Girl- Jamaica Kincaid - Women-N

Girl- Jamaica Kincaid
Q. What is the tone of the poem? How do
structures (grammatical, punctuation, etc.) and
diction establish the tone?
The tone in this poem is naggy. The repetitive usage of
semicolons in the poem is to signify a listing of items. In this case, the
poem is a list of instructions on how to behave or act. The entire
poem seems to be a narration of such instructions, with no end to the
sentence. This causes readers to feel as though the persona is
bombarding them with instructions and information, with no end in
sight. Hence, the tone is established though punctuation.
The addressee only responds twice in the poem, by questions,
for example in line 7, “but I don’t sing benna…”, while the rest of the
poem is spoken by the persona. This causes the reader to feel as
though there is a much larger voice drowning out a tinier voice, and
hence a sign that there is a status gap between these two characters.
The large amount of talking by one character emphasises the
imbalance of speaking between the two characters. Hence, a naggy
tone is created.
Ian 35/09