In Kate Chopin's "Story of an Hour," Louise Mallard, a woman "afflicted with a heart trouble" learns over the course of the story that her husband is dead. The story follows the progression of her emotions from shock and horror to a feeling of liberation and freedom, as she feels relief of the burden of being wife. A very controversial story when it was first published, Chopin's tale (like many of her works) deals with the unexpected ability of women to liberate themselves and operate separately from men (Jamil, 2009). This theme of female empowerment in a patriarchal age shines through this short story, and there are several literary elements used in the conveying of that theme. However, this is directly contrasted with the patriarchal statements of the mother of "Girl" by Jamaica Kincaid, who wants her daughter to be a proper lady. In essence, the mother in "Girl" wants to make sure her daughter does not end up like the kind of lonely spinster she would perceive Louise in "Story of an Hour" to be.
The point of view in "Story of an Hour" is a third-person, omniscient perspective. The reader views at a distance both the thoughts of Mrs.Mallard and Josephine, as well as the thoughts of society as a whole as they judge Mallard somewhat for her relief. This omniscience conveys to us the thoughts of everyone in the story, as well as their motivations. In a way, this seems to echo the feelings that Mallard has of external forces imposing their will and oppress her freedom, as nothing is left secret or private. By peering into the thoughts, knowing both the apprehension of Josephine to tell Mallard, and Mallard's own series of reactions to her husband's death, we are participating in the invasion of privacy that Mallard fights against in her heart.
In Jamaica Kincaid's "Girl," a mother speaks to her daughter about the things she needs to do to become a woman. It is effectively a list of 'do's and 'don'ts' imparted on the daughter, which also allows the mother to express her own frustrations with the daughter and herself. The tone of Jamaica Kincaid's "Girl" is one of the most important and telling aspects of this poem - both Mama's and the daughter's tone of voice (the daughter's voice implied) indicate a dramatic sense of hypocrisy and resentment on the part of the mother.
The mother in the story is incredibly overbearing in the poem, always harping on her daughter regarding what she should and should not do. Kincaid's poem "Girl" reads like a laundry list of instructions for how to be a good woman. Some of them are innocuous - "this is how to make a bread pudding / this is how to make doukona," and they mostly have to do with behaving in housewifely or practical duties. They alternate between mundane tasks, which are all mentioned once, with refrains of certain phrases, all of which admonish the girl for bad deeds she either has already done or may do again.
In conclusion, the tone of the poem "Girl" is contrasted with the third-person short story "Story of an Hour" to show how outside and inside forces would view a woman who is sexually promiscuous. In "Girl," the short, to-the-point rhythms show the direct requirements that are required by a lady from society; in "Story of an Hour," we understand the reasons why Louise wants to be alone, and we sympathize with her thought processes since we hear them. We see both victim and victimizer in their respective stories, understanding both Louise and the mother's own concerns.