How Far Can Mothers Go For Their Daughters?

600 WordsApr 23, 20193 Pages
How Far Can Mothers Go For Their Daughters? “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid is a story about a mother giving advice to her daughter on how to survive and succeed in the society they were living in. The setting of “Girl” affects the relationship of the characters by dictating a way of life, and reinforcing the gender roles in society. The story portrays a mother’s urgent repetitive voice to save her daughter from sexuality by teaching her how to become a good woman in society. Jamaica Kincaid uses the strong character of the mother to advise her daughter in order to show how society influences the way people live and raise their children. For example, in Antigua at such a young age the girl needed to learn…show more content…
The mother reinforces the feminine gender role by showing her daughter what behaviors and things were appropriate for her. She used repetitive voice to encourage her daughter to learn how to become a lady, a housewife, and how to deal with relationships, and how to grow food, because this is how the mother managed to survive under her living circumstances. Jamaica Kincaid, demonstrates this idea when the mother said, “On Sunday walk like a lady..., this is how to sew on a button.., this is how to grow okra.., this is how to make a bread...”( Shreve &Niguyen, 2006, p. 183-184). Back in society girls at a young age needed to learn how to conduct themselves as ladies and the basic duties of a housewife. These components were necessary in order to be seen as a respectful woman in society. This idea shows us that Jamaica Kincaid uses the character of his story “Girl” to demonstrate the influence that time and place have on gender roles in society. The mother’s advice at the end might not be enough to rescue her daughter from sexuality due to the living circumstances and dangers that she might encounter in her life. This is reflected when Jamaica Kincaid at the end of the story shows us that the daughter was not taking her mother’s advice seriously when she said, “But what if the baker won’t let me feel the bread? And the mother

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