Literature Class – Book Report/Review Example
Here Here Here Here A Marxist Critique of "Girl" by Jamaica Kincaid This short story presents the experiences of a young (pre-teen) Antiguan girl receiving advice from her mother. Throughout the tale, the mother seems to become increasingly bitter toward her daughter, although her messages were meant to represent advice. The daughter receives plenty of information about how to be "proper" in her expected social roles, but she is repeatedly accused of being promiscuous (both directly and indirectly). While the mothers worry may have some merit, her views seem to be motivated by resentment rather than concern.
As a result of European colonization, the Antiguan culture had come to be greatly influenced by Western perspectives. The Sunday school classes attended by the girl represent the Christian religion as a foreign institution that is heavily influencing the lives of Antiguans. The mother condemns the singing of traditional songs in Sunday school, stating that it is due to sexual themes. The anger she expresses over this issue may be fueled by the churchs imposition on her former traditions, and their emphasis on modesty.
The most obvious Western influence in this story comes from the economic classes imposed by the Europeans. Capitalism resulted in severe divisions of class, which is evident by the poor conditions described by the mother. As a part of the proletariat, the mother and girl are undoubtedly exploited by the upper class who have the resources to produce. This difficulty is compounded by their status as females, as well as locals. The nature of the mothers advice may be influenced by her experiences with Western capitalistic systems.
Kincaid, Jamaica. “Girl”. In Literature: A Portable Anthology. 3rd ed. Eds. Janet E. Gardner,
Beverly Lawn, Jack Ridl, and Peter Schakel, Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009. Print.