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Identify an interesting aspect that arises out of "Girl" by Kincaid.

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meeka1 | High School Teacher

Posted August 31, 2012 at 9:38 PM via web

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Identify an interesting aspect that arises out of "Girl" by Kincaid.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 2, 2012 at 10:22 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that one of the most interesting elements out of the short story is the dynamic between mother and daughter.  In a modern context, this relationship is heading for trouble.  The power dynamic is one in which the child is revealed to have little, if any power or control, while the mother has pretty much everything.  The mother is able to judge the girl, presume she is a "slut" or carrying herself in an undignified manner.  There is little to indicate that there is collaboration in this relationship.  This is reflected in the girl's silence, something that is evident in how little she speaks in the story.  The mother does all the talking, for the most part, and the girl is left to absorb this or to tune it out.  I find this interesting because it presents a different take on the idea of how mothers and daughters relate to one another.  The standard or traditional depiction is one in which the mothers impart their daughters with sage- like advice that enables them to understand what it means to be a woman, a passing down of traditional and understanding.  In this context, Kincaid shows that this tradition in this context is one in which the older generation judges the younger, rendering them silent and without voice.  In this, I find an interesting dynamic to be revealed.

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