Jamaica Kincaid acknowledges that it was her mother’s instructions embedded in her own mind that she recreates in “Girl.” An Antiguan native, Kincaid places her story in her native land during the 1980s. There are references and vocabulary which are distinctive to the life style of the Caribbean.
There is no action in the short story. It is told from the point of view of the mother who is giving her daughter advice that she knows will help her throughout her life. The tone of the story is emphatic, harsh, and demanding. The ideas of the mother are told in a stream of consciousness flow which denotes that whatever the mother thinks of she says.
The information is divided into house chores, cooking, manners, and relationships which are relevant topics for a girl to know in certain situations. The mother‘s list appears fueled by some action or suspicion toward the daughter; consequently, running throughout the list are references to nonspecific behavior which the mother abhors.
(The entire section contains 613 words.)