Story Girl By Jamaica Kincaid Essay Theme Essay On Young Goodman Brown
Also early in the story, the reader senses that the daughter is at the edge of sexual maturity.
The mother’s direction to her daughter to “soak your little cloths” as soon as she takes them off—a reference to menstruation—establishes that fact.
From what appears to be relaxed lessons on blouse making and cooking, the girl’s initiation to “womanhood” escalates to more serious matters of etiquette and female respectability (“you mustn’t speak to wharf-rat boys”).
These matters include practical abortion instructions (“to throw away a child before it even becomes a child”) and ominous chants.
The mother soberly hands down the baton of womanly attributes and duties, tested and sanctified for generations, to her daughter, arguably in the very same way her own mother had received and handed them down to her.
The mother accomplishes a generational and gender mandate, as it were, in the wake of the inevitable mother-daughter separation and distancing usually marked by creeping adolescence.
She tells the girl how to smile at someone she does not like, as well as how to smile at someone she likes very much, and tells her how to avoid evil spirits (what looks like a blackbird, the mother says, may be something else entirely).
As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 79,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.
Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.
'Girl' is a somewhat of a stream-of-consciousness narrative of a mother giving her young daughter advice on important life issues and concerns.
The poem is one long sentence of various commands separated by semi-colons.