Girl Essay

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Bily teaches English at Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan. In the following essay, she discusses expectations and opportunities in "Girl."

In her 1984 New York Times Book Review piece about Kincaid's At the Bottom of the River, Edith Milton singles out "Girl" as " the most elegant and lucid piece of the collection," and observed that the mother's exhortations "define in a few paragraphs the expectations, the limitations, and the contents of an entire life." If this is an accurate assessment and I believe it is, what kind of life does it describe? What will the future hold for the girl is she follows her mother's suggestions?

Many of the instructions give purely practical advice for doing daily chores in a developing nation where running water and electricity are not common. Even in a society where people do not have many clothes, obtaining and maintaining them is hard work, and...

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This section contains 1,437 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Girl Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Girl from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.