It is difficult to identify any specific events in the story "Girl," as the entire story is a monologue from a mother to her child, with only two interruptions by the daughter and no writing that is not dialogue. Still, one can infer from the words spoken what...
It is difficult to identify any specific events in the story "Girl," as the entire story is a monologue from a mother to her child, with only two interruptions by the daughter and no writing that is not dialogue. Still, one can infer from the words spoken what might be going on.
In looking at places where the mother repeats herself, one big event, or possibly character change, stands out. From the beginning of the story, the mother accuses the girl of doing things that will turn her into "the slut [she is] so bent on becoming." Despite the mother's best efforts to teach her daughter the good, proper, and effective ways to behave, the girl insists on doing things like walking the wrong way on Sundays and not fixing the hem that comes out of her dress, all of which makes the girl seem like a slut, according to the mother. There is still hope that if she starts listening to her mother's instruction she can turn into a good and proper woman – the kind of woman who the baker will let squeeze the bread. Still, the mother is not confident that the girl will obey.
Later in the story, the slut admonishment changes a bit: "this is the way to behave in the presence of men who don't know you very well, and this way they won't immediately recognize the slut I have warned you against becoming." Now the mother assumes that the slutty quality is inherent in her daughter, making the new goal to disguise her daughter's sluttiness from others. The event that would spark such a change is less clear. Has the daughter done something specific, like an encounter with a boy? Or is the mother just responding to numerous instances in which the girl has failed to live up to her expectations? Is the admonishment even related to sexual behavior at all? It's hard to say. Regardless, it's clear that the girl is not inspiring confidence in her mother, who seems to think the girl will never live up to be the kind of woman who can maintain a reputation as clean and virtuous and thus survive in their patriarchal society.