Story Girl By Jamaica Kincaid Essay

As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 79,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.Also early in the story, the reader senses that the daughter is at the edge of sexual maturity.

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The advice consists of how to do certain domestic behaviors, including making Antiguan dishes, as well as the more assertive points of being a respectable woman and upholding sexual purity.

There is a lot of discussion from the mother about how the daughter must interact with people as well as how to behave in a romantic relationship with a man. First she stands up for herself against one of her mother's questions that turned into an accusation, and again at the end where she asks her mother a clarifying question.

From the first clause, when the mother tells her daughter to put freshly washed white clothes on a stone heap and to wash the “color clothes” on Tuesday, the reader recognizes that the story’s setting is not the United States.

The speaker tells the daughter how to soak salt fish, how to cook pumpkin fritters, how to iron her father’s shirt and pants properly, how to grow okra and dasheen, how to sweep the house and yard.

Throughout the story, many of the mother’s directions are aimed at preventing the girl from becoming the “slut” her mother obviously thinks she longs to be.

Story Girl By Jamaica Kincaid Essay

She directs her not to sing popular music in Sunday school, not to talk to wharf-rat boys for any reason, and not to eat fruit on the street, because it will make flies follow her.

The mother soberly hands down the baton of womanly attributes and duties, tested and sanctified for generations, to her daughter, arguably in the very same way her own mother had received and handed them down to her.

The mother accomplishes a generational and gender mandate, as it were, in the wake of the inevitable mother-daughter separation and distancing usually marked by creeping adolescence.

In the absence of conventional dialogue, only two lines in the story reveal the daughter’s response to her mother’s sometimes gentle, sometimes harsh, sometimes distant, sometimes accusatory, “do’s,” “don’t’s” and “how to’s.” However, there is nothing against which the daughter can protest in the female initiation process circumscribed by her mother’s list—particularly not its prohibitions.

False assumptions that all-knowing adults make too quickly about youthful behavior and blatant accusations by one’s own (domineering), too often suspicious mother are difficult to accept or even comprehend.


Comments Story Girl By Jamaica Kincaid Essay

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