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Girl

Girl

by Jamaica Kincaid

Girl Analysis

Literary Devices in Girl

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

History lesson time! Gather around, Shmooperinos, it's time for a story about Antigua. Antigua is one half of the country Antigua and Barbuda in the British West Indies. Think hot, with beautiful b...

Narrator Point of View

Normally, in a first-person narrative, the protagonist is narrating her story. But in "Girl," there's no real narrator. Of course not—there's no action, so there's nothing to narrate. Okay, so, G...

Genre

Jamaica Kincaid has said that most of her work is vaguely autobiographical: "Everything I say is true, and everything I say is not true. You couldn't admit any of it to a court of law. It would not...

Tone

We're going with two sets of tones, because there are two voices in this text. Can you guess? Ah, yes, Mom and Girl. Mom's tone is pretty clear: bossy. With phrases like "cook pumpkin fritters in v...

Writing Style

A prose poem is what happens when your normal everyday fiction and your poem love each other very much. They have a baby that looks like prose—it's got sentences, paragraphs, and so on—but read...

What's Up With the Title?

It's kind of ironic that Kincaid titles her prose-poem "Girl" and then gives Girl only two lines in the whole thing. So why not call it "Mother's advice," or "Memories of An Antiguan Childhood," or...

What's Up With the Ending?

"But what if the baker won't let me feel the bread?; 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?" (52-53). Figures. Mom has b...

Tough-o-Meter

Context ruins everything. You could read girl without context and still get the basic idea. It's a girl listening to her mother's long list of advice. Okay. Gotcha. That’s first-level toughness....

Plot Analysis

Plot? What plot? Since "Girl" has no exposition, no narrator, no description, and no setting, the idea of plot works just a little bit differently in the world of “Girl." You know, since plot nor...

Trivia

Who would have guessed that the most famous female Caribbean writer is also a kleptomaniac? (source) Kincaid loves to garden and even wrote a whole book about it called My Garden. We hope she remem...

Steaminess Rating

Rated PG for sexual language. Nothing steamy happens here; this is a mother-daughter talk, after all. It's Mom's dirty mouth that earns "Girl" a PG rating. She keeps calling poor Girl a slut and, w...

Allusions

Nothing to see here. We can only imagine Mom's horror if Girl came home singing the latest Katy Perry single.
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