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Journey Motif in Boys and Girls by Alice Munro Essay

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Alice Munros Journey Motif in Boys and Girls

Many short stories are recognized as milestones in the development of modern realist fiction. “Boys and Girls” is a short story that evokes a realistic rather than romantic view of a girl’s journey towards finding herself. This short story includes the fight for her gender, and her struggle with her identity. Also, in addition to these two defining aspects, this short story contains the realistic account of who and what she is to become.

Clearly one of the main themes evident in this short story, the battle with her identity and gender is quickly made apparent. The narrator is a young girl who appreciates, respects and holds her father’s authority in high regard, while she looks down on
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A true feminist at heart, the author believes that women are caged creatures, not unlike the foxes, and that the power than men have over women is something that desperately needs to change. The identity of the girl is associated heavily with men because the author wants women to be independent. The girl in the story therefore continues to value and be proud of all the work that she does for her father, but also continues to defy her mother and the fact that she is a girl. Her dreams are filled with stories of grand adventures where she plays the heroic rescuer and takes everyone to safety. However, as she grows and begins to notice the difference between boys and girls, her dreams become less involved with being the rescuer as being the one rescued. Perhaps this is because the feminine instinct inside of her is beginning to develop, or maybe just because she in giving in to the inevitable. Whatever the reason, the gender issues that the girl experiences are closely entwined with the identity uncertainties that she has about herself.

The girl in this story is faced with the harsh reality of who she really is, and more importantly, who she is expected to become. In her struggle to identify with her father, she is faced with the extraordinary task of accepting who she is, and not who she wants to be. In spite of the fact that she thinks, behaves, and dreams things like a boy would, nearly everyone in her life is forcing her to see that she is a girl, and
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