Analyze the relationship of the literature to its societal influences: Langston hughes and many others

Essay by ngulleyUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, August 2005

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Section A: Analyze the relationship of the literature to its societal influences.

In the Caribbean, Jamaica Kincaid's "Girl" is a short story about how it was to be a girl growing up in Antigua. This short piece is one of Kincaid's best representatives of the theme of a young woman's relationship with an older female relative, and of gender roles. Kincaid chooses to write her story in a very detailed, chronological, and unique way so the impact of the unfair treatment of women on her island would be more clearly seen. Antigua is steeped high in tradition and resistance to change is very extreme; moreover, women in Kincaid's island country of Antigua resists in a very subtle, secretive way. For example, the "Girl" in the story explains what can be done to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Similarly our American society we have family planning centers that dissolves this same issue.

Each society in its own way continues folkways. Kincaid further illustrates how young girls in her country have almost an instinctive ability to behave in a certain way as well as acceptance of life in general. Women were to cook and clean and act like ladies. Although the poem is written in 1984 (from as best I could ascertain, I only found the date once, after extensive research), the setting of the poem is in 1910-1950 span. Now traditional values and role responsibility were certainly the theme of the time. I'm sure over 99% of the world felt the same on this issue, so it was the norm, if you were a woman to be subordinate of the man, and also to do all the traditional, biblical, and societal roles. There were folklore ways; things were supposed to be done a certain way, such as how tables were supposed to...