Gender Roles and Maturity
Boys and girls, is a fictional short story, beautifully written by Alice Munro, about gender identity and stereotypes, as a young child moves into adulthood. The story takes place in the 1940s on a fox farm in Jubilee, Ontario. During this time women were viewed as second class citizens but the narrator, who is also the protagonist, desires to be more than “just a girl”. Through the conflicts of the protagonist, Munro depicts the challenges of growing up with gender stereotypes. Her use of first person narration and characterization help to show the hardships of passage into adulthood, and she is still able to examine gender roles for girls and boys, through the use of her secondary characters. Munro depicts the challenging journey form youth to maturity through her use of first person narration. The protagonist is a young woman and though her eyes, Alice Munro explains what it feels like to mature into a young woman. She starts by showing the youth of the girl through her dreams. “These stories were about myself, when I had grown a little older; they took place in a world that was recognizably mine, yet one that presented opportunities for courage, boldness, and self-sacrifice, as mine never did.” (Munro, 352) Munro is showing that the child dreams of being a hero, and being important to the world, someone that they can look up to. Whereas later on in the story Munro again tells us of the protagonist’s dreams but they have changed drastically since her first dreams. “A story might start off in the old way, with spectacular danger, a fire or wild animals, and for a while I might rescue people; then things would change around, and instead, somebody would be rescuing me.” (Munro, 360) This shows how much the child has grown and matured since the start of the story. At the beginning she was the hero, and by the end she starts to think about boys and someone to rescue her. Maturity remains as a constant theme in the...
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