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.


One thought on “The Machine – Response to Girl

  1. Adrian

    “The machine” reminded me of the frat dude who went to Russia and was accepted as The Machine! Agreed that the protagonist was treated like a machine


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