Study Guide

Lucy: A Novel Women and Femininity

By Jamaica Kincaid

Women and Femininity

Lucy spends a whole lot of time in this novel hanging out with other women, thinking about the women in her past, and contemplating some of the injustices she's experienced as a woman. So it'd be pretty weird if women and femininity weren't a major theme of this book. But you can breathe a sigh of relief because it is. We might even go so far as to say it's impossible to really understand the central characters in Lucy without considering the fact that they're women. Yes, we might say that. . . .but you be the judge.

Questions About Women and Femininity

  1. Would you say Mariah has progressive attitudes about women? Why is Lucy critical of Mariah's attitudes about women?
  2. To what extent does being women provide a common bond between Lucy and Mariah? How might differences in Lucy's and Mariah's economic class positions and national identity affect their experiences and concerns as women?
  3. How has Lucy's relationship with her mother affected her views about womanhood?
  4. What role does gender play in Lucy's career choices and aspirations?

Chew on This

Mariah and Lucy have very different ideas about what equality for women means.

Despite her rejection of some conventional expectations about women, Lucy holds some pretty conservative views about gender.

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