A Classification Division of Boys and Girls

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In the short story "Boys and Girls" written by Alice Munro, Margret is the narrator and the main character of the story. Munro illustrates a tremendous growing period into womanhood for this young tomboy living on a fox farm in Canada. The main idea of the story can be better comprehended in multiple ways using psychological, feminist, and existential approaches. From a psychological standpoint, Margret comes of age naturally. She is a tomboy who takes pride in helping her father carry out tasks around the fox farm. She is honored to work under his eyes and feels threatened by her younger brother Laird. They both engage in sibling rivalry, fighting for their father's recognition, praise, and approval. It is obvious that Margret does not want Laird to take her place of helping their father by minimizing Laird's contribution to the work that has to be done. "Laird came too, with his little cream and green gardening can, filled too full and knocking against his legs and slopping water on his canvas shoes. I had the real watering can, my father's" (pg.112). Margret also manipulates her brother in different ways. She coerced him to watch their dad shoot "Mack" the horse, as well as bringing him into the barn and telling him to climb the ladder to the top beam, only to get him in trouble by their parents. Margret has masculine dreams and identifies with males. In the story she recalls a particular dream in which she "rescued people from a bombed building and shot two rabid wolves who were menacing through the schoolyard" (111-112). She even wants to participate in masculine recreation. " I really was learning to shoot, but I could not hit anything yet, not even the tin cans on the fence posts" (112). However, at the end of the story, Margret changes. She "planned to put up some kind of barricade" (120) between her bed and Laird's to keep her section separate from his, and the details of...
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