Analysis Of Girl By Jamaica Kincaid

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Elaine Polter Richardson was a young girl who lived with her parents in a Caribbean Island. She was living in a poverty household but that did not change the relationship she had with her mother. Elaine and her mother were very close until the age of nine. After, Elaine had brothers her relationship with her mother changed and made a huge impact in her life specifically because she was a young lady who could take care of herself in the eyes of her mother. Later then Eliane felt as if her mother did not pay enough attention to her anymore. In addition, her father was never in the picture which could help signify why Elaine felt a drastic change in her life. Elaine was sent to work with a wealthy family so she could send the money she worked hard for to her family who was living in poverty, but after working for so long she decided to leave, and go to school for literature. After she became recognized by the New York Times she changed her name to Jamaica Kincaid because she wanted to remain anonymous. Therefore, in the story named “Girl” it helps illustrate a relationship between a mother and a daughter giving her advice on how to become a successful woman by stating the importance of respect, value, society, and how a lady should carry herself in different situations.

In 2013 Jamaica was interviewed by The New York Times and states that she is a person who enjoys staying in bed reading books in pajamas while she is left alone. This depicts that she spends most of her free time reading books while she knows that she has everyday chores like laundry, sweeping, cooking, and growing special plants to grow medicine. For example, in the story “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid it states, “wash the white clothes on Monday and put them on the stone heap; wash the colored clothes on Tuesday and put them on the clothesline”. This helps the reader understand that Jamaica’s mother told her what her daily routine should be in order to become a woman with domesticity. She needed to have chores finished, food cooked, and laundry folded with no crease lines in order to become a successful woman. However, one can say that her mother was trying to give her daughter advice on how to become ladylike in order to be ready for the real world by suggesting what she should do.

On the other hand, Jamaica states that she was surprised on how she left her job and went to school instead of listening to her mother when she told her the importance of being a stay at home mom. Equality made a huge impact in Jamaica’s live because not only is she a woman but she had a close relationship with her mother until she had brothers which could result the importance of neglect of her mother. For example, she was told to act, walk, and eat like a lady in public and home. However, men are never told how to act in public surroundings, yet they disrespect and look down upon women. For instance, it is stated “always eat your food in such a way that it won’t someone else’s stomach; on Sunday’s try to walk like a lady and not like the slut you are so bent on becoming”. This explains that her mother wanted to see her daughter representing herself not as a figure but as a woman with respect.

In society, no one enjoys hearing the loud crunch of loaded cheesy nachos from a woman with her mouth open. However, men do not pay attention on etiquette manners when they are eating, yet they are not told anything due to their gender. This can help the reader understand that Jamaica’s mother Annie Richardson wanted her daughter to be seen with respect by the way she represents herself in society. Although, Jamaica was told to do chores such as laundry, food, and be a women with respect she was never encouraged to go to school like her brothers were. Jamaica most likely was not encouraged to go to school like her brothers because her mother Annie was helping her become a woman who stays at home while her husband goes to work. Jamaica Kincaid stated, “my brothers were going to be Prime Minister, one a doctor, one a Minister things like that. I never heard anybody say that I was going to be anything”.

Kincaid’s mother Annie wanted her daughter to be a smart woman, so that she could provide for her family by cooking, cleaning, and making medicine for them. Jamaica could act like a man or maybe even have multiple husbands however, it was important for her mother that she was not a “slut”. For instance, it states “this is how to hem a dress when you see the hem coming down and so prevent yourself from looking like a slut”. This signifies that Kincaid was a woman that is smart enough and should not expose skin because she has value by the knowledge that she has due to her mother giving her advice. Usually women who expose their body are not respected and valued due to having a lack of respect for themselves. In addition, society has an important role in Jamaica Kincaid’s story because her mother is giving her advice on how to act around different people. For example, “this is how you smile to someone you don’t like too much; this is how you smile to someone you don’t like at all; this is how you smile to someone you like completely”. Women are supposed to be well mannered and generous with everyone to be seen as a woman with dignity. This is why her mother helps her daughter act like a woman should at all times because society has an impact on people’s attitude and who they truly are.

Overall, Jamaica Kincaid had a close relationship with her mother which could signify why she wrote this story. Later, she felt like her mother stopped showing her attention and backed away from her family. This could be mainly to focus on herself and to go to school. However, her parents were raised in a different lifestyle which could help determine why they did not encourage Kincaid in furthering her school.

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