Provoking the Inevitable Change: an Analysis on Jamaica Kincaid’s Girl

Topics: Jamaica Kincaid, The New Yorker, William Shawn Pages: 2 (901 words) Published: September 30, 2012
Girl, a narrative written by Jamaica Kincaid, is a short story written in a dialogue style and stream of consciousness narration. The speaker is an authoritative female figure who teaches a girl about traditional living and the obligations of a girl to society. The narrative is basically one large sentence. Its ideas are separated by semicolons instead of the usual periods. Jamaica Kincaid’s short biography found in by Vanessa Pupello: “Jamaica Kincaid was born in 1949 as Elaine Potter Richardson on the island of Antigua. She lived with her stepfather, a carpenter, and her mother until 1965 when she was sent to Westchester, New York to work as an au pair. In Antigua, she completed her secondary education under the British system due to Antigua's status as a British colony until 1967. She went on to study photography at the New York School for Social Research after leaving the family for which she worked, and also attended Franconia College in New Hampshire for a year. Her first writing experience involved a series of articles for Ingenue magazine. In 1973, she changed her name to Jamaica Kincaid because her family disapproved of her writing. Through her writing, she befriended George W.S. Trow, a writer for the New Yorker, who began writing "Talk of the Town" pieces about her. As a result, Kincaid met the editor of the magazine, William Shawn, who offered her a job. Kincaid later married Shawn's son, Allen, a composer and Bennington College professor, and they now have two children.” [1] The narration style of Girl is similar to that of a stream of consciousness. This can be clearly seen from the way the ideas move with the timeline in disarray. It has no traditional timeline but there is a logical escalation of ideas in the dialogue. Moreover, there is no action and traditional plotline. The point of view used here is second person and there are two ways to interpret who the speaker is in the story. One, the authoritative female figure is...
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