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Essay Response to Girl by Jamaica Kincaid

            The story "Girl" by Jamaica Kincaid, is one that is relatable to many cultures across the globe. It shows how advice being passed down from mother to daughter is supposed to be beneficial to the daughter's life, and help her with shaping a better future. This story helps to shed light on the cultural practices that demonstrate what it means to be a respectable woman in Antiguan society.
             To lead a life of being a societally acceptable housewife and performing domestic duties is the root of the mother's message in her advice to her daughter. It is crucial to be a well rounded individual with knowledge on how to be able to run a household and present an honorable life to the society one lives in. According to the mother, a woman must "wash the white clothes on Monday and put them on the stone heap; wash the color clothes on Tuesday and put them on the clothesline to dry." Also, she shows her daughter that, "this is how you sweep a corner; this is how you sweep a whole house this is how you set a table for dinner." In the mother's mind, being able to perform these skills is essential knowledge that the daughter must have in order to lead a fulfilling life. To be a productive member of society, one must be able to cook, clean, sew, grow their own foods, maintain a household, etc. If one can perform these necessary tasks, it helps them earn respect from their family and the society that they live in.
             Along with performing domestic duties, the mother also explains to her daughter that she has to behave with proper etiquette and manners in public. For example, the mother says, "always eat your food in such a way that it won't turn someone else's stomach [and] don't eat fruits on the streets-flies will follow you." One might assume that the mother is telling her daughter to eat like a lady- have manners and maybe not eat too quickly or spill on herself- instead of perhaps eating like a barbarian with no table etiquette.

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