Literary Analysis of the Girl by Jamaica Kincaid

1281 words 6 pages
Feminist View of “Girl”
Erin O’Brien
South University Online
Composition II/Literature
November 3, 2011
Professor Chwala

Feminist View of “Girl”
In order to properly view a story from a feminist perspective, it is important that the reader fully understands what the feminist perspective entails. “There are many feminist perspectives, and each perspective uses different approaches to analyze and interpret texts. One is that gender is “socially constructed” and another is that power is distributed unequally on the basis of sex, race, and ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, ability, sexuality, and economic class status” (South University Online, 2011, para. 1). The story “Girl” is an outline of the things young girls
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The narrator which the reader perceives as the mother figure, expresses the consequences the “girl” may face if she were to break the “traditional gender roles” by stating “this is how to hem a dress when you see the hem coming down and so to prevent yourself from looking like the slut I know you are so bent on becoming,” as well as another occurrence “ this is how to behave in the presence of men who don’t know you very well, and this way they won’t recognize immediately the slut I have warned you against becoming” (Kincaid, 2011, p. 352). These types of things are present in society today, as the clothes being sold in the department stores for our youth are only helping our children to appear older and be classified into a certain group when attending school. I personally have asked myself “what is this world coming to?” On the contrary, in the twentieth century to see this style of dress code is so common that it is less likely for someone to be perceived as a “slut.” In the era of which this story takes place, it was not common for a woman to be wearing such type of clothing.
The relationship between mother and daughter is clearly visible in Kincaid’s (2011) story “Girl,” and the tone of the narrator is not that of a mother kindly offering advice to her young daughter. The tone of the narrator is harsh and directly to the point of how things should be accomplished according to the society’s expectations of a woman in that era. By using such a