Comparing Girl by Jamaica Kincaid and A&P by John Updike Essay

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Comparing Girl by Jamaica Kincaid and A&P by John Updike

Within every story or poem, there is always an interpretation made by the reader, whether right or wrong. In doing so, one must thoughtfully analyze all aspects of the story in order to make the most accurate assessment based on the literary elements the author has used. Compared and contrasted within the two short stories, “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid, and John Updike’s “A&P,” the literary elements character and theme are made evident. These two elements are prominent in each of the differing stories yet similarities are found through each by studying the elements. The girls’ innocence and naivety as characters act as passages to show something superior, oppression in society shown
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In “Girl,” the mother realizes the possibility her daughter, like any other, could fall victim to act “like the slut you are so bent on becoming,” (Kincaid), where it seems Queenie’s mother, who sent them to the store in the first place, did not show concern when the girls left the house in their bathing suits, Queenie’s straps falling off her shoulders and all. Furthermore, the mother in “Girl” acted as a more dominating figure as the whole story showed to be more of a monologue than a dialogue between the two. The words coming out of her mother’s mouth show that the mother has accepted these rules of behavior in her own life, yet the way in which the author illustrates this shows the girls distaste to all these rules. Both characters although presumably innocent, seem to show tendencies of rebellious nature towards society. In terms of society, the stories take place during different times and places. The character in “Girl” originated in the Caribbean and of poor descent whereas Queenie portrayed a richer class from Boston as affirmed by the author, “...getting sore now that she remembers her place, a place from which the crowd that runs the A&P must look pretty crummy.” These different circumstances could also be attributed to the characters actions. The character in “Girl” shows to be a flat character or one that acts expectedly, and seeing that she came from such a traditional background, one can assume she did was she was told and did so

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