Feminist View of Girl

Running head:   A Feminist View of “Girl”                                                                                   1

                                            A Feminist View of “Girl”

                                                  By Diane Crafton

                                            South University On-line

A Feminist View of “Girl”                                                                                                             2

                                    A Feminist Critical Perspective of “Girl”

    This paper will analyze Jamaica Kincaid’s short poem “Girl” from a feminist perspective.

Kincaid’s use of specific language, especially one of negation, is found throughout the story.

    This emphasis on negation is also a powerful but implied deterrent in the story.   Focusing the

Girl’s attention on what behavior is acceptable the writer in the story logically though silently

Points to the dangers in transgressing these rules and code.   For instance, by telling the girl how

She should act in order to be valued in what is clearly a patriarchal culture “on Sunday’s try to

Walk like a lady and not the slut you are so bent on becoming,” (Jamaica Kincaid, 2005, Para: 5)

    The title of the story “Girl” is an essential part of the work itself.   The title provides several

Ideas.   First, the title represents age of the daughter.   She is not a woman, not yet on her own, but

a girl, still reliant on another, still with much to learn.   So the age symbolizes her mother’s

awareness of her age.   She does not deem her a woman or a young lady, but a naive girl in need

of steady nurturing and supervision.   “Always eat your food in such a way that it won’t turn

someone else’s stomach” (Jamaica Kincaid, 2005, Para; 4)

    A second idea about the title is that it represents the daughter’s struggle to find the rising

identity in the shadow of her mother and the ideal of the mother...