Initiation Story In Boys And Girls By Alice Munro

Decent Essays
An initiation story is defined as, “A story whose overall plot is concerned with putting the protagonist through a particular sort of experience – initiation into something for which his/her previous experience had not prepared him/her” (Kansas 1). In Alice Munro’s story, “Boys and Girls”, witnessing the nonchalant, almost indifferent killing of Mack elicited the catalyst in both the narrator and her brother. However, viewing this event changed the protagonist’s perception of her father and his business. For example the narrator states, “Yet I felt a little ashamed, and there was a new wariness, a sense of holding-off, in my attitude to my father and his work” (Munro 4). She brings her brother to this memorable event and after told him, “in a congratulatory way, as if I had seen it many times before” (Munro 4). Conflict arises from this initiation because the narrator no longer feels proud of her father or proud of herself for the things they do. For some reason,…show more content…
The narrator’s brother, Laird, after witnessing the death of Mack, slides into the masculine role as his father’s helper. Initially, the narrator desired and coveted that role from her brother, however; Laird is the one chosen to capture and kill Flora, which he does successfully. Due to this, Laird becomes one with the patriarchy. For example, in a moment of triumph, “Laird lifted his arm to show off a streak of blood. We shot old Flora, he said, and cut her up into fifty pieces” (Munro 5). The reader clearly identifies the change in tone from Laird’s character, which one can attest to the initiation of the horses. Without the horse scene there would be no initiation story to change both dynamic characters. In fact, the change was so drastic that it literally altered their initial morals. Contained within that single scene, Munro demonstrates to the reader the severity and strength with which it severed the characters original ethical
Get Access