Mothers vs. Daughter

750 Words3 Pages
Women are only viewed by society as beautiful if they are tall enough, thin enough, have the right hair, wear the right things and act just the right way, and that’s how it has been for generations. Due to the way society has trained women they are raising their children to follow the standards that have been set instead of just allowing them to grow up and be themselves. Excellent examples of how these standards have influenced the way mothers raise their daughters are throughout the stories “The Fat Girl” by Andre Dubus and “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid. Do this do that, never disobey in the introduction to “The Fat Girl” Louise’s mother explains to her nine year old daughter how she must act or else boys won’t like her; in comparison to how in the story “Girl” her mother gives exact instruction how she should live in order to prevent her from becoming a “slut.” Playing games, running around or arts and crafts are all things that nine year old girls tend to do. In the introduction to “The Fat Girl” Louise just wants to enjoy being nine while she can but her mother wants her to think about how she eats. Her mother explains that she will be entering high school in just five short years and says “if you’re fat the boys won’t like you; they won’t ask you out.” (Dubus 125) Although she may know that she wants to talk to boys in high school, that’s still five years away. Louise just wants to eat a full meal like her older brothers do. Feeling starved by her mother’s small portions Louise would wait and wait till just the right time and sneak in for a sandwich. As stated in the story, “…she would go to her room and wait for nearly an hour until she knew her mother was no longer thinking of her, then she would creep into the kitchen and…op... ... middle of paper ... ...ious mother daughter comparisons they also contain the same hidden lesson. The two stories share an interesting lesson for the mother and daughter. The lesson is, you can teach a girl how to behave but you can’t make her behave when her mother’s not looking. “The Fat Girl” exhibits this lesson by the way Louise sneaks extra food knowing her mother wouldn’t allow it. In the story “Girl” however the mother is aware of the lesson, shown by her concern that daughter will become a slut even though she has taught her not to be. Works Cited Dubus, Andre. "The Fat Girl." The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories. Ed. Tobias Wolff. New York: Vintage Contemporaries, 1994. 125-140. Print. Kincaid, Jamaica. "Girl." The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories. Ed. Tobias Wolff. New York: Vintage Contemporaries, 1994. 108-124. Print.
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