Gender Stereotypes in Boys and Girls by Alice Munro Essay

Gender Stereotypes in Boys and Girls by Alice Munro Essay

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In the story, ''Boys and Girls'', the major theme is gender stereotypes. Through the narrator, the unfairness of sex-role stereotyping, and the negative consequences and effects this has on her passage into adulthood is presented. Also, the narrator is telling us that gender stereotyping, relationships, and a loss of innocence play an extreme role in the growing and passing into adulthood for many young children including herself.

By gender stereotyping, the story is saying that there will be bad consequences on young child-
ren. The negative impact is that the stereotypical society, forces the girl to change he dutieherdutiesandresponsibilities in life, and also, her identity.Another similar impact gender stereotyping has on the girl,is the struggling between what she wants to do and what she is expected to become.She loves to help her father with his farm work, but she tries to avoid her mother's

assigned tasks in the kitchen.This contrast between her father's work and her mother's chores illustrates

a struggle.Work done by her father is viewed as being real, while that done by her mother was considered

boring.So, the society she lives in, prevents her to become who she really wants to become and forces her to become another person. Conflicting views of what was fun and what was expected lead the narrator to her initiation into adulthood.

Also, as the girl gets older, the difference between boys and girls gets more clear and conflic-

ting to her. Her first experience with this was when she was introduced to a salesman as '' new hired

man '' ,but the salesman replied '' I thought it was only a girl ''.Because the girl shows an increase

desired and ability to do a man's job, ...


... middle of paper ...


...se "She's

only a girl".

"Boys and Girls" by Alice Munro highlights the theme of initiation. The story desribes initiation

as a rite of passage according to gender stereotypes and a loss of innocence. Conformity plays

avital.role in determining the outcome of the narrator's passage into adulthood. Throughout the story,

the narrator is confronted with conflicting thoughts and ideas regarding her initiation into adulthood.

She wishes to work with her father, but through a conflict with her mother and grandmother, she comes

to realise that she is expected to adopt the gender stereotype which comes with her growing and

passing into adulthood.In conclusion, Munro's story illustrates the struggles between the dreams and

reality of the rite of passage and initiation, based on gender stereotypes society has placed on men and women.

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