Girls And Girls By Alice Munro

1380 WordsFeb 27, 20176 Pages
Boys and Girls is an analysis of the development of gender roles and focuses on how a young girl was being forced into the female mold. The story, narrated by a young girl, details the time in her life when she leaves childhood and its freedoms behind and realizes that to be a "girl" is to be, eventually, a woman. She starts to grasp that becoming a "girl" fraught with difficulties because she senses that women are considered the social inferiors of men. She starts off with a strong sense of self and was naïve of gender stereotypes. However, over the course of the story, she loses her self-identity and gains a gender through emblematic interactions with characters. Alice Munro uses the secondary characters, such as her parents and the…show more content…
Using her father as a measuring stick, the narrator compares men to women and begins to consider women inferior to men. After her father, the author adds a new male character, Henry Bailey, the hired man. The character of Henry Bailey exemplifies the arrogant nature of the male gender. Society has a notion that men’s work is always exclusively men’s work and that women can never understand or succeed at men’s work. Henry Bailey’s character helps the narrator to realize that she will always be a girl and that nothing she does to rebel will change her family’s or society’s expectations. Munro uses the foxes the father raises as another symbol of how the narrator is feeling. Even the foxes have names, which reiterates the fact that the narrator herself is nameless. “Those my father named were called names like Prince, Bob, Wally and Betty. Those I named were called Star or Turk, or Maureen or Diana” (Munro 304). The names the narrator picked were much more imaginative compared to the practical names her father, or Laird, chose, suggesting that boys lack creativity while girls possess it in abundance. The foxes serve as an valuable symbol, because a fox doesn’t get named until it served a purpose for the narrator 's father. This shows another connection that in her father 's eyes she serves no purpose, because she is not a male. The foxes themselves are trapped in pens that her father built, which showcases
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