The mother of a preadolescent daughter, and the main speaker in the story. The mother dispenses a long string of advice to her daughter to teach her how to properly run a household and live respectably. The mother intermittently scolds the girl between her words of wisdom because she fears her daughter will adopt a life or promiscuity. At the same time, however, the mere fact that she takes the time to impart her knowledge suggests a deeper caring for the girl.
in-depth analysis of The Mother.
The preadolescent daughter who listens to her mother’s speech. The daughter says little, speaking only to defend herself against her mother’s accusations that she will one day become a “slut.” The girl’s protestations suggest resentment, but Kincaid does not provide her true thoughts or feelings.
in-depth analysis of The Daughter.