Jamaica Kincaid- Girl

322 Words2 Pages
Format and structure is used in literature to facilitate characterization and evoke a specific tone. Kincaid uses little format to portray a glimpse of realism in life and need for acceptance of the speaker in her story. The format of cumming’s work allows the poem to be read with leisure and rhythm, almost in a sense allowing the reader to become lulled into a sense of ease and security. In Girl by Jamaica Kincaid there is little use of format, unless the whole work is considered to be one long stanza. The speaker’s thoughts and phrases are on occasion interrupted with italics used to indicate the possible inner thoughts or spoken voice of whomever is being spoken to in the story. Line after line of instruction invokes a vision of a small child struggling to follow a hurried, exasperated and perfectionist mother through the activities of everyday life. She is a good mother with many lessons to teach and cares enough to guide her daughter into societal acceptance. She is also a selfish mother who is overly concerned with appearances. The lack of paragraphing and indentation gives the work a sense of being rushed to finish before this day becomes tomorrow. This lack of format contributes to the reader understanding how overwhelmed the daughter in the story must be. It also invokes a sense of the speaker’s life, experiences and daily responsibilities. It also allows the reader to be able to empathize with both mother and daughter through the reader’s personal experience with societal judgment and demands for conformation. By contrast, ee Cummings shows a larger picture of societal conformation. Rhythmic stanzas and use of rhyme allows the reader to become lulled into the tick-tock walk of daily life. The characters are less individualized and range in size and ages. He focuses more on generic type of life that allows the subject to become sheep-like in conformation

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