An Ounce of Cure 1

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Growing up is often extremely difficult and confusing. Each person has its own story or memory about finding oneself, or coming of age, as it is sometimes called. At times, it takes a melodramatic event to reveal an individual’s true identity. The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is the possible basis of the author’s title – “An Ounce of Cure “. The title foretells coming events by implying that something emotionally devastating happens. Everyone knows how hard it is to break away from his or her circle of peers. After all, nobody wants to be thought of as different or be neglected. Each teenager copes with this time in his or her life in different ways. Alice Munro writes a tongue in cheek, comical story about one girl’s exploits in “ An Ounce of Cure”. This short story tells the reader how the narrator, as an adult, reflects upon herself as a teenager developing individuality and discovering oneself. It shows how a person’s character is often shaped more by what he or she thinks others desire of them than what she wishes to be. The reader gains insight into the true character of the narrator through the emotional upheaval and resulting consequences of a deliberately botched suicide and a bout of drunkenness.

The feelings of inadequacy and insecurity are partially nurtured by the narrator’s mother’s low expectations of her as she looks at her with “an expression of brooding and fascinated despair” (368) when she does not expect much for her daughter’s future. The narrator’s self-esteem is lowered because her mother is “hoping for a lesser rather than a greater disaster-an elopement, say, with a boy who could never earn his living, rather than an abduction into the White Slave trade” (368).

The narrator describes herself as a typical teenage girl at first, but low self-esteem is prevalent when one examines her comments as she catches a boy checking her out. Terrified by the opinions of...
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