From a young age, our interactions with our parents play an instrumental role in how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. The short story “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid exhibits the relationship between an Antiguan mother and her daughter in a patriarchal society where the list of rules and regulations for women is exhaustive and almost never-ending. By analyzing the unique and often tense dynamic between the mother and daughter, “Girl” showcases the direct influence mothers have on their children, and how traditional and patriarchal customs can influence that relationship. The main themes are represented by the subjects the mother spends the most time on as well as the overall tone of the piece and how it relates to the mother-daughter
Many denounce Kincaid’s latest book as an over attack, her gaze too penetrating and intimidating. The tone of voice continuously shifts throughout the memoir, starting from sardonic, manifesting into anger, to slowly conclude in melancholy. Though particular accusations, such as when the narrator cruelly rejects “you” as “an ugly thing”, may upset the readers, Kincaid purposely provokes reactions of defensiveness and guilt to challenge us
One of the ways that Kincaid shows the overall message of the depiction of women is through the use of symbolism of fruits and flies that the mother uses when instructing the girl. In the text, the mother states, “... don’t eat fruits on the street --- flies will follow you…” In this quote, the author uses the fruits to represent the girl’s womanly parts or the girl flaunting her sexuality and the flies represent the delinquent boys at the docks that the mother tells her not to go near. Just before this quote she speaks
A Small Place, a novel written by Jamaica Kincaid, is a story relating to the small country of Antigua and its dilemmas from Jamaica Kincaid’s point of view. In this novel Kincaid is trying to inform her audience that Antigua is in a poor state due to British imperial, government corruption, and tourism. Kincaid exposes her audience to the effect of these very problems in Antigua by using persuasive visual language. In the third part of Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place, Kincaid does an exceptional job in arguing that, her country Antigua has corrupt government officials due to British influence by appealing effectively to pathos, logos, and ethos.
It’s hard to imagine someone’s personal experience without actually being the one enduring it; however, Jamaica Kincaid’s use of language contests other wise.Through intense imagery and emotional response, Jamaica Kincaid utilizes rhetorical appeals such as logos, pathos, and ethos, which successfully convinces her audience by creating a conversation between herself and the reader. Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place is an expression of her inner feelings on the transformation her hometown, Antigua, and the everlasting postcolonial impact that occurs. Kincaid reacts to the feelings she had as a young girl and compares that mindset to the opinions she holds today as an adult. Kincaid’s piece evaluates the foreignness, race, and power that consumes Antigua. While she descriptively explains the circumstances she faced in Antigua, Kincaid incorporates historical background which provides logical support to her purpose. Notably, the author’s first hand experiences gives her credibility, ethos, and allows the audience to clearly understand the context from her perspective. Not only does Kincaid effectively describe her experiences, but she also makes her audience feel as though they are looking through her eyes. Her purpose demonstrates the difficulty and impossibility of returning to origin after crucial influences. A Small Place proves that the effects of racism and racial inequality are long term and culture cannot simply return exactly how it once was in that specific culture,
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
Jamaica Kincaid successfully convinces her audience that post colonial impact still remains. Through the use of rhetorical appeals such as pathos, logos and imagery she successfully explains her claim. Through this novel she gives an insightful explanation of what antigua is like from a person who comes from that area. Kincaid being born in antigua, she gives us a view from her eyes on what antigua is really like while going through post colonial impact. Kincaid incorporates historical background in text to convince her audience that this impact is holding back antigua from the good and enjoyable place it can really be. She develops a connection with the audience when she makes them feel like the tourist that is figuring out what's going on in the background of antigua. This connection serves as pathos as it makes the audience feel the emotion of anger and disappointment for not knowing what mess is really going on in this small island. This demonstration shows how cultures everywhere are affected by postcolonialism and how there is a negative global commonality between tourist and natives.
The reader gets a rare and exotic understanding of a totally foreign and ancient culture experiencing the growing pains of colonial expansion during the British domination
Kincaid’s On Seeing England for the First Time is an essay on the imperialism political and cultural dominance on it’s colonies. The narrator and her people are taught to love, admire, and emulate British Culture. However, as the narrator grows up she realizes all the discrepancies in all she has learned about the culture she should have and her own country. She picks apart England culture piece by piece.
The journal asks what possible reasons Americans could have to begin to quarrel over our identity with the crown. We are not defiant because we simply have nothing else to do; rather we are defiant because we have been stepped on countless amounts of times by “Parliament (specifically, the House of Commons)” that insist that they are “the guardians of British constitutional liberty” only because of their victorious efforts against the “tyranny of the Stuart kings of England.” Yet, their understanding of a constitution is so much more different that they continue the same practices of the Stuarts.
To begin, Kincaid’s use of symbolism to strengthen how the girl’s image is very important is shown with the constant reiteration of the upkeep of clothes. “ this is how to hem a dress when you see the hem coming down and so to prevent yourself from looking like the slut…” (320). In the past the type clothes worn and how they looked told a great deal about a person's social status. The girl's mother believes that if her clothes are not neatly kept people will look down on her and lose respect for her. Kincaid using clothes is a good symbol because she has the mother
Kincaid, Jamaica.“Girl”. In The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009. 541-542. Print.
Elaine Potter Richardson, more famously known as Jamaica Kincaid, is recognized for her writings that suggest depictions of relationships between families, mainly between a mother and daughter, and her birth place, Antigua, an island located in the West Indies. She is also familiarized with Afrocentrism and feminist point of views. Kincaid’s work is filled heavily with visual imagery that produces a mental picture in readers that helps them connect stronger to the reading. An example of this really shines through in her short story piece, “Girl.” This short story describes the life of a lower class woman living in the West Indies, and also incorporates thick detailing between the relationship between her and her mother. Jamaica Kincaid structures the story as if her mother is speaking to her. She writes broad, but straight to the point, allowing readers to imagine to picture her experience. Kincaid uses visual imagery and repetition consistently throughout “Girl” to reveal the theme and tone of the story; conflictual affair between a mother and daughter.
A tourist is under no obligation to know about the history of an island, city, state or country. It should be acknowledged that Kincaid displays anger at nearly every entity in Antigua, but at the same time it is her anger at tourists which seems to be the most misplaced because they are the ones who have the least power in fixing the problems the people in Antigua have.
Kincaid was never prepared for England as it is; all she had to go on was the idea of England that was presented to her as a child. She never had a single real tie to England: "No one I knew had ever been and returned to tell me about it. All the people I knew who had gone to England had stayed there" (356). In England she is conscious of the fact that she is an outsider. She is made to feel this way by the difference she perceives between the English and herself: "Their skins were so pale, it made them look so fragile, so weak, so ugly . . . they didn't like me, and it occurred to me that their dislike for me was one of the few things they agreed upon" (357). The racial difference breeds a mutual distrust. She is made to feel she can never truly be English because of her race, ancestry, and the history of