Feminism In Girl By Jamaica Kincaid

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A Woman’s Work: A Feminist Approach to Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl”

Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” shows in society how a woman should be placed and what it means to be a woman. A women doesn’t question her partner, instead she is subservient to him. A woman’s duties include staying at home taking care of the children and cooking; while the man works and brings home the money. A feministic approach to Kincaid’s “Girl” points to the idea of the stereotypes that women can only be what they do in the home, they should only be pure and virtuous, and their main focus should be satisfying their husband.
The story starts with a female speaker describing some household chores to her daughter : “Wash the white clothes on Monday and put them on the stone
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She only allows her to see her worth in having a clean home and a satisfied man. She never once tells the girl to follow her dreams or even talk about what they are. The mother only keeps on instructing her on even the simplest things like smiling : “...this is how you smile to someone you don 't like too much;this is how you smile at someone you don 't like at all;this is how you smile to someone you like completely...” this poem is filled with the phrases “this is how”. “ don’t do this”, and “ be sure to..” the speaker does not even give the girl a chance to speak her mind or form her own thoughts. The young girl was only able to get one sentence out the whole poem : “...but what if the baker won 't let me feel the bread?”
She is already showing her daughter that her thoughts do not matter. She is setting a cycle that is going to repeat itself over and over again. The speaker had to learn all these “ how to’s”from someone, most likely her mother. The speaker’s mother didn’t let her speaker her mind or even let be open to the thoughts of having a career or embracing her sexuality as a woman. She only let her daughter learn out clean, cook, and be a good wife. Women are more than what we do or cook, we are the providers and carriers of
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