Analysis Of Red Dress 1946

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Teenagers are pressured to what the social expectations are as they grow up and become young adults. Not only that, they also struggle to find balance between individuality and conformity. Finding balance between the two might seem difficult and conformity becomes an easier option to be socially approved when growing up. In Alice Munro’s “Red Dress - 1946,” the narrator is a thirteen-year-old girl who is terrified of her oppressive mother. As a young lady, she ventures the stressful social expectations of growing up a teenager. While the narrator wants to make her own unique self, she feels compelled to conform to what other people expect her to be and to become. The conformist attitude that the narrator has reflects her intense insecurity and lack of self-confidence. Also, this feeling of having to conform is a result of being oppressed by her mother.
The narrator’s insecurity and lack of self-confidence makes her fit in to the ordinary world where teenage life is about popularity and girls who are “boy-crazy” (15). At the Christmas dance, she says that she was smiling at no one and when she “observed that girls on the dance floor, popular girls, were not smiling” (14). Her observation shows how she tries to conform to gain popularity, which she never achieved. Although the narrator has a “red velvet dress, did her hair in curlers, used a deodorant and put on cologne” (14), nobody has asked her for a dance. This refers to her insecurity and reveals how she tries to fit in
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