What is it like to read "Girl" for the first time? Describe the experience of reading a story without a narrator's voice to guide you.

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rb1384's profile pic

rb1384 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

Ah, but you do have a narrator: the narrator is the girl herself. Though many people have interpreted the story as a dialogue between a young girl and a very authoritarian maternal voice - I have always been of the opinion that it is an interior monologue. The girl is going through her day, doing her chores, and as she does so she is reciting the "do"s and "don't"s that she associates with each activity, all of which are, to a greater or lesser extent, designed to keep her in her place. Unfortunately, that place is in the traditional role of a traditional, subservient young woman of marriageable age.

What is interesting to me about the story is that she is beginning to question - perhaps as Kincaid herself might have - the contradictions implicit in each activity.

The girl can't really articulate them yet, but there is a sense that she is beginning to realize that is there something amiss in adhering to such rigid gender roles. It is almost as if she is beginning to turn off that internal censor that criticizes and condemns her every move.

brittnie25's profile pic

brittnie25 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Reading it for the first time i was more of confused as in was it suppose to be decipline or just plain out teaching your daughter how to be a lady. However, reading it again had me realize that it had to be a childhood experince with the mother for to think of such a way about her daughter. Maybe she didn't want her daughteer to end up like her or other girls, or even make a mistake as if she has made one in the past through her childhood experience. I'm still not completly sure but, I can say it could all be an incident of tough love from a mother.

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revolution | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

It would be really hard to understand and experience the true meaning behind the exterior surface of the book. As the first time, it may be difficult to swallow or comprehend but maybe after a few times reading and memorizing, the details would sink in deeply in the heart and every small possible details would be uncovered and exposed to your mind.

If I had read Girl the first time, I think it might have been a typical monologue between a demanding and authoritative mother, giving instructions and rules to her daughter. But then, afteri reading it thoroughly and biting down all the details and devouring them slowly, I finally understand the main purpose of this story

a-b's profile pic

a-b | (Level 2) Honors

Posted on

This is a hard one to answer but the bottom line is that this is a very different type of story, and reading it is a little strange at first, as it is not typical. It takes time to realize what is going on.

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