Topics: Short story, Fiction, Family Pages: 3 (822 words) Published: November 30, 2014

In the short story “Boys and Girls”, Alice Munro portrays the difficulties of the narrator and her brother. Throughout the story, the narrator faces inequality of being a different sex compared to her brother Laird and the effect this has on her as she is growing up. The narrator goes through many experiences that she has to understand herself as she is growing up. Alice Munro shows how gender labeling, different relationships within the family and the narrator’s innocence plays a controversial role in growing up. Munro’s story “Boys and Girls” interprets growing up to be a necessary experience in every child’s life.

The narrator in Alice Munro’s story “Boys and Girls” does not have a name. From the beginning of the story, the girl is referred to as the narrator and is given no name. This tells the readers that she does not have any authority because she is a girl. However, her brother is named Laird, which means “lord” and suggests that he is already considered someone with a high value in the household because he is a boy. In the story, the narrator enjoys working outside the house and helping her father rather than helping her mother. “It seemed to me that work in the house was endless, dreary, and peculiarly depressing” (Munro 87). She believes the “work done out of doors, and in my father’s service, was ritualistically important” (Munro 87) compared to the work inside the house. She considers the work that is done with her mother boring and unimportant and the work done with her father important and meaningful. This is where the narrator starts to realize the difference between what she is expected to do and what she wants to do. This is confusing to her and at the same time a realization of what roles are required from her.

The narrator starts to realize the difference between boys and girls as she grows older. “Wait till Laird gets a little bigger, then you’ll have real help” (Munro 87). The narrator is upset and...

Cited: Cook, Colin. Mercury Reader: a custom publication. Chicago: Pearson, 2011. Print.
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