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Personal Integrityrity In Boys And Girls By Alice Munro

Decent Essays
In the case of Alice Munro’s “short story” Boys and Girls, the protagonist, a young girl, builds a personal integrity from a young age aspiring to be like her father - a fox farmer. However as she ages her family puts more pressure on her to behave like a young woman, and to follow her mother. The girl performs acts of courage in order to convince her family she can follow her father, but in reality she is forgetting her integrity and betraying it. Ultimately she loses the integrity she once held for herself, and has to conform to the ideals of her family. Alice Munro suggests that personal integrity can be developed without courage, but when a person is pressured to change they can become focused on committing acts of courage that betray their sense of personal integrity.

When the girl was young she was unaffected by external pressure, and was able to develop a sense of personal integrity without performing courageous acts. At a young age the girl was not faced with the expectations of a young woman. She was able to establish, and follow, her aspiration to be her father’s “hired hand”. She was fascinated by the “whole pelting operation” that her father runs. Despite being a gruesome job the girl finds it “ritualistically important” and is naturally drawn to it. She eagerly watches, and participates in the operation. The girl is in charge of feeding and watering the foxes, a job she takes pride in. She, unlike her brother, gets to use a “real watering can” even though she
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