Girl

by: Jamaica Kincaid

The Daughter

Even though the girl says very little in the story, the fact that readers perceive the mother’s words through her ears makes her the silent narrator and protagonist. The daughter narrates “Girl” as if recalling the memory of her mother from a distant future place. “Girl” is not a word-for-word transcript of an actual conversation between the mother and daughter but a compilation of advice the daughter remembers her mother saying. She remembers, for example, how her mother constantly accused her of promiscuity and impropriety, an accusation that has apparently haunted her through the years. The inclusion of such remarks in the story illustrates how deeply they affected her while growing up and just how powerful a mother’s influence and opinions can be on her children.