Reading this story comes with multiple observations on how the mother giving advice about the girl image not as just a person but how she is viewed in society. It seems in the story as if someone is giving orders to a person (servant). For example, a line from the story stating,” Sundays try to walk like a lady and not like the slut you are so bent on becoming and don’t sing benna in Sunday school”(Kincaid). Reading that is what gives me sense that the mom is talking to her daughter Things get even Weider when the mother start giving advice such as on how to spit in the air and how to get rid of a child.
By the end of this short story it seems as the girl still get the point of view of what her mother was saying to her. Another example, of that would be this line saying, ” 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”(Kincaid).
In a way it was like the mother was setting certain types of standards on being a woman and not a wench. To me personally the story breaks down the basis of appearance and the actions on how the girl do things and the mother informing her about the standards on her culture as a being a woman. From interpreting this short story, I feel a sense that one of the themes would be feeling powerless. For example, when the mother said Is it true that you sing benne in Sunday school?  don’t sing benna in Sunday school (Kincaid). The girl probably felt helpless in a way because of how she didn’t have an opinion on how to view certain things. The story goes on showing the reader(me) how the girl is being taught and abiding by a tradition. Whether its beneficial or not it seems to me the mother has full control over the daughter. Their no sense that the girl has no choice and mentions that it seems as if she has no freedom at all. A point that the author Kincaid was trying to get across is that its ok to follow a certain tradition but to also realize that oneself still needs independence. We are left suspecting that the mom wants the girl to follow her instructions and to live the life she wants but it may be the same life the daughter wants to live through. Let’s not forget about the title it gives me a reminder that it’s still only a girl not a woman. Despite that the mother maps out the girl life on what her role will be. Even if I must question oneself identify. Another factor in the story is that I noticed that the girl identity as a person and how it should be looked upon. The mom gives the girl advice on not just her appearance but the actions that follow with it. The mom fears of her daughter becoming or being a slut, so she gives her advice to try to change her fate. The way the story makes it seems as if any action such as the way you walk and talk or in general one’s attire on how she dresses. The mother personal belief is about reputation and respects on how it determines the life a woman lives. The story showed me how the mother wants the girl to come to her senses that she’s not a boy and needs to act in a way with respect from the community on how she is viewed as a person. The girl’s mother mention in the story saying, This is how to hem a dress when you see the hem coming down and so to prevent yourself from looking like a slut, I know you are so bent on becoming (Kincaid). The mother wants the girl to uphold respect for herself and not let what she says or do in the future affect her as a person. I also, see how the mother takes into consideration of domestic views. The mindset of the mom is that there are two different type of women in the world the modest kind and the sluts. The mother wants to empower her with the knowledge so she will be prepared for the future like if she has her own house, she would have the basic knowledge of being head of her household and be productive to the community. That’s why I personally believe that the theme could possibly be about domesticity because of all the different type of instructions she be stolid upon her daughter. The mother wants the girl to live of the life on and the advice she told her how to be like a woman and be woman and not as a wench. Maybe, this is what the mother experience in her past life and the lesson she learned from it and did not want her daughter to live through the same life. That’s why she so strict, so to say showing her the difference between appearance vs actions for example telling when to wash cloths how to spit and also how to have an abortion. It may seem to many readers like myself that the mother seems mean and ruthless, but we also must realize the mother wants what’s best for her daughter. Many aspects can come from reading this short story breaking it down coming up with multiple themes on what it is about. A mother setting down rules to protects her daughter image to not be label as a slut. But to notice that after all of what was said the girl still seems confused about the fact that she had to follow all the rules and factors on being a woman, this short story gives me the visualization of the relationship between a mother and daughter. As o read more and more of the story shows how the mom try’s teaching her daughter the appropriate behavior of a female. The girl probably represents the author in her youth and telling the story of the life she lived.