What is the irony in "Girl,"  by Jamaica Kincaid?

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What strikes me as ironic is that the authoritarian woman who offers instruction about how to live life as a young woman speaks as though the girl she addresses is a "bad" girl, that she does not follow the rules and willfully disobeys and tries to rebel at every turn, despite evidence to the contrary. For example, this older woman tells her, "Try to walk like a lady and not like the slut you are so bent on becoming; don't sing benna in Sunday school [...]." However, the girl, when she gets a tiny moment to speak up for herself, says, "But I don't sing benna on Sundays at all and never in Sunday school." Later, when she asks an innocent question about some of the instruction she is given ("but what if the baker won't let me feel the bread [to see if it's fresh]?") the older woman says, "You mean to say that after all you are really going to be the kind of woman who the baker won't let near the bread?" This older woman seems totally convinced that the girl is "a slut" and will have a terrible reputation, and yet the girl seems relatively receptive to the instruction she receives and seems rather innocent (in the not-even-handful of times we hear her speak).

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The story is ironic because Jamaica Kincaid writes from a mother's perspective giving her daughter information on how she is to live her life.  The daughter rejects the information as being too confining and is determined to act rebellious.

Kincaid, from the Caribbean Island of Antigua, had a very conflictual relationship with her mother.  She left the island at age 17 partly to escape her mother and the lifestyle.

The author writes a story about a mother who imposes on her daughter ideas that seem old fashioned and restricting. 

"The mother is a woman in Antigua who understands a woman's "place." She lives in a culture that looks to both Christianity and obeah, an African-based religion, and that holds women in a position of subservience to men. She recites a catalog of advice and warnings to help her daughter learn all a woman should know. "

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