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Female Sexualism In Jamaica Kincaid's Girl By Jamaica Kincaid

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Girl by Jamaica Kincaid
The short story, Girl, by Jamaica Kincaid, can very easily be related directly to the author’s own life. Kincaid had a close relationship with her mother until her three younger brothers were born. After the birth of her brothers, three major values of her mother became apparent to Kincaid. In turn, Kincaid used the three values of her mother to write the short story, Girl. Specifically, these values led to three themes being formed throughout the story. It appears in the short story that the mother was simply looking out for her daughter; however, in all reality, the mother is worried about so much more. Kincaid uses the themes of negativity towards female sexuality, social norms and stereotypes, and the significant
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Due to the girl’s current lifestyle and behavior, the mother is focused on sharing the value to save her daughter from a life of promiscuity. The mother fears her daughter will become a “slut” and insists that is exactly what the daughter desires. Moreover, the mother is very blunt with her view when she uses repetition with the statement, “… the slut you are so bent on becoming.” (Kincaid92). It is very clear that the mother holds a reputation to such a standard that it could determine the overall quality of a woman and her life. Therefore, a woman’s sexuality should be protected and hidden to present the woman with respect and to avoid the dangers of female sexuality. The mother is very direct in calling out certain, specific behaviors of the daughter. Such as, the way the daughter walks, plays with marbles, and approaches other people. The mother is very persistent that the daughter must act a certain way that can gain their community’s respect. She fears the social consequence of a woman’s sexuality becoming…show more content…
When Kincaid wrote, “this is how you hem a buttonhole…” the process to hem a buttonhole began to symbolize a sense of domesticity to save her “sexual reputation”. The mother is so strongly bent on straying the daughter away from anything that could affect their reputation. Consequently, she is forcing her daughter into social norms and stereotypical ways a woman is expected to behave. In a way, it can be said that the mother is domesticating her daughter into a life to keep her from promiscuity. Before the mother says, “… the slut you are so bent on becoming” (Kincaid 92) each time, she states a certain way the daughter should behave. From this we can see that the mother believes that women can only be seen two ways: of respect or of promiscuity. Due to this belief, it can be concluded that the mother will say and do anything to her daughter to shape her into a respectable member in their society and creating her into the stereotypical woman. Kincaid faced this exact situation in her childhood when her mother tried to domesticate her, when she did not seek to be a social norm. Kincaid was disapproved of by her family when she became a writer, much like the daughter in Girl would be. Kincaid uses the mother’s instructions on sweeping, cooking, cleaning, shopping, and gardening to express the domesticity that is expected from the daughter to turn her into the
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