“Boys and Girls” is an interesting story and it was an easy short story to read and understand how the narrator was feeling, because I can almost relate it to my own life. This short story is about a young girl’s struggle to adulthood in a society with gender roles and stereotypes. The story took place in the 1940s on a fox farm outside of Jubilee, Ontario, Canada. During this time, women were viewed as second class citizens, but the narrator was not going to accept this position without a fight. Munro’s creation of an unnamed character symbolized the narrator’s lack of identity, compared to her younger brother, who was given the name Laird, which is a synonym for “Lord”. These names were given by Munro to represent how at birth the male child was naturally considered bigger to his sister. The father in the story was a fox farmer. He raised foxes and when their fur was prime, he skinned them and sold their furs for profit. Growing up, “the girl” shouts for attention from her father, therefore, she began to enjoy helping him work outside with the foxes. “My father did not talk to me unless it was about the job we were doing. Nevertheless, I worked willingly under his eyes, and with a feeling of pride.” Consequently, she began to fear working in the kitchen with her mother, and therefore loses respect for her mother’s passive position in the household. When describing her mother’s housework it was “endless” compared to her father’s work outside, which was “ritualistically important.” This obvious dislike for society’s womanly duties symbolizes the narrator’s desire to be more than “just a girl”.
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...”, the acceptance of self-identity. Flora’s blood on Laird’s shirt represented a Laird’s claim of his superior position in society. In the end, the girl became more than “just a girl”, she became herself.
Finally, this short story is a perfect example of theme of the core – Diana Baumrind’s theory. It’s one of the Diana family relationships, which is called Temperament. It’s when individual which the narrator is, she differences in behavioral styles, emotional styles, and characteristic ways to respond. For example, in the story when the grandmother advices the “girl” how girls should behave and their attitude should be like, also when narrator overhears her mother talking to her father, saying, “Wait till Laird gets bigger you will have some real help.” That made her emotional style change, she started to get jealous from Laird and she tries to get him in trouble.
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