Girl

by

Jamaica Kincaid

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Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Farrar, Straus and Giroux edition of Girl published in 1983.
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Girl Quotes

Don’t walk bare-head in the hot sun.

Related Characters: Mother (speaker), Girl
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

Is it true that you sing benna in Sunday school?

Related Characters: Mother (speaker), Girl
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

On Sundays try to walk like a lady and not like the slut you are so bent on becoming.

Related Characters: Mother (speaker), Girl
Related Symbols: Slut
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

You mustn’t speak to wharf-rat boys, not even to give directions.

Related Characters: Mother (speaker), Girl
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

But I don’t sing benna on Sundays at all and never in Sunday school.

Related Characters: Mother (speaker), Girl
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:

This is how to hem a dress when you see the hem coming down and so to prevent yourself from looking like the slut I know you are so bent on becoming.

Related Characters: Mother (speaker), Girl
Related Symbols: Slut
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:

This is how you smile to someone you don’t like too much; this is how you smile to someone you don’t like at all; this is how you smile to someone you like completely; this is how you set a table for tea; this is how you set a table for dinner; this is how you set a table for dinner with an important guest; this is how you set a table for lunch; this is how you set a table for breakfast; this is how to behave in the presence of men who don’t know you very well, and this way they won’t recognize immediately the slut I have warned you against becoming.

Related Characters: Mother (speaker), Girl
Related Symbols: Slut
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:

This is how to make a bread pudding; this is how to make doukona; this is how to make pepper pot; this is how to make a good medicine for a cold; this is how to make a good medicine to throw away a child before it even becomes a child.

Related Characters: Mother (speaker), Girl
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

This is how to bully a man; this is how a man bullies you; this is how to love a man, and if this doesn’t work there are other ways, and if they don’t work don’t feel too bad about giving up.

Related Characters: Mother (speaker), Girl, Father
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

Always squeeze bread to make sure it’s fresh; but what if the baker won’t let me feel the bread?; you mean to say that after all you are really going to be the kind of woman who the baker won’t let near the bread?

Related Characters: Mother (speaker), Girl (speaker)
Related Symbols: Bread
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:
No matches.