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by Jamaica Kincaid

Girl Society and Class Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Phrase between semi-colons)

Quote #1

is it true that you sing benna in Sunday school? (8)

First thing you need to know about this society? People are snitches. You misbehave, someone's going to tell on you. More seriously, what we learn here is that you don’t get to mix Antiguan and British culture in public. Singing Antiguan songs in a place where you're supposed to be on your best British behavior is totally on the do-not-do list.

Quote #2

always eat your food in such a way that it won't turn someone else's stomach (9)

Number two, someone is always watching you. Always. In fact, why don't you go ahead and eat your food in front of a mirror, just so you can be sure that you look pretty enough?

Quote #3

you mustn't speak to wharf-rat boys, not even to give directions (12)

Certain people get so far pushed out of society that they aren't even treated like people—they're rats. (Also apparently they have cooties that can lower your social status, too.) Since wharf-rat boys and sluts are even lower on the social ranking than black people in Antigua, absolutely no one talks to them. But hang on. How do you think the white British people at the top treated people like Kincaid? Isn't this just passing the pain down?

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