Boys and Girls
Throughout the story “Boys and Girls”, gender is a popular issue that came up. During the time period, women were considered to be second class. The narrator of the story, whose name you do not find out, struggles with the social norm. She does not enjoy the “dirty” chores she is entitled to do such as kitchen work with her mother. The narrator although older than her younger brother, is still considered to be below him. Laird which is a synonym for “Lord” is an obvious way of showing that he is considered superior to his older sister. The protagonist struggles to accept that since she is a girl, she must “keep her knees together when she sits down” or “mind her own business”. This proves that in the story, the stereotypes do not promote equality of men and women.
At the beginning of the story, the protagonist does not realize that a woman’s status is below a males. Her perspective of society starts to change when her father introduces her to a salesman. when introduced, she is referred to as his “new hired man”. The salesman replies with a simple, “I thought it was only a girl”. After this she begins to pick up on certain things that happen in her everyday life. One day, the narrator overhears a conversation between her parents saying, “wait till Liard gets bigger, you will have some real help.” The expectations of the narrators family of Liard and the narrator differ a lot and seem unfair. The narrator continues to search for her individuality throughout the story, struggling with these gender issues. The grandmother is another example of how the stereotypes in the story do not promote equality of men and woman. She came from a time when girls were expected to only be quiet and men were the only ones who were allowed to be rough. Closer to the end of the story, Liard begins to realize his dominance. He starts to listen only to his father, and looks at his mother as a secondary figure. Liard tells his mother that...
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