How would "Girl” be different if it were called "Boy”? Discuss the cultural assumptions behind your response.

"Girl" would be different if it were called "Boy" because it would highlight attributes that society values in men rather than women. Bret Anthony Johnston's "Boy" was written as a response and companion piece to "Girl" and emphasizes the values of courage, stoicism, and practicality as quintessentially masculine.

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There is no doubt that many responses to Jamaica Kincaid's "Girl" have been composed in literature and creative writing classes. One response which has been published and is now often studied alongside Kincaid's piece is Bret Anthony Johnston's "Boy." This piece, which is in a similar form to Kincaid's origina, and might be called a short story, a poem, or a dramatic monologue, is attached below.

"Girl" instructs the addressee in the arts of domesticity, cooking and cleaning, how to behave around men, and, most crucially, maintaining a good reputation. For a girl in a traditional society, this means creating an appearance (which is more important than the reality) of purity and respectability. Johnston's "Boy begins,

Twist your fist when you connect and tear the other man’s skin; aim for the bridge of his nose, his throat

This may seem to be the opposite of the advice given to the girl, but this is only the case in the sense that male and female are seen as opposite sexes with opposing...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 981 words.)

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