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Gender Roles of Boys and Girls Essay

Satisfactory Essays
Sondra Staubitz
English 102
Paper #1
March 3, 2011 “Boys and Girls” “Boys and Girls” is a coming of age story about a girl who is enjoying her life as a tomboy. The young girl, who does not want to assume traditional female gender roles and is very resistant about becoming a woman. The story “Boys and Girls” by Alice Munro explores issues of feminism, and gender roles through key elements such as characterization, symbolism, and theme. The author presents her characters through direct description and also shows them in action. In “Boys and Girls” the central character is a young girl who narrates the story about her life on a farm and about her search for gender identity.
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The girl and her brother climbed up the fence and watched Flora running free in the barnyard. Despite the fact that Flora was just an old mare, “it was exciting to see her running, whinnying, going up on her hind legs, prancing and threatening like a horse in a Western movie” (Munro 577). Generally, a horse that runs free like “an unbroken ranch horse,” symbolizes a freedom of spirit and freedom of existence. The horse that was locked in a dark stable for several long winter months, could not resist the power of space and fresh air, and understandably went wild, when she was taken out on a bright spring day. Perhaps, a sense of the coming end made Flora take advantage of a sudden freedom and enjoys the last moments of her life. No wonder that the independence-spirited girl, who was confined in the same old farm for eleven years, got excited about watching broken free Flora. The theme of “Boys and Girls” addresses the challenges of acquiring self-awareness as a girl and the transition from the childhood tomboy into the woman her mother wants her to be. The girl feels uneasy about becoming a woman, because she enjoys helping her father and respects his work. The girl does not want to take part in the female gender chores in the house; she wants to work outside with her father. The story is centered on gender roles of women and the girl must face and accept that her role is not
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