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Lit. Analysis Discussion > "Girl" Closing Remarks

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message 1: by Ms. R (new)

Ms. R | 58 comments Mod

Though I know many of you are all too happy to say goodbye to Jamaica Kincaid's story "Girl" I did want to have one final discussion focusing on this story. Sadly we will not have time to complete this in class, so here is the next best thing.

While reading your reflections concerning this story, I found many of you were confused by the conclusion of the story. Here the mother continues to belittle her daughter stating, " 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?" (Kincaid 2). I find two aspects of this conclusion significant: 1) This question acts as just another element in a list of outlandish requirements for her daughter. 2) It leaves the reader with the feeling that the mom could continue to add more demands to her already existing list of mandates for her daughter.

Feel free to comment concerning what I have said here or add your own ideas. Remember, these postings are a grade so make them a significant paragraph as we have been practicing in class.

Happy posting!

message 2: by Estuardo (new)

Estuardo | 1 comments well i believe that, like all mothers, she wanted to have one last word in to bagger at the daughter like in the story. She did it trough out the entire chapter why wouldn't she do it one last time. If she came up with a list as big as the one read, i have this odd feeling that going on would be simple

message 3: by Marekjavorek (new)

Marekjavorek | 16 comments The mother wants to set an example of a proper womman behavior.The real question now is if the daughter will look and recognize the fact that the mother is actualy trying to help her.By showing the daughter how to act and how to not act.

message 4: by Devin (new)

Devin | 7 comments The ending of the story left me with the undertsanding that the mother felt as if her daughter was going to disregard everything that was stated to her and become this dreadful person.It also occured to me that the mother was also taking her daughter on not a guilt trip but simply underlining the fact if she was to ignore one of the rules it would affect the way she is labeled.

message 5: by Armand (new)

Armand | 6 comments i just want to say i am really happy that we are done with the story, but by saing that the story was good. what i got out of this was that the mother was just being a mom.She was just telling her little girl things she would need to know to live in what we call "the world".maybe i would write something like that to my son.

message 6: by Valeria (last edited Jan 07, 2009 03:16PM) (new)

Valeria (val777) | 10 comments I think Jamaica Kincaid ended the story this way because the mother goes on and on but at this point of the story the reader would understand the reason the author is making. I also think this ending is question to be left unanswered. I dont think the mother asks the question for the daughter to answer. The mother goes on and on through out the whole story why would she give her daughter the opportunity at the end(or what seems to be the end) to say anything. The mother just seems like the type who you can explain youself to but in the end its her way and it doesnt matter what you say. Thats why I think that not only did the mother not let her daughter speak but that the daughter didnt say much because she knows it wouldnt make a difference.

message 7: by Marekjavorek (new)

Marekjavorek | 16 comments The Mother also wants her daughter to grow up into a perfect woman.Something that society wants.The rules that the mother is setting for her daughter is what the mother believes defines a perfect ideal woman in society. The rules are pretty grotesques but the daughter will have to follow them because she deep inside knows that it is the right thing for her to do.I just don't understand why she cant get more that two lines in the story to express her opinion. Talk about freedom of speech she should have the right to say no to her rules if she doesn't like them. But the daughter doesn't like the rules but she knows that the ideal women in society acts by the rules that the mother is giving her.Like all mothers she wants only the best for her daughter and she wants to be proud of her some day so she can look up to her on day and say look that is my daughter and look how ideal she is. She represents what society wants in a prefect woman. This is all i have to say about this there is no better way to explain it.Parents only want the best for their children but sometimes the child doesn't understand this.It's hard but they have to over come it and work something out between the mother and the daughter. This way the relationship can still work and they will have their life much easier.

message 8: by Ms. R (new)

Ms. R | 58 comments Mod
Your comments so far are very interesting. I like the themes and topics you are all bringing up.

A good deal of you have introduced the fact that the mother in this story is just being a "mom." I would like you now to consider what this means. What does it mean to be a "mom"? What do you think Kincaid is saying about this definition? Does she support this definition? Try to push your ideas a little further.

**I would also like all of us to consider the fact that the POINT OF VIEW OF THE AUTHOR DOES NOT NEED TO BE THE SAME AS THE VOICE OF THE MAIN CHARACTER. Meaning, the ideas presented by the main character are NOT necessarily those of the author.

Having said that, I find Valery and Marek's comments interesting. Both of your postings present and idea and back it up with the text. Those who have yet to post or wish to add to your postings before Friday, please look to these as a model. They have both the length and consistency I am looking for.

