Response to “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid.

Today I’ll be writing my response to “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid. As I was reading the story, I think about a caring Mother who wants the best for her growing Daughter in life, but we aren’t so sure it’s a Mother-Daughter relation we’re reading about here but I would like to assume so. The story is quite possibly about a young girl being taught the ways of being a “woman” in society. The older woman, who I assume plays the Motherly role in this, tries her best to teach the youngest girl, who may be the daughter of this older woman, of the right way and not of the wrong way. I would like to assume that the older woman is training the younger one so that she, the youngest, can learn to be independent and in the future have a man, or husband in fact, in her life who will appreciate and love her whilst having such caring skills of a wife. Also at the same time, finding someone nice and loving in different aspects of society can be hard, so by showing yourself as someone who knows what they are doing puts you out there higher than others. This I believe is what the older woman is trying to make sure of and for the well-being of the younger girl.

To me, the story is mainly to express societies expectations of women, and the older woman, in the beginning, feels as though the youngest does not yet meet those expectations so she works to make sure of the opposite. The younger girl may be of total opposite of these expectations as she was taught whilst growing up to be on the wrong side of things. I also say this because of 2 key repeated things that are being brought up constantly and I think it’s important in this story. The first thing that is constantly brought up is the questioning of the girl possibly “singing Benna” in school. Now I didn’t quite understand the meaning behind this but when I looked it up whilst reading the story I found that it might relate to gossip so it could make some sense in meaning. The next thing that is being brought up in the story is for the daughter is to not let herself be displayed as a Slut. The oldest woman in this story believes that the young girl is quite on the road to being displayed as a “slut” if she is not disciplined and taught the right ways of life. I also think that the older woman is trying to play a protective role and wanting to secure the future of the older girl. Whilst it may not look like it but trying to steer the girl from trouble by teaching her right is the older woman applying her own motherly love in the case of making sure the girl is lead through a right path; No mother wants to see their child fail in life but instead they want them to be successful and be happy forever.



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