Girl Essay

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The mother's litany of advice, warning, and condemnation in "Girl" also contains a string of confusing and contradictory messages about the daughter's relationship to her African heritage and culture. On the one hand, the mother insists on warning the daughter against integrating African folk culture into her Christian education. "Is it true you sing benna songs in Church?" the mother asks. As benna songs are African folk songs, the mother's question is designed to warn the daughter against maintaining cultural practices derived from her African heritage.

Yet, on the other hand, the mother's list of advice contains rich elements of this African heritage, which she clearly intends to pass on to her daughter. Thus, while warning against mixing African traditional songs with the Western practice of Christianity, the mother is sure to pass on information based on folk beliefs derived from African culture. As Helen Pyne Timothy explains...

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This section contains 506 words
(approx. 2 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.