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What strategy does the daughter employ to challenge and undermine the feminine role...

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lucyli | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 13, 2012 at 4:48 AM via web

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What strategy does the daughter employ to challenge and undermine the feminine role prescribed by the society in "Girl"?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 3, 2012 at 10:57 AM (Answer #1)

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Given that the daughter only speaks twice in the story, we have to go on what she does say in those occasions to begin to formulate the strategies she uses to challenge the feminine role that society, in the form of her mother, seeks to impose.  The girl questions the assumptions that her mother makes. In posing these questions, the girl assumes a socially constructive strategy that makes meaning out of questioning.  The daughter's questions are not clarification ones or ones that deal with irrelevant aspects.  Rather, they are questions that demand to know why society, and particularly the girl's place in it, is the way it is and how constructions are valid.  This strategy of questioning is what provides some level of hope that the girl will be able to construct a new vision of how she, as a woman, is meant to operate in this social setting.  The daughter's use of questioning is a stark reminder that despite the sometimes oppressive nature of society's forces, individuals do possess the ability to formulate judgments and ask questions about why what is so is necessarily accepted as so.  In this, the girl displays the most effective strategy to causing change in society in terms of having the courage to question authority.

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