In "Girl" Kincaid incorporates elements from her own life as she examines the relationship between a mother and her daughter.
1. Find some examples of poems that are considered dramatic monologues. Examples include "My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning and "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot. Do you think "Girl" is more like a poem or like a story?
2. Investigate the history of African slaves and their descendants in the Caribbean. Compare your findings with what you know about the descendants of slaves in the United States.
3. Research the training young women received in the United States during the 1950s, in popular magazines, advice columns, and how-to books. How do the expectations and responsibilities of these young women compare with those of the daughter in "Girl"? How do they compare with the expectations and responsibilities of young American women today?
4. Read Kincaid's first novel, Annie John. Some critics have suggested that the novel is in some ways an expanded version of "Girl." Do you agree?
5. Find recipes for some of the food mentioned in "Girl" and attempt to prepare them using ingredients available locally. What might be learned about a group of people based on what they eat? What could outsiders guess about you from studying the foods you eat?
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