Happy Posting :0)

message 9: by Alan (new)

Alan Chan | 3 comments In my opinion of the story the mother is stating all these guidelines to become a ideal women. She is piling on all of these requirements that she is suppose to fulfill and knowing that no one likes to be bosses around. The mother wants her daughter to break these norms that the society has placed onto women.

message 10: by Yajaira (new)

Yajaira | 8 comments I think that with the line
" 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?" (Kincaid 2).
All she means is that after all the "proper" things she is being taught do do, and "unproper things" not to do, how is the baker not gonna let her near the bread? As in after being braught up such a proper women, the baker should respect her and allow her ner the bread.

message 11: by Yesenia (new)

Yesenia (YHerrera) | 1 comments i think that the mom wanted to make sure that her daughter knew what was good and bad. She gave her lame examples like how to catch a fish, and how to walk. But in the long run they will do good for the girl. Even though they did not make sense in the not confused about it any more, i get the point of the story. i just gotta sy it was a wierd format of it.

message 12: by Anthony (new)

Anthony | 6 comments I beileve the mother was very strict on her daughter. She seems to want the best for her, but she goes about it in the wrong way. The story seems to be downing women through other women with no ambition for themselves.

message 13: by Maricela (last edited Jan 08, 2009 02:30PM) (new)

Maricela | 5 comments I really enjoyed having this discussion in class. At first, like everyone else, i was confused but then after we talked about it in class I had a way better understanding of it. At first I thought that the mother was just trying to lead her daughter into the right direction by letting her daughter know whats "lady like" and whats being a "slut". But then when the mother wouldn't stop talking and didn't let her daughter say what she thought that's when i kind of was like, ok i think she's going a little over board. But i guess every mother wants the best for their child, some mothers might be good at explaining and some, like this one, are not. I felt as if the story never ended but then i figured there was no ending to it. The mother gave pretty weird explaining's but it was worth it because like i said before every mother wants the best but some just don't know how to deal with it.

message 14: by Joe (new)

Joe | 7 comments In the beginning i believe the mother was just telling her daughter a set of rules and things to learn as she becomes a woman.Towards the middle she started to sound cruel in her remarks butI believe that the mother's remarks had good intent,but it came out in a bad way.She just wanted her daughter to become a nice person and not end up being bad as she stated.

message 15: by William (new)

William | 5 comments Since the beginning i believe that the mother was only trying to give her daughter some advice. The only thing is that the mother didn't come off the in a positive manor. She spoke down towards her daughter as if she enforcing instead of trying to look out for her.

message 16: by Ms. R (new)

Ms. R | 58 comments Mod
Are the standards the mom is setting for her daughter fair? Are these the rules we want our young girls living by?

message 17: by Beah (new)

Beah | 11 comments i seriously didn't even get the last sentences. i thought that he was trying to be sexual like don't touch...or something...idk this story was awesome but the last lines were hard to understand.

okay i don't kno what eles to say but Ms. r can u help me fill out my college apps? plz

thanks miss

message 18: by Ms. R (new)

Ms. R | 58 comments Mod
Hey Bea, We missed you today in class.

Yes, I would be more than happy to help you fill out your applications. Just bring them to division.

message 19: by Maria (new)

Maria (mariag) | 4 comments I believe that what the mother wants is to be proud of her daughters. She wants to guide them through life telling them what's wrong and what's right.
Now in society there's alot of mothers who don't want their daughters to follow their footsteps and make bad mistakes. The main thing in the story is that the mother wants to guide her daughter to a good life but at her own way.

message 20: by Cristal (new)

Cristal (cristal91) | 7 comments The story "Girl" was really interesting. The story is mostly about a mother telling her daugher what she should do to act like a lady, for example, "this is how you iron your father's khaki shirt so that it doesn't have a crease..." she told her many rules that she expects her to do so she would not " look like a slut". If she does not follow these rules, it means that she is a "slut".The end of the story confused me. What did she mean by saying that if shes going to be "the type of woman who the baker won't let near the bread?" I do not understand that question at all.

message 21: by Moises (last edited Jan 08, 2009 07:44PM) (new)

Moises | 4 comments Jamaica Kincaid's story seems to me like it can be viewed in two different perspectives. One being that the mother just gives orders to her daughter and just constantly insults her. Another view was that the mother just didnt want her daughter to become something society frowned upon. It kind of left me with the idea that the mother is unsatisfied with what she has become and doesnt want her daughter to regret the outcome of her choices like she does.


message 22: by Vivian (new)

Vivian | 7 comments The standards the mom is setting for her daughter are not fair because she isn't letting her be herself. "Don't squat down to play marbles-you are not a boy." (Kincaid 2)This is an example how the mother is stopping her from expressing herself from not letting her play with a boy's attitude. These are not the rules we desire for our young girls to go by, these are the society's rules. Some parents just might force their daughters to behave in this manner so everyone else can view them as the "perfect daughter". I understand the consept of Jamaica's story, Girl, but I still do not know the meaning of the conculsion.

message 23: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 1 comments I agree with Maria & Moises. It seems as though the mother made a few mistakes in her past & doesn't want her daughter to experience what she experienced.

