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Characterism And Symbolism In Girl By Jamaica Kincaid

Decent Essays
“Girl” is a short story in which the author, Jamaica Kincaid, unofficially presents the stereotypes of girls in the mid 1900s. Kincaid includes two major characters in the story “Girl”, they are the mother and the girl. Although the daughter only asks two questions in this story, she is the major character. The mother feels like her daughter is going in the wrong direction and not making the best decisions in her life. The whole story is basically the mother telling her daughter what affects her decisions will have in the future. The mother believes that because her daughter isn’t sitting, talking, cleaning, walking or singing correctly it will lead her to a path of destruction. “Girl” is a reflection of female sexuality, the power of family, and how family can help overcome future dangers. Kincaid uses a great deal of symbolism to reflect on female sexuality. From the first line to the last there is Symbolism. The first line says, “Wash the white clothes on Monday”. The mother, in that first sentence, is saying that her daughter should keep her body pure and clean. Another symbol many recognize in this story is when the mother accuses the girl of singing benna at Sunday School. The girl replies by stating, “but I don’t sing benna on Sundays at all and never in Sunday school.” Benna is an Antiguan folksong sang to spread rumors about scandalous events. Benna is symbolic because the mother is accusing her daughter of getting mixed up in ‘scandalous events”. While symbolism
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