Your Life as a Girl and Kincaid's Girl - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-12-20
Your Life as a Girl and Kincaid's Girl - Essay Sample
Essay type:  Analytical essays
Categories:  Writing Poem
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 943 words
8 min read

The poem of the Girl by Kincaid is about a girl who was being advised by her mother to ensure the Girl lives a reputable life with the values required for a girl. Among the themes of advice given by the mother include sexual reputation and general knowledge of domestic issues that relate to women (Kincaid). The mother gives the girl advice on gender, race, and class issues that the Girl is likely to experience while growing up and later in life. In the other story Your Life as a Girl by Sittenfeld, the story is about the experiences of a girl's experiences while growing up and how the Girl is able to overcome challenges and handle different experiences (Sittenfeld).

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The girl poem by Kincaid utopia is that the environment that the Girl grows up in will change where all people will be treated equally without discrimination regardless of their race and social class. The poem highlights the challenges that the girls had to deal with after their Country Jamaica, was colonized by the British (Kincaid). There was an anticipation of a change of things after the people were allowed to live on their own with freedom. There is also utopia in Your Life as a Girl by Curtis Sittenfeld, where the Girl learns to live a better life after her studies. The Girl learns how to live a better life hence the positive change (Sittenfeld).

The two poems also have dystopia where things seem they remain the same; the Girl by Kincaid has dystopia where the mother gives the girl advice to make the Girl used to the norm of life. Your Life as a Girl by Curtis Sittenfeld also has an element of dystopia in the education and training the Girl gets in school. The experiences of the Girl should have given hope of change (Sittenfeld).

The moral issue about the stories is that girls need to have ethical habits and morals that guide how they live in the community. The Girl by Kincaid has moral behaviors that girls should have to be able to take care of their families and the people they live with (Kincaid). The customs and values taught by the mother include the basics of the activities that girls and women do, such as washing clothes and cooking. Your Life as a Girl by Sittenfeld educates the girls on the basic moral principles that they need to have in society (Sittenfeld). The experiences of the Girl, when a 40-year-old man intrudes on her space, is an example of how a lack of morals in society affects girls more than boys.

In Kincaid's "Girl," there is a historical context of Antigua, which was a British Colony (Kincaid). The story was published twelve years after Kincaid left Antigua and his experience in Antigua influenced both his setting and the themes for the fiction. The majority population of the colony was black, who were descendants of the Africans who had been imported as slaves. Only a small percentage of the population consisted the wealthy whites. The Carib Indians, who were the initial habitats of the Island, were eliminated, and the plantations were established. The children, including Kincaid, were taught the history of the British, and their classes were based on the education system of the British. At no point did they learn about the culture or history of the Carib, the Antiguan history, or the African history despite Africans being the majority.

Kincaid's style of writing is mostly based on her personal experiences, and "Girl" is based on her relationship with her mother when growing up (Kincaid). Until her mother remarried, she had an excellent relationship with her. Kincaid uses a cold tone signifying the isolation and detachment that she felt when her mother remarried, and suddenly she had three little brothers. The cold tone is also evident when she distances herself from the family and changes her name.

Both “You’re Life as a Girl” and Kincaid's "Girl" compare through the theme of sexuality. In “Girl," sexuality is evident, and as a girl, you are at risk of becoming a slut (Kincaid). With your walking style and fashion that is odd to society, you can easily earn this unpleasant title. This sexuality is dangerous and is evident after adolescence when the mother feels that her adolescent daughter has some behavior that, if continued, will lead to promiscuity. This is similar to "Your Life as a Girl," where Nell’s friend tells her boyfriend that her parents will be upset if they find out that she is talking to her boyfriend (Sittenfeld).


The Girl by Kincaid is a rhythmic poem where rhythms are used to make the story flow and make the poem interesting to read. The poem's writing style also includes a repetition writing style where the writer wants to insist on ideas for the Girl. Your Life as a Girl is written using a narrative writing style where the experiences of the Girl are written directly in the poem in a narrative way (Kincaid). The formal differences influence the understanding of the two poems. The narrative style is clearer in terms of understanding the message from the author. The style of writing reinforces the content because the poems are written for a different audience. Your Life as a Girl by Sittenfeld is easier to understand through the narrative writing style (Sittenfeld).

Works Cited

Kincaid, Jamaica. "Girl." Bpi.Edu, 1978, Accessed 21 Sept 2020.

Sittenfeld, Curtis. " Your Life as a Girl and Other Stories." Angelfire.Com, 1861, Accessed 21 Sept 2020.

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