Even though many may disagree, I think how the mother treated her daughter will benefit the girl in the long run. The world is pretty cruel & there are MANY standards society has set for women, so showing her daughter a piece of reality...will make her a strongER woman for the future.

message 24: by Rana (last edited Jan 09, 2009 12:05AM) (new)

Rana | 7 comments I think the mother in this story is "perfectionist" like she is trying to make her daughter who she thinks the perfect woman is. I like what you said Ms.R about the mother giving her daughter a list of demads. I dont know how old the girl is but to me I feel that what ever age her daughter is she will always have something to say about who she thought her daughter should be . The list probably started while the daughter was in the womb and will continue unitl one or the other dies. It also seemed like she would never be satisfied maybe cause her daughter has never and will never comply to her requirments to being a "real woman".I think the mother in this story represents the voice of some mothers who speak too much or the voice of some mothers who don't speak at all(like there is something in them they want to say but wont). I have even met people that have said "I know my child more than my child knows theirself"! I feel that the mother in this story has that same opinion.

message 25: by Angel (new)

Angel | 4 comments Valeria wrote: "I think Jamaica Kincaid ended the story this way because the mother goes on and on but at this point of the story the reader would understand the reason the author is making. I also think this endi..."I agree with what you said about how the daughter didnt get a chance to speak through out the story only for like two sentences because she alredy knew what her mom was going to say meaning that her mom's word is the one that counts not the daughter's.

message 26: by Mark (new)

Mark | 5 comments The story shows the mother as being a true peferctionists as Rana stated. I feel like she is soicially backwards and is stuck in a past tense when it comes to the role of women. The daughter only wants to obey her mom and listens to every crazy thing she says. I think she is presurring the girl to follow these ridiculous "norms" of society

message 27: by Keshona (new)

Keshona Lewis | 6 comments I agree with Rana tooo. I think that the mother is just passing down some knowledge that was given to her as i stated during class. The mother may seen to be "jumping down her daughters throat" but she jus coming to her daughter the best way that she knows how to. Sometimes females need to be talk to in a harsh way for us to intrept things in a correct matter. The daughter really didnt have much to say b/c she didnt want to seem disrespectful while her mother was tslking t her. but overall i did get a clear understanding of the story Jamaica Kincaid.

message 28: by Guadalupe (last edited Jan 09, 2009 12:57PM) (new)

Guadalupe L (leon_g) | 7 comments I think that the mother kind of saw the path that her daughter was going in, so she set these rules to kind of straighten her out. The rules themselves do seem exagerated but being the mother and just wanting her daughter to be a "good woman" is understandable. When i also read the story, i saw the lines where the daughter speaks towards the end. A lot of people say that the mother let her speak, but i get the feeling that the daughter interrupted the mother by asking a question. The mother was angered by the interruption and the question itself so she asked her daughter "you mean after all you are really going to be the kind of woman who the baker won't let near the bread?" I also wondered why the daughter asked that specific question. It's possible that the daughter doesn't want to touch the bread, and she doesn't want to follow those rules.

message 29: by Bruce (new)

Bruce Flozak | 4 comments I agree with Armand. I'm very happy we are finished with the story. hah No but Girl was just a story of a mom being a mom. I mean about all moms want their daughters to go down the right path and not turn into a slut. Jamaica Kincaid's point was to show that there are two kinds of mothers, mothers that care for their daughters, and some mothers that just boss their daughters around and insult them.

message 30: by Mahalia (new)

Mahalia | 6 comments Many feel that the mother was just trienig to teach her daughter the right raod to go down. But I feel the mother tactics were not appropiate. To me she was criticizing her daughter and being very demeaning. A mother should be more compasionate and loving not calling their daughter a slut. I agree with Rana when says the mother is a perfectionist. But that will be a downfall for her daughter because when she is not be able to accomplish everything her mother wants, that will soon hurt their mother daughter relationship. I think she should continue to give her a list o commands but do it more delicate way and not as aggressive.

message 31: by Gustavo (new)

Gustavo | 11 comments I agree with Mark because it is true that he thinks that the mom is just pressuring her daughter to be a perfectionist but that is not going to her help daughter not become a slut.Her mom is just being to demanding and her daughter someday shes going to get tired of her mom and stop listening to her so then her mom is going to regret it for being difficult on her and calling her a slut.Her mom should just stop telling her she's going to become a slut and try to be less demanding.

