putting these thoughts and references in the girl’s head, she will think twice about things she does. The girl will not want to give the wrong impression and will strive to rise above her mother’s expectations. This story refers to growth and even though it seems to be somewhat harsh, the mother is really striving for a smart productive daughter. A daughter she is proud to have raised and one who will also set a good example for her own children. Aimee Bender’s “Tiger Mending” is a story about change and growth. This story is about two sisters who have lost their parents and...
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