This story describes the story “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid.The story is told from feminist point of view. Kinkaid uses the mother as the second person narrator, giving her an authorial voice. The symbols are discussed in the paper…
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Although the narrator is not male, the things she says to her daughter portray what is expected in a patriarchal society. The mother tries to raise her daughter in the same structure that she herself was raised in. she does not seem to question some of the expectations that she has on her daughter, she simply agrees with them and expects her daughter to do the same. To the reader, it is obvious that much of what the narrator teaches to her daughter is oppression, the same kind of oppression that Hook addresses in her essay (Hook 502). The narrator teaches her daughter on matters of how to obediently serve her husband and perform all the household chores that are associated with the house wife. However, she does not seem to appreciate that her daughter has and might have her own desires as a woman and as a human being. The type of nurturing that the narrator mother is trying to force on her daughter will influence her (the daughter) socially, psychologically and economically. In everything that she does, she will always remember that society expects her to act in a certain way and that her needs do not matter. By portraying the narrator as a proponent of female oppression that is dominant in many patriarchal societies, Kincaid shows that in many societies today, women are bound to their husbands as well as their domestic affairs. The narrator tells the girl to “ cook pumpkin fritters in very sweet oil, this is how to behave in the presence of men, this is how to bully a man…” (Kincaid). The narrator is like a drill sergeant, her work is to instill what she believes to be acceptable behavior to her daughter. When the daughter tries to intervene or ask a question, the mother ignores her and continues with her indoctrination. This...
The paper dwells upon the narration of the story. By portraying the narrator as a proponent of female oppression that is dominant in many patriarchal societies, Kincaid shows that in many societies today, women are bound to their husbands as well as their domestic affairs. The narrator tells the girl to “ cook pumpkin fritters in very sweet oil, this is how to behave in the presence of men, this is how to bully a man…” (Kincaid). The narrator is like a drill sergeant, her work is to instill what she believes to be acceptable behavior to her daughter. When the daughter tries to intervene or ask a question, the mother ignores her and continues with her indoctrination. This is symbolic of how women are expected to accept their roles without asking too many questions. They are not expected to venture outside their normal household chores. This is a clear indication of the difference between gender roles commonly found in many patriarchal societies.
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THEME Since the length of “The Lesson” is according to conventional short story therefore it is able to address multiple themes. On the other hand the unconventional style and length of “Girl” is making multiple themes a difficult task. The main theme of “Girl” is the relationship of two generations and how older generation is trying to dictate terms.
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