message 32: by Joel (new)

Joel Martinez | 3 comments I agree with Mahalia the mothers tactics where not appropiate. i feel like today ppl tend follow the crowd n socity. in this case the mother was trying to make her daughter into the best women she can be but not in the right way by calling her a slut an telling her all this bad things. i agree that her mother is a perfectionist n because of her hard ways of criticizing her daughter n making feel like she is nothing it can have a great inpact in her life n maybe can be her downfall in life in not becoming the best women she can be.

message 33: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana | 6 comments I highly agree with Bruce on how we are finished with the story, and how Jamiaca Kincaid's idea of a mother is to watch over her daughter and make her go down the right path. My mom is even like that with me, making sure I don't make the wrong decisions in life. The story Girl was a good comparison to how a women are portrayed in American society, and in a mother's own loving way.

message 34: by Margarito (new)

Margarito | 9 comments I think that the girl is from Jamaica. Her mom is talking to her and telling her to become a good women. I think that the girl is pregnant. I also thought that her mom was telling her mom to not go with a lot of men because she can get a bad reputation for her actions. If she gets a bad reputation then when she wants to get with a guy, he wont want her because of her bad reputation.

message 35: by Mayra (new)

Mayra | 7 comments The story "Girl" was intreatsing for me. At first i admit it was a little confusing. I had to read the strory twice before i understood the meaning. I really liked the discussion we had in class because certain things that were mentioned or asked by other students, i thought as well. I think the mother from this story even though she is trying to help she really is not. To me it seemed as the daughter was still some what innocent. Even though society has a certain look on women, the mother is suppose to be there to teach the daughter. Just not in the way that the mother from "GIrl" did.

message 36: by Lillianq (new)

Lillianq | 4 comments REPLYING TO MAREKJ:yes it's fine 2 listen 2 your mother/parent to lead you in the right direction.I also know that every one is their own person and no one is perfect. I feel that u would have 2 make mistakes & learn from them. I think society is crazy,its all stereotyped.It's just going by what had lead in the past .lets wake up,it the future.I'm not saying that girls/ladies should just be foot loose and fancy free.yes there responsibilities & goal that all females have but its not mandatory,do as you please.

message 37: by Dishon (new)

Dishon | 8 comments I think the mother over reacted on everything. She could have told her daughter nicely and in decent and mannerly way, but we still dont know that if the daughter deserves to be talked and treated like that. I think the Mom needs to calm down and the girl needs to step it up so the mom wont be acting the way she did again. Also i agree with everyone who said that the mother was very disrespectful, but at the same time the daughter could could have done something or been acting way worse, the mother had enough and blew up so think about that.

message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree with valeria about how the mother keeps going on and on and doesnt let the daughter speak. I believe the reason for that was so the daughter can gain enough knowledge so she wont come out to be a "slut" as her mother refers her as becoming. I also believe the mother shouldnt have told all the things the way she did. She should have atleast told her in a polite way and not ofend her in any sort of way.

message 39: by Joshua (new)

Joshua | 12 comments In girl I believe her mother was to harse with her. Its good for a mother to teach or lecture her daughter but the way she did it was to harse. In one sense her mother was telling her how to do things in the corrrect way, but I feel it went down the drain by calling her out of her name. A mother should never call her daughter a "SLUT", because you do not know how it might affect her. I feel just because her mother call her a slut she might be one because she could say in her heart she called me one anyway.

message 40: by Nicolemac (new)

Nicolemac | 8 comments In the story " Girl" her mother and I believe this is what they want the reader to think is she is a control freak. She wants her daughter to do everything and anything to the T of perfection and some of the statements she makes are not that all that correct. She talks down to her like if she were an animal doenst even treat her with respect she consatantly is just condisending her. I would be very uspest if I had her mother. Especaially to be constantly be called a "sliut" and I was nothing close to that word or ever thought of becoming.

message 41: by Branden (new)

Branden G | 5 comments The end of "Girl" was never too much of a problem for me. it just seemed as if the mother thought much less of the daughter after she whole "not touching the bread" drama.She was already prepared for her to be a slut, but this question about the bread seemed to shock her. Like the baker allows sluts to touch the bread, but the people that he doesn't want touching the bread must be totally whacked out.

message 42: by Lillianq (new)

Lillianq | 4 comments In the story "girl", by Jamacia Kincaid, the mother gives the daughter a demand list of things.The comes off az a "sweet" person but instead the mother portrates to be a 9 paint a picture of the daughter as if she is stupid,sluty, and don't have any manners.I do agree wit the fact that women hav e responsiblities but I also think that its ok 2 slack off and have have,but then pull it right back togther.The way that the mother told her daughter was very demanding and forceful

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