The Cultural Rhythm of Jamaica Kincaid
Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” is about a traditional mother who is trying to teach her young daughter the traditional way of growing up to be a woman. Simmons, Diane discuses: “The story begins with the mother’s voice giving such simple, benevolent, and appropriately maternal advice” (1); And “In “Girl” the mother’s chant of information and advice enfolds and ensnares the daughter, rendering the girl nearly helpless before the mother’s transforming will” (2). Furthermore, the title of the story signifies that the daughter is still young and is living dependently on her mother. She still has many things to learn from her experienced mother. In her culture, there is a sign of family love and care for the young one. The mother in “Girl” gives lectures to ensure that her daughter learns basic skills to be self-sufficient, as well as basic principle of the culture and human being. First, the mother takes an opportunity to educate “Girl” about tradition role of a woman in their society. In their culture, women take full responsibility for domestic activities such as cooking, house chores, and sewing. To comply with the culture, she needs to be able to take on the tasks of a woman. “Girl” needs to know and practice of house keeping like doing laundry, sweeping house, doing different stuff of cooking, and preparing the table meals. The mother instructs her sensually, with the rhythm of a song as music: Wash the white clothes on Monday and put them on the stone heap; wash the color clothes on Tuesday and put them on the clothesline to dry; soak your little cloths right after you take them off; when buying cotton to make yourself a nice blouse, be sure that it doesn't have gum on it, because that way it won't hold up well after a wash; (719) There are so many things to learn growing up to be a domestic young lady. The mother continues educating her daughter how to cook different dishes. The mother is very particular about domestic order:...
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