Category Archives: Girl

Class Notes 9/7


Print, read, annotate, and blog about the ” Yellow Wallpaper”. The blog is due on 09/11 ( Monday night).

Make sure to bring all reading assignments to class next Tuesday.

In your reading responses have at least three text evidences.

REMINDER: Reread the blogging guidelines. The titles should not be ‘reading response #1’ or ‘my reading response for Girl’.



  • Analyze –  is the practice of looking closely at small parts to see how they affect the whole, breaking the text apart.
  • Synthesis  –  is to combine two or more elements to form a new whole, putting the text together.
  • Direct dialogue – a conversation between the characters in the story.
  • Indirect dialogue –  summary of a dialogue.
  • Oxymoron – two opposite ideas are joined to create an effect in a text.
  • Prodox – a statement that appears to contradict itself, but may be the same.
  • Prose Poem – applies a natural flow of speech/rhythm.


Tips for blogging

  • Don’t be reductive ( Tending to present a subject or problem in a simplified form ) in your blogging. Pay attention and include details in a complex situation.
  • Pick a focus point, and then find evidence in the text to support the blog. 
  • It’s important to transition from one paragraph to another. The topic sentences of each paragraph needs to be a connected link. 
  • Don’t write about endless observations of each paragraph. Instead, analyze and focus on why it’s important and link it.

If anyone has any questions or thoughts about the readings that you would like to discuss, feel free to post and comment!


“How to be a girl” guide

Honestly this way of thinking is fairly old and may be common in some religions, but I think it’s unnecessary for parents to think/teach their kids how to act a specific way.  It wasn’t a very informative guide to become a “woman.” What the mother was doing was just shoving her idealistic ways for her daughter to not become a slut.  Her mother refrains the protagonist from doing a lot of things such as not allowing her to sing benna and not allowing her to speak to wharf-rat boys. She doesn’t want her daughter to be expose to these kind of people and in a way she seems overprotective in a wrong way. The mother constantly tells her daughter that there is a only one way to treat person A and how to smile to person B. In a way the mother is setting up her daughter to become like her and it’s overbearing for the daughter.

The story continued on with the mother’s rant and “this is how to do this” kind of talk. It got pretty redundant towards the middle to the end. When the mother said “don’t squat down to play marbles – you are not a boy” (page 1) it all ties back to the mom demanding that the daughter better not associate or become a slut. This sort of advice isn’t helpful because the daughter obviously lacks the experience of being an adult. Also telling her daughter how to act in front of a male and how to smile seemed like the mom is trying to pick out a guy for her daughter.

In the end, the daughter didn’t  take in all the information that the mother gave in when she asked her mother, “but what if the baker won’t let me feel the bread?” (page 1). When the mother commented back, I noticed that this has to connect with the mother trying to convince her daughter to not be a slut. When the mother specifically said “you are really going to be the kind of woman…” (page 1) she probably was talking about the probability of her daughter being a slut because she didn’t comprehend the information. The mother’s notion is that sluts/wharf-rat boys are dirty and so the baker won’t let them touch his bread unless the daughter isn’t that kind of person.

Response to Girl

The short story “Girl”, by Jamaica Kincaid is possibly about an older mentor type figure giving advice to what seems like a younger female about the cultural expectations of the society in the time period. It seems to be more directions and direct advice than a conversation going to between the two, because there isn’t much back and forth at all. Some lines seem to be “what not to do” and some seem to be “you are expected to…” It could be possible that this short story is a lecture from a parent to a child on how to act politely or orderly in such a time period or society.


Girl is a piece that is poignant in how it points out sexism in a girl’s day-to-day life. It can be inferred, that the story is a dialogue between a girl and her mother or some kind of female mentor. It is striking how casually sexist ideals are taught to young girls as simple rules of the world. It begins by outlining basic routines and tasks that are expected to be completed of a girl and slowly the lessons include more and more mature forms of sexism. “this is how to sew a button; […] this is how to hem a dress […] and so to prevent yourself from looking like [a] slut.” Throughout the piece there is a constant repetition of “the slut you are so bent on becoming” which speaks to a greater issue in society where a woman’s sexuality is seen as inherently sinful.

