Short Story "Girl"

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If you look back 200 years, women enjoyed few of the legal, social, or political rights that are now taken for granted. They could not vote, could not sue or be sued, could not testify in court, had extremely limited control over personal property after marriage, were rarely granted legal custody of their children in cases of divorce, and were not allowed to go to institutions of higher education. Women were expected to remain subservient to their fathers and husbands. Their occupational choices were also extremely limited. Middle- and upper-class women generally remained home, caring for their children and running the household. Lower-class women often did work outside the home, but usually as poorly-paid domestic servants or laborers in factories and mills. This was everyday life for this time and most females accepted there fate. As females moved through there lives, aspects of this repression began to leaked in to literary work. This is evident in a short story written by Jamaica Kincaid’s. The story was called “Girl”.

In the short story the Mother tries to show her daughter, there are limitations of being a woman. That being a girl is much different then being a boy. Explaining what she should do to be accepted into society. The things that she must do as a way of preparing her future obligations and responsibilities in the society that at the time was ruled by men. The reader gets the impression that the advice that the mother gives her daughter has been passed down from many generations of women. It seems that this advice has enabled their daughters to endure hardships and to avoid making the same mistakes over and over, A clear example is when the mother tells the daughter, “planting okra far from the house because it attracts red ants”. There were some women in the past that learned this lesson the hard way. Most likely having the house invaded by the ants, soon after included it in the lessons to be passed down to then future generations....
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