What is the significance of "singing benna in sunday school" in Kincaid's "Girl"?

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teachertaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Kincaid uses several references to set up standards of behavior in the story "Girl."  In the story, the mother tells her daughter that she must not sing benna in Sunday school.  Benna is a type of West Indian music that draws close comparison to calypso music.  The energetic tones of this type of music are in sharp comparison to the reserved nature of church and religion, and therefore, the mother tells her daughter that shse must leave this type of music for another time and place.  The mention of this music is significant because it is an example that allows the reader to get a sense of the cultural context in which the story in situated.

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