There are prominent examples of sexism that are taught to the girl in the story such as, “this is how to bully a man; this is how a man bullies you” and even dark examples like, “this is how to make a good medicine to throw away a child before it even becomes a child.” However, I find that the most telling examples throughout the story are the ones that bring up the microaggressions against women. “Don’t eat fruits on the street-flies will follow you,” “this is how you smile,” “this is how to behave in the presence of men who you don’t know very well,” and “you are not a boy.” these are some of the lessons that stood out the most. “Don’t eat fruits on the street-flies will follow you” is telling a girl to stop doing something so that something else she has no control over does not happen, a girl can’t control if the flies do or do not follow her, but she must stop eating fruit in an effort to stop them, she shouldn’t tempt the flies or attract them. This relates to rape culture and goes back to how women’s sexuality is seen as sinful, how women dress or how they act can imply that “they are looking for something” or that “they wanted to be raped in the first place.” The mentor in the story is teaching the girl this, and though the mentor is incorrect in following this logic, it comes from a place of wanting to protect, “this is how you prevent a tragedy in our current culture” might have been a better title for the lessons. The teachings even come down to things as minimal as how to smile, women’s actions aren’t just policed through their sexuality but their behavior as well. A women must behave a certain way in order to be perceived as a certain kind of woman, her thoughts and words are out the door if her mannerisms don’t reflect it. The mentor’s lessons are all given an effort to protect and “this is how to behave in the presence of men who you don’t know very well” implies this heavily. Men are seen as people to be feared and are immediately unworthy of trust, women must behave a certain way so as to avoid the wrath of a man whose mind and ways of acting are still unknown, a woman’s behavior is a preventive course of action. The ultimate lesson taught in the story is the reminder that the girl learning all this is not a boy. It seems quite obvious, like there is no need in pointing it out, but this single fact is the reason this story exists in the first place. “You are not a boy” and therefore are not allowed to act as you are, this is the difference between people who are required to live by guidelines and those who are not.

The Machine – Response to Girl

The first time I read through “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid’s Girl it just looked like a giant list of what to do and how to do things. Reading through “Girl”  the two characters that can be guessed are a parent or guardian and girl. Throughout the short story it was just a parent or guardian is telling the girl do this and do that like they are reading off a giant list of how the girls life should be. It gives off the feeling of giving you these options and limiting the girl to only these options like how girls used to live in the past, where they were raised to be a perfect wife. A life where everything is chosen for them and not something that they choose themselves. They short story itself doesn’t feel like it gives the girl a choice and letting them  choose how they would want to do things but instead just being told do this and do that. Reading through Girl felt like they were making a machine, taking away the girl’s choice to do things the way they would. It feels like the road has already been made for them and being made to follow that road instead of choosing the road they wish to take just like how women used to live in the past. A life where they aren’t able to choose their own path like how nobles in light novels marry off their daughter for power, political reasons, financial reasons, etc. The short story does show the parent or guardian pushing their views on how a girl should be and not allowing the girl to be what they want to be. In the short story the parent or guardian telling them “this is how you set a table for tea, this is how you set a table for dinner, you don’t squat down to play marbles because your not  a boy” etc.

After reading through the short story, I honestly lost interest in it. It felt like I was just reading a list that just keeps going on and on without it ever ending. It didn’t feel like something that I could connect to probably because I am not a girl so I cant really connect to the story which is being told in Girl. The short story feels like it tells the life of how a girl used to live in the past though not a literally identical. It is similar in that the girl is not given a choice on how they want to live life and more in that they are just ordered to do things and they just follow without the girl being allowed to voice their opinion. The one time that it felt like the girl actually said something which was the line “but what if the baker won’t let me feel the bread?” the parent or guardian shoots down the girl’s opinion with the line ” You mean to say that after all you are really going to be the kind of woman who the baker won’t let near the bread?” Throughout the story it is just the parent or guardian making a set path without any input of the girl forcing their view on to the girl and telling them this is how I did it and this is how you will do it.


