Examines mother-daughter conflict and social assimilation in “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid.
In “Girl”, the theme of conflicts between a mother and her daughter and traditional and Western or modern values are portrayed by Jamaica Kincaid?s effective illustration of her relationship with her mother. The paper shows how Kincaid, a contemporary American Caribbean writer, illustrates in her work the dynamics of human relationships among immigrants trying to assimilate with the dominantly Westernized, English society. This paper looks at the fallacies and ideologies that are illustrated in “Girl’ to show superiority of Western culture (as portrayed by the mother) as both characters try to adjust and assimilate within their new modern English society.
Proper behavior of a woman or women among men illustrates how English society, as compared with Kincaid’s native culture, is extremely rigid and conservative. Superstitions are characteristic of the women’s African culture, but these are used to promote Western culture and eliminate native values held important by Kincaid. Indeed, social hierarchy, particularly stratification, is evident in the narrative, making a distinction between the acceptable (Western culture) and unacceptable (native African culture).