Why Compare Kincaid's 'Girl' and Olsen's 'I Stand Here Ironing'

Better Essays
Why compare Tillie Olsen’s “I Stand Here Ironing” and Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” Daughter and mother relationship is an endless topic for many writers. They meant to share the bond of love and care for each other. Nevertheless, in the real world their relationship is not as successful as it ought to be. The stories “Girl” and “I Stand Here Ironing” are examples of this conflict. The author of the short story “Girl” Jamaica Kincaid was born and raised up to the age of seventeen in Antigua, a former colony of Great Britain. In her short story “Girl”, Kincaid presents the experience of being young and female in a poor country. The story is structured as a single sentence of advice that a mother gives to her daughter. The mother expresses her…show more content…
According to Davis-Yuval “intersectionality” refers to the interaction between gender, race, and other categories of difference in individual lives, social practices, institutional arrangements, and cultural ideologies and the outcomes of these interactions in terms of power. My aim is to analyse where gender, race, class and ethnicity are interconnected in both “Girl” and “I Stand Here Ironing” and what are the “outcomes” of these intersections. To do that I will have to analyse the question: how people experience subjectively their daily lives in terms of inclusion and exclusion; discrimination and disadvantage; specific aspirations and specific identities. Furthermore, I will have to pay attention to people’s “attitudes and prejudices towards others” as well as to the way they see themselves and their communities. I will present the images, symbols, texts and ideologies as their representations. Both stories explore the issues of inclusion and exclusion. On the one hand, the characters are members of national societies, respectively the characters of “Girl” are members of the black Antiguan society and the characters of “I Stand Here Ironing” are members of the American society. They are included in these societies; however they suffer exclusion due to their, as Yuval-Davis calls that, “naturalized” social division. In “Girl” the mother and the daughter are born black and that predetermines their position in the
    Get Access