Response to Girl

In the reading “Girl” there is not much back and forth between the person talking and the person being talked to. It seems to me like it would be from an older female to a younger female about how to be a girl in their culture/society.  I guess it is trying to show the complexity of growing up as a female in a society with high expectations socially with little benefit or respect. During the the end of the paper i started to realize how many women have to deal with in terms of just being acceptable in the eyes of others. But it also shows you that the attitude of most people pushing misogynistic views are also the same people who are oppressed by it, kinda like a house slave but the house slave of society it in a way.  This also more of an older generation forcing people to live under the faults of the a culture/society without ever thinking how we can improve on making it better for everybody.

The Index To How To Act For Dummies

In the story “Girl,” from start to finish it is just stating how to do something. There are no specifics, no actual instructions on how to do what she is being told. You can clearly see that this person, assuming it may be her mother, is concerned for her well-being. The repetitive use of the word “slut” is concerning though because that is not how you speak to someone. Assuming that it is her daughter that is being spoken to, most people would refrain from using language like that. Though this person may be coming off as extremely harsh there is truth in what is being said. 

In many aspects I can relate to this story since I was taught similar things growing up. Maybe it is a cultural thing or maybe not I’m not exactly sure. Depending on your surroundings and how people around you were brought up you pick up a few things or it gets added on to your “cultural teachings.” I have always been told to watch how I act around men, not because I’m so bent on becoming a “slut” but because it’s just a part of being a “lady.” I was taught how to cook, clean, sit and properly speak amongst other things just because women have always been taught these things in my culture. Women have always been told how to carry themselves. It is just a tradition that continues amongst the generations. 

Even though reading the word “slut” may have caught me by surprise but this is the reality of the world. It is so easy to label a female as a slut for something as simple as the way she walks. How to act comes with age and experiences, she won’t go straight to being the way she was taught to be. People have always and will always learn from making mistakes, it is human nature. Yes, this woman is being protective over who I assume is her daughter she has probably gone through something for her to say these things. But perhaps like the mother, the daughter will learn from experience. No one is perfect. 

The mother is not wrong for wanting to teach her daughter all of these things. Discipline and manners are needed in everyones life. But this is where everyone has always continued to go wrong, the women should not be the only ones told and taught how to act. As they say, common sense is not so common after all right? Men can walk around doing as they please to this day but women must be angels. Women are portrayed as humans that never make mistakes and God forbid if they do they are so harshly penalized for it. I may sound like such a feminist right now but, if there is a whole manual being taught to girls there should be one for men as well. It is a two way street. If you can’t clap with one hand then you also should not hold one person accountable for a mistake, whatever that mistake may be.

In conclusion, this story definitely is still relatable in this day and age. Women are still expected to be a certain way. To be labeled as a slut you really don’t need to do anything, all you need to do is not follow the “norms.” Its not fair at all, but it is what it is. 

How to behave as a girl

The short article “Girl” written by Jamaica Kincaid is basically telling how a girl should behave in public, such as something that a girl should do or not to do in order to act politely. This short article  is not that interesting for me, because I’m a guy and I was doing something which is a little different from the contents of this article. Generally the author of the article is like parents which teaching their girls how to act in the society and things to do everyday.

The author of the article said, “don’t walk barehead in the hot sun”, Just like what the parents told their girl and like what girls do in public, in order to protect themselves from the sunburn, the parents usually told their girl to put on a hat when they walk out from the house. The author also said, “when you are growing dasheen, make sure it gets plenty of water or else it makes your throat itch when you are eating it”, this showed the concern from the parents in order to protect their girls and showed how much they love their girls, the author is sharing her experiences to the girl as the protagonist to guide the girl what to do after she experienced the similar troubles.

To be honest, after reading the whole article, I literally get bored on the contents itself since it was like the direct conversation from guidance of the parents to their girls, to tell their girls what they should do or things they should be aware in public in order to live their life better.


