“This Is How to Make a Good Medicine to Throw Away a Child Before It Even Becomes a Child”: The Maternal Voice in Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” and the Politics of Nature and Knowing in the Caribbean
AbstractThis article argues that Jamaica Kinkaid’s short prose piece “Girl” (1978)—sometimes referred to as a poem, sometimes a short story—merits a rereading based on the politics of contraception and natural knowledge in the Caribbean. In sparse and delicate prose, Kincaid manages to reflect on the historical ability of women to be both creative and practical in managing the relationship between their bodies and the natural world. A central theme of the story is the often-overlooked disappearance of particular forms of knowledge in particular places. The story is also about how human knowledge can arise from necessity and can provide individuals and communities with both power and agency. One of the key lessons in the story links Kincaid’s characters to the Caribbean practice of resisting gender norms and colonialism through the use of plant-based abortifacients.
How to Cite
All intellectual property in relation to material included on this site belongs to the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI). All material on this site is protected by Canadian and international copyright and other intellectual property laws. Users may not do anything which interferes with or breaches those laws or the intellectual property rights in the material. All materials on the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI) are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. Any reproduction, modification, publication, transmission, transfer, sale, distribution, display or exploitation of the information, in any form or by any means, or its storage in a retrieval system, whether in whole or in part, without the express written permission of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI) is prohibited. Please contact us for permission to reproduce any of our materials. This site may include third party content which is subject to that third party's terms and conditions of use.