“Slut” Word in Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” Essay

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Aug 12th, 2020

The instructions given by the mother to her daughter in the story Girl written by Jamaica Kincaid may capture the reader’s attention from the first lines. It is introduced as one huge paragraph with a number of ideas a girl should consider in her life. The author is not afraid to talk about such things as becoming a slut, spitting up in the air, and loving a man. On the one hand, all these ideas have nothing in common and could be defined as the words pronounced by a madwoman. On the other hand, each word in the story has its meaning and impact on the girl who has to follow the pieces of advice offered. In my opinion, “a slut” remains to be the most important word in Kincaid’s story because it could perform several functions in the girl’s life: it helps to create a goal for a girl that is not to become a slut, and it becomes a kind of edge that should never be crossed.

A girl should be ready to make many decisions, take numerous steps, and analyze personal thoughts. Her mother wants to be sure that the girl is ready for all challenges and whims of life. It is hard to share the emotions and concerns of the mother, who tries to provide her child with the best living conditions, on one page. Kincaid finds the word that could combine positive and negative emotions in one word. The slut is the word that bothers the woman and frightens the girl. Nowadays, many girls are under the threat of becoming sluts because of the ways many people behave and want to see other people behave the same way. It is important for the girl to understand that her task is not to become a slut regarding the fact that girls are so bent on becoming it.

Besides, Kincaid develops the text in the way it introduces the idea of becoming the slut as the edge never to be crossed by the girl. There are so many choices that the girl could make. Her mother tries to underline the details that should play an important role in her lie and help her avoid that terrible edge. The suggestions include the necessity to wash clothes, to walk like a lady, to set a table, and even to love. It is so easy to make a wrong step, to give a wrong look, or to say a wrong word and be misunderstood by the people around. Therefore, the girl should never cross the line when someone could call her the slut or even think about her like the slut.

In general, the story written by Kincaid contains a number of helpful lessons that should be considered by any girl at a certain age. Sometimes, girls are lucky to be educated by their mothers and provided with the suggestion in a clear way. Sometimes, girls are deprived of a chance to talk about all these things with their mothers. Regardless of the sources of such lessons, girls have to understand that there are so many traps that could make them sluts. Their goal is not to become the slut, follow the pieces of advice offered by their mother or, at least, Jamaica Kincaid in her short story Girl, and avoid the edge that changes human lives.




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