Boys and Girl

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Boys and Girls, a short story by Alice Munro, deals with the theme of female role in society, but more so with the theme of growing up. The narrator's journey to acceptance of her female role is more important in the sense that it is her transition into adulthood than for the exact role she is growing into. However, as the narrator's role changes, conflict between masculinity and femininity occurs. Munro uses the narrator's parents as symbolic of their sexes, where the narrator’s, the girl’s mother is always in the house doing the house chores where else the father works outside the home in the fox farm doing hard work. From the very beginning, the writer portrays the girl as the subject of the profound unfairness of sex-role stereotyping. Thus becoming a ‘‘girl’’ on the way to womanhood is a time fraught with difficulties for the young protagonist because she senses that women are considered the social inferiors of men. Knowing that she is expected to become a girl and conform to society's beliefs and norms, she expresses her desire to rebel against what is expected. Initially, she tries to prevent this from occurring by resisting her parents’ and grandparents’ attempts to train her in the likes, habits, behavior, and work of women. Unrealistically, the narrator believes that she would be of use to her father more and more as she got older. Furthermore, the writer brings out the theme through the characters in the story, for instance the girl’s mother where the narrator describe her mother's appearance as that of a stereotypical farm wife, with an apron and a kerchief on her head, no time to spend on her appearance. The narrator is given jobs to do in the house in the morning, especially at canning time, and tries to escape the confines of the kitchen for outside work as soon as possible every day. She expresses her literal love/hate relationship with her mother, since she knows she is love,...
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