Story Analysis: Jamaica Kincaid’s Girl
Bader (87) observes that there is a certain degree of commonality in the dissenting comments thrown at the way modern stories are crafted: boring, pointless, non-sense. …
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The discontent that forms after reading a story that does not read like the old once upon a time, conflict-filled, and plotted story crops up as a result of an utter dissimilarity from the way old stories are formatted. Certainly, this is not a just a mere gimmick that tends to sell modern books because there is a staggering reality in this observation: there is a difference on how old and modern stories are written. According to Bader (87), old stories are heavily based on plot. There are two observations in the manner in which old stories are written: (1) the plot dominates the entire content of the story; the progression or turns of events are strongly based on the plot and they incline to circulate around a singular model – conflict, action, resolution – from cover to cover; or (2) the plot is dominated by other elements such as conflict, theme or character. These three may dominate plot altogether; nevertheless, it is common that a single element dominates the plot in the totality of the story. Conflict in this regard has two kinds: internal or external. It is important to note the difference between the two because this is where a careless reader is often convinced that the story is plot-less, static or amorphous, which should not be the case considering that the point is supposed to be conceived lies upon how aware the reader is the technicalities involved in writing and arranging a story. An internal conflict is something that exists within the character himself – this may be defined as a personal dilemma or ambivalence over something that needs to be decided, recounted, or confronted. On the other hand, external conflict is a more common sort: it is something that physically – either directly or indirectly; subtly or apparently affect the characters of the story. For instance, stories that are based on childhood abuse: the conflict could be the physical violence that the main character or other characters in the story suffer from his or her oppressors. External conflicts can be very sensitive and straightforward. Modern stories do not employ plot significantly; at least, according to the knowledge of the modern story avid. Modern stories are strongly founded on realism – everything is based on what really happens in real life. Modern story writers contend that a plot is unreal, artificial (87). One possible reason for this argument is that plot makes for a contrived, made-up progression that is hard to believe because it does not simply reflect the realities of life. Modern story writers also argue that old stories’ lavish use of plots tend to sentimentalize the reality (88). In other words, the backbone of the story is drawn from a detached understanding of what really exist in real life to a point that it becomes so inconsistent of which is believable and truly convincing. Modern stories use new techniques that create a more realistic and more interesting, thought-provoking way of delivering narratives: (1) modern stories employ a stricter limitation of the subject; and (2) method of indirection. Bader (88) believes that “the modern writer’s desire for realism causes him to focus on the limited moment of time or a limited area of action in order that it may be fully explored and understood.” While modern writers believe that plots are artificial, it does not mean that they do not use them. Modern writers still use plot in creating their stories; nevertheless, they employ them with less complication in order to give way to modern subtlety. Jamaica Kincaid’s Girl is one intriguing poetic art. At first read, it is quite difficult to decipher if it uses plot or not but eventually any reader would find that it all revolves in a less-complicated plot: to-do-list and how-to-do list. One
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