"Girl": Quadruply Oppressed



Year of publication 2015
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The paper presents on Jamaica Kincaid's (born Elaine Potter Richardson) "Girl". Critics are of two minds as to categorizing this literary piece: some label it a short story (given its shortness and prose form); others a prose poem (due to its single run-on sentence; separated by semicolons). "Girl", Kincaid's first piece of fiction, was first published in 1978 in the New Yorker magazine. Particularly, the paper shows "Girl" as encapsulating the Caribbean situation (Kincaid is an Antiguan author). "Girl" presents a unique case of the oppressive practices the region witnessed and still encounters. A cursory reading of the piece would immediately expose the grim facts of gender inequalities in poor Caribbean islands. An integration of the piece's tittle, with its stroke of age-based oppression completes the bleak picture of double-faced oppression. However, the paper will point to two other kinds of oppressions: the ramifications of the islands' post-colonial history and economic problems as forms of oppressions. The talk concludes by showing the four forms of oppression concentrated in the capsule-like word of "benna", Antiguan folk songs.
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