In this example of flash fiction, Jamaica Kincaid presents the tale of a mother providing advice to her daughter on how to be a "proper" girl. But what kind of advice does the mother provide? And how does the young daughter respond to such advice?
For this activity, read "Girl" and respond to the following questions:
A. What kind of narrator does Kincaid use for "Girl"? What's the effect of this POV?
B. What kind of upbringing do you think the narrator had? Is she speaking from her own experience, or are these rules that her own mother taught her?
C. What commands or lessons stand out to you? How might the lessons be beneficial?
D. What would the story look like if the girl did most of the talking?
E. How would "Girl" be different if it were called "Boy"? What would Mom tell him? What if Dad were speaking to him? What kind of lessons would "Boy" learn? (Discuss the cultural assumptions in this story.)