In order to better understand the conflict, first we must define what conformity and self image are in the story “Boys and Girls”. Conformity is action in accordance with prevailing social standards, attitudes, and practices. In the time frame of the story, as well as through much of history, it was the social norm for women to be housemaids, and to rarely venture outside of the house to perform “man’s work”. The narrator however, has a different idea as to about how she wishes to live her life. She does not enjoy “work done in the kitchen” as she finds it tedious and “endless”. She does view the work of her father though as “ritualistically important” and far more interesting. This tomboy state of mind of the girl is part of her self image, defined as the idea, conception, or mental image one has of oneself. Upon reading the story, it is clear that her views come into direct conflict with her parent’s beliefs, and even mainstream society’s. While the protagonist’s self image of herself is a driving factor in the nature of her adventures and leisure, with enough outside pressure it can b...
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...alized that “a girl was not, as [she] had supposed, simply what [she] was; it was what [she] had to become” she was starting to admit defeat, and then finally when she begins to cry, it is here that the narrator understands that there is no escape from the pre-determined duties that go along with the passage of a child into being a girl, and a girl into a woman, and that “even in her heart. Maybe it (her understanding that conforming is unstoppable) was true”
In conclusion , I believe that as strong as the protagonist’s self image of herself was, one girl is no match for all of society, which has efficiently put her “in her place”. This manipulation of the girl’s self image is not only the end of her unique identity, but it is also a blow against freedom and individualism. Unfortunately for this horse, she could not roam free forever, and she has finally been caught.
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