How to be a girl (Girl)

When I first read this, I feel depressed what this girl is going through. Now I don’t know if their is an actual character who is a girl since it was never mentioned. For now I believe the protagonist is a girl and the antagonist seems to an adult probably to be a parent or guardian. Throughout this short novel, the narrator seems to be a parent or guardian because this person is probably teaching a young girl to be a proper girl from their point of view. From the reading narrator keeps saying “this is how to,” then it explains how the action is supposed to be performed. The tone that the narrator is giving feels like a parent teaching his or her child how to do things properly. However this feels different, from my understanding their aren’t trying to make a proper girl but more like a slave or creating this girl to be a “perfect wife” for somebody. When I say “perfect wife” I mean forcing her into an arrange marriage. I have read before in some countries, parents train their daughters to be “perfect wives” to be used as a bargaining chip to achieve riches. This is a possibility that this is what’s happening to the girl. The narrator also uses a harsh tone when saying “don’t” then explains the action. The narrator wants the girl to be a proper lady, not like a “boy” who plays marbles, not to “eat fruits in the street”as if it would gather attention to her. The narrator also mentions before that she must not be “the slut you are so bent on becoming.” This is mostly that the girl does not intend to be “slut” but to be free. Why does she want to be free because she wants to break she shackles of captivity, she wants become whoever she wants to be. This is possibly what the protagonist is thinking. The majority of people or maybe everyone would want if they were in this situation. Upon reading this novel several times I have notice that the girl, protagonist, does exist in this novel. I have discovered that she spoke in this story. There isn’t quotation marks but the author changed the font of the text to represent that she is speaking. This happening twice in the novel in the beginning and close to the end of the novel. The first time was when she was responding to a statement that the narrator made about not to sing benna on Sundays or during Sunday school. The second time was when she asked a question about if the baker won’t let her feel the bread. The first comment was ignored as the narrator follows the list of how to be a lady. The narrator then answered her question with a question as if it were make the girl feel like an idiot. Throughout this novel, the protagonist has to follow the narrator’s orders in order to become a proper lady or a proper girl. This is depressing life for, anyone would pity her and no one deserves to live like that.  


As the story “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid is told, we see the narrator talks about different aspects of a how a woman should behave in life. She is being taught the right way to go about her “duties” in the house, as a woman, and is being prepared to live with her own family that she will eventually have. This story in essence is being told for young girls to understand how to behave in society and how it was in the old days.

Even though the story has a protagonist, the story really resonates with the world today. Representing all young girls who are constantly being told to act a certain way or how to live their lives by societies standards. The “person” telling the young female how to live her life is a representation of society and how the world views females that don’t follow the norm. In the story, the quote, “try to walk like a lady and not the slut you are so bent on becoming;” is repeated differently three times, which in itself shows how controlling society is on the bringing up of females. These quotes, “but I don’t sing benna on Sundays and never in Sunday school;” and “don’t squat down to play marbles – you are not a boy;” can be interpreted as what girls should behave in public and what activities they can and can’t do, because of gender.

Of course this is only one interpretation, another way to see the story is through the eyes of a parent taking to her child about how the world will evaluate and criticize you for the better or the worst. To avoid this at its best is to behave and follow rules that the world has placed as the norm so that you may grow up right and be happy. The parents only want whats best for their child, to grow up a rightful woman, so that she is someone respectful that is worth marrying. Fearing that she will become a “slut” is the reason why the parents are telling her these things to lead her down a correct and righteous path.  However, I think you can only be happy if you are true to yourself.

At the end of the story, the quote, “but what if the baker won’t let me feel the bread? ; you mean to say that after all you are really going to be the kind of woman who the baker won’t let near the bread?” i didn’t really understand it very much but after looking at the lines before the end of the story, I began to understand that it refers to a man choosing a girl. The right girl that followed the rules, and if a guy doesn’t pick you its because she isn’t perfect.

When reading the quote, “don’t squat down to play marbles – you are not a boy;” it made me think about the standards society put on men as well and how society doesn’t really tell boys how to live their lives. The story is one sided, but it is to be expected because the story is about how young girls should live their lives not how people should live their lives, both males and females.