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Paper Topic:

`Girl` Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid 's short story Girl ' is often seen from the perspective of a mother-daughter relationship . The story is often interpreted as mother 's litany of how the daughter ought to conduct herself . All the lines in the story are s or demands from to mother of what the daughter must do . However , the story can also be seen as an interpretation of the relationship between Kincaid 's hometown , Antigua and of England . Many of Kincaid 's works focus on her experiences in Antigua while it was under English rule . Girl ' should not

be any exception . The story can be seen as the author 's interpretation of how England overpowered Antigua just as the mother imposed herself on the daughter . From this perspective , the relationship shown in the story can be seen as a relationship between the conqueror and the conquered . In effect , the story itself is a symbolism of the relationship between Antigua and England

The daughter is a symbol for Antigua . The daughter is completely powerless . She cannot do anything but listen to her mother speak Furthermore , she has no power to refuse what her mother is saying Noticeably , the daughter only speaks up twice in the whole story . Her voice was only heard when she said , But I don 't sing benna on Sundays at all and never in Sunday school ' and when she stated , But what if the baker won 't let me feel the bread ' Other than when she spoke these lines , the daughter serves but a mere listener in the story . The absence of the daughter 's voice symbolizes the lack of power of the Antiguans to speak up . While under British rule , the Antiguans were oppressed their freedom of speech was hindered . They were not allowed to express their views about their own country . This is similar to the daughter 's lack of power to speak for herself about her own life . Moreover , when the daughter did speak up , her mother did not respond . Her questions were ignored . In a way , Antiguans were ignored in the same way . Whatever they said did not matter

The mother in the story symbolizes England . In her relationship with her daughter , the mother is the powerful one . She has complete control over the situation . She dictates upon her daughter what the daughter must do . For instance , one of the many s she give her daughter is This is how to hem a dress when you see the hem coming down and so to prevent yourself from looking like the slut I know you are so bent on becoming ' This statement speaks not only of how to do certain things but how to act as well . It is an insult and an at the same time It makes it obvious that the mother does not think highly of her daughter . In the same way , England had its people . It controlled every aspect of the lives of the Antiguans during its reign . More importantly , England looked down on...

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