Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Girl" ...Who Will Eventually Become a Slut

Without a doubt, "Girl" is the most interesting one-sentence short I have ever read. Come to think of it, it may be the only one-sentence short story I've ever read. At any rate, "Girl" is the dialogue between a mother and a daughter, in which the mother gives the daughter a list of instructions to follow in order to be considered a lady, and not the "slut she is so bent on becomming".
One peculiar thing about the story is the type of instructions the mother gives her daughter. I mean although the mother is concerned with her daughter becoming a slut, most of her instructions are directed towards how to get and keep a man. For example, "this is how to behave in the presence of men who don't know you very well; this is how to catch a fish; this is how to throw back a fish you don't like (a fish representing a man); this is how to bully a man; this is how a man bullies you; this is how to love a man, and if that doesn't work there are other ways, and if they don't work don't feel too bad about giving up." All of these instructions are geared toward getting and keeping a man.
I cannot help but wonder why the mother is convinced that her daughter will eventually become a slut. This is strikes me as odd because most mothers would never call their daughter a slut (at least without any evidence suggesting otherwise), however, in this story, the mother does not hesitate to do the contrary. Furthermore, it is hard for the reader to understand where such accusations are coming from because we are given no background information about the young girl, who appears to be innocent. This is an interesting contrast to "The Cask of Amontillado" which used dramatic irony, and therefore meant that the reader knew more about what was going on than the characters in the story. Ultimately, this tactic allows for there to be uncertainty about the true meaning of the story; however, I would argue that this (uncertainty) is the trademark of a great story.

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