Analysis Of Boys And Girls By Alice Munro

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“Boys and Girls” by Alice Munro (Journal)
“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
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They find themselves in a continuous struggle for identification of their identity, trying to locate themselves with the world. Sometimes, when those efforts are not crowned with success they try to break away. It is quite often that the birth of the "self" in the person intervenes in the very moment of revealing the truth, or the moment, when the individual 's self-awareness reaches the climax, and eventually culminates the events, and all the actions, which were aimed at fighting with life. This delivery of self can be definitely classified as an epiphany. There is no wonder in the fact that Alice Munro writes about her own struggle in "Boys and Girls"; she tells how her own battle for self-definition had looked like (Bloom…show more content…
Also the narrator is not the only one coming to terms with their identity. Her little brother Laird is developing a desire to do the masculine things around the house. The narrator overhears her mother talking to her father, saying, “Wait till Laird gets bigger you will have some real help.” This represents the family’s characteristic expectations of Laird to follow in his father’s footsteps. “The girl” obviously sensed their higher expectations for Laird and her jealousy began to show. She once made Laird climb the ladder to the top beam, believing that he would get in trouble. But, when her parents arrived it was the narrator that was in trouble, her parents yelling, “Why weren’t you watching him.” This shows the double standard between genders in their family and in the general public. She shared a room with her brother, and at night after he fell asleep, she would stay up and tell her stories. In these stories she would imagine herself as a hero, she was brave and spirited and everyone admired her. These stories represented the woman that she wanted to become; powerful and independent, which was the complete opposite of the stereotypical “girl”, which her family wanted her to become. Another example of the protagonist’s struggle for her identity is her identification with one of the family’s horses, Flora. The father fed his foxes with horse-meat. Therefore, the family would sometimes get healthy
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