Girl By Jamaica Kincaid And The Story Of An Hour By Kate Chopin

Good Essays
Fiction Analysis Essay
The common theme conveyed in the short stories “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid and “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin is that women must act a certain way, and conform to their gender roles to be accepted by society. “Girl” shows a mother giving her daughter a series of advice in a single sentence, with the young girl only putting in her own input twice. The mother’s advice of how to do household chores such as sweeping, and cooking is to prepare her to be a good housewife, but the mother also offers advice that will help her daughter live a pleasing life and how to approach the different relationships she will have. The mother also repeatedly shows her fear that her daughter is becoming a slut. “The Story of an Hour is
…show more content…
Throughout the story the mother has an accusatory tone when telling her daughter how to act to not be perceived as a slut, “this way [men] won’t recognize immediately the slut I have warned you against becoming” (Kincaid 128). The last portion of the story seems to be the most inflamed, the second time the girl interrupts her mother is to ask her mother what to do if the baker would not let her feel the bread. This infuriates the mother the most, “you mean to say that after all you are really going to be the kind of woman who the baker won’t let near the bread?” (Kincaid 129). Kinkaid uses “squeezing” and “feeling” bread as a metaphor for sex and seductiveness, the baker refusing to allow her to feel the bread is meant to show sexual disapproval. The metaphor also shows that sluts are outcasts from society, a type of person that a baker would not want anywhere near his bread. This ending gives the readers the sense of the mother’s defeat, that after all the advice she gives her daughter, she may still turn out as the slut she constantly warned her against. Kincaid also uses anaphora, repeating the first part of a sentence to emphasize the meaning and rhythm of the story, “this is how you set a table for tea; this is how you set a table for dinner; this is how you set a table for dinner with an important guest…” (Kincaid 128). By reiterating the ways to do different household chores, Kincaid is showing the readers the domestic role of women, that it is the women’s job to keep the house in order and prepare dinner. The theme in “Girl” shows that the roles of a women are important and must be followed to be accepted and wanted by a man and