Provoking the Inevitable Change: an Analysis on Jamaica Kincaid’s Girl

Decent Essays
Girl, a narrative written by Jamaica Kincaid, is a short story written in a dialogue style and stream of consciousness narration. The speaker is an authoritative female figure who teaches a girl about traditional living and the obligations of a girl to society. The narrative is basically one large sentence. Its ideas are separated by semicolons instead of the usual periods.
Jamaica Kincaid’s short biography found in by Vanessa Pupello: “Jamaica Kincaid was born in 1949 as Elaine Potter Richardson on the island of Antigua. She lived with her stepfather, a carpenter, and her mother until 1965 when she was sent to Westchester, New York to work as an au pair. In Antigua, she completed her secondary education under the
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As the story progressed, the mother’s instructions became more on what the girl should do for men. The girl had little to say as the mother dominated the dialogue. When she spoke, the girl’s words were only ignored.
However, a darkening cloud looms over the prose and takes shape in the reader’s minds as a change in ideas which is change in the traditional mindset. Since most of what the narrative talked about was in the traditional and obligatory work of a typical middle-lower class girl, the ominous idea of the girl going to be a slut was a large twist, paradoxical even. Yet this was hinted by the repetitive words of the authoritative female figure or mother. The mother herself was implying that the girl was bent on becoming a slut. This kind of persuasion does not work effectively because the warning affirms that the girl was already becoming a slut. “…you mean to say that after all you are really going to be the kind of woman who the baker won’t let near the bread?” These last words summed it all up – the mother was somewhat ironically suggesting the change of her daughter into a slut herself.
In conclusion, the story’s central struggle is with the girl’s becoming a slut. The traditionalistic obligations are there to help prevent that but the mother in the story is paranoid, creating a case of provoking an inevitable change in the
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