Essay Sample on "Girl" by Jamaica Kincaid

Published: 2023-01-24
Essay Sample on "Girl" by Jamaica Kincaid
Type of paper:  Critical thinking
Categories:  Women Stereotypes Relationship Books Writers
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 693 words
6 min read

"Girl" is a diminutive story engraved by Jamaican Kincaid in 1978. The story is unfolded set of instructions to a girl by her mother on how she should relate and act with people domestically. The narrator seems to be the typical culture following mothers who require her girl to follow her cultural guidelines to the letter. In the knowledgeable story, the girl is taught how to handle domestic chores, what activities to participate in, and those that she should not as well as how to relate with various categories of people. "Girl" story explores what social and domestic values a girl should have in traditional society.

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The narrator of the story, who is assumedly girl's mother gives her both positive and negative information inform of instructions. "Wash the white clothes on Monday and put them on the stone heap" (Kincaid). This particular instruction is positive and beneficial to the life of the girl. It helps to prepare her in being a responsible woman. Another definite idea is that the girl is told to avoid singing benna on Sundays or in Sunday school. The mother wants her daughter to have ethical values and grow in a Christian way. Christianity is revealed when she talks about Sunday school. A piece of negative advice is after the narrator articulates, "this is how to make a good medicine to throw away a child before it even becomes a child" (Kincaid). The older lady is teaching the girl how to abort a pregnancy. This is a wrong value to impact on a woman she expects to grow with all the right values she is talking about earlier. It is negative advice for the young girl because she will become irresponsibly involved in premature sex since she can abort.

The story reveals how the narrator or society impose stereotypes on children. "Don't squat to down to play marbles - you are not a boy, you know" (Kincaid). Although the narrator wants the girl to grow socially, she is given boundaries not to cross. The narrator shows that there are women activities and men activities which should be respected (Rabea 3). This statement means that the girl is not supposed to be social with men because she will not play or spend time with them. Another stereotype illustration is whereby the mother keeps regarding the girl as a "slut". The mother reveals how society derogates women by referring to them as immoral.

The girl's mother is also overbearing to her child (Karen 2). She talks so much in the conversation, but the girl only speaks twice. It reveals that girls have been intimidated not to speak out their minds but listen and follow to what they are advised. She is taught to be humble and know her position is staying at home, handling domestic chores. She does also not care to ask whether the girl still plays the marble with boys or not. She even assumes that the girl sings benna in Sunday school. The mother does not care about what the girl thinks regarding all the instructions and advice. All the girl need to know is the social and domestic values she needs to acquire to live better.

In conclusion, Kincaid's story "Girl" explores what family and social values a girl in the 1770s was supposed to have. While analyzing the instructions, it is clear that society has a particular look at the female child; a picture which tends to undermine the powers of the girl child and give more value to the boy child. Women are domesticated, and it is passed down from generation to generation. However, at the end of the tier, the girl's mommy expects her offspring to be a strong woman who would associate with everybody in society.

Works Cited

Karen. "Analysis - Girl by Jamaica Kincaid." 12 Apr. 2017, pp. 1-2, Accessed 24 June 2019.

Kincaid, Jamaica. "Girl." The New Yorker, 1978, Accessed 24 June 2019.

Rabea, Reem. "Genre Crossing in Jamaica Kincaid's 'Girl': From Short Fiction to Poetry." June 2018, pp. 1-4,'s_'Girl'_From_Short_Fiction_to_Poetry. Accessed 24 June 2019

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Essay Sample on "Girl" by Jamaica Kincaid. (2023, Jan 24). Retrieved from

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